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In the holiday spirit, jazz style.

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Guitarist Nate Najar’s Jazz Holiday has become a seasonal tradition in Southwest Florida. He started the concert in St. Petersburg, where the 13thannual edition was held last night at The Palladium Theater's Hough Hall.

Ex-Ellington bassist John Lamb, drummer Mark Feinman and trumpet marvel James Suggs are regulars in this event, with Nate drawing on an array of visiting talent to expand the group.

This year's special guests were tenor saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist and singer Adrian Cunningham, an Aussie jazz musician now based in New York, and alto saxophonist Dmitry Baevsky, a Russian-born musician now living in Paris. Brazilian singer Daniela Soledade, who recently moved to the Tampa Bay area, joined the band for several numbers.

The evening coursed between holiday fare, jazz chestnuts and bossa novas. My favorites included the band's take on “Mistletoe and Holly," first recorded in 1957 by its co-writer, Frank Sinatra, and their idyllic version of Gil Evans arrangement of Claude Thornhill's theme, “Snowfall."

Nate brings the holiday cheer to Sarasota tonight, without Baevsky in the lineup. This concert at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, is sponsored by the South County Jazz Club. This will be at least the sixth year he has done this event in Sarasota.

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This story appears courtesy of Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes.
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