Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tucson Jazz Institute Rocks

Our musical tastes these days runs to Classical, but a recommendation from my cousin and a longtime fondness for Big Band Jazz took us to a concert by the fantastic young players of the Tucson Jazz Institute last week and boy do they rock. 

The venue was the Episcopal Church of the Apostles and while they set up we had a chance to soak up the view of the Santa Catalina mountains afforded by their large windows.

The institute has a number of bands for the multiple ages and skill levels in their programs. Many of the players overlap and can interchange in more than one group. Sometimes you have  students as young as 4th grade playing right along with high school students. All the ensembles are led by Doug Tidabeck who is clearly the glue that holds the enterprise together.  He makes sure that each player is recognized and fills in the gaps between numbers with convivial humor and lots of information about the institute. 

The players are drawn from a wide area around Tucson with some coming from as far away as Phoenix.  They are all participating in addition to fulfilling all of their normal studies and school activities. The only commonality was dedication and dynamite talent.

We even had Robbie Lee who plays a mean piano and croons with the best of them.

Unfortunately you can't hear any of them here, but the bands do have CD's of some of their award winning performances.  You can get all the details on their web site.  Just click.

They are also looking for more support for their upcoming European trip.  Again the web site is the place to go.








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