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Sanibel welcomes inaugural blues and jazz festival

By Staff | Sep 21, 2016


The first ever blues and jazz festival will be coming to Sanibel Sunday, Nov. 6. The festival, which is put on by the Sanibel Captiva Optimist Club, will feature local and big name bands.

“We’re expecting to sell this out at 700 people. We still have sponsorships available,” said Stan Howard, co-chair of the Sanibel Captiva Optimist Club.

The festival is set to take place behind Bailey’s General Store from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Marty Stokes Band, who recently won the 2016 Regional International Blues Competition of Southwest Florida and People’s Choice Award helped orchestrate the lineup and will be playing the festival alongside local band The Jazzmatics who will be the opening act.

Initially, Stokes was asked to headline for the festival but he suggested they should bring in a bigger act instead. Stokes got a hold of Matt Schofield, who was inducted to the British Blues Award Hall of Fame just a few years ago, to be one of the headliners.

JP Soars and The Red Hots PHOTO PROVIDED

“He’s already among the top 10 blues guitarists in England of all time. He’s a phenomena, you don’t see too many guys like him. I’ve seen him perform three times and it blows me away every time I’ve seen the guy,” Stokes said.

Another international figure, JP Soars and the Red Hots, will also headline the festival. Stokes described him as very original, very raw and one of the best guitarists he has seen live. Soars even laid down some tracks on the Marty Stokes Band’s upcoming CD.

Tickets for the Sanibel Blues and Jazz Festival are $40 per person. A special VIP package which includes food and beverages for the evening, VIP seating, VIP parking and a festival T-shirt will be available for $125 per person. Tickets will be available to Sanibel residents first.

Tickets are now on sale at Bailey’s General Store, George and Wendy’s Seafood Grille, The Sanibel Cafe and the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank. They can also be purchased online at sanibelbluesandjazzfest.org.

On-island parking will be available with transportation to the festival. Free valet bike parking will be available on festival grounds.


A wide variety of food will be available for purchase at the festival (ribs, beer, wine, etc.) courtesy of George and Wendy’s Seafood Grille.

For more information on sponsorships or how to volunteer, contact Stan Howard at (239) 472-0836 or Richard McCurry at (239) 292-4631.

Marty Stokes Band PHOTO PROVIDED