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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.

The event starts at 6 p.m., ends at 10 and will be held at the Radisson Resort and Convention Center in Cape Canaveral. Concert proceeds (tickets are $24) will go to SCJC’s Education and Outreach Fund, which helps the kiddies learn about jazz. A table of 10 can be reserved for $220. Appetizers are included in the ticket price and a menu for those who want to purchase a light supper will be available. And you can buy drinks there, too. Local musicians to perform at the event are: saxophonists Bert Francis, Paul Polanski, Brad Baker and Rich Hall; pianists Bubba Kolb, Ron Teixeira, Linda Peterson , Carl Hendrix and Russ Marchant; accordianist Johnny Bolen; clarinetist Syl Lafata; bassists Ron Pirtle, Charlie Silva, Johnny Fitz and Johnny Powers, and drummers Dave Dunscombe, Barry Smith and Stan Soloko.

For reservations and tickets, call (321) 799-1777 or (321) 784-0584. For general information, call (321) 784-3483.

Originally Published