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BACKSTAGE PASS

BY ELIZABETH MORRISEY | PHOTOS BY CHRIS DOUGLAS

George Grosman-Guitar, Sam Farmer-Percussion, Holly Cordero-Bass.

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fter just being together since December, Fire Jass Trio is heating up the music scene in Winter Haven. This trio focuses on songs from the 1920s and early 1930s commonly known as the “jazz age”. Fire Jass Trio plays at the Fire Restaurant in downtown Winter Haven on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. “The jazz we play is more melodic and accessible,” says guitarist George Grosman. “We talk about the music and educate the audience. We get people involved and love to interact with them.” The band also includes bassist Holly Cordero and drummer Sam Farmer. Brittany Fox, with Fire Restaurant, describes the band as phenomenal. “It’s great music with a nice crowd,” she says. Fire, a upscale casual dining restaurant, specializes in steaks and has a variety of specials every day. “It’s a good hour to eat and enjoy the music.” After living in Winter Haven for a year, Grosman, a longtime singer, guitarist and songwriter, began exploring the local music scene. “I was delighted to find quite a thriving music scene 10 MARCH 2019

greatest musical jazz genius. My other influences growing up were the Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who and later BB King and Muddy Waters.

Heating Up the Music Scene

here in Polk County,” he says.

He decided to go on the hunt for local talent and social media helped tremendously. “Musicians are looking for gigs on Facebook but they are now on Instagram too. A lot of them are migrating there,” he explains. “Social media is imperative. I’ve met great people.” In fact, he found Cordero on Facebook. Technology has helped the music scene as well, Grosman says. “It’s great for networking, learning new music and promoting your band.” It can also assist musicians as they play

on stage. “For example, if the bassist needs to play ‘Blue Moon’ in E flat, she can bring up the song in a different key and have the music in front of her,” he says. Q: Why did you start Fire Jass Trio and who were your biggest musical inspirations? I’ve always wanted to have a bare bones jazz trio meaning no keyboards or horn players. I really love jazz. It’s the most versatile you can play, specifically early jazz. My biggest influence above all was Louis Armstrong. I love everything he did. He is the

Q: When did you begin playing music? I was born and raised in Prague then lived in Canada. I studied classical guitar in London at the Guildhall School of Music. I taught music and English in Canada and then pursued music full time in the 1990s. I’ve been doing live gigs ever since. I have about 15 albums out with original music and cover songs. I have written music for others too. I was a rocker in the 1970s and also played the blues. I also play in the band Swing Boutique and work part time as a studio musician at Full Sail University in Winter Park. Q: Do you like the Winter Haven music scene? I like it more and more. I only knew one musician at first and felt kind of isolated. But I met great people. My eyes are opened and I love it now. We’ve been blessed to perform at Fire. The owners are great

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Today & Tonight Magazine  

March 2019

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March 2019