Chandler Jazz Festival Performers

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Jazz Festival Performers

2018 Featured Performers' Bios

19th Annual
Chandler Jazz Festival
Friday, April 6 & Saturday, April 7, 2018
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park - Stage Plaza
178 E. Commonwealth Ave

Free Admission

Featured Performers' Biographical Information

Bad News Blue Band

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The Bad News Blues Band has been gaining a reputation for house burning live performances all over the United States as well as Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Romania, Ireland, the U.K. and even Moscow Russia! With their latest ARV Records release, "Still Cadillacin'" produced by Richard Medek and mixed by Teddy Morgan, they're set to hit the road and spread the word with the fire and intensity that their live shows are renowned for worldwide.

In the Twenty five years since the band was formed they have won many local and regional awards including first place in the 1997 and 2002 Arizona Blues Shootout. Winning the Shootout earned them a spot at the International Blues and talent competition in Memphis Tennessee sponsored by the Blues Foundation. The band has the distinct honor of being the first blues band ever to be added to the artist roster for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

After touring at length with Texas guitar legend Long John Hunter, The Bad News Blues Band is making a name for themselves with upcoming performances, club dates and festivals across the country. This band is on the move with a smoking hot rhythm section, sweet smoldering horns, blistering guitar, and an impressive frontline of dynamic vocals, that is sure to Knock You Out!

Marcos Crego's Tribe
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Jose Marcos Crego Tamayo, Pianist. Havana, Cuba July 12, 1978. Marcos started his initial music studies in the Conservatory of Music Manuel Saumell, in his native city when he was just five years old. Since he was a child, Marcos followed in the footsteps of his father, the great trumpet player Jose Miguel Crego "El Greco", playing piano and singing on a few records. This paved the way and gave him the inspiration to participate in various musical groups with his classmates. He then attended and graduated from high school at Amadeo Roldán Music School.

After graduation, Marcos' career took off and he performed with many famous musicians, including but not limited to Los Dan, Talismán, ICRT Orchestra, Top Secret with his father, as well as Klimax, Gardi's band, Francisco Cespedes, The Arango Brothers, and Afrocuban All Stars. Marcos has also played in many jazz festivals including Pop Kom, Curaçao Heineken Jazz Festival, Jazz Plaza Festival, Benny More Festival, Fiesta del Tambor, Blues Festival, Jazz Fandango Festival, and Pori Jazz Festival.

When he was 21, he produced his first album named Mi Musica, this being start of his career as a musical producer. He also collaborated as a pianist and keyboard player in various albums, such as Top Secret's volm.1, Klimax's "Oye como va", "Piloto & Friends", "Nadie se parece a ti", Francisco Céspedes' "Autorretrato" , Hermanos Arango's "Alafia", Hector Valentin's "Homenaje a los grandes del son" and many more.

In January 2012, Marcos received two Grammy Nominations as he performed on Edwin Bonilla's album "Homenaje a los Rumberos" under Sonic Projects Records. Marcos currently resides in Phoenix and is the piano instructor for the New School for the Arts and Academics in Tempe, AZ and since 2013 is the pianist of the very well known cuban band The Afro-Cubans All Stars directed by Juan de Marcos Gonzales, the creator of the Buena Vista Social Club.

Big Pete Pearson

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Born in Kingston, Jamaica on October 4, 1936, Big Pete Pearson landed in Phoenix, Arizona in the 1950's by way of Austin, Texas. Big Pete was only 9 years of age when he gave his first performance at a local bar. He was a regular at juke joints such as the Victory Grill, Charlie's Playhouse, Big Mary's Bar & Grille, Ernie's Chicken Shack and Sam's Showcase. Big Pete has not left the stage since and is a veteran performer/song writer of 71 years and has been on countless festival and club stages throughout the world.

In the 1950's Pete came to Phoenix and has ruled the Phoenix blues scene ever since. His physical stature and overwhelmingly strong voice commands attention. He is a father figure to many bluesmen and women who have cut their teeth playing in his band. Though he is a local legend, being inducted in the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame in 1995, Big Pete's greatness is known throughout the world and these days spends more time performing in Europe than in the United States. In the last couple of years Big Pete has become a European household name performing with his European band, The Gamblers. While in the States he performs with his other band, The Big Pete Blues Band.

Over the years Big Pete has worked with legends such as Ray Charles, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Tina and Ike Turner, Big Joe Turner, Etta James, Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers, Koko Taylor, Gate Mouth Brown, Johnny Ace, T.D. Bell, Big Mama Thornton, T-Bone Walker, Screamin' J. Hawkins, Pinetop Perkins, Joey DeFrancesco, Buddy Guy, Bobby Blue Bland, Janiva Magness, Erbbie Bowser, Blues Boy Hubbard, Candye Kane and an endless array of others. Big Pete has created and written many albums but his most memorable CDs include, "One More Drink", "I'm Here Baby" (which hit # 1 worldwide and won Best Blues Album of the Year at the Independent Music Awards in 2007) "Finger In Your Eye", and his 2009 release, "The Screamer". Since the Screamer's release it has hit #1 worldwide on the blues charts.

In April of 2012, Big Pete released his newest album entitled, "Choose", his first album recorded with celebrated Italian blues band, the Gamblers. It too has hit #1 on the Blues Charts, worldwide. Today, Big Pete can be seen, more often than not, performing live in Europe with the Gamblers. Songs from his latest album, "Steppin' Out", is being played on the TV shows, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.

We3 and Compnay

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We3 and Company is comprised of Renee Grant Patrick, Suzanne Lansford, and Nicole Pesce. Renee has connected with individuals and crowds with her voice and music over the past 12 years in the Valley. Her music is shockingly honest and emotionally charged. Listeners find Renee's sound somehow familiar, but one that is refreshingly original and inviting. Singing a variety of genres from Jazz Standards, to classic R&B, Renee's music will capture you with her powerful voice combined with a passionate delivery.

Born in Philadelphia PA, to now 31 years in Arizona, music has been a way of life for Renee. Her father was a member of the world renowned Ink Spots, inducted in the Doo Wop Hall of Fame in 1997. Renee's mother Theresa is a local legend, having recorded duets with Terry Johnson of the Flamingos in Detroit's Motown Studios along side of greats such as Smokey Robinson, and Marvin Gaye. It is safe to say that music runs in her family.
Suzanne's Mom and Dad taught her all kinds of music before she could even walk. Beginning with classical lessons and quitting them at 13 to play jazz at the Arizona Biltmore and other venues and radio shows across Phoenix and Scottsdale, Suzanne has always kept music high on the list. In Chicago, she was with Chicago's eclectic classical / jazz / Latin group, the 3rd Coast String Quartet, and even today when visiting Chicago, she makes time to visit with and play Gypsy Jazz with Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan at the Green Mill.

In rural Florida, Suzanne was immersed in bluegrass, twice winning the Yee-Haw Junction Bluegrass Fiddle Championship. Back home in Phoenix since 2011, she doesn't have to pick a favorite genre, because everything gets cameos of Latin, Jazz, Classical - even Blues, Greek and Scottish flavors. It's all fair play. During the day, Suzanne is a registered professional engineer (PE - electrical) for nuclear power and public infrastructure projects through her firm, REDD Inc.

Recognized by the Arizona Republic as one of the "top ten musicians to hear in Phoenix", Nicole has performed for Muhammad Ali, Ricky Martin, George Benson, Waylon Jennings, Shaquille O'Neal, Jimmy Carter, The Gypsy Kings, and Brian Setzer. Nicole enjoyed a residency as the house pianist at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix, AZ for over a decade...entertaining audiences with everything from Bach to Lady Gaga. With additional performances at such venues as the Tempe Center for the Arts, Herberger Theater, Desert Ridge Marriott, ASU Kerr Cultural Center, Mesa Arts Center, Phoenician Resort, Wrigley Mansion, & The Princess Hotel. Additional Appearances include performances with American Idol contestant David Hernandez, The Moscow Ballet, Zowie Bowie, The Cast of Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein, Mamma Mia, and White Christmas.

True Flavor Blues Band

True Flavor Blues Band band has been playing with its current lineup since October of 2016. Scotty Spenner fronts the band, singing and playing guitar. He is a member of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame and 2017 recipient of the Phoenix Mayor's Arts Award. Scotty is a fantastic blues singer and has a decades long history playing and teaching music of all types. Charles Smith, their piano/key player, is the youngest member of the band and received his music degree from Arizona State University in 2017. He is the jazz heavyweight among us but always comes back to the blues! James Robertson is the second guitar player and is renowned for his slide work and lap steel playing. He's played with many bands around the Phoenix area since his arrival to the valley in 1992 and is particularly fond of the "west coast" style of blues, as well as almost any electric guitar driven roots music from the post-war era, be it blues, western swing, rockabilly, R&B, and Memphis soul. Vince Curtis on Drums and Curt Arndt on bass are the rhythm section that holds everything together. They have worked together in other bands previous to this one and bring that understanding of each other as players with them.

Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band
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The Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band directed by Doug Tidaback is comprised of high school musicians from the greater Tucson area including Nogales to the South and Phoenix to the North who study at this award-winning community music school. This big band (one of 6 at the TJI), loved for their swinging diverse and energetic big band sounds, is the #1 High School Big Band winner four times (including last May and is a Finalist again at this year's competition) of the prestigious national Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Competition Award presided over by Wynton Marsalis. They were named the Best Community Jazz Band in the Annual Student Music Awards in DownBeat Magazine in May 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The Tucson Jazz Institute teaches middle school students on Saturdays and high school students on Sundays. They study jazz improvisation in small group classes (combos) and swing era music in big bands. TJI has about 120 students and gives many children an outlet they would not have otherwise. Over 90% of their graduates get substantial college scholarships. Their alumni attend some of the most prestigious schools in the nation including Julliard, the Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, Princeton, USC and Swarthmore (many on scholarship) and have gone on to major careers in jazz music.

Doug Tidaback - director, B.M. University of Illinois and M.A. California State University, San Jose', has performed with, among others, Natalie Cole, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Harry Connick Jr., The Supremes, The Temptations, The Chicago Jazz Orchestra and was the tenured Bass Trombonist with the Monterey Symphony Orchestra for 7 years. He has taught at The University of Illinois, Bradley University, Illinois Wesleyan University, The University of Arizona and is currently The Director of Large Ensembles and Music Technology at the TJI, The Director of Jazz Studies at Nogales High School and a clinician with Jazz at Lincoln Center/Essentially Ellington.

JC & The Juke Rockers

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Whether you are looking for a solo, duo or three piece combo, this talented group is truly "One Class Act" that will leave jaws dropping, people talking and asking for more! JC & TJRs deliver an upbeat variety of music that will draw the audience in, have them up on their feet dancing and feeling like they are a member of the band and part of the show. And just like a good restaurant menu the band has a musical menu with something for everyone.

J.C. fronts the show with mellow vocals, soulful guitar licks and smooth stage tricks that are sure crowd J.C. plays some hot harmonica making him a triple threat! Backed up by the Solid Rhythm Section of Drummer Michael " "HUTCH" Hutchison and
Bassist "The King " John King make for a combination punch that is…A Sure Fire Knockout!" The group will also dress to impress with hats, suits and slick shirts. Add it all up, you get music that is as entertaining to watch as it is to listen to!

The Stakes
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Hailed as "the premiere live hip-hop band in town" by the Phoenix New Times, The Stakes have brought soul to Arizona's music scene. Their new album, Prophecy, and its accompanying music video have garnered acclaim from Arizona's top arts & culture publications. With a blend all their own of influences spanning jazz, funk and R&B, The Stakes provide an infectious groove sure to keep your head nodding and feet moving as it resonates through your body and soul. The Stakes have shared the stage with The Internet and Shabazz Palaces and performed at the Viva Phoenix, Apache Lake, and Phoenix Art Amplified music festivals.

Official Website -

An expanded repertoire and new personnel have evolved from Devon Bridgewater's original Nuance Trio, launched 25 years ago to become an esteemed jazz-swing ensemble. The "New Nuance" embodies freshly diverse and buoyant sounds to represent all that jazz was and still is, performed by a well-honed trio of veteran Phoenix musicians. As the leader, Bridgewater continues to confirm his exceptional triple skills on violin, trumpet and flugelhorn, also writing arrangements of vintage songs for the honed expertise of Eric Bart on guitar and Ted Sistrunk on acoustic bass.

Ioannis Goudelis Trio

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Composer and pianist Ioannis Goudelis has performed on Jimmy Kimmel "Live" and he has performed internationally at festivals, clubs and concert halls throughout the world including the United States, Europe, Africa, Central America and the Pacific. 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 seventeen years he lives in the US. His original music has appeared on Fox (House), NBC (NCIS), HBO shows, the FIAT commercial 2011 and more.He has three personal albums released with all original music, "Life Goes On" in 2007, "Melodia" in 2013 and his third personal album "Blue" released in October 2016.


Pete Pancrazi

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Pete Pancrazi has studied and performed music for most of his life. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of music degree in jazz performance. Being named by Downbeat Magazine as "one to watch" and a guitar player "deserving greater attention" is no surprise to those who have heard him perform.

Pete has been "one to watch" in the Phoenix area since taking up residence here in 1990. Through the years, he has cultivated a large and loyal following. Audiences enjoy his nimble guitar work and warm vocals in settings ranging from solo performances at venues in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area to the complexity of his quartet at the Desert Botanical Gardens jazz series. Pete continues to delight audiences with a growing repertoire of original compositions, presented in performance alongside straight-ahead and Latin jazz sounds. He has released four CDs to date and looks forward to his next recording project.In addition to being a popular performer, Pete is also a sought-after private teacher and clinician. He's been an artist roster member for the Arizona Commission on the Arts for 10 years and is currently on staff at Mesa Community College, where he teaches jazz theory, jazz combo and guitar.


Unlimited is a collection of musician raining from Cleveland Ohio. The music of Unlimited has its foot deeply rooted in jazz. Their influences range from a wide variety of jazz groups and artists such as Weather Report, Miles Davis, The Yellow Jackets, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Kirk Whalum, Tony Williams, Chris Dave, Marcus Miller, Paul Chambers and more. The band is titled Unlimited because playing jazz music is not the only thing these musicians do. The musicians of Unlimited wear many hats in arranging, audio engineering, audio production, custom sound designing and more.
Although the group is mainly rooted in jazz because of the musical freedom the art contains, they are well versed in other genre's. You can catch these players playing alternative, country, r&b, hip hop, top 40, salsa/cubia, gospel and much more in other bands locally and around the country. For the most part, Unlimited strives to achieve excellence in music with a dedication to the mastery of their art form.

Brett Reed Trio

Brett Reed is a performer and composer specializing in contemporary and improvised music. He regularly performs as a solo percussionist and as a member of several ensembles, including Crossing 32nd Street. As a jazz vibraphonist, he leads the Brett Reed Trio and is a member of The Tjader Project and Union32 Jazz. Reed has engineered, produced and/or performed on numerous recordings featuring the music of Mark Applebaum, David Arbury, Keith Kelly, Christopher Shultis, Stellacutta and Iannis Xenakis alongside recordings of his own ensembles. Brett holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego and is currently the Director of the Commercial Music program at Paradise Valley Community College.