52nd Street Jazz

Gary Church and Cheryl Thurston

Gary Church and Cheryl Thurston

Helen Daley

There was a time when 52nd Street in Manhattan was the epicenter of jazz. It was a 1.9 mile one-way street and in the 1930s to 1950s you could find more than 20 nightclubs in one city block.

That time has long passed but we have the 52nd Street Jazz Band right here in Arizona. Two of the members (Cheryl Thurston and Gary Church) live in Sun Lakes.

52nd Street will be the featured band for the Arizona Classic Jazz Society’s pre-festival warmup on Sunday, October 16 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler. The band plays Chicago-style jazz that became popular in Chicago in the 1920s and moved to New York City in the 1930s. The very danceable music is similar to New Orleans-style though Chicago-style places more emphasis on solos and substitutes string bass for the tuba and guitar for the banjo. The cost is $10 ACJS members, $15 non-members, students free. Become a member on the 16th and get in free (yearly membership $35 couple, $25 single). For more information call 480-620-3941 or go to www.azclassicjazz.org.

The 27th annual Arizona Classic Jazz Festival will be here soon, November 3-6, so mark your calendar now. The festival will showcase 14 bands from around the United States. All the details can be found on www.azclassicjazz.org. You won’t find a better lineup anywhere so make sure you attend at least one day.

The Arizona Classic Jazz Society/Festival is pleased to announce that they have received a $5,000 grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA). That funding assists organizations whose primary mission is to produce, present, teach or serve the arts. The ACA receives support from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.