By Kurt Loft

Start your new year with a guilty pleasure—a midday getaway to The Florida Orchestra. In January 2020, you will have several options for matinee performances with a wide range of extraordinary live music, including Coffee Concerts served up with free coffee and doughnuts.

Café Olé Coffee Concert (Wednesday and Thursday, January 8 & 9): Savor the Latin flavor with Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Marquez’s Danzon No. 7 and Caturla’s Three Cuban Dances. Stuart Malina will conduct. A free Pre-Concert Conversation is included with all Coffee Concerts, along with coffee and doughnuts.

Lush Life: Ellington & Strayhorn (Friday and Saturday, January 10 & 11, with Saturday matinee): Jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling leads The Florida Orchestra for the greatest hits of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, such as Take the A Train and It Don’t Mean a Thing. It is part of the Raymond James Pops series.

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (Friday-Sunday, January 17-19, with Sunday matinee): Art and ballet take center stage in a special concert inspired by the theater. It will feature the Museum of Fine Arts, the Tampa City Ballet and original art by Geff Strik as Michael Francis conducts Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov and Stravinsky. There are free tickets for kids and teens in advance in the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series, in partnership with the MFA. A free Pre-Concert Conversation is included.

The Wild West Coffee Concert (Thursday, January 30): Music from the American West, including Williams’ The Cowboys Overture, along with selections from Copland’s Rodeo and Billy the Kid Ballet Suite. Akiko Fujimoto will conduct. There will be free coffee and doughnuts.

World on a String Coffee Concert (Wednesday and Thursday, February 5 & 6): Music Director Michael Francis will conduct TFO’s strings in Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and more. There will be free coffee and doughnuts.

Florida Orchestra Coffee Concert tickets are $24-$42, with concerts at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Tampa Bay Times Masterworks and Raymond James Pops series tickets are $18-$48. Get tickets at and 727-892-3337 or 1-800-662-7286.

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