The Arizona Jazz Festival

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The endless Arizona sky will be filled with a galaxy of stars day and night during the Arizona Jazz Festival slated for October 25-27, 2013 at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 13,000 contemporary jazz and soul fans from across the nation are expected to flock to the lavish desert resort to enjoy performances by a stellar slate of Grammy-winners and chart-toppers along with a weekend of revelry. Tickets are on sale now for the three-day festival or as a single-day event and are available online at www.arizonajazzfestival.com and by calling 602.244.8444.

The Arizona Jazz Festival opens with an evening of seduction starting with the tantalizing pairing of saxophonist Eric Darius and R&B vocalist-producer Lyfe Jennings, who will set the mood for marquee-topper Maxwell, a Grammy-winning soul balladeer. Stick around for the official after-party at the resort.

Live music begins Saturday when nattily-attired guitarist Nick Colionne and new jazz swagger sax player J. White hit the stage followed by a trio set by saxophonists Warren Hill and Tom Braxton with blues-based guitar slinger Jeff Golub. Powerhouse tenors Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Euge Groove will blow a fierce sax storm in the desert before ten-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan belts out a song list filled with her massive crossover hits. The Queen of Neo Soul Erykah Badu will reign over majestic grooves and Baduizms preceding a set by “Uncle” Charlie Wilson, a 2013 BET lifetime achievement award winner, crooning cuts from his Grammy-nominated R&B songbook. After the concert, a number of the festival artists will head into the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa for an all-star jam.

It’s going to be a great-looking Sunday when saxophonists Jessy J and Michael Lington link with keyboardist Jonathan Fritzen to open the final day followed by a neo soul session from vocalist Eric Benet. Emerging saxmen Elan Trotman and Dominic Amato will accompany R&B chanteuse Melanie Fiona for an outing. Captivating multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson will inject a potent dose of funk-jazz into the mix during a high-octane performance before fellow blue-eyed soul man Robin Thicke blurs the lines during a set list certain to include the #1 summer smash “Blurred Lines.” Closing the festival is edgy multiplatinum R&B personality and reality television star Keyshia Cole.

“We pulled out all the stops for the Arizona Jazz Festival, which is perhaps the most spectacular lineup we have ever presented. While every festival that BTWconcerts.com produces and promotes is special, this is our hometown festival. We look forward to hosting guests from all over the U.S. that are passionate about jazz and R&B. It’s going to be an unforgettable weekend of live music and partying,” said Brad Laughlin of BTWconcerts.com, which also produces the Las Vegas Jazz Festival and the San Diego Jazz Festival.

The Arizona Jazz Festival offers reserved seating with ticket prices starting at $240.00 for the entire weekend or $65.00 for a single-day seat. For the enthusiast, tickets can be upgraded to include the Rock Star Experience that provides VIP tent access, a complimentary meal and drinks, artist meet & greets, Arizona Jazz Festival commemorative bag, t-shirt, poster and laminate, and entry to the Friday night after-party and Saturday night all-star jam.

About BTWconcerts.com

Phoenix, Arizona-based BTWconcerts.com is one of the premiere concert producers in the Southwest. Among the star-studded jazz and R&B concerts and multiday music and lifestyle festivals that the company promotes are the Arizona Jazz Festival (http://arizonajazzfestival.com), Las Vegas Jazz Festival (http://www.lvjazzfestival.com) and San Diego Jazz Festival (http://www.sandiegojazzfest.com).

Richard Elliot – In The Zone

The reigning merchant of Soul Jazz, Richard Elliot invites loyal fans and newcomers alike to celebrate 25 years since the release of his debut album Trolltown. Where‟s the party? Where else—In the Zone, a grooving, funked up, horn-splashed collection that finds the energized-as-ever tenor saxophonist paying homage to the pioneering instrumental artists of his formative years („70s-early „80s) whose brilliance and musical innovations inspired his own.

The Scotland-born, L.A.-raised saxman was still on the road with Tower of Power when he released his debut album Trolltown in 1986. Embarking upon one of instrumental music’s most dynamic and multifaceted careers, he has scored four #1 albums (On The Town, Soul Embrace, After Darkand Jumpin’ Off) and a growing number of #1 airplay singles. In addition to his participation in all-star tours like Groovin’ For Grover and Jazz Attack, in the mid-‘90s he helped launch another of the genre’s annual franchises, the Guitars & Saxes tours, which he has participated in on and off ever since. At his peak, Elliot was doing over 100 tour dates a year, but he has scaled it back as his family has grown to include five children over the years.

“My original motivation for doing an album like In The Zone was the opportunity to reconnect with my earlier self, the musician I was when I first started out,” Elliot explained. “The songs remind me of listening to my heroes in those days and seeing them perform live, feeling incredible joy and enthusiasm about the possibility of following in their footsteps. The wonderful thing is, so many years after I began performing professionally, I still feel that excitement. I love to play live more than anything. Under certain circumstances, the recording process can be arduous, but when you can tap into the kind on inspiration I draw from here, it’s a whole different, joyous experience. It’s all about feeling the same way I did back when I was 18 and dreaming that this could someday be my life.”

Richard Elliot published with permission of Bettie Grace Miner.

Smooth Jazz and Fine Dining – Pizza Express Jazz Club, London

The Pizza Express Jazz Club offers a pleasant dining experience with some talented jazz performers that often surpass expectation. Enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year, the restaurant is a casual alternative to the more traditional and expensive jazz clubs. For nearly 40 years this basement club in the heart of Soho has been one of London’s favorite jazz night-spots with its intimate atmosphere and wide ranging music policy.

Pizza Express Jazz Club may well be smaller than some of the capitol’s other live rooms but its classy interior and close audience to stage proximity ensures that each gig brings the best out of both. As a restaurant chain founded in the 1940 by Peter Boizot MBE, whose trip to Florence inspired him to create a pizza chain that prided itself on serving fresh, handmade pizzas, Pizza Express has long supported jazz in some of its larger restaurants around the UK.

Yet the flagship Dean Street London restaurant remains the jewel in the company’s crown and since its re-launch in 1996 (conducted by Van Morrison), has proved itself as a consistently capable of booking some of the biggest names in jazz, with a sensibility for promoting rising stars and legends alike.

Often a place where some of today’s household names made their UK debuts or exclusive performances, the likes of Diana Krall, Brad Mehldau, Danilo Perez, Avishai Cohen, Mose Alllison, Peter White, Richard Bona, Rokia Traoré and a certain Jamie Cullum made an early showcase, while Norah Jones made her European debut, with Amy Winehouse and Peter Cincotti making early important performances there – Sting even took to the stage for an impromptu version of ‘Round Midnight once – such is the venue’s credibility and popularity.

The Pizza Express Jazz Club is at its best during the London Jazz Festival when the venue buzzes with energy and is regularly packed with pizza lovers and jazz enthusiasts. The menu recently got a long overdue update as well and is packed with innovative combinations such as shrimps and créme fraîche and yellow fin tuna with anchovies and grana padano cheese.

Smooth Jazz artists in 2011 were Oli Silk, Peter White, Rick Braun, Marc Antoine, Richard Elliot, Jessy J, Chuck Loeb and many more. There will be no change in 2012.