homepage logo

Fundraiser set for ‘The Clarinet Guy’ at Slates

By Staff | Jul 25, 2019

A beloved musician is getting support from the community that he has entertained for years after incurring a stroke.

Jim Snyder, fondly known as, “The Clarinet Guy,” has been a mainstay at Slates Sidedoor Jazz Club in Cape Coral since it opened more than four years ago.

Now, the club that has cherished hearing Snyder’s smooth tones and top-notch style is drumming up a performance of its own to lend a helping hand.

“What I thought I would do to try and help him with his medical expenses is to do an evening of music dedicated to Jim and have some of the performers that he plays with come in and just have an open evening of jamming with jazz and blues,” said Allan Cotter, owner of Slates, along with wife Nancy.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, beginning at 7 p.m., Slates Jazz Club will host a benefit for Snyder, with many of his fellow musicians coming out to support a colleague that has garnered much respect and admiration from those who hear him play.

“Everything that that room generates on that night will go to Jim,” said Cotter. “It’s our way of saying ‘Get better soon,’ and we hope this helps.”

The musicians coming to play that night have even offered their usual paychecks to go towards Snyder’s recovery.

Snyder boasts an impressive resume and has been part of heralded bands, symphony orchestras and has been a Yamaha performing artist since 1982.

His gigs have ranged from Bourbon Street nightclubs to prestigious symphony halls.

“He’s an incredible saxophone and clarinetist,” said Cotter. “He comes with a lot of credentials.”

Snyder was also the band leader for the Walt Disney Company in Orlando.

“Because of his flexibility and highly recognizable sound, (Snyder) is in demand as a soloist and sideman on recordings that run the gamut of popular music styles; yet his musical training is truly autodidactic,” read a portion of his biography from Yamaha.

Snyder is currently a resident in the Jacksonville area, and would make the trip down to Cape Coral twice a week to perform at Slates.

“His dedication and loyalty was to be admired,” Cotter said of Snyder’s constant appearances despite the travel.

Beyond being a great musician, Snyder is a great guy, said Cotter.

“He’s an incredible person. Great sense of humor — and when he picks up a horn, it’s over. He’s just a good person and I hate to see this happen, but it does,” said Cotter. “This is where his friends step up.”

The crowd always seems to turn up when Snyder is playing in the close-knit setting of Slates Jazz Club, said Cotter.

“He’s just a master at his craft,” said Cotter. “The audience definitely enjoys when he’s playing. It’s an intimate setting. You’re right there. The acoustics are really nice. We have a good time.”

At the end of the day, what matters most is helping ease the burden of a dear friend by doing what he loves most, and that’s playing music, organizers said.

“Hopefully it’s going to be a supportive, fun night, with great music,” said Cotter.

For more information on Slates, visit www.SlatesCapeCoral.com.

Slates is at 4820 Candia Street.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj