Cheryl’s Swingin’ Dixie Variety Band

Cheryl Thurston playing drums (photo by Helen Daley)

Helen Daley

The Arizona Classic Jazz Society (ACJS) will be celebrating Cheryl Thurston’s birthday on Sunday, May 21, in the San Tan Room at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix – Chandler Golf Resort in Downtown Chandler from 1 to 4 p.m.

This celebration has become a yearly tradition for ACJS. It is a pleasure to honor Cheryl for doing what she most enjoys: entertaining you. Cheryl is a beautiful, caring, friendly, talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. She plays throughout the year in Sun Lakes and many other Valley venues.

As you can tell, there are many reasons why ACJS celebrates Cheryl’s birthday. Among all the bands she leads and/or plays with, she finds time to be a member of the ACJS Board of Directors. Cheryl has assembled a very talented band that will be playing a wide variety of music for your listening and dancing pleasure:

Cheryl on piano, trumpet, and vocals.

Howard Alden on 7-string guitar and banjo. He is a world-renowned musician you won’t want to miss.

Evan Dain on bass. Evan’s musical career encompasses all genres of music, and he is a permanent member of Wildcat Jazz Band.

Bob Daniels on drums. Recently moving from San Diego, this will be his first appearance for ACJS.

Dan Reed on trumpet. He is an extremely popular Valley musician and is currently a member of the Sun City Stomperz.

Greg Varlotta on trombone. A multi-instrumentalist and tap dancing trumpet player, he is a member of The Side Street Strutters.

Elliot Ventimiglia on reeds. He combines his most important role as a stay-at-home dad with being a professional musician.

Cheryl’s top-notch Cheryl’s Vintage Jazz Band, which plays at the Arizona Classic Jazz Festival every November, will be demonstrating their versatility during a special country swing set featuring the music of Bob Wills. The drummer for that band, Danny Coots, lives in Nashville.

The cost for this amazing afternoon of music is $15 for Arizona Classic Jazz Society members; $20 non-members (become a new member and get in free on the 21st; yearly membership $35 couple, single $25). Under 18 free. Credit cards are not accepted at monthly events, so please bring cash or your checkbook. The public is welcome. For more information, go to or call Helen at 480-620-3941.