All that Jazz...and Blues

This weekend holds a bevy of entertainment for the Valley. Tempe has its annual Music Fest and Florence will cast some Country Thunder down upon the masses. If neither of those spark your fancy and you want a fun (and cheap) way to enjoy the weekend weather while hearing some tunes, then make the trek on out to Glendale. This Saturday and Sunday mark the 26th Annual Gibson Jazz & Blues Festival, held in "Historic" Downtown Glendale. Headlining this year's festival will be Jimmy Thackery and Charlie Musselwhite, two men with quite possibly the two neatest last names I have ever come across. Oh, did I mention the festival is free? Because it is.

Thackery has made his name playing guitar with the band The Nighthawks while Musselwhite is a multiple-Grammy nominee, playing harp and harmonica with such acts as Bonnie Raitt, The Blind Boys of Alabama and INXS. Both days' lineups are full of acts, nicely rounding out both the Blues and the Jazz stages.

The weather is sure to be nice and the atmosphere will be decidedly more family friendly than the scene in either Tempe or Florence. There is nothing wrong with making a trip to Glendale, even if nothing is going on at University of Phoenix Stadium or Arena. The Gibson Jazz and Blues Festival is the perfect (and fiscally responsible) reason to make the trip out west this weekend.

Here's the schedule for both days:

Gibson Blues Stage -- Saturday
Paris James -- Noon
The Top Cats -- 1 p.m.
Bad News Blues Band -- 2 p.m.
Big Pete Pearson -- 3:30 p.m.
Big Nick and the Gila Monsters -- 5 p.m.
Walkin' Cane Mark -- 6:45 p.m.
Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers -- 8:30 p.m.

Gibson Jazz Stage -- Saturday
Skyhawk Band -- 12:10 p.m.
Adam Clark Trio -- 1:20 p.m.
Sherry Roberson -- 2:30 p.m.
Doc and Nayo -- 4 p.m.
Delphine Cortez and Jazz Alive -- 5:30 p.m.
Khani Cole -- 7:10 p.m.
Marion Meadows with Turning Point -- 8:30 p.m.

Gibson Blues Stage -– Sunday
KC Blues Band -- noon
The Chuck Hall Band -- 1:30 p.m.
Harper -- 3 p.m.
Charlie Musselwhite -- 4:45 p.m.

Gibson Jazz Stage –- Sunday
Glendale. Glendale Community College Jazz Band –- noon
Nicole Pesce -- 1:15 p.m.
Coryell, Auger, & Sample Trio -- 2:45 p.m.
Brian Auger's Oblivion Express -- 4:30 p.m.

Sat., April 4, noon; Sun., April 5, noon, 2009
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Michael Lopez