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Clearwater, Fla. – General Manager Russ Kimball announced today the official kick-off of the annual Suncoast Jazz Festival on Thursday evening hosted at Sheraton Sand Key Resort.

Kimball said, “The Suncoast Jazz Classic partners with the City of Clearwater each year, and this year is very special as it’s a member of the 100 year Centennial Celebration. Visit St. Pete Clearwater is a major contributor this year and another 30 companies have also partnered and contributed to the success of this worthy festival. We are very proud to be a partner and host for another year!”

Chairman of the Board of Directors and Festival Director Joan Dragon said, “The festival provides opportunities for both professional musicians from all over the United States as well as aspiring young musicians from our community to perform and share their music with enthusiastic and very appreciative audiences in Clearwater. We want to thank Sheraton Sand Key Resort for their support and appreciation of our love for jazz!”

Dedicated to preserving and promoting jazz music, some of the festival favorites include Bob Draga, Bill Allred, Dave Tatrow, Jason Wanner, Ron Jones, Billy Pillucere and Pepper. Genres range among youth bands, TRAD bands, swing dance, and pianorama to mention a few.

Dragon added, “Because of the generosity of a lot of individual sponsors and attendees, Suncoast Classic Jazz Inc. has been able to give back to the community yearly in the form – more – of financial assistance to individual young musicians as well as bands and local schools. Over the years, contributions total nearly $100,000. Continuing support will ensure the future of the festival and scholarship program. Come join the ranks of our sponsors and loyal fans, enjoy a terrific weekend of jazz on Florida’s Suncoast, and help us keep this terrific tradition alive; this is your legacy to the future of traditional jazz!”

The festival spans five simultaneous venues at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort and Marriott Sand Key. Dedicated Jolley Trolley lines allow attendees to move from one venue to another to hear the various entertainers throughout the 3-day weekend. The Grand Finale is Sunday at 4PM. The festival will present over 20 bands and guest artists from both Tampa Bay and nationally. Attendees are drawn from around US and international locations. Dance floors are available near the musicians for those interested, and a large swing dance floor is dedicated Friday night from 6 PM to midnight, which begins with an hour of instruction by the Swing Time Dancers.

Sheraton Sand Key Resort will also be offering special rates for sponsors and attendees. Interested parties may contact Marilyn Triassi by phone at 800-456-7263.

For tickets and more information about the 25th Silver Jubilee Suncoast Jazz Classic, please visit www.suncoastjazzclassic.com.