By Jessie Vanderson
Tucson – The man with the electric guitar is Mr. George Benson, and he wants to play for you!
On Thursday night (Jan. 19) the legendary jazz guitarist and vocalist will perform at the historic Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson as part of the line up of the 3rd Annual Tucson Jazz Festival. The show will start at 7:30. Doors the doors open at 6:30. Up and coming sassy jazz vocalist Nayo Jones, out of New Orleans, will be the opening act. The Fox Theatre is located at 17 W. Congress Street in the heart of downtown Tucson.
The jazz festival got under way on Jan. 12 with a show by Los Angeles based saxophonist Kamasi Washington at the Rialto Theatre, The festival’s series of shows will run though Jan. 22, concluding with a record release party by Tucson rock music icon, Howe Gelb, at Club Congress in downtown on that Sunday night.
A free day of jazz performances were scheduled for MLK Day (Jan. 16) in downtown. Shows will held at several locations across the downtown area.
Benson’s performance at the Fox Theatre will be followed the next day (Jan. 20) with a show at the venue by veteran jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater. Born in Memphis, Tenn., but raised in Flint, Mich., Bridgewater, in a professional career that spans nearly 50-years, has won three Grammy Wards. The doors at the Fox will open for Friday’s show at 6:30 p.m. The Tucson Jazz Institute’s nationally renowned Ellington Band and drummer Lewis Nash will team to open the show for Bridgewater, who is scheduled to take the stage at 8 p.m.
Veteran soul and funk group Tower of Power is scheduled to perform as part of the Jazz Festival at the Rialto Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 21. This show has been sold out already.
For additional information about the lineup of performers for the 3rd annual Tucson Jazz Festival, tickets, locations and show times, the festival’s website is at tucsonjazzfest.org.