Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jazz Jam Monday Night at Ocean Blues

Sarasota, FL        High:  59  (Record low for Sarasota for this day!)   Low:  43

Sparky kept busy playing pickleball this morning, while Eldy went exploring the Englewood area...
Six games later, Sparky was worn out...Sparky was informed by better players this morning that she can no longer claim "newbie" status playing pickleball. She's got a MEAN, fast forehand that managed to slam just over the net past her opponents many times this morning. Yay! That's a good thing! Guess she's an intermediate player now.

These past few days have been like riding a roller coaster.  The temperatures are down, the wind is up. So is the surf! Hardly anybody is hanging out at the beaches, so we found other things to do...The old retiree standbys...Read a book, surf the web....For Sparky, making something. Here's her latest project....a hat for her youngest daughter. It's selling for 93.00 on Etsy, and Sparky knows how much work goes into something like this, but we can't afford to spend 93.00 on a hat, even if it is really cute. So, Sparky is off and running to find a pattern and crocheting a beret to be attached to the visor. She thinks she can do this!

Off to Ocean Blues this evening for Jazz Jam....Our appetites for great music were whetted by the Give Hunger the Blues event in downtown Sarasota yesterday. We know from previous trips to Ocean Blues that great talent is here in Sarasota and we weren't disappointed this evening. Our musician friend Steve Arvey, a wonderful guitarist, was there, he always gives a great performance and a little bit of silliness to go along with it. He was channeling Dustin Hoffman's "The Rainman" there for a little while.

Steve's got a great sense of humor...And now he's selling hot sauce!

So naturally, Sparky had to buy some for her other daughter who loves hot sauce! Arvey is following in the footsteps of the "Sauce Boss" Bill Wharton, we think! Hope he does well with his sauce line...

One thing that's cool about Jazz Jam on Monday nights at Ocean Blues (8:00 PM-11:00 PM) you never know who's going to show up besides the usual cast of characters...Steve Arvey, Shane Chalke who plays fantastic trumpet, another fella who is an awesome trumpet player, (you're going to have to start taking names, Sparky! chides E.) ........
the OTHER trumpet player with a cool shirt
Shane Chalke, the trumpet player sure fires up his horn every time we hear him. He's talked to Eldy a few times about his trumpet.
He has a special trumpet, made in Oregon, that he played this evening. It was a beauty!
Eldy always love to see the brass instruments up close. He made trumpets, trombones, flugelhorns, marching instruments, baritones, mellophones, herald horns for the Olympics, rotor trombones, and French horns all his working career, for 43 years. He loves to see the instruments up close and personal. You never know, he may have buffed one of these horns that these retired guys play.

We saw Bryan Pope (?), the drummer, and a fantastic keyboard player, who will have to remain nameless for a little while longer. We'll have to get his name, too. Bryan, the drummer, talked to us for awhile. He's quite the tennis player, and he said that's how he keeps in shape after Sparky asked him if drumming gets harder as you get older. He playfully acted like he was going to pass out at our table when Sparky asked him that as he came off the floor. :-)

A guy came up to the stage to sing Ray Charles's "Georgia". His name was Carlton. He blew everybody's socks off with his version. His range of vocals was incredible on this song!

He got a rousing ovation at the end. Steve Arvey, the organizer of Jazz Jam, even said in shock, "Where's this guy been for the past seven years down here?????" Carlton was AMAZING!

We LOVE Ocean Blues...the atmosphere is like a cozy supper club...The musicians come around and actually talk to you. You really get to know them.. The owner, Scott, always has a warm welcome for his patrons. He remembers us every time we come, and he reads the blog! We think Sarasota has a lot of retired musicians who used to play for big bands and groups and have settled here and that's why there is so much talent and so many musical venues in the city. Jazz Jam is Monday nights, blues are on Friday nights, and on Saturday nights, there is a BIG group of 11 musicians, called Ocean's 11 that play at 7:00 PM. We'll be back again and again while we are here, that's for sure!

Sarasota has a LOT of culture, it's a wonderful town and there are so many different things to see here, and not just music. There are a lot of artists, there's the circus community, opera, ballet, two or more state parks nearby, the beaches, shopping, it's just a wonderful, wonderful city....We'd really love to live here....But for now...we are visitors who love, love, love this city!


  1. You have certainly been a good ambassador for Sarasota. Wish we had made it to Ocean Blues--seems like you have always had a great time there. Sounds like you are getting the most out of your final days at Sun 'n Fun.

  2. Sounds like a fun night. Thanks for sharing