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All that jazz: Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival returns

By Staff | Oct 18, 2017

Frans Kox, Richard McCurry, Stan Howard and Calli Johnson. ASHLEY GOODMAN



The Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club, along with Bailey’s General Store and George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille, who are major sponsors of the event, will put on the second annual Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival at Bailey’s Backyard, Sunday, Nov. 5 beginning at noon.

“Sanibel is back in business. regardless of the hurricane,” said Stan Howard, president of the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club.

The festival will welcome local opening acts Johnny Jensen, a 13-year-old who has competed in the International Blues Competition, and the FGCU Jazz Combo. Headliners for this year include the Elvin Bishop Trio, Matt Schofield and Marty Stokes Band.

Matt Schofield during last year’s Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival. ASHLEY GOODMAN

Howard said the VIP section this year will come with extra perks.

“Our VIP area is going to have a full tent. In lieu of the beer and wine bar, there’s going to be a champagne bar and also a raw bar,” he said.

VIP tickets are $125. Along with food, beverages and a covered tent, the VIP section, which is sponsored by Bailey’s, will offer guests stage view seating, VIP parking, an opportunity to meet the performers and two T-shirts. Shirts may also be purchased at Bailey’s General Store.

General admission is $40, kids 15 and under are $15. Admission includes stage view seating (guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs), free bike parking and access to food and beverages. A raw bar will also be offered for purchase. Coolers are not permitted. Food this year includes wraps provided by George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille and Bailey’s General Store. Vehicle parking is also available with transportation to the festival grounds.

“There’s a lot of time and effort that’s put in to this event to make it a fun event for the community,” Howard said.

With last year’s funds, the festival was able to help raise money for six four-year college scholarships, assist with the Sanibel Recreation Center’s summer programs and contribute to the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society and CHR.

“It’s all about the kids,” Howard said.

In time, Howard hopes the festival will grow. Since last year alone, the festival has already added 300 extra tickets.

“We want to make this one of the more premiere events for the island,” Howard said.

Tickets can be purchased at sanibelbluesandjazzfest.org or by calling 239-472-0836.