AVON PARK, Fla. – Jan. 5, 2017 – South Florida State College kicks off its 2017 Jazz Series with the Eddie Metz Trio performing Wednesday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m., at the SFSC University Center Auditorium, South Florida State College Highlands Campus in Avon Park.

“Discover some of the best jazz south of Chicago right here in Avon Park,” said Cindy Garren, director of Cultural Programs at SFSC. “Our intimate 250-seat SFSC University Center Auditorium has suburb acoustics that makes for a great listening experience.” 

Metz has toured with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Bill Allred Classic Jazz Band (performing at SFSC in February), and the Les Brown Orchestra.

Metz has worked with such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Arturo Sandoval, Sammy Davis Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Chick Corea, and Patti Page. Metz continues to record with top artists and perform at jazz festivals around the country. Vocalist Nicki Parrott and pianist Rossano Sportiello round out the trio. This performance is sponsored by Marie and James Krenisky.

Trumpet sensation Bria Skonberg lights up the stage on Jan. 26. A specialist in classic American hot jazz, Skonberg expands the vocabulary and traditions of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet with worldly rhythms and modern jazz variance, Garren noted. Skonberg has brought home dozens of awards including the 2015 Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing! Award, DownBeat Magazine’s Rising Star, New York Bistro Awards Outstanding Jazz Artist, and nomination for the Jazz Journalists’ Association’s “Up and Coming Artist” award. This is one performance not to be missed, Garren added.

Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band brings its love of jazz history to Florida’s Heartland on Feb. 9. The band is apt to play anything from Jelly Roll Morton to Count Basie, hitting all the stops between. The band uses the five-horn front line typical of bands like Matty Matlock, Billy Maxted, and Red Nichols.

The New Orleans Nighthawks, led by clarinetist John Skillman, bring their traditional swing and

New Orleans Dixieland jazz to SFSC on Saturday, Feb. 18. The addition of two trombone players makes the Nighthawks’ voicing and arrangement unique among bands. This performance is sponsored by Peter and Dale Caldwell.

Representing a collection of musicians from Canada, America, and Germany, the CanAmGer Band will play their brand of classic Dixieland jazz. The band has toured worldwide since forming in 2004 and deliver a rousing performance of audience favorites.

The 2017 Jazz Series Season is sponsored by Charles and Anne Reynolds, Clem and Betz Newbold, Dr. and Mrs. Norman L. Stephens Jr., Patricia McShane, Lake Placid Health and Rehabilitation, William Browning, Rev. Lynne Josselyn and Larry Conrad, and Sun Coast Media Group, Inc. (Media Sponsor).

Patrons of the Jazz Series will find the SFSC University Center Auditorium by using Entrance 1 at the SFSC Highlands Campus, 600 W. College Dr. Avon Park.

Tickets for Jazz Series performances range from $24 to $35. Five-show subscription packages are available starting at $107. Tickets are available anytime at www.sfscarts.org or at the SFSC Box Office at the Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts on the SFSC Highlands Campus. The Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The Box Office number is 863-784-7178.