Ona Kirei, Jason Charos and Fred Johnson lead strong week of Tampa Bay jazz events

Blake Aaron kicks off the Fenway’s new series, too.

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click to enlarge Ona Kirei, who plays Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 27, 2019. - musiconakirei/Facebook
Ona Kirei, who plays [email protected] in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 27, 2019.

Tampa Bay’s live jazz calendar features four great events happening between Friday and Sunday. Get details below.

Ona Kirei There’s a lot of jazz in this week’s live music roundup, and Ona Kirei — a vocalist, composer and arranger from Barcelona — kicks the agenda off with this show where she’ll employ Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Basque to sing both jazz and neo-soul songs from on the Iberian Peninsula as well as some of her original music. University of South Florida piano professor Pablo Arencibia drives the backing band alongside trumpeter James Suggs, Alejandro Arenas on bass, and Mark Feinman on drums. Thurs., June 27, 7 p.m. $15. [email protected], St. Petersburg. thestudioat620.org.

Fred Johnson He’s played stages with the likes of Chick Corea, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin and Miles Davis, but on Friday beloved Bay area jazz vocalist Fred Johnson is staging a pop-up concert where he’ll be backed by the Michael Ross trio, which includes another beloved Tampeño, percussionist Gumbi Ortiz. Fans of singers like Jon Hendricks are going to want to be at Ybor City’s Pusscat Lounge (it’s where the Ybor City Jazz House, across from La France, used to be) and pay the cover which will help nonprofit Housing First address chronic homelessness in the Tampa Bay Area by providing housing and services for the county’s most at-risk street/homeless population. Fri., June 28, 8 p.m. $25. Pusscat Lounge, Ybor City. housing1st.org.


Jason Charos Quintet St. Petersburg trumpeter Jason Charos rides straightahead jazz’s open grooves to find optimism and himself, and in 2018 the Gibbs High grad told CL that he’s trying to honor heroes like Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, John Coltrane, and Freddie Hubbard while he studies at Miami’s Frost School of Music. “Jazz is all about freedom, but it is not anarchy,” he said. “It is the pursuit of a perfect equilibrium of expression between the musicians. I want to keep playing it because it challenges me to be myself and tell the truth of who I am.” He’ll run free with some originals — and play some swingin’ tunes, too — during this Friday-night set alongside saxophonists David Manson and Kendrick McAllister, bassist Joe Porter and drummer John Jenkins. Fri., June 28, 8 p.m. $15. The [email protected], St. Petersburg. thestudioat620.org.

Jazz Summer Concert Series w/Blake Aaron The Fenway is one of the prettiest new hotels in Tampa Bay, and on Sunday it kicks of a summer jazz concert series that wraps on August 25. The hotel’s Caladesi Ballroom plays host to guitarist Blake Aaron, who’s received the seal of approval from Dave Koz (the smooth-jazz king called Blake “amazingly talented”) and the Los Angeles Times, which once dubbed the Southern Californian “a genius on guitar.” Saxophonist Marcus Anderson arrives at the series on July 28 and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Mitchell wraps things up on August 25. Tickets includes a specially curated three-course dinner from HEW Parlor & Chophouse and valet parking. Sun., June 29. 5:30 p.m. $80. Fenway Hotel, Dunedin. fenwayhotel.com.


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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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