St. Pete Jazz Festival is Coming

The 10th annual St. Petersburg Jazz Festival presents five nights of  smooth sounds, along with jumpin’ and jivin’ to hot Latin and Big Band sounds  February 21-25  in the intimate setting of the Side Door at the Palladium.  Here’s what’s in store:

Wednesday, Feb. 21  

The Tal Cohen Trio

 Israeli-born Jazz pianist Tal Cohen dishes up original jazz compositions with Israeli influences.  Cohen has performed at the Melbourne, Australia, Jazz Festival and the Detroit Jazz Festival; he will be accompanied by Dion Kerr on bass and David Chiverton on drums.­­

Thursday, Feb. 22
The Jeff Rupert Quintet with Veronica Swift

At age 23, Veronica Swift is being recognized  as one of the top young jazz singers on the national scene. In 2016, she headlined at the Telluride Jazz Festival,  and has performed at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City  with Michael Feinstein.  A YAMAHA performing artist, tenor saxophonist Jeff Rupert has performed at the Blue Note, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Tokyo Forum, the National Concert Hall of Taipei, Taiwan, and jazz festivals in Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  Swift and Rupert will be joined by are Marty Morell (drums), Richard Drexler (piano), and Ben Kramer (bass).

Friday, Feb. 23
B3 Fury with the Shawn Brown Group

Lordy, can you feel it? Soul-meister Shawn Brown makes love to the Hammond B3 organ from the depths of his being. Brown has shared the stage with Al Green, Clarence Clemons, Christopher Cross, Earth Wind & Fire, Keith Sweat, Ronnie Earl, Lucky Peterson, Little Milton and Percy Sledge. He will be joined by Nate Najar on jazz guitar, Jeremy Carter on saxophone and Anthony Breach on drums.  

Saturday, Feb. 24
Helios Jazz Orchestra with Whitney James & Chuck Wansley

Two  amazing vocalists and a roaring 17-piece jazz big band promise to set the room on fire! Wansley and James are in demand at clubs, concerts and festivals across the country,  putting their personal touch on favorites from Frank Sinatra and Marvin Gaye to Billie Holliday and Sarah Vaughn. The Helios Jazz Orchestra directed by David Manson has performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Ybor Jazz Fest and is ensemble-in-residence at St. Petersburg College. Get ready to be blown away.

Sunday, Feb. 25
The Gabriel Hernandez Trio
Salsa,  samba, bossa nova, Afro-Cuban and more – enjoy sultry Latin jazz with Cuban jazz pianist Gabriel Hernandez, accompanied by Mauricio Rodriguez on bass and Dimas Sanchez on percussion.  Hernandez has shared stages around the world with Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Tito Puente,  Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera,  among others.  Apart from his career as a jazz soloist, he performs at festivals around the globe as part of the Afrocuban All Stars.

The St. Petersburg Jazz Festival is presented by EMIT with support from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, City of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg College, Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association, the Palladium and private sponsors. 


WHEN: February 21-25; all shows are at 7:30 pm
WHERE: Side Door at the Palladium
253 5th Avenue N.
St. Petersburg  727-822-3590
ADMISSION: All shows are $20 general admission/$30 reserved seating  through Palladium box office or online at  Special Festival Subscription Offer – All five shows for one price: general admission $80/reserved seating $120 (available only through the box office prior to Feb 21). For advance tickets, go to