Local Jazz

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

Jan
19
Fri
The Mingus Dynasty “Tijuana Moods” and the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band @ Fox Theatre
Jan 19 @ 7:30 pm

Friday, Jan. 19  The Mingus Dynasty “Tijuana Moods” and the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band; Fox Theatre, 7:30 p.m.


THE MINGUS DYNASTY, a nimble and expert ensemble, was the first band Sue Mingus organized after her husband Charles Mingus’ death in 1979. Although big bands like the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey bands had continued to perform after their leader passed on, a similar legacy never existed for smaller ensembles. Because Mingus always said he was first and foremost a composer, and because he left behind over 300 compositions that deserved to be played, a band carrying on his music became a natural, if unanticipated, mission. For the sake of authenticity, the first Dynasty bands were expected to include only musicians who had actually performed with Mingus—except for the bass player of course. Today, nearly 40 years later, the rich legacy of Mingus music ignites the bandstand while new generations of musicians—many of them not even alive during the composer’s lifetime—add their individual voices and continue to interpret and build on his compositions. The band comprises Abraham Burton, tenor saxophone; Alex Sipiagin, trumpet; Ku-umba Frank Lacy, trombone; Helen Sung, piano; Boris Kozlov, bass and Donald Edwards, drums.

Website: mingusmingusmingus.com

Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band, directed by Doug Tidaback, comprises high school musicians from southern Arizona who study at this award-winning community music school. This big band (one of six at the TJI), loved for their swinging, diverse and energetic big band sounds, was the #1 High School Big Band winner two years in a row (2013 and 2014) and in 2017 of the prestigious national Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Competition presided over by Wynton Marsalis. They were in the top three in 2015 and 2016. Other awards include first place in the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival earning them a spot to perform at the 2012 festival and they were named the Best Community Jazz Band in the 35th Annual Student Music Awards in DownBeat magazine in 2012 and 2013. Their alumni attend some of the most prestigious schools in the nation (many on scholarship) including Julliard, the Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, Princeton, USC and Swarthmore and have gone on to major careers in jazz music.

Website: www.tucsonjazzinstitute.com

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Susan Artemis @ The Dusty Monk
Jan 19 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Susan Artemis-piano & vocals

Jan
20
Sat
Spyro Gyra SOLD OUT! @ Rialto Theatre
Jan 20 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, Jan. 20 Spyro Gyra, Rialto Theatre, 7:30 p.m. SOLD OUT!

SPYRO GYRA is an unlikely story of a group with humble beginnings in Buffalo, NY who has continued to reach an international audience over 40 years, resulting in sales of over 10 million albums and having played over 5,000 shows on six continents. They have accomplished this due to a forward looking approach combined with the work ethic of an underdog, always challenging themselves to do something new while never resting on past success. It has proven to be a recipe for longevity for this jazz group while music has gone in and out of styles in ever shorter cycles.  Spyro Gyra are contemporary jazz icons who observed their 40th year as a band in 2014 with shows that showcased their breakthrough Morning Dance album. After that year of looking back, they decided to spend 2015 concentrating on their more recent material, playing many songs from their post 2000 releases. The audience reaction was so positive to their recent material that bandleader Jay Beckenstein decided that their albums from that period deserved a little more focus. So, in order to spotlight this innovative and productive period, Spyro Gyra released The Best Of The Heads Up Years in 2016. They released their last, their 30th, album of new material The Rhinebeck Sessions in 2013, which JazzTimes called “inspired.” Travis Rogers of the Jazz Journalists Association picked it for Jazz Album Of The Year. Something Else Reviews called it “Their finest album since their early 80s heyday” and made it a TopTwenty pick for the year. George Harris of the Jazz Weekly enthused, “I gotta tell ya, these guys still sound GREAT.” “My hope is that our music has the same effect on the audience that it does on me,” says group leader Jay Beckenstein. “I’ve always felt that music, and particularly instrumental music, has this non-literal quality that lets people travel to a place where there are no words. Whether it’s touching their emotions or connecting them to something that reminds them of something much bigger than themselves, there’s this beauty in music that’s not connected to sentences. It’s very transportive. I would hope that when people hear our music or come to see us, they’re able to share that with us.”

Video: Live at Java Jazz Festival 2013
Website: www.spyrogyra.com

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Jan
21
Sun
Jazz Brunch with Jeff Haskell, Jason Carder and Brice Winston @ Johnny Gibson's
Jan 21 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Sunday, Jan. 21 Johnny Gibsons Jazz Brunch with Jeff Haskell, Jason Carder and Brice Winston 10 a.m.-2 p.m. No Cover charge.

TJS Sunday Jam @ Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ
Jan 21 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

TJS-SUNDAY-JAM-2The Tucson Jazz Society joined with the owners of Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ to bring a Sunday afternoon of America’s music “JAZZ” presented by Tucson’s most talented musicians. If you are a musician or vocalist and you want to sit-in during the jam session, just sign in and join in. We welcome your participation.

Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and bassist/vocalist Jay Leonhardt SOLD OUT! @ Club Congress
Jan 21 @ 7:30 pm

Sunday, Jan. 21 Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and bassist/vocalist Jay Leonhardt, Club Congress, 7:30 p.m. SOLD OUT!

Wycliffe Gordon, trombonist, was born a musician’s son in Waynesboro, Georgia. He began playing music at age 12, drawn early to jazz by an extensive record collection bequeathed to his family. Wycliffe hard-swinging, straight-ahead style earned him Downbeat’s Critics Choice Award for Best Trombone (2016, 2012-2014), as well as their Rising Star Award for Tuba (2014). Named Trombonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association nine times since 2001, Wycliffe tours regularly as a soloist and leads the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet. He has recorded 20 solo albums and eight co-leader albums including Hello Pops, A Tribute to Louis Armstrong and Dreams of New Orleans. Wycliffe has been featured on the Kennedy Center Jazz series and his work has been celebrated extensively via radio, television and film, including Wycliffe’s appearance as a soloist in Ken Burns’ documentary, Jazz. A composer and arranger, Wycliffe’s work is frequently commissioned: his arrangement of NPR’s All Things Considered theme is heard daily worldwide and he received the ASCAP Plus Award in 2016 and 2015 for his contributions as a composer. He has authored three educational books and is a dedicated instructor, having served as a resident at numerous institutions, and, formerly, as a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music. 

Video: Jazz in Marciac 2009
Website: wycliffegordon.com

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Jay Leonhart, bassist and vocalist, has been recognized as a very accomplished bass player for a long time now. He has been named the Outstanding Bassist in the Recording Industry three times and is always mentioned when the discussion turns to the outstanding. At age 13, while playing banjo with his brother in a Dixieland band in Baltimore, Jay watched and listened to the bass player and knew that the bass was the instrument he would play forever. Since that time Jay has been privileged to play with the likes of Judy Garland, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Buddy Rich, Jim Hall, Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, Marian McPartland, Kenny Barron, Sting, James Taylor, Papa Joe Jones, Roy Eldridge, Jim Hall, Louie Bellson, Dick Hyman, Luciano Pavarotti and many more. Over th e years, Jay Leonhart has been writing and singing his own very individualistic songs about his life as a bass player. He now performs his music worldwide to very receptive audiences.  Jay now appears primarily with his trio, which plays regularly at Birdland in New York, when not gainfully employed elsewhere.

Video: It’s Impossible To Sing and Play The Bass
Website: www.jayleonhart.com

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Jan
24
Wed
Arizona Roadrunners @ Wilbur's Grill in The Viscount Hotel
Jan 24 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Arizona Roadrunner’s Big Band play jazz from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Wednseday!

Jan
26
Fri
Susan Artemis @ The Dusty Monk
Jan 26 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Susan Artemis-piano & vocals

Jan
28
Sun
TJS Sunday Jam @ Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ
Jan 28 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

TJS-SUNDAY-JAM-2The Tucson Jazz Society joined with the owners of Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ to bring a Sunday afternoon of America’s music “JAZZ” presented by Tucson’s most talented musicians. If you are a musician or vocalist and you want to sit-in during the jam session, just sign in and join in. We welcome your participation.

Jan
31
Wed
Arizona Roadrunners @ Wilbur's Grill in The Viscount Hotel
Jan 31 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Arizona Roadrunner’s Big Band play jazz from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Wednseday!

Feb
2
Fri
NoethenButJazz Trio @ Teaspoon Café, Casas Adobes Plaza
Feb 2 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Mark Noethen, piano and vocals
Lanny Webb, bass
Gil rodriguez, drums

Hope to see you there
great food
and drinks

Mark Noethen

Susan Artemis @ The Dusty Monk
Feb 2 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Susan Artemis-piano & vocals

Feb
4
Sun
TJS Sunday Jam @ Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ
Feb 4 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

TJS-SUNDAY-JAM-2The Tucson Jazz Society joined with the owners of Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ to bring a Sunday afternoon of America’s music “JAZZ” presented by Tucson’s most talented musicians. If you are a musician or vocalist and you want to sit-in during the jam session, just sign in and join in. We welcome your participation.

Feb
7
Wed
Arizona Roadrunners @ Wilbur's Grill in The Viscount Hotel
Feb 7 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Arizona Roadrunner’s Big Band play jazz from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Wednseday!