Jazz Legends Live!
September 2017, Date TBA
VIP Dinner 5:30pm
$55.00 Concert Only-Section C (Back Rows)
$65.00 Concert Only-Section B (Middle Rows)
$150.00 VIP Dinner + Concert Seating
$250.00 Platinum VIP Experience
$1,250.00 VIP Table of 10
$2,500.00 Platinum VIP Sponsor - Table of Ten
Outside of the typical norm of SAACA usual presentation and emphasis of local musicians, the Jazz Legends LIVE event in a donor designated and supported benefit concert, intended to raise much needed monies and support for SAACA art therapy and music programs for local Veterans, as well as Arts Education outreach.
Jazz Legends LIVE features an ensemble of celebrated musicians who come together in Tucson to put on an unforgettable performance. Unlike a traditional jazz concert Jazz Legends LIVE emphasizes the organic nature of jazz. Rather than pre-planning the musical set, the performers collaborate live to create an improvisational jazz experience.
Lodge at Ventana Canyon
6200 N Club House Ln Tucson, Arizona, 85750
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2016 Featured Musicians
"Rhythm Is My Business" is the title of his debut recording as a leader, and rhythm is a booming business as far as Lewis Nash is concerned. He is the drummer of choice for an incredible array of artists - from the masters of the music to the hottest young players of today - and is equally in demand as a clinician and educator.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Lewis developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age 10. By age 18, he was performing with local jazz groups. By the time he was 21, Nash had become the "first call" jazz drummer in Phoenix, working with Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Lee Konitz, Barney Kessell and Slide Hampton during their engagements in the city.
In 1981, Nash moved to New York City and joined the trio of the great jazz vocalist Betty Carter. For nearly four years, he toured internationally with Ms. Carter. He is featured on three of her recordings, including the Grammy winning "Look What I Got."
World-renowned bassist Ron Carter hired Nash in 1984. As a member Carter´s nonet, quintet and quartet, Nash toured extensively and is featured on several of the bassist´s recordings.
In the fall of 1986, saxophonist Branford Marsalis asked Lewis to join his quartet. That active association spanned two years and several continents, and is documented on Marsalis´ Grammy nominated recording "Random Abstract", as well as two videos: Royal Garden Blues (directed by Spike Lee) and "Branford Marsalis - Steep".
1988 marked the return to the jazz scene of trombone master J.J. Johnson. Johnson frequently asked Lewis to provide rhythm duties for his band. That same year, Nash joined the Don Pullen/George Adams quartet, succeeding the late Dannie Richmond. 1989 proved to be an even busier year for Lewis, touring with legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins. He also performed with Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Clark Terry and Milt Jackson.
From 1990 to 2000, Lewis was a member of the Tommy Flanagan Trio, and is featured on seven CD recordings with the late piano master. During this period, Nash also toured and recorded with both the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. His impressive discography (over 300 recordings) includes projects with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Benny Carter, Hank Jones and John Lewis, as well as new jazz stars Diana Krall, Joe Lovano and Roy Hargrove. Demonstrating his stylistic diversity, Nash is also featured on recordings by Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Rankin, Melissa Manchester and George Michael.
Currently, while he continues to perform and record with a wide variety of artists, Nash leads several of his own exciting groups, from duo to septet. Outside of his many touring and recording accomplishments, thanks to the sponsorship of Sonor drums, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads and Regal Tip drumsticks, Lewis has become a sought after jazz educator. His lectures, clinics and workshops are as much in demand as his bandstand and studio work. Lewis Nash: Rhythm is indeed his business!
The All Music Guide says “Shelly Berg is one of the finest pianists around in the early 21st century playing modern mainstream jazz.” His CD, Blackbird, recorded with the Shelly Berg Trio on the Concord Records label, reached #1 in US jazz radio and garnered Record of the Year and Artist of the Year nominations (Jazzweek, 2005). His subsequent solo CD Shelly Berg: The Nearness of You (Arbors) and a two-piano album with Dick Hyman Meeting of Minds (Victoria) were both critically acclaimed.
A Steinway piano artist, Shelly Berg recently performed live and recorded his own Jazz Variations on “Rhapsody in Blue” and other Gershwin selections with the Shelly Berg Trio and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. He performed and arranged for Arturo Sandoval's Grammy Award winning Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You) and Latin Grammy winning A Time for Love (Concord) and has appeared on several NPR radio broadcasts for Jim Cullum's Riverwalk Jazz series.
Shelly is widely known for his collaborations with vocalists. He has performed, recorded, or arranged for Gloria Estefan, Patti Austin, Bobby McFerrin, Kurt Elling, Michael Feinstein, Renée Fleming, Gregory Porter, Aretha Franklin, Tierney Sutton, Janelle Monáe, Queen Latifa, Lorraine Feather, Monica Mancini, Rita Moreno, Ricky Martin, Kevin Spacey, Dionne Warwick, Carmen Bradford, and many more.
Shelly Berg was a 2013 Grammy nominee in the category “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for his arrangement of “Out There” on Lorraine Feather’s Tales of the Unusual (Jazzed Media). In 2014 he earned a Grammy nomination in the same category for his arrangement of "What a Wonderful World" on Gloria Estefan: The Standards (Sony Masterworks) and was nominated for a third Grammy as co-producer of Gloria Estefan: The Standards in the Best Traditional Pop Album category, along with Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan. He performed at the 2013 White House Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and has co-produced numerous Jazz Roots series concerts with famed producer Larry Rosen.
Shelly Berg is the music director of The Jazz Cruise (thejazzcruise.com) and maintains a busy, worldwide schedule of jazz festival and club performances. He was a finalist in the 1988 Great American Jazz Piano Competition and has performed and/or recorded with a “Who’s Who” of jazz legends, including Ray Brown, Louie Bellson, Eddie Daniels, Peter Erskine, Branford Marsalis, Gregg Field, Chuck Berghofer, Dave Grusin, Woody Herman, Arturo Sandoval, Clark Terry, and Bill Watrous to name just a few. Dave Brubeck raved, “Shelly Berg is a great jazz pianist who has a total command of his instrument.”
His composing and orchestrating for television includes ABC’s Fudge, CBS’s A League of Their Own, and HBO’s Dennis Miller Live. He has orchestrated for Chicago, KISS, Carole King, Richard Marx, Joe Cocker, Elliott Smith, Lou Rawls, Steve Miller, and Ray Sings, Basie Swings (Concord Records’ Ray Charles and Count Basie collaboration). Film orchestration work includes Warner Bros. Almost Heroes and For Your Consideration, Fox’s Men of Honor, and the NBC mini-series, The ’60s. He has written for the Royal Philharmonic, the American Symphony, and orchestras worldwide. Shelly composed the theme song to the 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival, and orchestrated Japan Concerto, for the 10th anniversary of the Emperor’s coronation. His orchestrations are called “magnificent. . . incredible” by Johnny Mandel.
Shelly Berg is the Dean of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, a position he has held since June 2007. In addition to his leadership role as dean, he is the Patricia L. Frost Professor of Music and teaches classical improvisation and private piano students. He previously held the McCoy/Sample professorship of Jazz Studies in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California where he taught for 16 years. He is a past president of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), and was named 2003 Educator of the Year by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. In 2002, Shelly was the recipient of the IAJE Lawrence Berk Leadership Award. In 2000, the Los Angeles Times named him one of three “Educators for the Millennium.” He has appeared as a performer and lecturer throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, Europe, Japan, and Israel. Shelly has numerous compositions for jazz ensemble in publication, and his texts include the Chop-Monster improvisation series and Essentials of Jazz Theory (Alfred Publishing), and Jazz Improvisation: The Goal-Note Method (Kendor Music).
“Berg burns hard, his fingers flying over the keyboard while his body nearly levitates off the bench. Exhilarating . . . filled with breakneck parallel runs, sudden rhythmic shifts and harmonic modulations that leave the crowd breathless!” --L.A. Times Sunday Magazine
Vocalist ~ Recording Artist ~ Music Educator – Philanthopist
Recognized by NPR as one of the "50 Greatest Jazz Vocalists" (Fall 2010)
Barbara Morrison has been pleasing audiences and garnering rave reviews for more than three decades. In addition to a long list of her own recordings, she has worked with an A-List of “Who’s Who” in the jazz world.
Barbara was born and raised a short drive from Detroit, Michigan. The young starry-eyed 10-year old launched her professional career with her first recording for a radio station in Detroit. She moved to Los Angeles in 1973 and began to blaze a trail around the globe delivering performances that keep audiences asking for more.
One of the hardest working and busiest jazz and blues entertainers in the business, Barbara Morrison has an impressive discography of recordings that include 3 Grammy nominations. It is safe to say that she is among the most recorded jazz and blues artists of her generation.
As Barbara continues to add to an enormous stack of impressive achievements, she recalls highlights earlier in her career that will always hold a special place:
In 1995, Barbara performed in a star-studded line-up television tribute to Ella Fitzgerald along with Mel Torme, Diane Reeves, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick and Lou Rawls
Barbara still cherishes her role as vocalist with the Philip Morris Superband for a 14-city, one-month tour that kicked off on September 3, 1986 to travel to Canada, Australia, Japan and the Philippines. The band included jazz organist Jimmy Smith, backed by saxophonist James Moody, guitarist Kenny Burrell and Jon Faddis with Grady Tate on drums.
She co-headlined in a 33-city U.S. tour that featured an all-star tribute to composer Harold Arlen (most notable for his genius behind the music for the film classic, “The Wizard of Oz.”)
Barbara has a steadily-growing list of accomplishments as a recording artists, with more than 20 of her own albums/CD's that feature a catalog of original compositions, popular standards - some live and some in studio.
Check out the list of "50 Greatest Female Jazz Vocalist" and you'll find Barbara Morrison is on the list, chosen by NPR members, listeners and staff (this distinction was noted in the 11/12/10 issue of "All About Jazz")
A staple on the Southern California jazz scene, performing frequently with her duo and trio, she also tours extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Over the years she has performed with a virtual "Who's Who" in the jazz and blues worlds, including legends Gerald Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Etta James, Esther Phillips, Jimmy Smith, Johnny Otis, Dr. John, Terence Blanchard, Joe Sample, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett, Keb' Mo and many others. (see list to the right) Ms. Morrison has also guest-starred with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and Doc Severinsen's Big Band.
In 2008 she opened the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center (BMPAC). The 99-seat theatre and adaptable performance space is located in the historic Leimert Park District, which is considered the center of the African American arts scene in Los Angeles, CA. BMPAC is alive with music and arts-related programming at least 6 days each week. BMPAC supports the national Harmony Project by donating the facility for the children to practice during the week after school. She also teaches a Jazz Vocals Workshop every Wednesday night.
The Barbara Morrison Performance Arts Center supports the Harmony Project. The children practice during the week after school. Pop. Her melodic voice, with its three-and-a-half-octave range, is known worldwide, as are her rich, unique, soulful and highly spirited interpretations of both, familiar Jazz and Blues classics and original contemporary tunes.
"I Wanna Be Loved" written by Barbara Morrison and Michael Cormier is a musical theatre production about the life and times of Dinah Washington, Queen of the Blues, This award-winning production is presented on the 3rd Sunday every month at BMPAC.
Person is an American jazz tenor saxophonist and record producer. Although he has performed in the hard bop and swing genres, he is most experienced in and best known for his work in soul jazz. Person is also known for his distinctive sassy sound and his expressive style of playing. He received the Eubie Blake Jazz Award in 1982.
Person grew up in Florence, South Carolina, and first played piano before switching to tenor saxophone. He studied at South Carolina State College where he was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1999.
In the United States Air Force, he joined a service band stationed in West Germany, and played with Don Ellis, Eddie Harris, Cedar Walton, and Leo Wright. He later continued his studies at Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.
He first became known for a series of albums for Prestige Records in the 1960s. Contrary to popular belief, he was never married to the vocalist Etta Jones, but did spend many years as her musical partner, recording, performing and touring, and for much of his career this association was what he was best known for. They first met playing in organist Johnny Hammond's band.
There are more than 75 albums recorded by Houston Person as a bandleader, on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, and Muse Records, and he has most recently been recording on HighNote Records. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Ron Carter, Bill Charlap, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Janis Siegel, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, Cedar Walton, plus Billy Butler, Don Patterson, Sonny Phillips, Johnny "Hammond" Smith, Richard "Groove" Holmes and others.
Jeremy Pelt has become one of the preeminent young trumpeters within the world of jazz. Forging a bond with the Mingus Big Band very early on, as his career progressed, Pelt built upon these relationships and many others which eventually lead to collaborations with some of the genre's greatest masters. These projects include performances and recordings with Cliff Barbaro, Keter Betts, Pelt...maintains a consistent forward momentum.. while he transmits a modern-day sense of urgency with his songs. more » Bobby "Blue" Bland, Ravi Coltrane, Frank Foster, Winard Harper, Jimmy Heath, Vincent Herring, John Hicks, Charli Persip, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Bobby Short, Cedar Walton, Frank Wess, Nancy Wilson and The Skatalites, to name a few.
Pelt frequently performs alongside such notable ensembles as the Roy Hargrove Big Band, The Village Vanguard Orchestra and the Duke Ellington Big Band, and is a member of the Lewis Nash Septet and The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes. As a leader, Pelt has recorded ten albums and has toured globally with his various ensembles, appearing at many major jazz festivals and concert venues.
Pelt's recordings and performances have earned him critical acclaim, both nationally and internationally. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal by legendary jazz writer and producer, Nat Hentoff, and was voted Rising Star on the trumpet, five years in a row by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association. Pelt is currently touring throughout the United States and Europe in support of his latest release, "Tales, Musings, and Other Reveries" (Highnote Records, 2015).
Internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist, Rodney Whitaker, currently holds the titles of Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University where he has built one of the leading jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the United States of America. He is considered one of the leading performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States. He is also the Artistic Director of the Michigan State University Professors of Jazz, former Artistic Advisor of Jazz @ Wharton Center, Director of Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Orchestra and a member of the Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra. Whitaker received his first national recognition performing with the Harrison/Blanchard Quintet.
Building on his Detroit roots and enormous talent, Whitaker went on to earn an international reputation as one of the world’s finest jazz double bass performer. He completed seven-year tenure as bassist with Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He has toured the world over the last twenty-five years, collaborating and performing with legendary jazz artists such as Jimmy Heath, Eric Reed, Cyrus Chestnut, Vanessa Rubin, Kathleen Battle, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Jon Faddis, Donald Harrison, Terence Blanchard, Rodney Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Burrell, Bob James, Benny Golson, Regina Carter, Pat Matheny, Nicholas Payton, Jimmy Cobb, Joshua Redman, Stephon Harris, Johnny O’Neal, Marcus Belgrave, James Carter, Steve Turre, Claudio Roditi, Junko Onishi, Harry Allen, Ronnie Matthews, Chick Corea, Kenny Garrett, Kevin Mahogany, Ingrid Jensen, Barry Harris, Ron Blake, Jeff Clayton, Dana Hall, Gerald Wilson, Sean Jones, Niki Harris, Wessell Anderson, Don Vappie, Johnny O’Neal, Cedar Walton, Renee Rosnes, Randy Brecker, Rickey Woodard, Bobby Shew, Gary Smulyan, Joe LaBarbera, Randy Napolean, Peter Martin, Nnenna Freelon, Donald Byrd, Branford Marsalis, Greg Hutchinson, Carl Allen, Herlin Riley, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Terrell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Bruce Barth, Jon Carl Hendricks, Roy Hargrove, the late greats: Dizzy Gelispie, Mulgrew Miller, Tommy Flanagan, John Lewis, Marian McPartland, Donald Walden, Joe Henderson, Hank Jones, Frank Morgan and Betty ‘Bebop’ Carter as well as performing with leading symphony orchestras world-wide.
Whitaker has also toured internationally as a featured performer with the Roy Hargrove Quintet. In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conferences.
Rodney is one of the hardest working and swinging bass players on the scene and has recorded with great musicians such as Roy Hargrove, Pat Methany and Wynton Marsalis. Featured on more than 100+ recordings — from film to compact discs — Whitaker’s film scores, China, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS Fall 2002 and Malaria and Malawi, released on PBS Fall 2010. Also, Whitaker has a DVD release featuring Michigan State University’s Jazz Department entitled, “Inside Jazz” and two new compact discs entitled, “Get Ready” & “Word To Do”—both on Mack Avenue. In 2011, more recently he was nominated for an EMMY for the ‘Original Music’ category, “Malawi and Malaria: Fighting to Save the Children” produced by Robert Gould and Sue Carter.
A proven and committed jazz educator, Whitaker has presented numerous master classes across the nation at locations such as Duke University, Howard University, University of
Iowa, University of Michigan, Barbican in London, the New School (NY), Lincoln Center, and the Detroit International Jazz Festival. In addition, he is a consultant with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the development of the jazz education department, and has served on the faculties of University of Michigan and Julliard Institute of Jazz.
In 2006, he was nominated for the Juno Award, Canada’s equivalent to the Grammy, for his work on “Let Me Tell You About My Day,” produced by Alma Records. Whitaker collaborated with musicians Phil Dwyer (musician) and Alan Jones on the album, which was nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year.
Now based in East Lansing, Whitaker continues to serve many of the talented in the state of Michigan. His legacy of teaching promises to be distinguished with former students currently performing with jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Pat Matheny, The Count Basie Orchestra and Stephon Harris.
Whitaker attended Wayne State University, studied with trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, bassists-Stephen Molina, Ralph Armstrong, the late Herbie Williams (trumpeter) and the late Robert Gladstone (bassist).