Valerie Gillespie kicks off 11th annual St. Petersburg Jazz Festival

There’s jazz on the lineup, and it runs through March 3.

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Valerie Gillespie, who plays St. Pete Jazz Festival at Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on February 27, 2019. - Shanna Gillette
Shanna Gillette
Valerie Gillespie, who plays St. Pete Jazz Festival at Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on February 27, 2019.

It won’t wrap until March 3, but the 11th annual St. Petersburg Jazz Festival has already arrived. Saxophonist Valerie Gillespie (a member of Grammy-winning Tampa band Chuck Owen and The Jazz Surge) has played with icons like Chick Corea, Diana Ross and Ray Charles, and she kicks things off on the first night of a festival that speaks directly to all those folks who squint at big-city jazz-fest lineups and snottily say, “Where’s the jazz?” See the full lineup via stpetejazzfest.com.

St. Petersburg Jazz Festival w/Valerie Gillespie Ensemble Wed. Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m. $25-$35. Side Door Cabaret at Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. stpetejazzfest.com.

Remembering Sam with Rivers Lost Former bandmates share stories and pay tribute to the work of jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers, who "retired" in Orlando and ushered a new interest in jazz into Florida. Rex Wertz and David Pate will handle sax for the evening. Thurs. Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m. $25-$35.

Nestor Torres Quartet Latin Grammy Award winner Nestor Torres brings his 14-piece solo discography to St. Petersburg where he'll be backed by pianist Jorge Sosa, bassist Mauricio Rodriguez and drummer Dimas Sanchez. Fri. March 1, 7:30 p.m. $25-$35.

Alexis Cole with the Helios Jazz Orchestra Fans of Sarah Vaughan and Anita O’Day will enjoy Cole, who has turned heads at New York Jazzmobile and Montreux Jazz Festival while also playing alongside the oston Pops and New York Philharmonic. Sat. March. 2 7:30 p.m. <$25-$35.

Martin Bejerano Trio Roy Haynes collaborator Martin Bejerano will sit at the piano to play cuts (including some from his Grammy-nominated 2004 album) as part of this gig that gives him a break from his duties at the Frost School of Music in Miami. Sun. March 3, 7:30 p.m. $25-$35.

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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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