Sax-o-Phoenix

The Valley jazz community sees resurgence in downtown Phoenix

By Alexandra Watts
August 6, 2015

A ma of Phoenix in the shape of a man playing the saxophone. (Illustration by Alexandra Watts.)

(Illustration by Alexandra Watts)

There are several areas in town with a vibrant arts and culture scene, and downtown Phoenix has a few prime places to experience jazz.

“What, I’ve really have noticed is that there’s a resurgence in the downtown,” said Lucas Pino, a local musician. “They’ve made a lot of really great strides. From 10 years ago, it’s like a night-and-day difference. You have this culture trying to grab hold. I’m encouraged by it.”

The Nash, supported by Jazz in Arizona, is a popular downtown venue for the local jazz community. Unlike some over-21 clubs, the Nash welcomes fans of all ages. But there are other Valley venues with saxophone, trumpet and percussion ready for an audience, too.

“We need you. The band is incomplete without you,” Pino said.  “We want to keep you as close as we possibly can to our own hearts because every time we experience something, as a community on the stage, it is not as meaningful if it’s not being shared with our additional band member that is the audience.”

If you are wondering how to become that additional band member, here is a compilation of some starting points into the jazz community.

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Alexandra Watts is a junior at the Cronkite School double majoring in journalism and English. She has a passion for public radio and has worked as an intern for local NPR affiliate, KJZZ. She hosts her own local music podcast and has enjoyed the chance to interview several bands and musicians. Follower her on Twitter @alexandrawatts_

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