3rd Annual HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival

HSL Properties






Thousands of jazz fans from Phoenix, Tucson and all across the country will converge on Tucson as the city welcomes the 4th annual jazz festival this January. Attendance is expected to hit 20,000, making the festival one of the major jazz destinations in the country.  

This year's Festival will run from Jan 11 thru Jan 21, 2018 including a lineup of over a dozen concerts, with headliners such as Sheila E. on Jan 14th at the Rialto Theater, Arturo Sandoval on Jan 13th and 14th at Tucson Music Hall, and Spyro Gyra on Jan 20th at the Rialto Theater.  

The HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival is held at multiple venues throughout the city and is presented in partnership with UA Presents, The Tucson Desert Song Festival, and the Tucson Symphony.

VIP Tickets for the entire festival line-up as well as individual concerts are on sale at tucsonjazzfestival.org.  


Thursday January 11 at 7:30 pm


Presented by UA Presents

Rialto Theater. 318 E. Congress, Tucson

Tickets: $25 adults/$20 seniors/$15 students (+service fees)


HYPNOTIC BRASS is a seven-piece, Chicago-based brass ensemble consisting of the sons of the jazz trumpeter Phil Cohran of Earth, Wind and Fire fame. Together, they have toured throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa & South America playing with everyone from Prince, Mos Def, Mick Jones (The Clash) and Damon Albam (Blur, Gorillaz). They've performed Coachella, WOMAD AU, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall. Their song "War" was featured in the blockbuster hit movie, 

The Hunger Games. And now, for the first time, they're touring the US. Don't miss the "Bad Boys of Jazz" as they bring their distinctive blend of traditional jazz, hip hop, reggae & rock. 


Friday January 12 at 7:30 pm


Fox Theater. 17 W. Congress, Tucson

Tickets: $35/$45 (+service fees)


"One of the best jazz bands in NY today." - Forbes

THE HOT SARDINES, fueled by the belief that classic jazz feeds the heart and soul, are on a mission to make old sounds new again.

In the talented hands of the New York-based ensemble, music first made famous decades ago comes alive through their brassy horn arrangements, rollicking piano melodies, and vocals from a chanteuse who transports listeners to a different era with the mere lilt of her voice. Their self-titled debut album, named by iTunes as one of the "best jazz albums of 2014," spent more than a year on the Billboard Jazz Chart, debuting in the Top 10 alongside Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

THE HOT SARDINES come to the Tucson Jazz Festival with a broad and impressive palette, combining covers and originals as they effortlessly channel New York speakeasies, Parisian cabarets and New Orleans jazz halls. This will truly be a highlight of the Festival!


Saturday January 13 at 7:30 pm


Club Congress, 311 E. Congress, Tucson

Tickets: $35-$45 adults (+service fees)


Downtown will be hopping when MATT HOLMAN, TRUMPETER, comes to Club Congress. Hailed by the New York Times as a "conscientious" and "perceptive young trumpeter," Holman has performed and/or recorded with Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Hersch's Leaves of Grass, Bang on a Can's Asphalt Orchestra, New York Voice and more. He comes to the Tucson Jazz Festival following his debut When Flooded, an ambitious and evocative project with his five-piece Diversion Ensemble, was awarded four stars by

Down Beat.


Sunday January 14 at 7:30 pm

Grammy-winning Percussionist & Vocalist SHEILA E.

Rialto Theater. 318 E. Congress, Tucson

Tickets: $31 - $46 adults (+service fees)


With her electric, high-energy rhythms, the musical powerhouse SHEILA E. comes to the Tucson Jazz Festival for a spectacular, unforgettable show. 

Best known for her collaborations with Prince, she stunned the pop world when she performed on his hit Erotic City followed by her debut album, The Glamorous Life, which rocketed her into the stratosphere. Combining Latin, jazz, R&B, pop and rock, the percussionist/singer creates an undeniably unique sound which she shines in her solo work as well as collaborations with some of music's most influential acts - from Ringo Starr, and Beyoncé to Herbie Hancock, Diana Ross, and Gloria Estefan.


Monday January 15

11am - 7:00 pm


Free jazz on 4 stages in 5th Ave/Congress

Sponsored by Rio Nuevo


Downtown Tucson becomes an all-day jazz party to kick off the second week of the festival.  In all, more than 10 bands will play on multiple stages downtown, indoors and outside, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with two Latin jazz bands appearing on the MainStage a the free DOWNTOWN JAZZ FIESTA.


Tuesday January 16 at 7:30 pm

Vibraphonist WARREN WOLF and the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble

U of A Crowder Hall. 1017 N. Olive Rd, Tucson

Tickets: $35-$45 adults (+service fees)


With his tremendous style and jaw-dropping technique, WARREN WOLF, MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST, has become one of the most in-demand jazz collaborators on the scene today. Wolf has worked with such greats as Bobby Watson, Wynton Marsalis, and Cyrus Chestnut to Ron Carter and Wycliffe Gordon.  He comes to the Tucson Jazz Festival to perform with the U of A Jazz Ensemble, in a concert sure to bring down the house!


Wednesday January 17 at 7:30 pm


Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave.,  Tucson

Tickets: $35-$45 (+service fees)


LEW TABACKIN, FLUTIST AND TENOR SAXOPHONIST, is an artist of astonishing vision. His electrifying flute playing is at once virtuosic, primordial, cross-cultural, and passionate. His distinctive tenor sax style includes the use of wide intervals, abrupt changes of mood and tempo, and purposeful fervor, all in the service of showing the full range of possibilities of his instrument - melodically, rhythmically, and dynamically. He is joined by Boris Koslov on bass and Mark Taylor on drums for a fantastic night of jazz.


Thursday January 18 at 7:30 pm



Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress,  Tucson

Tickets: $35/$45 (+service fees)


Eclectic as she is brilliant, DIANE SCHUUR comes to the Tucson Jazz Festival for a stirring night of classic jazz.  With a distinguished recording career that spans three decades, including two Grammy awards, Schuur's music has explored almost every corner of the 20th Century musical landscape. Her musical collaborations include Barry Manilow, B.B. King, Ray Charles and Jose Feliciano, resulting in numerous #1 Billboard Chart recordings.   She is joined by the incomparable ERNIE WATTS on saxophone and the great BILL CHARLAP on piano.


Friday January 19 at 7:30 pm


Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress,  Tucson

Tickets: $35/$45 (+service fees)


THE MINGUS DYNASTY, a nimble and expert seven-piece band, was the first band Sue Mingus organized after her husband Charles Mingus' death in 1979.  Because Mingus always said he was first and foremost a composer, and because he left behind over 300 compositions that deserved to be played, a band carrying on his music became a natural, if unanticipated, mission. Today, nearly 40 years later, the rich legacy of Mingus music ignites the bandstand while new generations of musicians-many of them not even alive during the composer's lifetime-add their individual voices and continue to interpret and build on his compositions. 

THE MINGUS DYNASTY will join guest artists LEW TABACKIN and DENNIS ROWLAND and the TUCSON JAZZ INSTITUTE ENSEMBLE BAND for this all-out swinging bash of a concert!


Saturday January 20 at 7:30 pm


Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress,  Tucson

Tickets: $36 (+service fees)


Founded in 1974 by saxophonist Jay Beckenstein, SPYRO GYRA is one of most successful pop-jazz groups of the past 40 years. Since their major hit Morning Dance which spawned a Top 40 single and going platinum, they have never slowed down.

Over the span of four decades, they have performed over five thousand shows, released thirty-one albums, sold over ten million albums.  Their live concerts are bright and pure, lyrical and rhythmic and their appearance will truly be a highlight of the 2018 Tucson Jazz Festival.


Sunday January 21 at 7:30 pm


Club Congress, 311 E. Congress,  Tucson

Tickets: $35-$45 (+service fees)


Trombonist WYCLIFFE GORDON has a hard-swinging, straight-ahead style that has made him an absolute favorite of jazz fans across the country.  He has garnered Downbeat's Critics Choice Award for Best Trombone (2016, 2012-2014), as well Trombonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association - for nine years! He has recorded 20 solo albums including

Hello Pops, A Tribute to Louis Armstrong and D

reams of New Orleans and  his work has been celebrated extensively via radio, television and film, including Wycliffe's appearance as a soloist in Ken Burns' documentary,

Jazz. A composer and arranger, his arrangement of NPR's

All Things Considered theme is heard daily worldwide and he received the ASCAP Plus Award in 2016 and 2015 for his contributions as a composer. 

Gordon is joined by the great bassist and vocalist Jay Leonhardt, for an upbeat, swinging concert - a fitting finale to the festival!


3rd Annual HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival - Featured acts include Sheila E., Spyro Gyra, Arturo Sandoval and The Hot Sardines. A free outdoor  Downtown Jazz Fiesta will be held on Monday, Jan. 15, with jazz on multiple stages, indoors and outside, from 10 am – 10 pm. For times and locations, check the web site http://tucsonjazzfestival.org/

The HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival has become a destination for jazz fans from across the country.  Featured acts include SHEILA E., SPYRO GYRA, ARTURO SANDOVAL and THE HOT SARDINES.  The relatively warm weather and world-class acts bring new winter visitors to town. A full 50% of ticket buyers have come from out of town (50+ miles) for all three festivals, fulfilling Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s vision of a “destination” festival.

The festival also brings in presenting and promoting partners. Presenting partners this year are UA Presents and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. The festival is also part of the Desert Song Festival, with two concerts included in their line-up.

Thanks to our many sponsors, we have kept our ticket prices low: $45 and $35 for all shows except the UAPresents and Tucson Symphony shows.

UA Presents kicks off the festival with HYPNOTIC BRASS, a 7-piece brass sensation on Thurs., Jan.  11 at The Rialto. THE HOT SARDINES, the first festival show to sell out in its inaugural year, returns to The Fox Theatre the following day. The TUCSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA brings in trumpet star ARTURO SANDOVAL to perform on Jan.  13 and 14 at the TCC Music Hall. The Latin jazz continues with percussionist/vocalist SHEILA E., best known through her association with Prince, at The Rialto Theatre on the 14th.

A free outdoor DOWNTOWN JAZZ FIESTA will be held on Monday, Jan.  15, with jazz on multiple stages, indoors and outside, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The following day, vibraphonist WARREN WOLF performs with the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble. Tenor saxophonist LEW TABACKIN and his trio graces stage at the Scottish Rite Temple on Wed., Jan.  17. Grammy winner, pianist and vocalist DIANE SCHUUR with special guest saxophonist ERNIE WATTS plays The Fox on Jan. 18 and pianist BILL CHARLAP opens the show with music by Leonard Bernstein as part of the Desert Song Festival.   

The award-winning high school big band, the TUCSON JAZZ INSTITUTE ELLINGTON BAND with special guests, and THE MINGUS DYNASTYplay on Fri., Jan. 19 at The Fox. SPYRO GYRA takes over The Rialto on Saturday night and another tribute to Bernstein with WYCLIFFE GORDONand JAY LEONHARDT, closes the festival at Club Congress.


Jan 11, 2018 - Jan 21, 2018


Tucson, AZ


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