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Cynthia Garren of SFSC says, “If you have not experienced jazz, don’t miss one or more of the 2022 Jazz Series at the Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts.”

AVON PARK — The word “jazz”” is thought to originate from the word “jasm,” originally meaning energy, vitality, spirit, pep and improvisation. There are over 15 types of jazz developed since the 1800s.

The Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts, 600 West College Dr. in Avon Park, on the campus of South Florida State College will have five groups in 2022, where you will swing to the sounds of a number jazz venues.

On Jan. 25 the Four Freshman will get your heart pounding and your feet moving with pure energy. On Jan. 27, Stephanie Trick, regarded as the best stride/ragtime pianist in the country, will join her husband Pablo Alderighi with songs from the Swing Era.

Every year they are back by popular demand. That’s the Eddie Metz Trio where you’ll swing to “Fever” and “A Tiskit, A Tasket” on Feb. 16. Then March 3, Jukebox Saturday Night will be Big Band Night of the 30s, 40s and 50s.

Cindy Garren, who directs Cultural Programs at SFSC, travels yearly to find shows that audiences relish. She heard Tony DeSare in New York, brought him here last season and he was so loved she brings him back with his Trio March 11. You will hear a fresh take on old standards. His style is “two parts Sinatra, to one part Billy Joel.”

There are 15 types of jazz. Some of those include, ragtime, swing, Dixieland, funk, acid, smooth, gypsy, bossa nova, avant garde and more.

Early jazz developed in the 1930s in the melting pot of New Orleans as players combined influences including ragtime, blues and marching band music to create a style of jazz heavy on collective polyphonic improvisation. Jazz players are very talented going from classical to jazz.

Duke Ellington is considered by many to be the greatest jazz composer in history. Singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Bille Holiday are regarded the best vocalists. Louis Armstrong was jazz’s first major soloist. Hundreds of others have entertained all over the world including Count Basie, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie and so many more.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear some of the best jazz performed in America today. It’s all happening at the 1,000-seat Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts. If you love jazz don’t miss one or all of the performances. If you’ve never given jazz a try, you are in for a real treat.

Garren said, “Our audience likes traditional jazz, the great American song book and big bands. We do not present cool, hard bop or modern jazz. We are featuring the music our audience grew up with.”

You can check out the 2022 jazz series performances to find more details about them as well as all the Artist Series, Matinee Series, Trending Now and Kaleidoscope Series by visiting www.sfscArts.org. You can order tickets through that site and have tickets mailed, texted or picked up the night of the performance at “will call.”

You can also order with a credit card via phone 863-784-7178 or stop at the box office Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. There is not a bad seat in this fantastic theater where past performers have called it one of the best theaters in America.

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