Tampa Bay’s jazz scene is alive and well

The Music Issue 2019: CL's guide on where to see jazz, who’s playing it and more.

click to enlarge Jason Charos plays Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 28, 2019. - Photo by Marlo Miller/Design by Joey Neill
Photo by Marlo Miller/Design by Joey Neill
Jason Charos plays [email protected] in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 28, 2019.


In December, I bought garment that said “Jazz Is Dead” on the front. The joke was supposed to be obvious.

In its short history, jazz has never been anywhere near close to dead. Unfortunately, the joke fell flat. At one show, a security guard chirped at me and said, “No it ain’t!”

“I know, it’s supposed to be ironic,” I quipped back.

The shirt was a conversation starter, but I quickly found out that while I’d written about some personal highlights of Tampa Bay’s jazz scene, I wasn’t really equipped to help a stranger on their quest to figure out where Tampa Bay jazz was offered, where it came from and why it mattered. It was embarrassing, and I felt like a poser. So I decided to try and some of that.

Music Issue 2019

The links above are an attempt to connect with some of the Bay area’s preeminent jazz artists, musicians and supporters in the hopes of showing readers — especially ones new to our area — why Tampa Bay’s jazz scene is thriving and poised to do so for years to come.

What this hopefully represents is a reacquaintance with that scene as told by the people who are hopelessly devoted to it. I hope the information inspires you to get out into a new venue or restaurant and get in touch with some of these amazing musicians and supporters because all their jazz — as you already knew and felt — is very much alive and well.

Follow @cl_music on Twitter to get the most up-to-date music news, concert announcements and local tunes. Subscribe to our newsletter, too.

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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