By Patricia Myers
The photogenic red rocks of Arizona will be the backdrop for the 27th annual Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Festival, a week-long schedule of events between September 23-28. The festival has expanded this year with more free outdoor concerts, a dinner-dance, film showing, house party and wine-maker dinner leading up to the all-day festival.
The main event is an outdoor festival on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Radisson Poco Diablo Resort in the heart of red-rock country. The lineup from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. features the Bobby Hutcherson Quartet, vocalese specialist Giacomo Gates, B3 organist Tony Monaco, the Latin sounds of Cinco de Moio with vocalist Salome, and the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Youth Band. Admission is $65 to $125. Two jam sessions will follow, 8 to 11 p.m. at Bistro Bella Terra and Relics, featuring local musicians and artists from the festival, admission $20. Complete information is available at Sedonajazz.com or by calling 928-282-1985.
A week of jazz events kicks off September 23 with 4 and 7 p.m. showings of Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon" at Harkins Theater, admission $10. A pre-film dinner at Reds Restaurant starts at 5:30 p.m., $45 inclusive. A free Jack Sheldon tribute concert will follow at Reds.
Free concerts are scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. September 24 outdoors at Tlaquepaque, featuring local musicians and a wine-tasting. Local groups also will perform that night in several restaurants. Clinics in the schools are scheduled on September 25, followed by a 5:45 p.m. dinner show in Relics with ballroom dancing from 8 to 11 p.m. That same evening, a Jazz Circle party in a private home will feature vocalist Gates.
More clinics are planned for September 26, followed by a free art walk and live jazz from 4 to 8 p.m. at Tlaquepaque. That evening, pianist Kenny Werner will perform concerts at 5 and 7:30 p.m. at the Creative Life Center. Also that day, choices of a Winemaker's Dinner at 6:30 p.m., or a 6:45 p.m. dinner-show and dancing at Relics, followed by a jam session from 9 to 11 p.m. at Bistro Bella Terra.
After the festival, there will be a free art walk with live jazz and two evening jam sessions. The Sunday brunch at 11:30 a.m.September 28 will feature vocalist Jeff Baker with Arizona pianist Mike Kocour, bassist Dwight Kilian and drummer Dom Moio.
Sedona Jazz on the Rocks is a non-profit organization that supports a youth band, pays for music scholarships and lessons, and provides free Jazz in the Schools programs.