Riffs: Music News from Out and About

By Patricia Myers

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts has launched “Live & Local Fridays” for a 6 pm happy hour and 8 pm concert ($10 admission) that lists July 10, Dry River Yacht Club (acoustic rock ’n’ roll, world gypsy); July 17, Linda, Carmela and Phases (R&B, jazz, fusion); July 24, The Sugar Thieves (blues);  July 31, Carlos Arzate & The Kind Souls (Sonoran soul-rock), opening set by Sweet Ghosts; Aug. 7, Blues Review Band; Aug. 14, Tommy Ash Band (country, rockabilly, Americana); Aug. 21, Teneia Sanders (pop, Motown);  Aug. 28, Inspiración Flamenca (vocals, guitar, dancers).

Although some venues go on summer hiatus, there are many others that “keep on keepin’ on” during July and August. Those include Sacred Grounds in Scottsdale, Opa Life Greek Café in Tempe, and the return of summer-only Monday-night performances by the Extreme Decibel Big Band at the Dirty Pelican in Glendale.

A new Phoenix music venue will stage monthly summer jazz concerts: Valley Bar (130 N. Central Ave. B-100, Phoenix 85004, 602-368-3121) has scheduled “Round About Midnight” first Wednesday jazz nights, $5, 21 and older. The lineup includes 8 pm Wed. Aug. 5, Dave Henning Quintet: “Tribute to Herbie Hancock”; and 8 pm Wed. Sept. 2, Sherry Roberson: “Tribute to Billie Holiday.”

Tempe History Museum,  809 E. Southern Ave, Tempe 85282, 480-350-5100,  has a free summer music series at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wed. July 8, Classical Strings featuring Arizona Pro Arte; Wed. July 15 , Jazz Rocks by Bart Salzman (former Jazz in AZ vice president) for children);  Sat. July 25, African Drums with Keith Johnson; Wed. July 29, Arizona Pro Arte: Classical Woodwinds.

Trumpeter and band leader Mike Vax has again assembled a fine group of performers for the annual three-day Prescott Jazz Summit (Aug. 28-30) including  Dennis Rowland, Scott Whitfield, Ginger Berglund, Carl Saunders, Bill Watrous, Jennifer Leitham, Gary Hobbs, Kim Richmond, Gary Anderson, Ralna English, Cami Thompson, Bad Cactus Brass Band, Mike Vax, Cleve Huff, Tony Vacca, Jeff Colella, Selwyn Reams, Jack Petersen, Matt Jackson, Larry Kantor, more); info at prescottjazz.com.

The National Endowment for the Arts announced a $50,000 award to the Mesa Arts Center to support its Jazz from A to Z ongoing program. “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States,”said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.” Funding these new projects like the one from Mesa Arts Center represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.” Jazz from A to Z is a comprehensive jazz program for students and teachers that fosters an understanding and appreciation of jazz music, its impact on history, and its importance as one of America’s greatest cultural resources. In addition to live performances, the program includes professional development workshops, a Band Directors Academy, jazz clinics, National History Day exhibit, jazz performances and a regional Essentially Ellington Band competition. Jazz from A to Z is a program of Mesa Arts
Center and Arizona State University’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.
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Quotable: “New Orleans is the only place I know of where you ask a little kid what he wants to be and instead of saying “I want to be a policeman,” or “I want to be a fireman,” he says, I want to be a musician”. Alan Jaffe, founder of Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
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Final Chorus: Gunther Schuller, composer-conductor-president of New England Conservatory of Music, June 21 in Boston.

Copyright 2015

Categories: News