Panama City, Florida to host free Jazz by the Bay festival


PANAMA CITY – According to the Gulf Jazz Society, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the entertainment industry over the past year and a half. Especially in the field of live musical performance.

If you’re one of the many who missed out on sitting down and enjoying a concert, the Gulf Jazz Society is ready to bring you nine concerts at the 20th annual Jazz by the Bay Festival.

Lisa Kelly and JB Scott will perform on both days of the festival.

And all that:Jazz by the Bay returns to Panama City

Following:Jazz by the bay

The festival returns to Oaks by the Bay Park, 2715 W. 10th St. in historic St. Andrews, on Friday and Saturday October 1 and 2. The hours are from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Free entry. The family-friendly event features lineup that includes veterans and newcomers, local favorites, and national recording artists.

This year’s festival features more top-rated jazz groups offering distinctive jazz styles: Dixieland, straight ahead, big band, vocal, bebop, blues-infused and latin.

“I think we’ve booked a list that covers a wide spectrum of the genre,” said Steve Gilmore, executive director of the Gulf Jazz Society. jazz. Then we have Big Band, Latin Jazz, Be-Bop. It will be a great cross section. “

The festival begins a little earlier than in previous years with the Mike Levine Quintet taking the stage at 5.30pm.

“It’s something new that we’re trying this year,” Gilmore said. “Three acts on Friday evening instead of just two. The evening will be rounded off by local favorites Stephanie Pettis and Rio from 6:45 pm to 7:45 pm, followed by featured artists Lisa Kelly and JB Scott from 8 pm to 9 pm.

“The Friday night crowd always seems ready to party. So we bring in some extra music, ”Gilmore said.

Andrew Tinch will perform on Saturday.

The second day will begin Saturday at 12:30 pm with The Freedom Jazz Dectet, a self-proclaimed “small-large group”. Then it’s jazz standards and the Great American Songbook with David Seering and Bobby Van Duesen from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., followed by an encore set with Lisa Kelly and JB Scott from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Emerging local jazz guitarist Andrew Tinch will take the stage at 4:15 p.m. with his quartet.

The festival ends with New York jazz veteran George Petropolis from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Then Mike Levine’s Latin Jazz Quintet brings him home from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.

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Gilmore said that while COVID-19 canceled last year’s event, that hardly represents the only challenge the festival has faced in recent years.

“In 2018, it was Michael. The year before, another tropical storm forced us to move everything on Saturday morning – instruments, sound equipment, works – to The Shrimp Boat, ”he explained. “If you’re having an outdoor event in Florida, you better be prepared to play with the punches.”

Participants are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets, as none will be provided. Food and drinks will be available for purchase on site. There are many restaurants within walking distance of the venue, and coolers and picnics are permitted.

And as always, Jazz by the Bay is free.

“I think this year’s festival offers a little something extra,” said Gilmore. “A chance to hang out in a beautiful setting with friends and neighbors, listen to great live music, while being able to stretch out and stay safe. We need this.

Free entry.  The public is reminded to bring a lounge chair or blanket.

Gulf Jazz Society brings the music

Founded in 1997, the Gulf Jazz Society advocates for jazz music in the Panama City area and northern Florida. The company’s mission is “to raise awareness of jazz by presenting live musical events and preserving and perpetuating jazz as an important part of America’s cultural heritage.”

GJS is an organization of jazz enthusiasts from all walks of life. Membership includes musicians, businesses, professionals and retirees, students, and people simply interested in listening to great music and advancing the cause of American original music.

Mike Levine's quintet will open the festival on Friday and close it on Saturday.

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As part of its annual program, the GJS awards a scholarship and introduces jazz to local schools. Membership fees are: individual $ 20; family $ 30; student $ 10; $ 500 corporate; and individual life $ 250.

GJS hosts bi-monthly shows featuring some of the best jazz talent in and out of the region. The list of artists hosted by the Society includes Cheryl Jones, Victor Payano, Charles Pagano, Robert Orr, Gene Bertoncini, Mike Levine, Crystal Joy, David Seering, Kathy Lyon, George Petropolis, Bobby van Deusen and their own musical director and three Steve Gilmore, Grammy winner.

The Gulf Jazz Society board of directors meets monthly in Panama City. Anyone interested in jazz and the GJS program is welcome. For more details on the GJS, visit the website or call 850-235-1659.

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