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Scottsdale's Debut International Jazz Day Festival Was a Success

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The Scottsdale Jazz Festival was an accumulation of 5 years in the making. Due to the pandemic, the producers could not put on the major event planned for the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in April 2020. Although the event was restricted to 200 attendees, each enjoyed a memorable evening of great food and drink, beautiful ambiance, and the joy of authentic Jazz. It turned out to be a star-studded attended evening!

The night kicked off with the Jazz Day AZ Summer Sax Explosion led by Smooth Jazz Billboard artist Neamen Lyles, with Dan Pinson and JWhite playing a melody of top hits. The one and only Jesse McGuire brought his brand of trumpet playing, performing some of the great jazz standards. One of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, Mr. George Benson, stopped by just in time to hear Ms. Nayo Jones perform, bringing him back to when she opened up for him at the Tucson Jazz Festival a few years ago. Nayo captured George Benson and the entire audience for nearly 1 1/2 hours, keeping everyone spellbound. The night ended with one of George Benson's proteges, Mark Whitfield. George first heard Mark play when he was 16 years old and knew he had something special. Mark has played with Quincy Jones, George Duke, and George Benson, to name a few. And as expected, Mark gave the audience a remarkable performance.  

“UNESCO created International Jazz Day to share the values of a deeply meaningful musical genre," explained UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. "Today, we need Jazz more than ever. We need its values based on human dignity and the fight against racism and all forms of oppression. It is so much more than music; Jazz is the kind of bridge-builder we need in the world today.”

"Our Jazz Day community in Arizona has displayed incredible resilience, creativity, ingenuity, and compassion throughout the immense challenges of the past year," said Doc Jones. "While the global pandemic continues to make life difficult for so many around the world, jazz musicians are some of the hardest hit economically. This year's event was dedicated to bringing attention to the need for affordable housing for jazz musicians", added Jones.

The International Jazz Day AZ Foundation has already started planning for the next Scottsdale Jazz Festival with its strategic partners and sponsors on April 30, 2022, held at the Scottsdale Stadium. The team is looking forward to welcoming all the guests unable to attend this year due to capacity restraints. For more information on International Jazz Day Foundation and to follow its programs and events throughout the year, visit:


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