By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - Summertime, while fun for children, can be a little trying for adults looking for entertainment in St. Lucie County.
But the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society hopes that its summer performances will help with that. The nonprofit organization stays busy entertaining residents at locations all over the county.
During the winter in Fort Pierce, you can find the group hosting a jazz market every Saturday in historic downtown Fort Pierce. The year-round event is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and features arts and crafts. The money raised from the market goes toward education program and student scholarships. On some days, browsers at the market might find the jazz band performing a song or two.
But there are some opportunities to listen and enjoy the jazz group's music this summer in air conditioning, as well.
"We have a core group of 35 musicians who volunteer their time and talent to play for the society," said Roberta Hanley, board member and past president of the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society.
At the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, the group performs at the Black Box Theatre from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. every other Tuesday. The next date, known as the Tuesday Jazz Jam, will take place on July 31. The cost is $5 per person.
On Wednesday evenings, the Jazz Jam travels to Port St. Lucie and performs at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for $3 per person. The next performance is scheduled for Aug. 8.
The society likes to give back to other nonprofit organizations, as well. For example, the money paid for admission to the Sunrise Theatre and the botanical gardens goes to those organizations.
The money they do raise for themselves help supply area student musicians with musical opportunities. This past school year, the society gave away more than $11,000 to students in the form of scholarships. In addition, this was the first year the society held a music camp for aspiring musicians.
"It was a dream of ours to have a two-week jazz camp," Ms. Hanley said. "It was very successful, and the campers got to perform at the Sunrise's Black Box Theatre in Fort Pierce."
For more about the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society, call (772) 460-JAZZ.