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Your “little prayer” will be answered when the grace and artistry of The Queen of Soul comes to the Old Pueblo in a celebration of Aretha Franklin’s career. Groove to her majesty’s hits including “Respect,” “Think,” “A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “Amazing Grace,” and more! LUCAS WALDIN conducts the Tucson Symphony Orchestra with vocalists CAPATHIA JENKINS and RYAN SHAW.
CAPATHIA JENKINS can definitely act but all those who know her also know that this diva can blow and blow and blow you right off this planet. Capathia approaches a song the same way she approaches a script, like an artist. She looks for the nuances, the secret hidden within the notes or text. She asks herself: what am I trying to say? She wants to take her audience on a journey.
This Brooklyn-born and raised actress most recently starred as ‘Medda’ in the hit Disney production of Newsies’ on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut in The Civil War, where she created the role of Harriet Jackson. An active concert artist, Ms. Jenkins has appeared with orchestras around the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Seattle Symphony.
RYAN SHAW is a three-time Grammy™ nominated artist. He recently appeared as Judas at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the U.S. premiere of the critically-acclaimed London/Regent’s Park’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. He has starred as the original Stevie Wonder in Motown: The Musical on Broadway, and on London’s West End as the Soul of Michael Jackson in Thriller Live. As a recording artist, Ryan has released three solo Grammy™-nominated projects: This is Ryan Shaw, It Gets Better, and Real Love. He has toured the world and shared the stage with such artists as Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, Joss Stone, John Legend, B.B. King, Bruce Hornsby and Jill Scott, to name just a few.
Hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” MAVIS STAPLES is the kind of once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She’s both a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; a civil rights icon; a GRAMMY Award-winner; a chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient; and a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House. She’s collaborated with everyone from Prince and Bob Dylan to Arcade Fire and Hozier, blown away countless festivalgoers from Newport Folk and Glastonbury to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, performed with The Band at The Last Waltz, and graced the airwaves on Fallon, Colbert, Ellen, Austin City Limits, Jools Holland, the GRAMMYs, and more.
“I’m the messenger,” Mavis Staples says on the eve of her 80th birthday. “That’s my job — it has been for my whole life — and I can’t just give up while the struggle’s still alive. We’ve got more work to do, so I’m going to keep on getting stronger and keep on delivering my message every single day.”
In partnership with Tucson Desert Song Festival
From 2007 until 2017, Suzanne Santo spent most of her time fronting the Americana duo HONEYHONEY, whittling her banjo, violin, and vocal chops into sharp shape along the way. Her first solo record ‘Ruby Red’ was released in 2017, produced by multi-platinum Grammy nominee Butch Walker.
Before they collaborated on Ruby Red, Santo had made multiple appearances on Walker’s eighth album, ‘Stay Gold’. She joined him on the road, too, singing harmonies and playing violin, guitar, and banjo during a nationwide tour in 2016. During breaks in her touring schedule, she began diving into a different type of songwriting, looking to diverse albums by Erykah Badu, David Bowie, Townes Van Zandt, and the Alabama Shakes for inspiration.
Santo spent the better part of 2018-19 singing and playing guitar/violin for Hozier, and had the great honour of opening on the ’18 winter European tour. She began writing songs for her next record during any open opportunities on the road, and is currently in Los Angeles recording her second album with producer/engineer and Grammy Award winner, John Spiker. Suzanne is excited to hit the road for a European tour as well as a US run in Fall ’19, while her release is slated for Spring ’20.
The Downtown Jazz Fiesta will transform downtown Tucson into a concert destination with bands performing in 4 venues, including 2 outdoor stages on MLK Day (January 20th), from 11am until 5:30pm
Toole Avenue Stage
11:30 – 12:00pm – Rincon/University High School Jazz Band
12:30 – 1:30pm – Crystal Stark – First Ladies of Song
2:00 – 3:00pm – Katherine Byrnes – Brazilian Notes
3:45 – 5:15pm – YOLO County Line
5th Avenue Stage
11:00 – 11:30pm – Tucson High School Mariachi Band
12:00 – 12:30pm – Tongs
1:30 – 2:00pm – Two Door Hatchback
3:00 – 3:45pm – University of Arizona Combo
11:30 – 1:30pm – Miles Davis Room
12 – 2:30pm – Jazz on the Patio, Rafael Moreno
FOOD TRUCKS: Bugaloo Soft Serve Ice Cream, DC Jumbie, Don Pedro’s Peruvian Bistro, Jozarelli’s Italian, Kettlelicious, Mowi Wowi, and the Hotel Congress Food Truck
Beer and Wine sold by Hotel Congress, with drink specials inside Hotel Congress and Maynards.
Emcee: Elliot Glicksman
Event Coordinator: Khris Dodge
Volunteer Coordinator: Mary Ellingsen
Stage Manager: Brandi Haga-Blackman
SPONSORS: HSL Properties, Rio Nuevo, Desert Diamond Casino, GEICO
Brice Winston, tenor sax; Angelo Versace, keys; Scott Black bass; Pete Swan, drums
Larry Redhouse-acoustic piano
Armando Bejarano-vocals, Glendon Gross-trumpets, Gehrig E. Burnett-keys, Michael Grigsby-double bass, Ross Freund-drums
Genie Sherman Walker-vocals, Michael Friedmann-guitar, Michael Grigsby-double bass
Pete Swan, drums; Brice Winston, tenor sax; Angelo Versace, keys; Scott Black, bass
Jed Paradies, flute & tenor sax; Doug Martin, piano; Scott Black, bass