Jazz, You Like It

Former Phoenix Sun Wayman Tisdale is the headliner at this year's Cool Desert Jazz Festival. Now a full-time "smooth jazz" bassist, touring behind his Atlantic Records debut, Decisions, the 12-year veteran of the NBA tops the marquee at the fifth annual concert, on Saturday, November 13, at Estrella Mountain Ranch, 9760 South Estrella Parkway in Goodyear.

Here's a quick run-down of the rest of the bill:

Noon to 1 p.m.: Blaise Lantana.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Desert City Six.

3 to 4 p.m.: Kings of Pleasure -- One of the earlier acts in the neo-swing movement of the late '90s, the San Diego-based outfit has performed regularly at The Derby in Hollywood, The Hop in Las Vegas and the Cajun House here in the Valley. Phoenix native Carla Brownlee, who has backed up the likes of Jonathan Richman and Dan Hartman, sings and plays sax. Live swing dancers will accompany the performance at the Cool Desert fest.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: The Braxton Brothers -- The brothers in question, saxman Wayne and bassist Nelson, are touring behind their new CD Now & Forever. The San Francisco-based soul/funk act is known for relaxed, lighthearted live performances.

6 to 7 p.m.: Fattburger -- Also based in San Diego, this mainstay of "Adult New Contemporary" airplay tours in support of its ninth CD, Sugar. The lineup of the "smooth" ensemble includes Tommy Aros and Kevin Koch on percussion, Mark Hunter on bass, Evan Marks on guitar and Carl Evans Jr. on keyboards.

Wayman "the Wiz" then takes over from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. In addition to the sounds, the fest includes cooking demonstrations by Chef Kevin Belton of the New Orleans School of Cooking from 1 to 1:30 p.m. and from 4 to 4:30 p.m. Kids' activities include a sandcastle contest starting at 8 a.m.; the awards ceremony for this is at 4:15 p.m.

Gates open at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 13; the music starts at noon. Tickets are $17 and $19 in advance, $20 at the gate; children between 11 and 18 get in for $10; children 10 and younger get in free. For details call 623-935-6384 or 480-503-5555.

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M.V. Moorhead
Contact: M.V. Moorhead