By Joel R. Goldenthal
Since the doors opened at The Nash, Jazz in AZ's new nonprofit education and performance center in the downtown arts district of Phoenix, the venue's been a buzz with performances by jazz luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis, Lewis Nash and Freddy Cole; big bands such as Mesa Community College and Young Sounds of Arizona; and weekly jam sessions that are consistently attracting dozens of student and pro musicians and appreciative audiences. What an auspicious first ten weeks it has been!
Our first summer is continuing the promise of becoming the place for jazz in the Valley with a variety of exciting performances and educational activities.
Sunday Night Jazz Jam Session
Every Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the true spirit of jazz plays out on stage at The Nash, as student and pro musicians play together, unrehearsed, in a variety of combinations. There's always a solid core trio with bass, drums and either piano (yes, a real grand piano) or guitar; and Jeff Libman is usually on site to hostthe jam and keep the players flowing. The number of musicians jamming on any given night has been hovering around 30; pretty amazing! And the range has been from 15 year-old students to, well, name-sake Lewis Nash and his talented daughter, Kalena (22), both sitting in on Father's Day. And what value for the audience (that's you again!) who get to enjoy 3 hours of music and support this ultimate jazz education and performance experience. Admission is just $5 to help support the program. Water, soft drinks and snacks are available for purchase. So if you haven't made it out to the Sunday Nash Jam yet, give it a try. We'll keep the AC on!
We are aiming for six clinics this summer to kick off our educational programs at The Nash. These will include a Latin Drumset Clinic with Dom Moio on Sunday, July 22 from 3-5 p.m., a Rhythmic Improvisation Clinic with Eric Rassmusen on Sunday, August 5 from 3-5 p.m., and a Doubling Clinic with Mike Crotty and Monica Shriver tbd. Most clinics will be scheduled to precede the Sunday jam. They are open to students of all ages. For updated info and fees, call The Nash at 602- 795-0464.
“Catch a Rising Star”
After six seasons at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale, Catch a
Rising Star has moved to The Nash. Concerts are on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m.; general admission is $10, $5 for students and seniors. “Catch a Rising Star” concerts give young musicians an opportunity to perform for an appreciative audience (that's you!). Performance opportunities for young jazz musicians is at the core of The Nash mission. The Rising Star line- up includes high school and college student musicians, as well as recent music school graduates. Scheduled to perform as of the end of June are:
July 11 – Paul Eirik Melhus-Cody Rowlands Quintet – Paul (tenor sax) and Cody (trumpet) are Jazz in AZ scholarship recipients who are on summer break from their studies at Berklee College of Music (Boston) and The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music (NYC) respectively
July 25 – “Experiment 114” – This exciting ASU-based group was the subject of a video project that will be previewed at the concert and includes JiA scholarship recipient Vince Kaufmann (tenor sax)
August 1 – Jacob Sieckman Quartet – Also a JiA scholarship recipient, Jacob (tenor sax) is a student at The New England Conservatory of Music. A remarkable young player!
August 8 – Lucas Pino-Nick Finzer Quartet – A JiA scholarship recipient, Lucas (tenor sax) was a fellow at The Brubeck Institute, completed his undergraduate degree at The New School and recently earned his Masters in Music at Juilliard. Lucas will perform with trombonist Nick Finzer in their New York City-based group.
And...we're expanding too!
Jazz in AZ has signed a lease for the approximately 1,000 square foot suite adjacent to The Nash. This will house our additional educational facilities for combo coaching, one- one-one instruction and more. We're targeting a mid-fall opening of the facility. To find out how you can get involved with The Nash as a sponsor, donor, volunteer or instructor, contact Joel Goldenthal (
or 602-750-7045) or Barbie Baugh (
The Nash is located at 110 E. Roosevelt Street. At The Nash, you can hear more than great music. Listen. That's the sound of something beautiful happening in our community. The Nash: Jazz Happens Here.