Crackerjack Jazz Band

Helen Daley

“Take me out to the jazz party. Take me out for the fun.” How is that for a reworking of “Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out with the crowd,” written by Jack Norworth in 1908? Before the snack food Cracker Jack (two words), crackerjack (one word) was considered something or someone of marked excellence. When it comes to Crackerjack Jazz Band, “The more you hear, the more you enjoy” Dixieland music.

The Crackerjack Jazz Band presents some of the Valley’s most seasoned professional Dixieland musicians. The “Crackerjacks” include leader Chuck Stewart on tuba and Sun Lakes’ Cheryl Thurston on piano. Among Chuck’s many memorable appearances are The Ed Sullivan Show and Carnegie Hall. He has played in over 120 jazz festivals. Cheryl currently plays every Thursday at the Palo Verde restaurant in Sun Lakes, Arizona Golf Resort in Mesa on Wednesdays, and some weekends at Voodoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen in Tempe. She plays in and leads many bands. Also appearing are Roy Calhoun on drums, Ernie Landes on trombone, Matt Mooney on banjo, Tom Schulz on trumpet, and Elliott Ventimiglia on clarinet.

On Dec. 1, 2019, from 1 to 4 p.m., you will find the band at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix – Chandler Golf Resort, One San Marcos Place, in beautiful Downtown Chandler. The party is sponsored by the Arizona Classic Jazz Society. The music will include a few holiday songs as well as great Dixieland. Cost is $15 for ACJS members; $20 non-members (become a new member on the 1st and get in free; yearly membership $35 couple, single $25). Great dance floors. For more information, go to or call 480-620-3941.