Al Jarreau, Clint Black, Wayne Shorter, Boney James and Fourplay to Headline 2002 Verizon Music Festival in Tampa Bay Area This Fall

TAMPA, Fla. -- The sounds of dynamic R&B, Latin, soul, jazz and country music will drift across the Tampa Bay area during the second annual Verizon Musical Festival Nov. 2- 8.

Headliners are Al Jarreau, Clint Black, Wayne Shorter, Boney James and Fourplay, featuring Bob James, Larry Carlton, Nathan East and Harvey Mason. The festival also will showcase performances by newcomers Kevin Ceballo and Chris Botti.

Concerts are scheduled at Coachman Park, the Tampa Theatre and Ruth Eckerd Hall.

The four-city Verizon Music Festival kicks off in New York Sept. 17-22 and heads to Los Angeles Sept. 30-Oct 6. The festival will be in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20 and Nov. 14 and 15.

"Thousands of music fans enjoyed the great entertainers and fantastic concerts at the first Verizon Music Festival last year," said John Blanchard, president Verizon Southeast Region. "This year, we have even more exciting concerts in store for people throughout the Tampa Bay region, and we hope that music fans will sample our diverse line-up of performances."

George Wein, CEO of Festival Productions, Inc. and producer of the Verizon Music Festival, said, "Not often does a producer have the challenge as well as the opportunity to present one festival in four cities. While most concerts are tailored to appeal to each city's diverse culture and interests, the Verizon Music Festival is one national celebration of music."

The Tampa Bay edition of the Verizon Music Festival will begin Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. at Coachman Park with a free performance by five-time Grammy Award winner Al Jarreau, whose unique vocal style and innovative musical expressions have made him one of the world's most exciting entertainers. Halcyon, one of Florida's hottest singing, guitar-strumming duos, will kick off the concert. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland rounds out the afternoon, along with newcomers Latin vocalist Kevin Ceballo and smooth jazz trumpeter Chris Botti.

On Nov. 6, the Verizon Music Festival will present an evening with world-renowned saxophonist Wayne Shorter and violinist Regina Carter at the Tampa Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The festival moves to Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall with contemporary jazz saxophonist Boney James and Fourplay on Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. On Nov. 8, the final night of the festival, country music giant Clint Black will play at Ruth Eckerd Hall at
8 p.m.

The Verizon Music Festival will have featured performances in two of the area's most renowned club venues, Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa and Jannus Landing in St. Petersburg. The ever-popular Little Feat will appear on Nov. 2 at Jannus Landing and Leftover Salmon will perform there on Nov. 7. Skipper's Smokehouse will host a reggae night on Nov. 6, with bands including Reggae Cowboys, Impulse and Democracy. On Nov. 8, Jennifer and the Venturas will open for the Red Elvises who will perform their special brand of Siberian Surf Rock.

Tickets for the Wayne Shorter/Regina Carter show are available at the Tampa Theatre Box Office, 711 Franklin St., or by calling 813-274-8286. Tickets for Boney James/Fourplay are available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Box Office, 1111 McMullen-Booth Rd., Clearwater, by calling 727-791-7400 or 800-875-8642, and online at www.rutheckerdhall.com. Tickets for the Verizon Music Festival also are available through Ticketmaster by calling 813-287-8844 in Tampa and 727-898-2100 in Clearwater/St. Petersburg or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Service charges may apply.

For information regarding the Verizon Music Festival in Tampa Bay, call the 813-971-1400. For information on all Verizon Music Festival performances in other cities call 212-501-1390 or visit the festival Web site at www.verizon.com/musicfestival.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.1 million access line equivalents and 30.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 241,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.