Arizona Classic Jazz Festival


Helen Daley

The Arizona Classic Jazz Festival is taking place this weekend. It’s a time of almost round-the-clock music and fun.

All the Festivities take place at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort, a co-sponsor of the event. The Festival opens at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, with “BIG” B.A.D. Rhythm from Nashville, Stephanie Trick & Pauo Alderighi from St. Louis and Italy, Kris Tokarski Trio from New Orleans, Dave Bennett Quartet from Michigan and the Wolverine Jazz Band from Boston. The rest of the bands will be playing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday: Cornet Chop Suey, Dan Reed’s Dixieland Hotshots, 52nd Street Jazz Band, High Sierra Jazz Band, Queen City Jazz Band, St. Louis Rivermen, Sentimental Breeze, Sun City Stomperz, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, We 3 +1, Wildcat Jazz Band and special guest guitarist Howard Alden. These bands come from all over the U.S.

The music starts at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and ends at midnight. There is a gospel hour from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, and then all the bands play at least once before ending at 3:30 p.m. The parade down San Marcos Place will begin at the Patio at 4:45 p.m. on Friday. There will also be an “afterglow” on Sunday from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the San Tan Ballroom for which tickets must be purchased in advance. Thirty dollars includes a delicious buffet dinner that will be accompanied by the Dave Bennett Quartet and a jam with the musicians still in town. The “Grand Finale” at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday will feature We 3 +1 in a Tribute to the Ink Spots.

Dates are November 1 to 4, 2018. Bands play one-hour sets with 15-minute changeovers in four venues, all within easy walking distance of each other. Badges should be purchased in the San Marcos Ballroom lobby and cost $130 for the entire weekend, $25 Thursday, $50 Friday, $60 Saturday, $45 Sunday. For more details, go to the Arizona Classic Jazz Society’s website,