The HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival has become a destination for jazz fans from across the country. Featured acts include Sheila E., Spyro Gyra, Arturo Sandoval and The Hot Sardines. The relatively warm weather and world-class acts bring new winter visitors to town. A full 50% of ticket buyers have come from out of town (50+ miles) for all three festivals, fulfilling Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s vision of a “destination” festival.
The festival also brings in presenting and promoting partners. Presenting partners this year are UA Presents and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. The festival is also part of the Desert Song Festival, with two concerts included in their line-up.
Thanks to our many sponsors, we have kept our ticket prices low: $45 and $35 for all shows except the UAPresents and Tucson Symphony shows.
UA Presents kicks off the festival with Hypnotic Brass, a 7-piece brass sensation on Thurs., Jan. 11 at The Rialto. The Hot Sardines, the first festival show to sell out in its inaugural year, returns to The Fox Theatre the following day. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra brings in trumpet star Arturo Sandoval to perform on Jan. 13 and 14 at the TCC Music Hall. The Latin jazz continues with percussionist/vocalist Sheila E., best known through her association with Prince, at The Rialto Theatre on the 14th.
A free outdoor Downtown Jazz Fiesta will be held on Monday, Jan. 15, with jazz on multiple stages, indoors and outside, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The following day, vibraphonist Warren Wolf performs with the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble. Tenor saxophonist Lew Tabackin and his trio graces stage at the Scottish Rite Temple on Wed., Jan. 17. Grammy winner, pianist and vocalist Diane Schuur with special guest saxophonist Ernie Watts plays The Fox on Jan. 18 and pianist Bill Charlap opens the show with music by Leonard Bernstein as part of the Desert Song Festival.
The award-winning high school big band, the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band with special guests, and The Mingus Dynasty play on Fri., Jan. 19 at The Fox. Spyro Gyra takes over The Rialto on Saturday night and another tribute to Bernstein with Wycliffe Gordon and Jay Leonhardt, closes the festival at Club Congress.