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Jane Jarvis to Headline Gala in Florida

We wish JazzTimes was based in Florida. Or, we at least wish we hadn’t blown all of our frequent flyer miles on that trip to Aspen, Colo. for a “jazz” festival headlined by Bob Dylan. (It’s the musicians, not the festival directors that are supposed to improvise, folks.) Had we not been so foolish, we’d be slathering our skin with SPF 30 at this very moment and be set to trot down I-95 to Brevard, Fla. where pianist Jane Jarvis (pictured) will headline a benefit event for the town’s Space Coast Jazz Society (SCJC) on Feb. 9.

Jarvis, who at 87 still hasn’t received the recognition she’s due, will close a night of performances by local jazz musicians and will be accompanied by three of her longtime colleagues-trombonist Benny Powell, drummer Grady Tate and bassist Earl May-during her set. Jarvis began playing professionally at 11, accompanying showbiz stars like Paul Whitman, Sophie Tucker and Ethel Waters on radio station performances in the Midwest. In the 1940s, Jarvis’ career was on its way in small jazz joints where she was a “sideman” for emerging jazz legends. She eventually had children and took on more lucrative work to help support them. She was an organist for the Milwaukee Braves and the New York Mets, a business executive with Muzak (we forgive her) and has produced and/or appeared on hundreds of albums and CDs, most of them with well-known musicians.

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