- March 20, 2022
With hundreds of jazz fans filing into the Circus Sarasota big top March 17 at Nathan Benderson Park for the Sarasota Jazz Festival, Susana Ramlie was impressed with the scene before her.
“I love it," Ramlie said. "It’s amazing that it’s so big.”
It wasn't the only amazing thing about the six-day event, which had both indoor and outdoor stages.
On March 17, the lineup included a performance by 96-year-old pianist and composer Dick Hyman. Other performances that evening included Brazilian jazz guitarist Diego Figueiredo, singer-songwriter Kurt Elling, guitarist and songwriter Charlie Hunter and the Tampa Bay-based trio La Lucha.
Sarasota Jazz Festival Director Nik Walker said the main purpose of the Jazz Club of Sarasota, which hosted the event, is to keep jazz alive.
Walker said the number of jazz radio stations and artists is dwindling and that the club wanted to offer high-quality jazz performances to the community.
Vic Caserta was happy he attended the event.
“With Dick Hyman playing the way he does at his age, and Diego’s Brazilian techniques, it’s fantastic,” Caserta said.
Telma Siker said she came to see Figueiredo.
“I think he’s amazing,” Siker said. “What he can do with a guitar is fantastic.”
Figueiredo wanted to be on top of his game because the audience was "hot." He also said the night was special for him for another reason.
“To be here and perform with Dick Hyman, this legend, was fantastic,” Figueiredo said.