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Jazz from the Sunshine State

Article Published: Jul. 7, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Jazz from the Sunshine State

Michelle Amato, above, and Larry Lapin will perform Sunday, July 10, for the Blowing Rock Jazz Society's Second Sunday Concert.
File photo

The Sunshine State of Florida brings us many things.

We can count on the state for orange juice, exciting college football and vacation destinations.

Recently, however, it has become known as a hotbed of jazz as more and more talented musicians are heading south to take advantage of Florida's burgeoning live music scene. 

Two of Florida's best jazz musicians will be in the High Country this weekend for a special show in Blowing Rock.

The Blowing Rock Jazz Society will present a concert featuring jazz performers and professional music educators Larry Lapin and Michelle Amato at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock on Sunday, July 10. The show runs from 7 to 9 p.m., and admission is $15 per person, $5 for students and free for all BRJS members in good standing.

The concert is part of the BRJS' 2011 Second Sunday Jazz Series. 
The band will feature Larry Lapin on piano and vocals, Michelle Amato on vocals, Rick Dilling on drums and Michael Holstein on upright acoustic bass. 
World-renowned jazz pianist and educator Larry Lapin is the professor of jazz studies and the jazz vocal program at the University of Miami School of Music.

Lapin has traveled around the world, bringing his knowledge and skill of jazz to students and music enthusiasts in a variety of settings, from small jazz clubs to huge festival arenas. 
Vocalist Michelle Amato is another Florida native performing in the world of jazz. She performs regularly at the Van Dyke Café in South Beach and at the Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando, as well as at numerous pop and jazz festivals.

She has been a featured soloist with the Memphis Symphony, the South Florida Pops, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Florida West Coast Symphony, the Orlando Philharmonic and the All-American College Orchestra at Epcot Center. 

Amato has recorded and performed with a diverse array of musical artists, including Liza Minelli, Jon Secada, Al Green, Sandi Patty, Jon Hendricks, Donna Summer, Michael McDonald, Celia Cruz, Rita Marley, and has most recently been recording and touring with Yanni. 
Her recording career includes solo work on Yanni's CD, "Ethnicity," and she recorded the title cut on Dirty Martini's debut CD, "Save Your Love For Me."

Amato holds a master's degree from the University of Miami School of Music and also works as a vocal coach and music educator.
Sunday's concert will feature a mix of jazz standards, jazz vocal tunes and Latin-tinged numbers. 
For more information on Sunday's Blowing Rock Jazz Society show, call (828) 295-4300 or visit The Meadowbrook Inn is located at 711 Main St. in Blowing Rock.

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