Local Jazz

To get your jazz event posted here, please email your info to tucsonjazzsociety@gmail.com.

A Tribute to the George Shearing Quintet @ Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
Oct 28 @ 2:00 am

Sounds-of-Shearing-580x315A “Tribute to the George Shearing Quintet” was originally a one time gig, done as a tribute to George Shearing and the Quintet, which performed in the early 1950s through the 1980s. The Shearing sound is the feature of the group; with piano, vibes, and guitar playing the melody in unison. Two members of the group, Charlie Shoemake-vibes, and Colin Bailey-drums are former members of the George Shearing Quintet. The other members of the Quintet are Joe Bagg-piano, Frank Potenza-guitar, and Luther Hughes-bass.

George-Shearing-1959The late Sir George Shearing was one of the world’s most influential and beloved jazz pianists and composers. Shearing was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in June 2007. A popular recording artist and concert performer, Shearing composed over 300 songs including the Jazz standard, “Lullaby of Birdland.”

Shearing was born in 1919 in the Battersea area of London. Congenitally blind, he was the youngest of nine children. His father delivered coal and his mother cleaned trains at night after caring for the children during the day. His only formal musical education consisted of four years of study at the Linden Lodge School for the Blind. While his talent won him a number of university scholarships, he was forced to refuse them in favor of a more financially productive pursuit…playing piano in a neighborhood pub for the handsome salary of $5 a week! Shearing joined an all-blind band in the 1930’s. At that time he developed a friendship with the noted jazz critic and author, Leonard Feather. Through this contact, he made his first appearance on BBC radio.

In 1947, Mr. Shearing moved to America, where he spent two years establishing his fame on this side of the Atlantic. The Shearing Sound commanded national attention when, in 1949, he gathered a quintet to record “September in the Rain” for MGM. The record was an overnight success and sold 900,000 copies. His U.S. reputation was permanently established when he was booked into Birdland, the legendary jazz spot in New York. Since then, he has become one of the country’s most popular performing and recording artist. In 1982 and 1983 he won Grammy Awards with recordings he made with Mel Torme. Mr. Shearing was the subject of an hour-long television documentary entitled “The Shearing Touch” presented on the Southbank Show with Melvyn Bragg on ITV in the UK.

Three presidents have invited Mr. Shearing to play at the White House.. Ford, Carter and Reagan. He performed at the Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. He is a member of the Friars Club and the Lotos Club in New York and the Bohemian Club in San Francisco.

His awards and honors are many. In May 1975, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. In May of 1994, Hamilton College in upstate New York awarded him another honorary doctorate in music. DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana presented him with an honorary doctorate of music on June 1, 2002. He received the prestigious Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans in 1978 and a community recreational facility in Battersea, south London, was named the George Shearing Centre in his honor. In May of 1993, he was presented with the British equivalent of the Grammy…the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement. In June of 1996, Mr. Shearing was included in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List and on November 26, 1996 he was invested by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his “service to music and Anglo-US relations.” He was presented the first American Music Award by the National Arts Club, New York City, in March of 1998.

Pete Christlieb & John Allred: Big Band Extravaganza @ Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
Nov 3 @ 2:00 am

Christlieb-Allred-580x215Pete Christlieb is probably one the world’s most famous anonymous tenor saxophonists. For years, he played jazz tenor in Doc Severinsen & the Tonight Show Band. His big, beefy sound and aggressive solos were heard mostly in brief snippets as the show came out of commercials, unfortunately denying the American public a chance to hear a very fine saxophonist improvise at length.


UA Studio Jazz Ensemble

John Allred is a brilliant trombone player who appears in jazz clubs, festivals and concerts worldwide. Allred is a regular with the band of Harry Connick Jr., and is featured soloist with the Woody Herman Orchestra under the direction of Frank Tiberi. He has performed and recorded with Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Terrry Gibbs, Stan Getz, Bucky Pizzarelli, Rosemary Clooney, Al Cohn, Scott Hamilton, Ross Tompkins, Dick Hyman, Toshiko Akiyoshi and others

Pete and John will be joined by the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble directed by Jeff Haskell and Moisés Paiewonsky, and coming off of a highly successful 18 city tour of China this summer.

“Meet & Greet” ticket add-on $20.00 – an opportunity to meet the artists in an intimate setting (includes cocktail and hors-d’oeuvres)

Experience the Newly Renovated Westin La Paloma

Dance the night away and make it a weekend adventure with discounted room rates for this special event!
Click here to get your special rate now!

Fred Hersch Trio @ Temple of Music and Art
Nov 14 @ 2:00 am

Fred-Hersch-600x400Pianist Fred Hersch, who is approaching legendary status in the jazz world for his imaginative prowess—from reinventing jazz standards to creating originals destined to be standards—is coming to Tucson for a very special concert sponsored by the Tucson Jazz Society and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. The concert will be held on Wed., Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott.  The performance is part of a tour by the Western Jazz Presenters Network and funded through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Hersch will be accompanied by his long-standing bassist and drummer, John Hébert and Eric McPherson. This will be Hersch’s third appearance in Tucson under the auspices of the Tucson Jazz Society.

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has been called a “one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation” by Downbeat and has earned a place among the foremost jazz artists in the world today. From the late 70s onward as a sideman to jazz legends including Joe Henderson, Art Farmer and Stan Getz, he has solidified a reputation as a versatile master of jazz piano, as well as a relentlessly probing composer and conceptualist.

He is widely recognized for his ability to steadfastly create a unique body of original works while reinventing the standard jazz repertoire – investing time-tested classics with keen insight, fresh ideas and extraordinary technique. Whether unaccompanied, in duo, working with trios and quintets, Hersch has explored the jazz tradition to its fullest even as he opens new and undiscovered doors. Hersch’s numerous accomplishments include a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition, two Grammy® nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and a Grammy® nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. He has appeared on over one hundred recordings, including more than two-dozen albums as bandleader/solo pianist.

Hersch has acted as a passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies since 1993. He has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and at numerous concerts for the charities Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS that have raised over $250,000 to date.

Make a reservation for dinner before the show at our sponsor, Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails

Made possible, in part, by a grant from the Western Jazz Presenters Network and the National Endowment for the Arts, presented in cooperation with the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.


Heather O’Day & The Expression @ Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
Dec 1 @ 1:00 am – 4:00 am

“Fire and Ice” kickoff and tree lighting celebration. Holiday music and tasty jazz.

Original Wildcat Jass Band: Let’s Misbehave @ he Berger Performing Arts Center
Dec 8 @ 10:00 pm

The Original Wildcat Jass Band, comprised of six of the finest musicians in Arizona, offers traditional New Orleans and Chicago jazz, performed in a spirit and style that is true to its musical roots and wildly popular with audiences around the southwest United States. Their energetic performances are sizzling with musical energy and steeped in good humor. These “doctors of jazz” have found the cure for the common blues – it’ red–hot jazz, and it’s contagious!

Don’t miss our December 8 show “Let’s Misbehave!” — “Let’s Misbehave” is a multi-media music, comedy, and dance review based on the 1920s and the onset of the Jazz Age. The Berger Performing Arts Center will be the location of the show. There will be two shows at 3:00 and 7:00.

Learn more at www.wildcatjass.com


PJAZZ 20th Anniversary SuperBall Gala @ Elks Theater Opera House (Prescott)
Dec 15 @ 5:00 pm – Dec 16 @ 5:00 am

The Prescott Jazz Society Gala ‘Super Ball’ celebrates this non-profit’s first 20 years of jazz promotion and preservation by presenting a full day of great entertainment in Arizona’s Official Christmas City at the historic Elks Theater Oprah House on December 15. From the 10am to noon Meet & Greet the Stars Brunch Buffet at the Hassayampa Inn to the Elks Theater Shows at 1pm & 5pm, to ‘Milt Cannon’s (agency founder/volunteer director) Annual Christmas Dinner ‘n Dance B-day Party from 7-10pm, the day promises the best ever in live jazz entertainment. You will enjoy the rare performances of vocalists Clairdee and Robert Vann and our featured guest artist, saxophonist Charles McPherson, along with Dmitri Matheny-flugel horn, and Harrison Bankhead-bass. This unique performance is backed-up by a group of exceptional musicians from across the nation. For information, tickets, and reservations, please call 928-237-7908 or visit www.pjazz.org/events.

Mike and Theresa Levy: A Bossa Nova Christmas @ Viscount Suite, Wilbur's Grill
Dec 16 @ 2:00 am
Heather O’Day & The Expression @ Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
Dec 22 @ 1:00 am – 4:00 am

“Fire and Ice” Holiday music and tasty jazz.

Susan Artemis Trio @ Viscount Suite, Wilbur's Grill
Dec 23 @ 2:00 am – 5:00 am

7-8 PM: Susan Artemis Trio with Scott Black-bass and Pete Swan-drums
8-10 PM: Jam session featuring Mike Moynihan-sax

Heather O’Day & The Expression @ Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
Dec 29 @ 1:00 am – 4:00 am

“Fire and Ice” Holiday music and tasty jazz.

New Years Eve Salsa Party: Eric Hines’ Tucson Latin All-Stars @ The Whistle Stop Depot
Jan 1 @ 4:00 am – 9:00 am

$40 Per Person includes:
Salsa Dance Class 9-10pm
Tucson Latin All-Stars 10pm-1am
One Drink Voucher
Buffet-Style Food All Night
Champagne Toast at Midnight
Drink Specials and Full Bar All Night
5,500 sq ft Dance Floor

For more information contact:
Gabriel Ayala 520-271-5469
Nancy Bender 520-8824969


Mike Moynihan/Tristan Rogers Quartet @ Viscount Suite, The Atrium
Jan 13 @ 2:00 am

Mike Moynihan-sax, Tristan Rogers-guitar

With special guest Ben Siems

Featured artist from 7 to 8
Hosted jam from 8-9:30 pm

Dmitri Matheny @ Viscount Suite, Wilbur's Grill
Jan 20 @ 2:00 am

Dmitri Matheny-flugelhorn, featured artist 7 to 8 performing with Scott Black-bass, Robbie Lee-piano, Pete Swan-drums. Also performing with the TJI Blue Note Combo. Jam to follow.

Davy Moony and Brice Winston Quartet @ Viscount Suite, Wilbur's Grill
Jan 27 @ 2:00 am

Davy Moony and Brice Winston Quartet 7-8 pm. Jam to follow.