Jazz Appreciation Month in Chandler

April 3, 2024
| by:
Community Services

Chandler celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month every April and 2024 is packed with fun for the whole family. Whether you like big band, bebop, cool or Latin jazz, you’ll find something that will get you grooving.

Chandler’s love of jazz officially dates back to 1990 when the first Chandler Jazz Festival took place at Arrowhead Meadows Park. What started as a one-day event has grown over the years to a full weekend and now, a full month of music-inspired fun.

This year’s fun-filled activities begin with themed library happenings, followed by a weekend of live music at the Chandler Jazz Festival.

Adding to the fun, attendees can pick up a Jazz Appreciation Month activity booklet at all events. Kids and adults can participate by completing the jazz-themed activities like a word search, the dot game and a maze hunt. Everyone who returns it to the Jazz on the Move event on April 30 at San Tan Elementary School will be entered into a drawing for an art kit – the winner must be present to win.

Chandler Jazz Festival, April 4-7

The streets of Downtown Chandler are filled with music during the Jazz Festival, with more than 40 hours of live performances over four days. There will be sidewalk bands performing alongside the shops and restaurants that line the historic square. Event attendees can wander from band to band, enjoying their unique blend of jazz music, and then stop in a local restaurant for a bite to eat or a cold beverage along the way. The sidewalk band schedule is slightly different each day (Thursday through Sunday), so be sure to check the website for the schedule of performances.

Saturday, April 6 is supercharged with even more music. In addition to the sidewalk bands, there will be performances at the Main Stage, located at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park: Stage Plaza (178 E. Commonwealth Ave.) Headliners include:

5 p.m. | The Nash Vocal Ensemble, a community-based group with a passion for jazz

6:10 p.m. | Brandon Sanders Quartet, an artist who draws early inspiration from Kansas City jazz

7:30 p.m. | Cocomama, an all-female band with a love for Afro-Cuban dance music

9:05 p.m.  | The Power Trio, an aptly named combination of the talents of three of Arizona’s most accomplished musicians

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to watch the main stage entertainment. Vendors will also be on-site offering drinks and snacks. This is an alcohol and smoke-free event. And, for those who just don’t want the music to end, there will be an After Hours Jam Session at West Alley BBQ, 111 W. Boston St., from 8-11 p.m. featuring Cube Root. 

Shutter and Sound: The Jazz Photography of Bob Willoughby

Billie Holiday

The story of jazz music is truly American and while its roots began in New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this music spread through the U.S. and the world, which created a variety of styles.

Just in time for Jazz Appreciation Month, Chandler Museum presents a collection of photographs from renowned photographer Bob Willoughby, giving spectators an intimate look at the jazz scene in California in the 1950s. The exhibit is on display through May 26.

The Chandler Museum is located 300 S. Chandler Village Drive. It is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m. and closed on Mondays. Admission is free. 

Young Artist Showcase

The Young Artist Showcase connects young musicians to the jazz community. Local students from award-winning jazz ensembles show off their hard work and incredible skills in performances at A.J. Chandler Park West on Wednesday evenings, starting April 10.

April 10 | Basha Varsity Jazz Band  
Basha Varsity Jazz Band is a renowned musical ensemble from Basha High School in Chandler. This passionate group of young performers has earned accolades from a variety of competitions, including more than 12 superior ratings at the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association events.

April 17 | Perry High School Jazz I
Perry High School Jazz I is an ensemble from Perry High School in the Chandler Unified School District. The group has garnered recognition at several competitions across the state and frequently performs throughout the Valley.

April 24 | Young Sounds of Arizona
Young Sounds of Arizona features young musicians aged 12 to 18 from different schools in metro Phoenix. A non-profit organization, Young Sounds of Arizona fosters musicality and artistic growth among young musicians.

Jazz on the Move

Beth & Jazz Con Alma

Jazz on the Move carries the magic of live music across the community. Visit these incredible performers at a jazz performance in a neighborhood near you! Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to these outdoor performances. They are alcohol and smoke-free events.

April 11 | Beth & Jazz Con Alma | Chandler Museum
Translating as jazz with soul, Jazz Con Alma melds the creativity and integrity found at the heart of jazz with Latin rhythms, hard swinging standards and solid funky grooves. This band features longtime Valley favorite Beth Lederman on keyboards, Mary Petrich on saxophones and Felix Sainz on bass.  

April 16 | Ioannis Goudelis Trio | Sunset Library
Ioannis Goudelis is an internationally celebrated composer and pianist. Born and raised in Greece, Ioannis started playing piano and accordion at the age of 9 in his hometown, the beautiful island of Corfu. The past twenty years he has lived in the U.S., where he studied jazz piano at ASU and music for UCLA. He has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and collaborated with several well-known artists, and his original music has appeared in a variety of popular television shows.  

April 25 | Adam Clark Quartet | Veterans Oasis Park
Growing up in a musical family, Adam Clark started playing the drums at age 11 while living in Frankfurt, Germany, and has been a band leader consistently for 25 years as well as a professional drummer since 1995. Adam went to school for jazz performance at Mesa Community College and on scholarship at Arizona State University. He has recorded on 16 full-length albums as a sideman and one as a leader.

April 30 | Mike Ozuna Trio | San Marcos Elementary
The Mike Ozuna Trio plays instrumental jazz with an electric sound, blending elements from world music, Latin, blues and jazz to create a fresh modern sound. The trio plays everything from classic standards to original modern jazz compositions, always stretching the improvisation into new territories. This group always brings a fun musical experience for the audience. 

Events at the Chandler Public Library

Libraries have long been areas to explore different cultures, stories, and music. This Jazz Appreciation Month, connect with free family events at each Chandler Public Library location. 

April 22 | Family Fun Night: Jazz for the Family! | Basha Library
Join the Nash Education Interns for a fun family program about jazz-- the music born in America and found in the roots of hip-hop and other popular music. Accomplished musicians will demonstrate different instruments and styles of jazz and give kids a chance to move and sing to the music!

Our Stories: Charles Lewis and the Arizona Jazz Experience

April 27: | Our Stories: Charles Lewis and the Arizona Jazz Experience | Downtown Library
Jazz pianist Charles Lewis has lived and performed in Arizona since the early 1950s. Born in Philadelphia in 1933, local jazz legend Lewis began playing piano at age seven and was greatly influenced by musicians such as Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, and Nat King Cole. He started his Arizona career playing at the South 7th Avenue Elks Club in Phoenix, which is now a historic African American landmark. He eventually formed his own band, The Charles Lewis Quintet.

Lewis will share his personal story, set in the context of the Arizona jazz scene, and his music during this program.


Now through April 16 a new StoryWalk at Sunset Park merges music, recreation, and the love of reading. Visit the Sunset Park for the latest StoryWalk exhibit, I Got Rhythm, and enjoy reading while you stroll through the park. Visitors can test their own musicality at the Sunset Music Garden in Sunset Park. Discover interactive Calypso Chimes, Flower Petal Drums, and a Grand Marimba to play.

For more details and even more events, visit Jazz Appreciation Month.