Tucson Jazz Festival brings big name artists to southern Arizona
Jan. 11, 2018
An annual jazz festival is expected to bring more than 22,000 people to Tucson later this month, along with some of the biggest names in jazz.
The HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival began four years ago as an effort to increase tourism during the city’s slow season. This year, Arturo Sandoval, Sheila E. and Spyro Gyra will headline the festival, which runs from Jan. 11 through Jan. 21.
Tvonne Ervin, executive director for the festival, says Tucson is the ideal place to host a jazz festival. The 2,400 member Tucson Jazz Society quickly came out in support of the festival, says Ervin, and even those not associated with the jazz scene saw the festival as a needed attraction.
A world-renowned lineup
Ten-time Grammy Award-winner Arturo Sandoval came from Cuba to the U.S. to play trumpet to follow in the footsteps of legendary jazz artist Dizzy Gillespie, and eventually became his protégé. Sandoval will be playing with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the TCC Music Hall on Saturday, Jan. 13.
The Grammy Award-winning percussionist and vocalist Sheila E. will perform at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, Jan. 14.
Spyro Gyra is one of the few smooth jazz bands to be featured in the festival. Ervin says their talent in improvisation is one of the reasons she made them one of the headliners. Spyra Gyra will play on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Rialto Theatre.
Ervin says that while Tucson has a very dedicated jazz scene, the goal of the festival is to welcome all music lovers, from jazz aficionados to those who have never even heard a jazz production. For those recently becoming acquainted with the genre, Ervin suggests listening to Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue.”
For more information on the festival, visit tucsonjazzfestival.org.