ST. PETERSBURG — If you are a regular guest at the 1st Friday “Live” Jazz events held at the Manhattan Casino, and you have not seen trumpeter James Suggs perform, this week is the time to check him out.
Suggs performs with Nate Najar, Buster Cooper, John Lamb and numerous other top jazz musicians at other venues. After extensive tours from Europe to Brazil, Suggs will be at the Manhattan Casino, Fri., April 3 performing live. Trust us, he can be-bop (modern jazz improvisation) with the best of them.
Though his roots are in traditional jazz, Suggs is a versatile freelance trumpet player. He is, and always will be, dedicated to the instrument. Originally from Harrisburg, Pa., he began playing the trumpet a nine years of age.
At 15 he started playing professionally with jazz groups in the northeast Ohio area and occupied the first chair position in the Canton Youth Symphony. During high school, he studied privately with jazz and classical instructors.
After graduating high school, Suggs attended Youngstown State University in Ohio on a scholarship, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. In 2005, he was hired as the trumpet soloist in the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra under the direction of Larry O’Brien, touring throughout the United States.
Suggs embarked on a whirlwind experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina, starting November of 2005 after being invited by a musician friend. In those eight years he played professionally, he learned to speak Spanish proficiently, taught private lessons to many students and toured all over the world with Argentine bands, one being LOS PERICOS, with whom he was the only trumpet player. The band performed for massive audiences in cities such as Lisbon, London, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Caracas, San Francisco, Chicago and New York to name a few. He was also hired to play in two professional musicals in downtown Buenos Aires, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Young Frankenstein.”
Throughout his career, James has had the distinct honor of playing with and learning from such musical legends as Kenny Burrell, Joanne Brakeen, Rufus Reid, John Fedchock, Maria Schneider and Sean Jones.
Admission for the 1st Friday “Live” Jazz Concert and Dance is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. The Ashwood Jazz Project Band will take the stage at from 7-8 p.m. Featured trumpeter James Suggs from 8:15-9:30 p.m. and “Old School Dance” with the Pryme Tyme DJ will round the evening out until midnight.
You may purchase tickets at Sylvia’s Restaurant, located at 642 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg or Annie’s Beauty Supply, 2104 34th St. S., St. Petersburg. Call Henry Ashwood at (727) 417-8335 for more information.
Presenting sponsor is Rebecca Stewart of Re-Max Metro, and the co-sponsor is Creal Funeral Home & Cremation.