Did you know that April is International Jazz Appreciation Month? It’s part of a global celebration to share this unique part of Americana across the world, led by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. And Hancock himself had a role in bringing jazz to Scottsdale.
The International Jazz Day in Arizona outdoor music festival takes place Saturday, April 30 at the Scottsdale Civic Center, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., on the northeast lawn of City Hall. It is being organized by William “Doc” Jones, the International Jazz Day AZ Foundation executive director. Herbie Hancock reached out to him to bring International Jazz Appreciation Month to Arizona; high praise indeed.
The International Jazz Day AZ Foundation partners with schools and community organizations in Phoenix and surrounding communities to transform the lives of at-risk youth in Arizona’s underserved schools through music education and foster youth jazz programs. Their mission statement is that every child in Phoenix has the right to high quality music education. They focus on jazz because it is rooted in improvisation which they believe maximizes students’ creativity and self expression. It’s tough not to like that kind of cause.
For those of you who are true jazz junkies or don’t want to drive to Scottsdale, the Foundation is putting on a number of events in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month. Tempe Jazz Day has already passed, but they will also have Jazz At Lunch on April 20th at the Arizona State Capitol, as well as the After Dark Jazz Fest premiere party at Kierland on the 29th.
Tickets start at $25, although the single VIP seats have already sold out, demonstrating the pent up interest for such a great array of talent in one place. While originally intended to correspond with the renovations of the Civic Center, it looks like those will not be ready yet. That said, the more important aspects are obviously the artists and the music, so we can live with that.
An amazing event right before we get back into the triple digits, all for a fantastic cause. Is there any reason why you haven’t bought tickets yet? If you haven’t, you can find them right here.