B-Sides: 2016 Tucson Jazz Festival


Although Eric Swedlund gave you a peek into the minds of the Monterey Jazz Festival performers before their upcoming touring performance as part of the 2016 Tucson Jazz Festival, there's so much more going on with this year's event that it's best to take some extra time to highlight some of the other shows you won't want to miss in the coming week or so.

Performances from saxophonist Jimmy Heath, jazz-funk ensemble Snarky Puppy, guitarist Nir Fielder, Afro-Cuban percussionist Poncho Sanchez with La Vos de Tres, eclectic NY-based full band The Rad Trads and trumpeter Kermit Ruffins will all be performing throughout the festival from Jan. 14 though Jan. 24.

However, one of the event's biggest jazz blowouts will culminate on Monday, Jan. 18 for the MLK Day Downtown Jazz Fiesta. Now in its second year, the festival is serving up another full day of free music, with outdoor stages near Toole and Fifth avenues, as well as club shows at The Screening Room, Playground, Elliot's on Congress and Maynards. The concert will feature a diverse array of acts including Nossa Bossa Nova, the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble, Grupo Manteca, the Hurricane Carla Brownlee quartet and more.

The MLK Downtown Jazz Fiesta will run from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The fest will also feature food trucks, such as Bella's Gelato, Pin Up Pastries, BBQ Rush, Don Pedro's Peruvian Bistro and Jozarelli's Italian. The Etherton Gallery (135 S. Sixth Ave.) will also be exhibiting jazz photographs from Herman Leonard. Tickets and more information on this and all other performances can be found on the festival website at www.tucsonjazzfestival.com.

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