Phoenix is a hotbed for jazz and jazzy-type players. Yes, really. Heres proof:
• Juini Booth, NYC-based Sun Ra Arkestra bassist and temporary snowbird to our fair climate, plays here every spring.
• Papa John DeFrancesco, the father of legendary jazz organist Joey, has a gig each Sunday at Bobby Cs Restaurant.
• Mike Howard, a guitarist who appears on Donny Hathaways legendary Live soul-music epic, quietly plays around town here and there.
• The Phoenix Creative Music Movement, a homegrown organization, hosts various avant-garde and straight-ahead shows.
• The music programs at Arizona State University and Mesa Community College, which have professional players like Bryon Ruth (ASU) and Fred Forney (MCC) on staff, consistently crank out fresh talent.
Then theres the new guard of righteous players, many who will perform during the Phoenix Jazz Workshop gig. The lineup features some heavy hitters of the current scene, including woodwind wizard Ruth, dynamic saxophonist Scott Zimmer, sultry pianist Rachel Eckroth, kickass percussionist Rob Moore, and seasoned bassist Ted Sistrunk.