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Prescott Jazz Summit is Annual Festival in Northern Arizona

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Mike Vax
By Patricia Myers

The annual Prescott Jazz Summit, August 22-24, has the theme “A Jazz Party of the First Order" and will be staged in northern Arizona's cool, pine-studded mountain region. Events will be indoors and on historic Courthouse Square, site of the original state capital, a two-hour drive from the Phoenix airport.

“The festival will feature a mix of California and Arizona jazz musicians, including former Stan Kenton Orchestra members," said coordinator Mike Vax, a trumpeter and Kenton band road manager. Other former Kenton alumni will be Jack Petersen-guitar, Carl Saunders-trumpet and Gary Hobbs-drums. Also performing will be Toni Tenille, Scott Whitfield, Reggie Thomas, Denny Garr, Joel Robin, Tony Vacca, Steve Annibale, Les Czimber, Tom Winker, Larry Kantor, Ted Sistrunk, Cleve Huff, Blaise Lantana, Ginger Berglund and Susannah Martin. Among the youth bands will be the Prescott High School Jazz Ensemble, Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Youth Band, Chino Valley Jazz Band, Tucson High School Jazz Band and others.

The weekend will include special tributes to Los Angeles band leader Bob Florence and former big-band drummer Mel Zelnick, both of whom died recently. The performance schedule is: Aug. 22,"Meet the Musicians Fund-raising Dinner, 5:30 p.m., Hassayampa Inn; and a 7:30 p.m., concert at the Prescott Elks Opera House; Aug. 23, performances and workshops, 1-4:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. concert, Ruth Street Theater; Aug. 24, Jazz Brunch, 9:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., Hassayampa Inn, and 2:30 p.m. concert, Prescott Elks Opera House.

Admission is $70 all-events weekend (except brunch), $165 patron, $185 super-patron, Meet the Musicians dinner-concert $100; jazz brunch, $40; individual concerts, $25. Tickets are available at the Hassayampa Inn, Elks Theater and Prescott Chamber of Commerce; or call 928-771-1268 or 925-872-1942, or go to prescottjazz.com.

Net proceeds will go to youth music programs including the Clare Willey Memorial Scholarship Fund, summer jazz camp scholarships, tri-cities school music departments, sponsored by Friends of Big Band Jazz, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation.

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