03/02/10 By Mark Carter
Seabreeze Jazz Festival to Add Sizzle to Northwest Florida Gulf Coast With Stellar Weekend of Smooth Jazz April 15-18th
White Sands, Beautiful Water, and Smooth Jazz Return for 12th Season
Jazz-lovers and sun-seekers across the nation are getting ready to “shake off those winter blues” --- with a remedy of white sands, beautiful water, and a dose of the best in smooth contemporary jazz. The coastal beach setting of Panama City Beach will “come alive” for the 2010 ResortQuest Seabreeze Jazz Festival, April 15th-18th at the Pier Park Amphitheater. Celebrating its 12th year on Florida’s Northwest Gulf Coast, the event will provide an oasis for music lovers and a beach getaway for the entire family.
Known as the ULTIMATE weekend in smooth – The ResortQuest Seabreeze Jazz Festival has become synonymous with “fun in the sun” and top-notched national contemporary jazz entertainment, all inside the backdrop of beautiful white-sand beaches, emerald green waters, with an abundance of activities for just about every taste in beautiful Panama City Beach, Florida.
Named as one of the "Top 10 Jazz Festivals in the USA" by JazzIZ Magazine, The Seabreeze Jazz Festival marks its second year moving east from Destin to the vibrant new location of Pier Park in Panama City Beach. The combination of beautiful beaches, great shopping and dining at adjacent Pier Park, easy-access to an abundant offering of hotels and condos, coupled with a “killer list” of the top names in contemporary jazz—make Panama City Beach the place to be! And this year… the “vibe” is hot! Almost as hot as the music is “cool”!
Artists scheduled to perform each year include the “Who’s Who” of contemporary jazz, and this year is no exception. The 2010 event will be hosted by contemporary jazz guitarist Nick Colionne. Set to perform throughout the weekend include smooth jazz “supergroup” Fourplay and exciting R&B funk/jazz band Tower of Power-- sure to get the audience up on their feet! Other artists performing include The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, and Steve Cole…. Rick Braun and Richard Elliot also known as “R n R”, Nick Colionne, Euge Groove, Marc Antoine, Brian Simpson, Alex Bugnon, Shilts, Jackeim Joyner, Oli Silk, Jessy J, Steve Oliver, Drew Davidsen, Ken Ford, Gerald Veasley, Joey Sommervile, Matt Marshak, BK Jackson, RomanStreet, and Jones and Company. On Friday evening, an All-Star Jam Show will include a tribute to the late Wayman Tisdale, famed jazz bass player and basketball player who performed at the event last year.
The weekend of smooth jazz will kick off on Thursday, April 15th at 7pm with the annual Smooth Jazz Dinner Cruise sponsored by ResortQuest. Sailing from the beautiful Baytowne Wharf Marina at Sandestin Resort, the entertainment yacht “Solaris” will cruise the scenic Choctawhatchee Bay as attendees enjoy a full seated dinner, festive fun, and smooth jazz. This magical evening concludes of with an intimate live smooth jazz performance on the Sky Deck by keyboardist Brian Simpson and French flamenco guitarist Marc Antone. All attendees on the cruise will then attend a personal Meet and Greet with both artists for a “unique” up-close experience. Tickets for the Smooth Jazz Dinner Cruise hosted are limited at $135 each.
On Friday, April 16th the action turns to the greens of the Colony Golf Club in Panama City Beach as the Seabreeze Jazz Festival Golf Tournament swings out as this year’s new event! Set among the semi-private, 18 hole par 72 Championship Course just minutes from Pier Park, the tournament action is open to all with a 8am Shotgun Start. The course has been described in national golf publications as among one of Florida’s most enjoyable yet challenging tracks. Attendees will enjoy a day of golf, a delicious lunch, presentation of prizes, and a live performance from saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa as an added treat. Get a “JAZZY” start to the jazz festival weekend with exhilarating morning of golf and an intimate jazz performance. Tickets are $110 per person and space is limited. For golf tournament registration or information, call Colony Club at 1-850-234-1800.
Meet the STARS OF SMOOTH JAZZ and get a FREE sneak peek of the festival show at Borders Books at Pier Park Friday at 3pm. Reminiscent of a Hollywood CD Release Party and Meet and Greet, this is an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with the artists performing throughout the weekend. Mingle with the jazz artists, purchase their latest cds, and of course get autographs galore! Each artist will perform a short preview of their material for the audience, and admission is free. Bring your camera. Space is limited so get there early.
The excitement shifts to the stage at Pier Park on Friday April 16th beginning at 6pm … with the official kickoff of the event. The crowd will first be treated to jazzy acoustic guitar fusion from Mobile, Alabama based RomanStreet, followed by the #1 Contemporary Jazz ranked Sax Pack, featuring sax trio Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, and Steve Cole. The evening will conclude with the Seabreeze Jazz Festival All-Star Jam Show hosted by smooth jazz guitarist Nick Colionne. Loved by fans as both a unique element of the jazz festival, the All-Star Jam will feature a montage of national talent as special smooth jazz guests will join on the stage for a "once-in-a-lifetime jazz jam like no other”. First introduced in 2008, the All Star Jam creates the fun and FUNK of impromptu jazz performances that many audiences rarely see is concert-style performances. Jazz artists get to “let their hair down” and “rip loose” with the uptempo riffs, funky bass lines, and the crowd-energizing beat of beats! As a special edition to 2010, the All Star Jam Show will include a special tribute to the late Wayman Tisdale. Renowned jazz bass player and pro-basketball player, Wayman performed to a standing ovation crowd at the 2009 Seabreeze Jazz Festival and was one of his last live performances before his timeless passing early summer of 2009. His music and spirit will be celebrated on stage as we remember “the man with the big smile”.
Friday evening concludes at 11pm with a cool “Chill Out” After-Party at Reggae J’s at Pier Park. British smooth jazz keyboardist Oli Silk, London-based saxman Shilts, and guitarist Matt Marshak will keep the cool grooves and jazzy vibes going into the late night hours at this intimate “Jazz Club” setting, complete with appetizers and a cash bar.
The ResortQuest Seabreeze Jazz Festival will continue all day Saturday and Sunday April 17th-18th with performances from 10am to 10pm on Saturday and 10am-9pm on Sunday. The gates open each day at 9am.
How does one spell “funky”? The answer is clear to see in Saturday’s impressive lineup of top talent with a few surprises. Heads will turn with 18 year old sax sensation from Florida State University BK Jackson takes the stage and electrifies the audience. #1 selling guitarist Drew Davidsen, a huge hit at the Catalina Jazz Festival in California follows as he makes his Seabreeze Jazz Festival debut. And who says “jazz” is only limited to the sax, guitar, or keyboards? Atlanta electric jazz violinist Ken Ford will prove that notion wrong with his upbeat performance of funky smooth jazz and R&B grooves as another exciting newcomer for 2010. The afternoon continues with smooth jazz hitmakers Rick Bruan and Richard Elliot together for some “R n R” – short for Rick and Richard but long for high energy, jaw-dropping Top 5 charting contemporary jazz hits that span the past three decades.
Festival host guitarist Nick Colionne performs as well– known in the music business as “The Windy Cat” for his home base of Chicago and his jazzy guitar grooves. Nick Colionne too has enjoyed big success on smooth jazz radio as one of the top-selling jazz guitarists of 2008 and 2009. On top of being a talented artist, he’s actually funny on stage as well.
As Saturday’s sun sets on the Pier Park Amphitheater, the mood will IGNITE as legendary funk, jazz, soul, and R&B band Tower of Power performs for the first time on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. Since 1968, Tower of Power has delivered their unique brand of music to their fans, appearing before sold out crowds as they tour the world each year. Tower of Power’s rhythm section lays “down a groove” like no other band. The band’s horn-driven sound is unique and when combined with the outstanding lead vocalist, the final result is one of the most dynamic shows to ever hit the stage. Tower of Power is known to many … as THE BAND. With high energy horns, funky rhythms, and soulful vocals – the Seabreeze Jazz Festival will feel “the power” of The Tower.
The action moves from the stage at Pier Park to the “club scene” just steps away at Pier Park at 10:30pm as Saturday evening concludes with a cool “Smooth Jazz” After-Party at Reggae J’s at Pier Park. The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, and Steve Cole perform with special guests in a swanky yet smooth upbeat “Jazz Club” party scene. The smooth jazz will blend with the warm seabreeze off of the Gulf across Panama City Beach into the early morning hours.
On Sunday, April 18th the music continues with a unique blend of style, tempo, and talent. Destin based jazz and vocal group Jones and Company will begin the day with their own hits and the best of Motown, pop, and R & B. The “Seabreeze Groove Project” will again debut a “new sound” on stage – as each year the band’s configuration changes to reflect a fresh new take on groove riffs, moving bass lines, and jazz licks. This year’s “Groove Project” includes swiss-born keyboardist Alex Bugnon, bassist Gerald Veasley, former Down To the Bone saxman Shilts, and jazz guitarist Matt Marshak. Guitarist Steve Oliver brings his unique style of rhythmic and breezy jazz to the stage…and his vocal scats and unbelievable guitar talent will WOW the most demanding music fan. New and upcoming talent is always part of the jazz festival formula, and Jackiem Joyner, Jessy J, and Oli Silk will show the audience why they are the hottest new artists in the contemporary jazz format today. Saxophonist Euge Groove will take to the stage performing his montage of uptempo hits.
The grand finale of the weekend will be the first-time appearance of Fourplay…set to headline the festival Sunday night at 7pm. Known as a smooth jazz “supergroup”,
Fourplay consists of Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason, and their newest member, multi-faceted virtuoso guitarist Chuck Leob. The Seabreeze Jazz Festival will be the first live performance to include Chuck Loeb to the world. For nearly two decades, the contemporary jazz quartet has enjoyed commercial success by grafting elements of R & B, pop, and a variety of other sounds to their unwavering jazz foundations. In the course of ten recordings over the last 20 years, Fourplay was named “Top 20 Smooth Jazz Artists of the Decade” by Billboard Magazine.
The Seabreeze Jazz Festival itself has become a phenomenon. Beginning in 1999 at Seaside with just a handful of participants, the event now has grown to attract over 5000 jazz attendees per day from all over the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. Many come just for the music, while others enjoy the beautiful beaches, upscale shopping, and fine dining the local area has to offer. The Seabreeze Jazz Festival has been recognized as one of the top jazz festivals in the country, as well as "Best Event" and "Best Place To Be Seen" by the readers of Emerald Coast Magazine.
Tickets are on sale online and by phone. A Weekend Pass is $130 per person and includes all performances at the Pier Park Amphitheater Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Individual single-day tickets are on sale at $80 each. Tickets for the Smooth Jazz Dinner Cruise are separate at $135 each including dinner and show. After-Party Tickets are $55 each.
For the ultimate jazz festival experience, VIP Corporate Tables for 10 are available for $5000 each for the weekend including all VIP catering and benefits. VIP Corporate Tables provide the best concert experience, located directly in front of the stage so attendees can take in the smooth jazz excitement. VIP Corporate Tables includes separate VIP Parking and entrance, early festival entry, full catering including breakfast, lunch, and snack for the weekend …and beverages (beer, wine, and soft drinks). VIP Ticket holders also get to Meet and Greet with the artists inside the VIP Tent after each performance.
Order tickets online at www.seabreezejazzfestival.net or by phone at 800-595-4849.
Purchase tickets in person at Borders Books and Music at Pier Park, Playground Music Center in Ft. Walton Beach, and Kitchenique in Destin at City Market next to Destiny.
Small coolers are welcome inside the venue but no alcohol please. Cash bar and food vendors available at the event. General Admission ticketholders bring a lawn chair or blanket. Children 12 and under are admitted to the Friday-Sunday festival at no charge with paying adult. Chair rentals will be available at the entrance gate and can be pre-ordered online or by phone. Parking available onsite at Pier Park.
For more information, call 850-267-3279 or go online to seabreezejazzfestival.net. Presented by WSBZ 106.3 -- the Seabreeze.
Sponsors include ResortQuest, The Panama City Beach Visitors and Convention Bureau, Pier Park/Simon, Smooth Jazz dot Com, Creative Gems of Panama City, Borders Books and Music, The Talking Phone Book, and Smooth Lounge dot com.
About WSBZ-FM 106.3 -- The Emerald Coast’s exclusive smooth jazz radio station, WSBZ celebrates its 15th year on the air broadcasting from Destin with the area’s most unique format. As presenting host and founder of the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, WSBZ Radio features celebrity hosts including Kenny G, Ramsey Lewis, and Dave Koz in their weekly program schedule. WSBZ was nominated twice as 2006 and 2007 Smooth Jazz Radio Station of the Year by Radio and Records/Billboard Magazine. WSBZ 106.3-the Seabreeze also is streaming live on the internet at www.wsbz.com and www.seabreezejazzfestival.com. Owned and operated by Carter Broadcasting, Incorporated, WSBZ Radio is family-owned by Mark and Renee’ Carter of Santa Rosa Beach, Fl.
About Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach boasts 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering the clear, emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. The Northwest Florida community is home to St. Andrew’s State Park, a Top Two beach on the 2008 TripAdvisor list of America's best beaches. Panama City Beach also enjoys recognition as a premier beach destination by Conde Nast Traveler, The Travel Channel, USA Today, Southern Living, Dr. Beach and the Clean Beaches Council. Family attractions, championship golf courses, sporting events, award-winning dining, predictably sunny weather and a vast number of recreational activities draw visitors to this seaside community. For more information, call 1-800-PCBEACH (850-233-6503) or check out the official Web site of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com
About Pier Park
Located in the heart of town across from the City Pier, the new Pier Park spans roughly 1 million square feet, making it Northwest Florida's largest shopping/dining/ entertainment venue. This open-air complex houses restaurants and stores comprising a colorful mix of popular national chains and favorite local boutiques and eateries. The Pier Park lineup includes: Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Dillard's, Borders, JCPenney, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Candymaker Candy Stores, Massage Envy, Panera Bread, The Back Porch restaurant, Hofbrau Beer Garden, Ann Taylor Loft, Chico's, ULTA Beauty and more. Plus, the Grand 16 Theatre -- a 16-screen, 3,000-seat movie theater complex – shows the latest blockbusters.
You can now follow the destination on Twitter.com, at PCBeach, to receive up-to-the-minute news and details on special offers and deals.
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