Referred to at the "Big Band Sound" the Sarasota Jazz project is a 17-piece jazz ensemble comprised of many of the finest musicians on Florida's West Coast. Their music and performances are high-energy and stylistic of the Big Band era. The Sarasota Jazz Project plays both original compositions and creatively arranged contemorary Big Band style music. Members include outstanding musicians with long resumes and careers in performing with top bands and jazz musicians throughout the world. This core of musicians is supplemented by teachers and educators and working musicians performing regularly in local theaters, orchestras and cabaret venus. Also a few serious musicians who polay for the sheer pleasure and exhilaration of being part of this true American art form.
While respecting and performing music of legendary Big bands led by such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Glen Miller, the Sarasota Jazz Project emphasizes the work of modern composers and arrangers including Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Quincy Jones and Gil Evans.
Members include: Jeff Woolridge (trumpet), Mike Valasek (trumpet), Tony Benade (tenor sax), Rodney Rojas (alto sax), Gary Hendricks (baritone sax), George McLain (tenor sax), Kevin Celebi (trumpet), Luke Jones (trumpet) and nine other gifted musicians.