Calendar

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Jan
11
Fri
Joey Alexander & Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band @ Fox Tucson Theatre
Jan 11 @ 7:30 pm

JOEY ALEXANDER, a native of Bali, Indonesia, taught himself to play piano by listening to classic jazz albums his father shared with him. An amateur musician, Joey’s father soon recognized his son’s gift for jazz, as his technique and ability to grasp complicated musical concepts was beyond someone of his years. Due to the lack of jazz education where he lived, Joey began attending jam sessions with senior musicians. From there, his musical intuition flourished, as did his love of playing jazz. In recognition of his talent, UNESCO invited Joey to play solo piano in honor of his jazz idol, Herbie Hancock, who provided early enthusiastic support to Joey’s budding career. The world has taken notice of this phenomenal and exciting pianist with the astonishing technique and soulful sound. Joey has been featured at festivals worldwide including Jakarta’s International Java Jazz Festival and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. With his third studio effort, Eclipse, his most personal statement to date, Joey takes another giant step forward, demonstrating his aptitude as a composer, bandleader and musician, hinting at the many artistic paths open to him in the decades ahead.

Video: My Favorite Things
Website: joeyalexandermusic.com

Jan
12
Sat
Special EFX with special guests Regina Carter and Eric Marienthal @ Fox Tucson Theatre
Jan 12 @ 7:30 pm

Co-founded in 1982 by master guitarist Chieli Minucci (pronounced Key-eli Mee-noo-chee) and the late percussionist George Jinda, Special EFX helped pave the road for contemporary jazz in the 80s and continues to set the standard. With over 30 years as torchbearers of innovative music, the latest release from this pioneering group, Deep As The Night, is the latest chapter in the enduring story of Special EFX. Chieli reflects on the band’s longevity: “One of the reasons we have been able to maintain our popularity is because we have evolved over the years. When the band first started we had a heavy world music influence. Later we highlighted more of an acid-jazz sound, as well as some progressive fusion-rock thrown in for good measure. When people hear our music, they can expect to hear a little of everything!” Eric Marienthal is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music where he studied with the legendary saxophone professor, Joe Viola. He has since gone on to perform in over 75 different countries, recorded 14 solo CDs and has played on hundreds of records, films, television shows and commercial jingles. Violinist Regina Carter, a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Genius grant, combines dazzling technical proficiency and profound compositional and improvisational gifts with a fresh, aggressive approach to her instrument and a multicultural perspective, challenging preconceptions regarding the instrument.

Video: Chieli Minucci & Special EFX – Jazz Lambada
Website: chielimusic.com

Jan
13
Sun
Tucson Swings Brightly with Nelson Riddle @ Fox Tucson Theatre
Jan 13 @ 7:30 pm

Reprising an artistically excellent and sold-out show in Crowder Hall this past spring, music director Jeffrey Haskell conducts the Tucson Jazz Collective, an all-star local big band, with the Tucson Jazz Festival Orchestra and vocalists including Katherine Byrnes and Joe Bourne, pianist Angelo Versace and guest trumpeter Terrel Stafford on the orchestrations that the great Nelson Riddle created for Ella Fitzgerald (Ella Swings Brightly), Nat King Cole (Mona Lisa), Frank Sinatra (Witchcraft) and Linda Ronstadt (What’s New?).  Jeff spent a total of six years as principal conductor for Linda Ronstadt who had done three albums of Riddle arrangements. Fabulous Riddle settings of songs like “Night and Day,” “Lush Life” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” will be unearthed from the Riddle Collection at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music and presented onstage at the historic Fox Theatre for an unforgettable performance.

Jan
14
Mon
Kathleen Grace with Larry Goldings @ Club Congress
Jan 14 @ 7:30 pm

KATHLEEN GRACE is an internationally recognized jazz vocalist, songwriter and educator. She is a member of the jazz faculty at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles where she has directed the CreSCendo vocal jazz ensemble and currently heads the solo vocal jazz combo program. Grace has toured worldwide appearing at venues as varied as the Montreaux Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center and the SXSW Music Festival. Known as an artist that blurs boundaries between genres, Grace is also a studio performer and most recently appeared with Portugal the Man on the American Music Awards, and will be featured on Jim James’ (My Morning Jacket) solo 2018 album. Her forthcoming release “Tie Me To You” is a collaboration with pianist, keyboardist and songwriter Larry Goldings and features violinist Gabe Witcher (The Punch Brothers) and David Piltch (KD Lang).

Jan
15
Tue
UA Studio Jazz Ensemble with special guest TBD @ Crowder Hall
Jan 15 @ 7:30 pm
Jan
16
Wed
All-Women Double Bill: Magos Herrera Quartet, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque @ Fox Tucson Theatre
Jan 16 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

MAGOS HERRERA is a dazzling jazz singer-songwriter, producer and educator with a 20-year career. Born in Mexico City and currently based in New York City, Magos is regarded as one of the most expressive, beautiful voices and most active vocalists in the contemporary Latin American jazz scene. She is best known for her eloquent vocal improvisation and her singular bold style, which embraces elements of contemporary jazz with Latin American melodies and rhythms singing in Spanish, English and Portuguese, in a style that elegantly blends and surpasses language boundaries. Magos’ career has led her to go on stage around the world, including some of the most memorable venues, such as Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Millennium Park, and Teatro de la Ciudad de México and Zocalo in Mexico City. Moreover, Magos has participated in leading world jazz festivals, including Montreal’s International Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Barcelona’s International Jazz Festival, and the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival. In addition to being one of the finest Latin American jazz vocalists, Magos Herrera is well known for championing women’s causes. She currently serves as spokesperson for UN Women, and has taken an active role in the UNITE campaign to end violence against women and “He for She” to promote gender equality. 

MAQUEQUE, an assembly of all-star Cuban women musicians was envisioned and created by Jane Bunnett. A multiple Juno Award winner, Jane has turned her bands and recordings into showcases for the finest musical talent from Canada, the U.S. and Cuba. She has been nominated for Grammy Awards, numerous Juno Awards, received an Order of Canada, The Queens Diamond Jubilee medal and most recently Ontario’s Premiers Award for Excellence. An internationally acclaimed musician, Jane is known for her creative integrity, improvisational daring and courageous artistry. Her exploration of Afro-Cuban melodies expresses the universality of music and her ability to embrace and showcase the rhythms and culture of Cuba has been groundbreaking. She has toured the world bringing her own special sound to numerous jazz festivals, displaying her versatility as a saxophone player and pianist. As an educator, spokesperson and social activist, she remains unafraid to explore uncharted territory in her quest for excellence!

Video: Jane Bunnett & Maqueque – Dream
Website: www.janebunnett.com

Jan
17
Thu
Asleep at the Wheel @ Fox Tucson Theatre
Jan 17 @ 7:30 pm

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL was founded by Ray Benson in Paw Paw, West Virginia 48 years ago. Now based in Austin, the band holds 10 Grammy awards, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. The Grammy Award-winning Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys is the band’s most recent release (2015) and marks their third full-length Bob Wills tribute album. Featuring 22 acclaimed collaborations, the all-star lineup includes legends such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and George Strait and newcomers like the Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show and many other fine talents. Asleep at the Wheel is bringing a fresh look, sound and a new album in 2018. With recent additions Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin), Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals) and Josh Hoag (bass) Asleep at the Wheel’s newest members have given a newfound energy and their own unique style within the band. Asleep at the Wheel veterans David Sanger (drums) Eddie Rivers (steel guitar) and Jay Reynolds (saxophone and clarinet) round out the now eight-piece band. Between those Texas twin fiddles and boogie piano, you can bet you’ll be dancin’ down the aisles and swingin’ all night long when the Wheel rolls into town!

Jan
18
Fri
Trombone Shorty @ Centennial Hall
Jan 18 @ 7:30 pm

Trombone Shorty, born Troy Andrews, was raised in one of New Orleans most musical families. Andrews got his moniker when he picked up his instrument at age four and started playing professionally soon after.  By eight, he had his own band and by the time he was in his teens, Andrews was touring with the Neville Brothers.  So advanced was he at a young age, a club in the city’s Tremé district was named ‘Trombone Shorts’ in his honor.  
Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue have performed all over the world including a performance at the White House in 2014 and with bands The Foo Fighters, Hall & Oats, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Little Big Town. He headlines the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival nearly every year. Trombone Shorty’s horn became his passport that opened the doors to the world. And, trombone in hand, he eagerly walked through them.
He founded the Trombone Shorty Foundation to ensure the power of music continues to change the lives of future New Orleans musicians.

Presented by UAPresents

Jan
19
Sat
Pink Martini and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra @ Tucson Music Hall
Jan 19 @ 7:30 pm

PINK MARTINI performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America and North America. Pink Martini made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Since then, the band has gone on to play with more than 50 orchestras around the world, including multiple engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Symphony, and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London. Other appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2011; two sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall; the opening party of the remodeled Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Governor’s Ball at the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008; the opening of the 2008 Sydney Festival in Australia; two sold-out concerts at Paris’ legendary L’Olympia Theatre in 2011; and Paris’ fashion house Lanvin’s 10-year anniversary celebration for designer Alber Elbaz in 2012.

Sheila Jordan and Cameron Brown @ venue TBA
Jan 19 @ 7:30 pm

SHEILA JORDAN has always thrived in uncharted territory. The NEA Jazz Master came up on the Detroit scene in the 1940s as part of a coterie of young players in thrall to the mercurial genius of Charlie Parker (who championed the young singer). She spent years developing a high-wire improvisational approach unlike anyone else on the scene, and made history with her classic 1963 debut Portrait of Sheila, Blue Note’s first album by a vocalist. The project’s pianoless instrumentation introduced Jordan’s affinity for the most stripped-down settings, particularly on “Dat Dere,” an exquisite bass/vocal duet with Steve Swallow. Over the years she’s created bandstand magic with fellow masters such as trombonist Roswell Rudd, pianist Steve Kuhn, and bassist Harvie S. Returning to the duo format she pioneered with S, Jordan is joined by bass master Cameron Brown, a relationship that dates back to the mid-1970s. After appearing on dozens of albums as a sideman with the likes of George Adams and Don Pullen, Archie Shepp, Connie Crothers, and George Russell, Brown made a late-career recording debut with 2003’s The Hear and Now (OmniTone) featuring his frequent employer, sax legend Dewey Redman.

Jan
20
Sun
Pink Martini and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra @ Tucson Music Hall
Jan 20 @ 2:00 pm

PINK MARTINI performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America and North America. Pink Martini made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Since then, the band has gone on to play with more than 50 orchestras around the world, including multiple engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Symphony, and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London. Other appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2011; two sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall; the opening party of the remodeled Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Governor’s Ball at the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008; the opening of the 2008 Sydney Festival in Australia; two sold-out concerts at Paris’ legendary L’Olympia Theatre in 2011; and Paris’ fashion house Lanvin’s 10-year anniversary celebration for designer Alber Elbaz in 2012.

Bobby McFerrin: circlesongs @ Fox Tucson Theatre
Jan 20 @ 7:30 pm

BOBBY McFERRIN will take you on a life-changing musical adventure. Bobby’s exhilarating vocal vocabulary — call and response, global rhythms, soaring melodies, lush harmonies, funny noises, invented language, silence, prayers and laughter – reminds us of how much fun it is to be alive, to lift our voices and communicate with one another, to make a joyful noise. Bobby will take the stage with trusted members of his groundbreaking a cappella group Voicestra: Rhiannon, Joey Blake, David Worm, and Judi Vinar. They are all masters of the art of play and together they will lead circlesongs, choral pieces based on irresistible grooves, spontaneously composed each night and sung by a 12-voice ensemble of local singers, and sometimes by the whole crowd. “I want to bring audiences into the incredible feeling of freedom that I get when I sing,” says Bobby. “I want everyone to leave the theatre and sing in their own kitchens the next morning.” A cappella singers, beatboxers, and vocalists of all genres claim Bobby McFerrin as an inspiration. The jazz and classical worlds celebrate his innovative technique and spirit. His solo performances and collaborations — with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianists Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, the Vienna and New York Philharmonic orchestras, and eager volunteers from audiences all over the world — are legendary. Ten Grammy Awards and his #1 global hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” are impressive but, “Bobby McFerrin’s greatest gift to his audience may be changing them from spectators into celebrants,” says the Los Angeles Times, “transforming a concert hall into a playground, a village center, a joyous space.” Join the circle and sing along.

Video: Ave Maria
Website: bobbymcferrin.com

Jan
21
Mon
Downtown Jazz Fiesta @ various stages downtown
Jan 21 @ 11:00 am – 10:00 pm