Region’s finest jazz musicians pay tribute to Stan Kenton

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents Stan Kenton Big Band, at 3 p.m. on March 17, at the Venice Performing Arts Center.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents Stan Kenton Big Band, at 3 p.m. on March 17, at the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Way, Venice. Downtown Venice will be swinging as 18 of the region’s best saxophonists, trumpeters, trombonists and rhythm players take to the VPAC stage to perform such Kenton hits as “Peanut Vendor,” “Artistry in Rhythm,” “September Song,” “Eager Beaver” and many more.

Tickets are $25-$45 and are available online at www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202, Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Student tickets for the concert, priced at $10, are available with current student ID at the door.

Prominent and prolific bandleader Stan Kenton is considered by many to be one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz. Frank Sinatra even called him “the most significant figure of the Modern Jazz age.” Born in 1912, Kenton was leading his own bands by the late 1930s and rose to fame in the mid-‘40s with songs like “Painted Rhythm,” “Intermission Riff,” “Eager Beaver” and “Artistry in Rhythm,” the latter of which became his signature song and a big band era classic. Kenton continually found ways to adapt to changing times and was still leading his band until his death in 1979. By introducing progressive arranging techniques, harmonies, and rhythms, as well as new concepts on how a band should sound while also integrating jazz and classical genres, Kenton forever changed the jazz world.

“Stan Kenton is the artist who took big band music from the dance hall to the concert hall, having a huge impact on the music we know as jazz,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts. “And with an ensemble of eighteen regionally and nationally acclaimed jazz artists, we’re thrilled to be paying tribute to this legendary figure and to be doing it right. It’s going to be a stellar concert experience.”

The 18 band members are saxophonists Pete BarenBregge, Mike Brignola, Lew Del Gatto, Ryan Devlin and Jeff Rupert, trumpeters Kevin Celebi, Ryan Chapman, David Pruyn, James Suggs and Jack Wengrosky, trombonists Herb Bruce, Adren Hance, Dante Luciani, Chris Lundquist, and Jeremiah St. John, pianist Richard Drexler, bassist Don Mopsick and percussionist Rick Costa. For more information about the musicians, visit www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org.

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