The Island Jazz Ensemble will played on Saturday, Sept. 27 at Tarpon Creek in Marathon. The group is drawing quite a crowd with a catchy vibe and fabulous sound.

“As a group, we’ve been playing together for more than four years,” said band co-founder Jim Costello (guitarist). He said his influences range from Joe Pass to Charlie Bird to Bucky Pizzeralli. Band co-founder Robert Newman (keyboards, vocals) is classically trained, an experienced soloist and studio musician as well as professional arranger for big names like Roy Orbison.

The band is rounded out by John Baxter (flute and saxophone) and Hulber and Suzanne Gagliardini (trumpet and vocals). Baxter started on the flute at age 8 and has toured around the country with national acts and also plays with Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 band. Hulber is a native of the Keys with a masters in trumpet who married Suzanne, a jazz expert who came to the Keys on a hiatus from performing.

The group plays everything from Ray Charles to Herbie Hancock, much to the audience’s enjoyment. The Island Jazz Ensemble takes the stage at 8 p.m. and plays Tarpon Creek once a month, as well as other venues.

— Weekly Staff Report

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