Jazz Artists & Agents!
Groups interested in the 2019 St. Petersburg Jazz Festival should send Youtube links between May - July of 2018. An email address is listed at the bottom of this message.
Let me tell you a bit about the festival before you contact us with interest in performing in the 2019 jazz festival.
We are based in St. Petersburg, Florida in the United States, not Russia.
This is a small festival and all of our concerts are inside. That makes it an intimate listening experience rather than a park festival. We don't have a stadium as a venue or do outdoor concerts in Florida since the weather is unpredictable. The festival is growing in size and support, but it is still small in budget. Our main venue has a 170-seat capacity, so consider that.
We tend to book Southern artists since there are many fine jazz artists (often neglected) who live in the South and we don't have a large budget for transportation costs. We are open to block booking, if you will be touring in Florida near the time of the jazz festival. If you have travel support from a government agency, foundation or grant, we might be able to talk about that. We have worked with Chamber Music America in past festivals. Consider that our concerts are indoors and that jazz audiences in the Tampa Bay area are quite small. If you think that your 18-piece big band from Chicago is somehow going to be programmed on this festival, then be prepared for disappointment. The same goes for a European group, unless you have significant touring support from your country.
Our programming is well-defined. We like unique acoustic and semi-acoustic jazz. We tend to program Latin jazz, edgy modern jazz, original jazz with character & jazz theme and/or tribute groups. In previous years, we had a tribute to Bird & Diz. Before that, we had original music from Jonathan Powell and a tribute to Cal Tjader. We've also featured the Claudia Quintet, Antonio Adolfo, Tal Cohen Trio, Kevin Mahogany and a wide variety of groups. In other words, we need programming that is unique and that encourages an audience of 150+ to attend our concerts.
Local Jazz Artists:
It costs real money to present a jazz festival. Marketing, venue rental, production and artists fees add up. If your group is playing at local clubs in the Tampa Bay area, then there may be little reason an audience would pay to hear that same group on our jazz festival. However, if your group plans to do something unique and different, then your fan base might consider paying to hear you perform on the St. Petersburg Jazz Festival. Who knows... it could be something wild like "Zappa Meets Monk" or "Jazz From Your Favorite Cartoons". It should be jazz, not a rock band, EDM or something else unrelated to jazz. Of course, if you take that same program out into night clubs for free locally, then there would be no reason for an audience to pay to hear it on a jazz festival. Be creative in your programming... and well-rehearsed. Thrown together programs are often embarrassing for everyone.
If you send a Youtube clip of your band playing "The Girl from Ipanema" lounge-style, then that would not be as impressive as a Brazilian group playing "Bala com Bala" with a samba-funk groove. If you play early jazz, it had better swing like crazy! We aren't impressed with young players who market themselves well, but can't swing. We are in Florida where there are plenty of older musicians who can really swing. If you send an "okay" clip of your group playing jazz standards, then we have to wonder why anyone would pay to attend the concert. We also like original music, if it is interesting, diverse, spirited and well-executed. If it is derivative, cerebral or sloppy... well, we probably won't be impressed.
Big Band Singers:
Singing with a big band is unique. An introspective, intimate voice is not going to be heard against 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxes and a rhythm section. We are looking for guest singers who project, have a genuine style of singing, flawless intonation, enunciate clearly, have a deep knowledge of jazz and are dynamic on stage. We have no interest in mush-mouth singing, first-timers, vocal fry, riffers or enormous vibrato for the big band... or in combo situations.
It is highly unlikely that we will program smooth jazz, a jam band, a loud, electric fusion group, a R & B band or a jazz standards combo. That's the way it is. If that offends you, then build our own jazz festival... and good luck with that.
Our audiences want unique, well-rehearsed, expressive and impressive jazz groups. We want groups that are amazing! We don't care if you are from N.Y.C. or Gatorbelly, Florida. Good is good.
Send brief correspondence and 2 Youtube live performance video links to firstname.lastname@example.org You will need 2 Youtube links. If you don't have that, don't send an inquiry. We will not consider you.