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Jazz series set to begin Jan. 11
Maria Howell Trio kicks off Arts Council performances
Maria Howell
Maria Howell

Evening of Intimate Jazz

Maria Howell Trio

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11

Where: Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center, 331 Spring St., Gainesville

Tickets: $30, $25 each for six or more, $125 per person for all five performances in series'

Contact: 770-534-2787,

The Arts Council has announced its 2014 Evenings Of Intimate Jazz series lineup.

The series offers unique opportunities to enjoy watching jazz masters compose, edit, revise and perform their rhythmical creations up-close and personal.

The performers in this series are the Maria Howell Trio (Saturday, Jan. 11), Tempest Little Big Band (Saturday, Feb. 22), Bonaventure Quartet (Saturday, March 8), Steve Cunningham Trio (Saturday, April 12) and Sam Skelton Quintet (Saturday, May 3).

Relish in the lively vibe of Bourbon Street or the cozy intimacy of Chicago’s jazz clubs right here in downtown Gainesville.

Each performance will start at 8 p.m. at The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center.

Jazz and blues are among America’s greatest cultural achievements and exports to the world, giving powerful voice to the American experience. Born of a diverse society, it unites people across the divides of race, region and national boundaries and has always made powerful statements about freedom, creativity and the American identity at home and abroad.

Back by popular demand, the Maria Howell Trio will kick off the series. Although acting was a natural artistic segue, singing and entertaining are skills that came naturally to Howell as far back as she can remember.

She recollects glaring at her 6-year-old image in the mirror and knowing at that moment, her destiny was clear. The destiny became a reality as she wowed audiences as the opening act for the legendary Ray Charles, and as she shared the stage with Earth Wind and Fire’s point man, Phillip Bailey.

Performing in front of the likes of Nancy Wilson, Marvin Hamlisch, Will Downing and George Benson became her comfort zone.

Howell has added to her acting credits, most recently the role of Atty Ida Hayes alongside Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Judy Reyes (Scrubs) and Susan Lucci in Marc Cherry’s “Devious Maids”(on Lifetime), and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” where she plays the part of “Seeder” (District 11) currently in theaters.

Series tickets are $125 per person and include all five performances. Individual performance tickets are $30 per person or $25 each with the purchase of six or more tickets.

For tickets call 770-534-2787 or visit