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Sounds of Jazz and Blues

29th annual event to bring some of the best musical talents in their genre to the Cape

By CJ HADDAD - | Mar 23, 2023

Cape Coral’s “premiere” music event takes place this Saturday at Coral Oaks Golf Course.

The 29th annual Sounds of Jazz and Blues, put on by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, brings some of the best musical talents in their genre to the Cape for an evening of good tunes, food, and fun.

“We especially look forward to this event each year because we enjoy showcasing jazz and blues genres of music that aren’t featured very much at other events,” said Senior Recreation Specialist with Cape Coral Emily Haeger.

Gates open at 4 p.m. with dinner served to special ticket holders starting at 4:15. The first musical act, Damon Fowler, takes the stage from 4:30 to 5:45, followed by Mindi Abair from 6:30 to 8.

Fowler, a Tampa native, is a masterful singer, guitar player, and songwriter, taking inspiration from the region’s most successful artists. Fowler’s music is “steeped with soul” and features styles that make up the beginnings of American music. He’s had a features slot in Butch Truck’s Freight Train band and a guitarist in the Dickey Betts Band. In 2021, he released his eighth solo release, “Alafia Moon,” which combines off of the influences of Fowler’s over the years.

Abair, over her 21-year recording career as a saxophonist and vocalist, has earned two Grammy Award nominations recorded with some of the brightest names in the industry. Her first Grammy nomination came in 2014 in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for “Summer Horns” with Dave Koz, Richard Elliot, and Gerald Albright. Her second nomination came in 2015 for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP, “Wild Heart,” that featured Gregg Allman. Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Ken’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg.

Abair has also made mainstream appearances as the featured saxophonist on “American Idol”; sat in with Paul Shaffer on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and The Roots on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon;” and has moonlighted on tour with Duran Duran and Aerosmith.

As a solo artist, she’s constantly a top the Contemporary Jazz and Blues charts, and in 2018, won eight Independent Blues Awards, including Artist of the Year.

Her latest album, “Forever,” was released in March of 2022 and debuted No. 1 on the current Contemporary Jazz Album Chart and features performances by Steve Perry, Rick Braun, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Bazilian and Raul Malo.

“We are excited to have such talented artists perform for us this year,” Haeger said.

This year’s venue is also an ode to the past, organizers said.

“This year we are bringing this event back to its roots at the Coral Oaks Golf Course,” Haeger said. “This is a great way to show case our city golf course and what it has to offer. Although Hurricane Ian took some of the Golf Course’s beautiful trees, the views are still gorgeous.”

Tickets ($25 in advance and $30 day-of) can be purchased online until Friday night and then at the door the day of the event.

Children 5 years old or younger do not requite a ticket. The event is rain or shine. For tickets and for more information, visit capeconcerts.com.

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj