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May 3, 2013

Many years ago, one of my favorite assignments for what was then the St. Petersburg Times was putting together a special section for the annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday. All the featured performers had to go through me for an interview and I had a blast talking to Herbie Mann, Dave Brubeck, Richie Cole and flirting with the charming Judy Roberts. I also got to know many of our great Tampa Bay-based jazz talents, including Fred Johnson and Gumbi Ortiz. It was, always fun because, of course, while I loved their music, I had no idea what I was talking about.

NAT OSBORN podcast excerpt: "I like seeing what a jazz musician sounds like playing rock 'n' roll, and what does a rock musician sound like playing jazz mixed with reggae. It's a fun experiment." 

Well, it's many years later and I still get a thrill from being introduced to new jazz talent -- such as today's guest, keyboard player and singer Nat Osborn. Osborn brings a modern swing to his performances fronting the Nat Osborn Band, a joyous exuberance reminiscent in many ways of early Harry Connick Jr. The band just released a new album, The King & The Clown, and Nat joins us today to talk about his work and perform a couple tunes from it, "Yours Always" and "Little to the Left."

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