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Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival, 2/18-19/12

Ken Franckling reports on this seventh annual event on the Southwest Florida coast

Saxophonist Mindi Abair made her fourth consecutive appearance at the Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival
The Rippingtons’ leader, guitarist Russ Freeman, at the 2012 Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz
Bill Carmichael (clarinet), Randy Opela (drums), Dominic Mancini (bass) and Frank Reda (accordion) at the 2012 Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival’s jazz brunch
Singer Chris Brown and tenor saxophonist Mike Parmalee at the 2012 Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival’s jazz brunch

A crowd of 2,200 turned out for the main event Saturday, February 18 at the Punta Gorda Wine & Jazz Festival, a popular event at the Florida city’s Laishley Park along picturesque Charlotte Harbor. There was sun, there was a cooling breeze and there was a mix of breezy and intense music from the contemporary fare on the lineup, which featured pop saxophonist Mindi Abair, guitarist Peter White and the Rippingtons.

None of the featured acts is a stranger here. The Ripps were at the festival in 2008. White was featured in 2010. This was the fourth consecutive year the festival has presented St. Petersburg native Abair, who told the crowd she considers it a homecoming.

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