If you go
“Summer Jazz on the Gulf” concert series
Where: Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, 851 Gulf Shore Boulevard North
When: Shows are 7p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 25, July 23, Aug. 27 Sept. 24.
Ages: All ages
Naples is synonymous with salty air, white sand beaches and warm weather.
Patrons at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club’s “Summer Jazz on the Gulf” concert series can enjoy everything Naples is known for to the sound of big bands playing jazz, soul, R&B and funk.
“It’s a fun atmosphere,” said Jason Parsons, general manager of the hotel. “The crowd fills up the lawn and pours onto the pool deck and beach. Everyone is enjoying the music and the surroundings.”
The free concert series kicks off June 25 and runs one Saturday a month throughout the summer. The shows are held from 7 to 10 p.m. on the resort’s Watkins Lawn, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Guests may bring lawn chairs or blankets, but coolers are not permitted.
“This is a spectacular music event for a nice little town like Naples,” Parsons said. “It gives you that real festival feel.”
This year, the resort has lined up four eclectic bands. Pocket Change, a show band that performs songs from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, will open the series. This is their first time playing at the event.
“Pocket Change is a great band to kick off this year’s Summer Jazz concert series,” said Jim Anderson, food and beverage director of the hotel and organizer of the concerts. “They are a high-energy band with wonderful showmanship, and an all-around great sound.”
Other performances will be by Late Night Brass, a 10-piece horn cover band, July 23; Monique and NuVibe, an R&B group with a soulful lead singer, Aug. 27; and Blue Dice, a nine-piece blues and funk band, Sept. 24.
“We always have a great time,” said George Marks, who plays trumpet for Blue Dice. “Everyone really gets into it, and it becomes a fun party.”
Late Night Brass makes it a point to get the crowd going. Members of the high-energy band are known for wandering offstage to play in the audience.
“We really like to get people excited,” said Kip Cline, the bandleader of Late Night Brass, who has performed twice at the concert series. “It really electrifies the entire place.”
During the event, the resort’s signature restaurant HB’s on the Gulf and its poolside food and bar pavilion will be open for patrons. Hotel guests will receive complimentary parking at the resort. Concert-goers not staying on the property can park at Lowdermilk Park. There will be free trolley service.
“In season, the hotel would be too crowded to do something like this,” Parsons said. “This is the perfect time for locals to come and enjoy a local landmark and great music.”
Anne Clark is one of those locals. She has attended the concert series almost every year since moving to Naples in 2006.
“Once the snowbirds leave, we have the city all to ourselves again,” Clark said.
“It’s nice to have an event that’s not too overcrowded where you can listen to good music and enjoy one of our best assets: the beach club.”