Newsome High School is hosting jazz bands from nine local schools and a professional jazz group at the first annual A Night Under The Stars Jazz Festival next month.

Jazz fans, mark your calendars. Newsome High School is hosting jazz bands from nine local schools and a professional jazz group at the first annual A Night Under The Stars Jazz Festival next month.

The event, which will take place on Saturday, May 1 from 1-10 p.m., will feature bands from Barrington Middle School, Riverview High School, Armwood High School, Spoto High School, Robinson High School, Bloomingdale High School, H.B. Plant High School, Plant City High School and Newsome High School. There will also be a featured performance by professional jazz group The Jazz Experience.

“Enjoy a full day and evening of music featuring area school jazz bands, food trucks and fun,” said Music Showcase’s Heather Ochalek.

The festival will be a full-day event with something for everyone, including a raffle.

“The goal is to increase jazz music awareness to bring the community together and rise above through COVID and adversity,” said Ochalek. “We are really looking forward to this event.”

According to Ochalek, The Jazz Experience will take the stage under the stars at 9 p.m.

“We are asking spectators to bring their own chair or blanket; it’s going to be out on the football field,” said Ochalek.

Parking at the school is free and attendees are welcome to come and go throughout the day.

“It is an event geared for families, not just adults,” said Ochalek.

Although this is the first event of its kind at the school, hopes are for it to become an annual event.

“This is our inaugural event, [and] our goal is to have this event every spring,” said Ochalek. “April is international jazz month and we will hope to tie it in during the month of April and the beginning first week of May every year.”

The festival is open to the public and tickets can be purchased in advance at www.newsomeband.com or at the door. The tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students 18 years old and younger. Those 3 and younger are free.

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.