Weekend Planner

Your Top 7 Things to Do: Feb. 28-March 6

The Sarasota Jazz Festival kicks off, David Foster at the Van Wezel and more.

By Ilene Denton February 28, 2019

Randy Sandke

Sarasota Jazz Festival 

March 3-9 

Ger ready: The 39th annual celebration of America’s art form offers 48 events, with concerts in parks, pubs and on the mainstage of the Hyatt Regency ballroom. A whopping 120 musicians, many of the country’s top jazz artists, will perform, including clarinetist Ken Peplowski, Venice’s own pianist Dick Hyman, Bill Charlap, Shelly Berg, John Lamb, Houston Person, Randy Brecker, Randy Sandke and Mary Stallings. Whew!

An Intimate Evening with David Foster

Feb. 28

The man behind such hits as Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me,” Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard,” Earth Wind and Fire’s “After the Love Is Gone,” Josh Groban’s “You Raised Me Up” and Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable” comes to the Van Wezel for a night of song and storytelling. 

Judy Garland

Sarasota Orchestra Pops: An Evening with Judy Garland

March 1-2

The legendary Judy Garland will perform with the Sarasota Orchestra this weekend, but in film form only, as the orchestra plays many of her hits against the backdrop of concert footage. It’s a pretty safe bet they’ll play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” don’t you think? Part of the orchestra’s Pops series at the Van Wezel. 

A scene from Nabucco.


March 2 and 5

The Sarasota Opera’s favorite composer, Giuseppe Verdi, penned this epic opera about the exile of the Hebrews in Babylon; and its conductor, Victor DeRenzi, is the only conductor in the world to have led all of Verdi’s operas, and choral and orchestral works. It’s the first time Nabucco is performed here since 1995. Additional performances March 7, 10, 13, 16, 19 and 24. 

Cynthia Sayer

Cynthia Sayer & Her Hot Jazz Quartet

March 2

Banjo fans, you’ve come to the right place: Cynthia Sayer is widely acclaimed as one of the world’s top banjo players. She and her band will play a lively mix of hot jazz, Great American Songbook, old favorites and virtuoso classics at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center.

The cast of The Wonder Years.

The Wonder Years: The Music of the Baby Boomers

Feb. 6-June 9

Relive the pop hits of your youth—if you’re a boomer, that is—in this Florida Studio Cabaret production. Playing through June 9 in FST’s Court Cabaret. 

Lido Dorset by John Pirman

Art Center Sarasota presents Only In Sarasota: John Pirman

March 4-9

Art Center Sarasota presents a pop-up exhibit of limited-edition print images of Sarasota by Sarasota Magazine’s “Only in Sarasota” creator, John Pirman. 

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An Intimate Evening with David Foster – The Hitman Tour

$42-$92 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Sixteen-time Grammy Award-winner David Foster makes his Sarasota premiere at the Van Wezel.


Sarasota Orchestra Pops: An Evening with Judy Garland

From $35 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The legendary vocals of Judy Garland are combined with live music by Sarasota Orchestra to create a unique concert event.



Sarasota Opera House

The Sarasota Opera presents the Verdi classic.


Cynthia Sayer & Her Hot Jazz Quartet

$27.50; Jazz Club and GPAC Family members $22.50 The Glenridge Performing Arts Center

The multi-award-winning instrumentalist/vocalist/bandleader, considered one of the top four-string banjoists in the world today, comes to the Glenridge PAC.