Groove to tunes from a stellar lineup of local and national talent. Each night the main stage culminates with must-see sets by renowned musical legends.
Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park - Stage Plaza
178 E. Commonwealth Ave
Friday, April 5
5 p.m. TBA
6:15 p.m. Bluesman Mike & The Blues
7:30 p.m. Bluesmen with Diva Missie featuring Geo Bowman
9 p.m. Bob Fahey
After Hours Jam Session
(music to Midnight) Hosted by
Arizona Avenue Band
Saturday, April 6
2-4 p.m. Merchant Bands
5 p.m. Gaines Brothers Jazz Quintet
6:15 p.m. Running From Bears Plays SuperSax
7:30 p.m. Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars with Jon Faddis
9:15 p.m. Carmela y Mas
Official Web Site: robertfahey.net
Performs: Friday, April 5 at 9 p.m.
Bio: Robert Kaleopu'uwai (Bob) Fahey, when not on the road, divides his time between O'ahu Hawai'i & the Black Hills of South Dakota. He started playing guitar at the age of 12. Bob spent 15 years on the road with various touring rock bands before returning to the Black Hills in 1989 to raise a family. For the next twelve years Bob’s smoldering vocals and searing slide guitar were a driving force behind one of Rapid City’s most popular bands, “The Suspects.” Bob has opened up for various artists including Albert King, The Doobie Brothers, Tommy Bolin, The Allman Brothers, Alice Cooper, Roy Rogers and Little Feat. He has been featured on PBS backing up A.C. Reed. Performing in venues from coffee houses, Fine Arts Centers & Arenas to the World Famous Buffalo Chip Campgroud. He describes his music as “contemporary blues” and has been influenced by such artists as J.J. Cale, Keb Mo', Roy Rogers (Blues Guitarist).Robert Cray, and Robert Johnson. Bob is most notably known as a Blues/Americana Solo Artist. But, he is often working with other players from a duo format to a 9 piece band with horns. One of his favorite groups to perform with is Tres Guitarras. A trio that performs in the Phoenix Arizona area fusing three guitars styles together, Flamenco (Chris Burton Jacome'), Jazz (Stan Sorenson) & Blues (Bob Fahey). Bob currently records out of Will Wallers Sanctuary Studio in the Black Hills.
Performs: Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Band Members: The band consists of Missie Reborn, Jimmy Boyd, Tom Labieniec, Alex Holland, Dominic Therrien, Kent Stallard and Tim Robinson.
Bio: George Bowman was born on December 4th in Edwards, Mississippi, east of Jackson. Although this area is a hot bed of Blues culture, and Geo sang in the church choir as a boy, music became important in his life only after his family relocated to Phoenix in 1965.
1960s As chance would have it, Geo met Arlester Chrisan, who was also known as Dyke of Dyke and the Blazers, the hottest R&B band on the Phoenix scene in the late 1960s. Geo became friends with Dyke, and was invited to a few of the band’s gigs at a club called Swing City. That experience inspired Geo to become a professional R&B singer. He befriended a couple of other local musicians and formed a band called Memphis Soul. The band enjoyed great popularity for years, opening for top artists like Buddy Miles, Tommy James, Taj Mahal, and Dr. Hook. Recently Numero Group, an archival label from Chicago, re-released a Geo Bowman composition, “Don’t Down Me People”.
1970s In the mid 1970s, Geo was the lead singer for the bands Soul on Ice and Everyday People, where he developed projecton and delivery that deﬁnes a great vocalist. Tragically, his mother passed away in 1996 and Geo gave up his music.
1990s Geo returned to music and won the Arizona Blues Showdown in 1999. This annual event sponsored by the Arizona Blues Society seeks the best blues bands in Arizona to compete for a chance to represent the state at the International Blues Challenge, held each year in Memphis; it was here that he opened for Charles Brown at the Saturday Night Dance Party, a post-Blues Blast event.
2000s Geo focused his attention on songwritng. In 2002, he released his ﬁrst album of all original music, Feel Sorry for the Next Man. Released in 2004, Hoochie Coochie furthers this trend of original compositions. In 2006, Geo Bowman was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. He continued performing with various local artists, and organizing fundraising events for other musicians down on their luck.
2010s In 2010, Geo created the Baddboyz Bluez Band and was featured in the 2011 Phoenix Blues Blast and the 2011 Glendale Jazz and Blues Festival. Geo released his third solo album, All I Wanna Do (sing the blues) and is currently working on his fourth album. In 2016 Geo formed his current band, Rhythm & Bluesmen with Geo and is playing to excited crowds locally with a blend of blues and rhythm and blues cover songs and original songs.
Performs: Friday, April 5 at 6:15 p.m.
Bio: The Blues Review Band was formed out of Bluesman Mike’s passion for the Blues. In New Year of 2007 he decided to go back to his roots by spending his birthday gift on a bass guitar and soon started jamming with a great friend and co-founder of the band, Doug Hill. It was one of those evenings while they were jamming that they decided to form The Blues Review Band. The 1storiginal members were Scott Stuk (Drums), AviEdelson(Keyboard), Doug Hill (Lead Guitar) and Bluesman Mike on vocals and bass. Soon they’re all over the valley doing their love and passion –playing the blues and becoming one of the hottest blues band out! They had a blast playing all over town but Scott had to go to college and their full time jobs required both Doug and Avito leave the band.
Now Bluesman Mike is jamming and doing gigs with Rob Thompson on keyboards, who also had performed with national act Bobby Womack, along with his new lead guitar player, Sugar Bear –another veteran from Philadelphia who had performed with Billy Paul, with Tim Robinson on drums who had performed with Koko Taylor, and the band’s latest addition JijjyVon, female vocalist and saxmanTony Mockridge.
The Blues Review Band currently has (2) CDs, the 1stbeing Blues For The Road and the 2nd, Mo’ Blues.
Official Web Site: carmelaramirez.com
Performs: Saturday, April 6 at 9:15 p.m.
Bio: The electrifying sound of Carmela y Más is created by an eight-piece Latin Jazz-Salsa ensemble. Carmela Ramirez, vocalist and producer leads this award-winning band. The band concept was developed in 1988. Carmela had performed R & B. Fusion and Jazz for a decade, when she ventured into another format of Jazz, “LATIN JAZZ and SALSA”. The attraction was the complexities of the rhythms and arrangements. There was also an array of Jazz Artists such as Dizzy Gillespie who had taken classic Jazz and intertwined Afro-Cuban rhythms into them, turning them into Latin Jazz. Therefore, Carmela dove into her next style of music and Carmela y Más was born. From the beginning concert at Scottsdale Center for the Arts and the hundreds of performances that followed, the band took off and has been recognized as one of the leading performance bands in the valley and beyond.
Carmela’s versions of Más have not only been featured in local venues and festivals in the valley, but also traveled to be featured at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington D.C., the Himeji Castle 100th anniversary concert in Himeji, Japan and most recently the headliner for the Latin Jazz Festival in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. The band has also shared the stage with Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, Nestor Torres and many more Latin performers.
The musicians in the band are dedicated to the Latin Jazz artform and spend quite a bit of time on perfecting the true sound and execution of the music. The arrangements you’ll hear are one of a kind, written either by Más band Musical Director, Rebecca Kennell or arrangers who have written for Carmela over the years, including Carlos Luna, Jules Rowell and Auggie Mendoza.
Official Web Site: dizzygillespie.org
Performs: Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Bio: For Dizzy Gillespie, playing in a small combo was never enough. His artistry compelled him to seek and to create larger ensembles because as a composer and arranger, a big band was the ultimate vehicle for self-expression. Given that the majority of his career took place after 1950 when the big band era was over, it’s especially notable that Dizzy Gillespie continued to create brilliant music using the grand-scale formats of jazz big band and orchestra right up to the end of his life in 1993.
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Bands are direct descendants of these ventures and happily, the tradition lives on. Nurtured by Gillespie alumnus, executive director and producer, bassist John Lee. Together they continue to delight audiences around the world with the enduring power and freshness of Dizzy Gillespie’s music. This is the legacy the master would have wanted—and a living tribute from the many extraordinary musicians in this group who exemplify his style, range, passion, and commitment.
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars debuted in 1996, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band in 1998, and the latest venture celebrating Dizzy Gillespie’s music debuted in the fall of 2012, the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience.
The All-Star Bands feature some of Dizzy’s close compatriots: senior statesmen and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath, as well as veteran Gillespie alumni Tommy Campbell, Cyrus Chestnut, Antonio Hart, Roy Hargrove, Lewis Nash, Claudio Roditi, and Douglas Purviance. The bands also feature some of the fastest rising next generation talents in jazz today including vocalist Roberta Gambarini, saxophonists Eric Alexander, Frank Basile, Sharel Cassity, Mark Gross, Bobby Lavell, and Gary Smulyan. Trombonists Steve Davis, Jason Jackson, and Ron Wilkins. Trumpeters Freddie Hendrix, Terell Stafford, Greg Gisbert, Frank Greene, and Diego Urcola. All of them band leaders and recording artists in their own right.
Executive director John Lee had a close association with Dizzy, serving as his bassist for the last decade of Dizzy’s life, in his small groups as well as the Grammy Award winning United Nation Orchestra and Dizzy’s 70th Anniversary Big Band. Lee also originated and directs “Dizzy: The Man and The Music”, the official concert and clinic program celebrating the life and work of Dizzy. The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band’s have recorded five critically acclaimed CDs: “Dizzy's 80th Birthday Celebration” (Shanachie), “Dizzy's World” (Shanachie), “Things to Come” (MCG Jazz), “Dizzy’s Business” (MCG Jazz), and “I’m Beboppin Too” (Halfnote).
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band’s have performed at major concert halls and music festivals in North America including; Boston Symphony Hall, Massachusetts’ Tanglewood Music Center, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Chicago’s Ravinia, Washington, DC’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, New York State’s Saratoga Springs, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA, the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA, Detroit’s Symphony Hall, Denver’s Newman Center and Boettcher Concert Hall, Vancouver’s Chan Center, Cleveland Symphony Hall, New York ’s Lincoln Center, and the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The All-Star Band’s have also played major concert halls and jazz festivals in Australia, Austria, Aruba, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Curacao, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, and Wales.
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band’s musical home would have to be New York’s famed Bluenote Jazz Club, which was for many years Dizzy’s favorite jazz club not only in New York City but in the world. The All-Star Big Band performs there for a week every summer, and Dizzy’s birthday is celebrated for a week every fall, usually during the week that includes October 21st, the master’s birthday. The birthday celebration features the All-Stars, and special guests. The Afro-Cuban Experience performs during the Bluenote Jazz Festival every spring, and throughout the year.
Performs: Saturday, April 6 at 6:15 p.m.
Band Members: Eric Rasmussen – alto saxophone, Adam Roberts – tenor and soprano saxophones, Keith Kell – tenor and baritone saxophones, Jeff Libman – guitar, Ryan Anthony – drums
Special Guests: Vincent Thiefain – bass, Chaz Martineau – tenor saxophone, Cody Phillips – alto saxophone
Bio: Running From Bears is an adventurous Phoenix-based jazz sextet. Formed in 2007, the group is primarily committed to the composition and performance original works, along with the occasional reworking of popular songs. Each player/composer has a different compositional and improvisatory voice, yielding a forward-thinking and diverse group sound. Running From Bears is in its 12th year of a residency at The Lost Leaf in downtown Phoenix. The group can also be seen at other Phoenix area venues and festivals, such as The Nash, The Rhythm Room, the Tempe Festival of the Arts, and the Highland/ASU Jazz Festival. The group has released two albums, Running From Bears (2013) and Maul of America (2017).
Performs: 2-4 p.m.
Merchant Location: West Alley BBQ
Bio: Jazz Band provides students the opportunity to study and perform music of the “Big Bands” from the 1920’s to the present.The emphasis in this group is to perform the different styles of music(swing, rock, blues, popular) with understanding.
Performs: 9 p.m. to Midnight
Merchant Location: West Alley BBQ
Bio: Arizona Avenue is a 4 piece band located in Chandler Arizona. Led by 2015 Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame inductee Ron Daughton who brings 30 years of professional experience. Steve McDaniel, Mike Sickle and Michael Hutchinson round out the on stage performers. AZ Ave promises a great trip down memory lane through songs that shaped your youth! All of your Classic Rock and Motown favorites from the Beatles to the Temptations and everyone in between. You can’t help but sing along to these top ten chart toppers!