Jazz Legends will play the Fox on Oct. 1

September 15, 2011

Take a journey through jazz as world-renowned musicians from New York City come to the desert to travel through the timeline of jazz, following its musical evolution from early years to modern day.   

The 2011 Jazz Legends will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., the ensemble’s first-ever Downtown show.

The 2011 Jazz Legends  are some of the most respected and talented musicians alive today, encompassing dynamic, versatile talent and ability in every genre and era of jazz music as we know it today.

After about a decade of concerts, Jazz Legends in Concert LIVE has expanded from the performances at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort’s poolside venue. This year, SAACA has added a concert in Downtown Tucson to accommodate the growth and popularity of the event.

With two locations to see the Legends, from Oro Valley to Downtown Tucson, and a range of ticket prices, from complimentary student tickets to private concert ticket prices accompanied with dinner, anyone can experience this once in a lifetime opportunity.

The first concert – Friday, Sept. 30 at Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Road – offers an up-close private performance with the Jazz Legends with dinner and chance to meet the musicians.

Tickets at the Fox range from $25 to $150. All the monies raised from this unique event help SAACA continue music and art programs for all ages in the community and schools.

Meet the Legends

Dennis Mackrel – Lead and Drums

Famous jazz drummer, Dennis Mackrel, is the leader of today’s Count Basie Orchestra. He landed his first major gig as a drummer on Broadway and, with support from Joe Williams, was hired by Count Basie. At the time he was the youngest member of the orchestra and the last drummer hired personally by Basie. Mackrel has played in the American Jazz Orchestra, The Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Buck Clayton’s Swing Band and The Glover Mitchell/Bill Hughes band. This Jazz Legends Lead has performed with Lionel Hampton, Hank Jones, Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones. In addition to becoming a seasoned musician and bandleader, Mackrel is a highly-respected conductor, arranger and jazz educator in Europe Asia, Canada and the US.

Marvin Stamm – Trumpet

Marvin Stamm was discovered by Stan Kenton and asked to join his jazz band as trumpet soloist. After creating a name for himself in New York, he played with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and the Duke Pearson Big Band. He toured with Woody Herman, Frank Sinatra and the Benny Goodman Sextet. As a first-call studio player for 20 years, Stamm recorded with Bill Evans, Quincy Jones, Thad Jones, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Lena Horne, Frank Foster, Paul Desmond. He now spends much of his time touring as a soloist and in several bands-including John Lewis American Jazz Orchestra, Bob Mitzer Band and Louis Bellson’s-and works in a quartet with Bill Mays, Rufus Reid and Ed Soph.  His involvement in jazz education takes him to high schools and universities worldwide as a performer, clinician and mentor.

Steve Wilson – Saxophone

The Jazz Journalists Association has nominated Steve Wilson for both Soprano and Alto Sax Player of the Year. He toured with Lionel Hampton and played with The Mingus Big Band and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He brings his distinctive sound to over 100 recordings and ensembles with Chick Corea, Tom Carter, Marie Schneider and Charlie Byrd. Leader of Steve Wilson Quartet and Wilsonian’s Grain, he also plays in two duos with Lewis Nash and Bruce Barth.  He has recorded with Nicholas Payton, Mulgrew Miller and Cyrus Chestnut. Serving on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music, Wilson conducts clinics and master classes around the world. “Mr. Wilson is essential to this city’s jazz landscape.” – The Wall Street Journal

Steve Davis – Trombone

One of today’s leading improvisers on the trombone, Steve Davis plays lyrical hard-swinging style. This gained him broad recognition while working with the bands of jazz legends Art Blakey, Jackie McLean and Chick Corea’s acclaimed sextet Origin. Davis recorded with his own quartet/quintet and with the rave reviewed collective One For Al. Featured on over 100 recordings, he has also worked with Larry Willis, Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, the Dizzy Gilespie Alumni All Star Big Band, The Jimmy Heath Big Band and the Wynton Marsallis Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, all while leading an active teaching career at Hartford University.

Bill Mays – Piano

Pianist, composer and arranger Bill Mays’ love of jazz began when he first heard Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines and subsequently, Hank Jones and Jimmy Rowles on the piano. Mays began to compose in Los Angeles while playing with Buddy Collette, Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, and Art Pepper and the Kenton Neophonic Orchestra. He worked in recording studios and as an accompanist he played for Sarah Vaughn, Dionne Warwick, Anita O’Day, Al Jarreau and Frank Sinatra. In New York, Mays recorded  and played with Ron Carter, Al Cohn, Eddie Daniels, Benny Colson, Mel Lewis and Bob Mintzer. As a writer his published works include work for Percy Faith, Woody Herman Orchestra, Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Phil Woods, Lew Tabackin, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and charts for symphonies and big bands.

Martin Wind – Bass

Martin Wind trios with Bill Mays, Dena DeRosa, Don Friedman, James Gordon Williams and Russ Kassoff. Wind has released 10 albums and has played in sessions for several movies.  He has recorded and/or performed with Lalo Schifrin, Monty Alexander, Pat Methheny, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Toots Thielemans, Buddy DeFranco, Micheal Brecker, Randy Brecker, Eddie Daniels, Curtin Fuller, Phil Woods, Bud Shank, Bucky Pizzarelli, Terell Stafford and the Village Vanguard Orchestra. As an educator, he has been on the faculty at New York University for 10 years and also at the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in Germany at the Neuburg Summer Jazz Camp.

Dee Daniels – Vocals

Dee Daniels’ thrills audiences with her four-octave vocal range. A unique talent, she transcends musical borders when bringing her jazz style, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage. She performed with symphony orchestras, including her own “Great Ladies of Swing” and the “Soul of Ray”: The Music of Ray Charles. Daniels has performed throughout Africa, South America and Asia as well as before European Royalty. Daniels has sung with jazz greats-like Houston Person, Clark Terry, Hank Jones, Lionel Hampton, Monty Alexander, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton and Bill Charlap. A respected vocal educator, adjudicator and mentor, Daniels presents clinics and master classes around the world.

For tickets and more information call (520) 797-3959 x 9 or visit http://www.saaca.org/events-jazzlegends.html.


2011 Jazz Legends in Concert LIVE

Master Class on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.

Where: Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.

Cost: Free (limited space available, students only)


Concert on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.

Where: Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.

Cost: $25 to $150 per person