Archive for December, 2011

The Palladium’s intimate Side Door Cabaret is already a favorite of audiences and artists. Musicians say it’s the best place to play in Tampa Bay – a room with great acoustics where fans come to LISTEN to the music. Audiences always tell me how much they love hearing their favorite bands and singers in a setting that reminds them of New York-style nightclub.  

Starting in January, we’re unveiling a renovated Side Door that people will love even better.

In the old Side Door, the thick columns – holding up the Hough Hall floor above  – blocked sight lines, forcing some folks to choose between watching the pianist on stage left or the singer on stage right. We’ve shrunk those columns – removing several inches on all sides, to open up more sight lines.

Our stage was always too small and on the wrong side of the room. We couldn’t fit a piano on stage – or a band with more than five players. Artists also had to walk through the club to get to the stage.

Now, we’ve moved the stage to the north wall, allowing artists to enter from doors opening onto our backstage hallway. We’ve expanded the size of the stage to accommodate larger groups and our grand piano. 

We’re finishing off the room with new carpet and an improved lighting grid. The sound system was updated and improved last year.  

 To celebrate the NEW Side Door Cabaret, we’re bringing in a couple of our favorite artists in January and February, plus some surprises. Damon Fowler,  Tampa Bay’s top blues guitarist, opens the room with two nights of house-rocking blues. His shows are Friday, Jan. 6 and Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m.

New Zealand singer-songwriter, Jackie Bristow, who opened for Tommy Emmanuel last year, arrives on Sunday, Jan. 8 for a 7  p.m. show.

For our jazz audiences we’re bringing in the Kym Purling Trio on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. and the Nate Najar Trio on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Roy Book Binder, the world-reknown acoustic bluesman, will be making his only Tampa Bay appearance on Friday, Feb. 3. He’s followed by Ennis, a touring Celtic folk duo, on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Pick one or more of these great shows and come check out the NEW Side Door Cabaret. And let me know what you think!


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If it’s getting close to Christmas, Palladium audiences know that Nate Najar is coming to town with another great evening of holiday jazz. This year’s show is Friday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m.

The St. Pete jazz guitarist, who is building a big national reputation, has been doing holiday shows here since 2005. This year Nate is sharing our main stage with two of the New York’s top jazz men  – Harry Allen on tenor sax and Jon-Erik Kellso on trumpet, plus Palladium favorites John Lamb on bass and Stephen Buckholtz on drums. Lamb, of course, is a veteran of Duke Ellington’s band. Vocalist Jennifer Everett will add her big gospel and jazz voice to the show.

 ”We’ll be swingin’ all your holiday favorites and some new ones,” he said. “And we’ll do some pieces from (the Ellington) Nutcracker.”

Prime seats are selling fast for this show so get your tickets early for the Palladium’s holiday gift to jazz lovers.

For tickets and more information visit our website at: www.mypalladium.org.

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