Whether you’re a serious music aficionado or simply seeking a fun night out with great tunes, you’re in luck because Sarasota is a fantastic place for music lovers. Not only is it home to some of the country’s finest venues for jazz, rock, and other music; it also offers a variety of inexpensive and free events dedicated to the musical arts year-round.
The Blue Rooster
In the mood for Southern comfort food with a side of blues or gospel? That’s exactly what you’ll get at The Blue Rooster. On any given day of the week, you can enjoy jazz and blues performances by local musicians, including Lauren Mitchell and Her Band, the Damon Fowler Group, and Kettle of Fish. Sunday gospel brunch is a local favorite, featuring a buffet of biscuits with gravy, cheesy grits, fried chicken, and other staples, accompanied by an energizing gospel performance from Truality.
Put on your best outfit and head out for a night at the symphony. On Saturday evenings, Venice Symphony performs in the beautiful and acoustically superb new Venice Performing Arts Center. Founded in 1974, the symphony provides a high standard for music appreciation within its community, through quality musical performances and unique educational opportunities.
The Jazz Club of Sarasota Oktoberfest Pub Crawl
Why pick just one bar to listen to live music? The Jazz Club of Sarasota is hosting an Oktoberfest Trolley and Pub Crawl on Oct. 18. The crawl stops at seven venues where you can listen to a different local jazz luminary at each. The pub crawl starts at 5:30 p.m. in the north parking lot of the VanWezel Performing Arts Hall. Buying the official pub crawl bracelet will get you out of paying the cover at each of the venues.
The Five O’Clock Club
To get a broad sampling of some of the best live local bands, it’s hard to beat The Five O’Clock Club in the Southside Village area. Kick-back during happy hour and stay to groove to blues, funk, pop, R&B, rock, ska, and many other genres. The vibe in the club can fluctuate from that of a coffee shop to more of an upbeat feel, depending on the time of day and who’s playing.
The Gator Club
You’re guaranteed a good time when you visit this longtime Downtown Sarasota watering hole. Since 1913, The Gator Club has been a cornerstone of the city’s music scene. Today, the beautifully restored, original brick building offers the perfect place for intimate conversation with the backdrop of R&B and Top 40 music performed by live musicians.
Van Wezel Performing Arts
If it’s big names in the music world that you want, then keep your eye on the schedule at the Van Wezel. Musical acts coming in the next few months include Tony Bennett, Straight No Chaser, and Leann Rimes. The venue is located along the picturesque Sarasota Bay and hosts more than 100 events each season.
15 South Enoteca
Sure, 15 South Enoteca is a charming Italian restaurant with delicious pizza, pasta, and bread all made in house, but this St. Armand’s Circle establishment is also a popular hangout for jazz and Latin music lovers. The upstairs features a jazz ensemble on Monday nights, but on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, it transforms into a salsa, bachata, merengue, and reggae dance party.
Treat your ears to a performance by Sarasota Orchestra, Florida’s oldest orchestra and one of the top in the region. The 80-member orchestra performs more than 100 classical, popular favorites, and family concerts each year. Its musical education program offers music lessons. The orchestra also sponsors multiple community outreach programs and is the parent program of the Sarasota Music Festival.
Key Chorale / Choral Artists of Sarasota
Some people are content to just listen or clap along to a song. But if you want to join in and sing, join Key Chorale! Auditions are held twice a year and are open to anyone high school age and up. The group performs a wide variety of songs, from classical masterworks to contemporary compositions and new works.
We hope that our recommendations hit the right note! The next time you find yourself in downtown Sarasota, we hope you’ll come into our leasing office that officially opens tomorrow, August 25th! You can also take a virtual tour of our luxury apartment homes online or give us a call at (941) 328-2400.
Hope to see you soon!