Nash Summer Update

Sunday Jam Sessions, Wednesday “Rising Star” Concerts and clinics fill The Nash this summer

By Joel R. Goldenthal

Since the doors opened at The Nash, Jazz in AZ’s new nonprofit education and performance center in the downtown arts district of Phoenix, the venue’s been a buzz with performances by jazz luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis, Lewis Nash and Freddy Cole; big bands such as Mesa Community College and Young Sounds of Arizona; and weekly jam sessions that are consistently attracting dozens of student and pro musicians and appreciative audiences. What an auspicious first ten weeks it has been!

Our first summer is continuing the promise of becoming the place for jazz in the Valley with a variety of exciting performances and educational activities.

Sunday Night Jazz Jam Session

Every Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the true spirit of jazz plays out on stage at The Nash, as student and pro musicians play together, unrehearsed, in a variety of combinations. There’s always a solid core trio with bass, drums and either piano (yes, a real grand piano) or guitar; and Jeff Libman is usually on site to hostthe jam and keep the players flowing. The number of musicians jamming on any given night has been hovering around 30; pretty amazing! And the range has been from 15 year-old students to, well, name-sake Lewis Nash and his talented daughter, Kalena (22), both sitting in on Father’s Day. And what value for the audience (that’s you again!) who get to enjoy 3 hours of music and support this ultimate jazz education and performance experience. Admission is just $5 to help support the program. Water, soft drinks and snacks are available for purchase. So if you haven’t made it out to the Sunday Nash Jam yet, give it a try. We’ll keep the AC on!


We are aiming for six clinics this summer to kick off our educational programs at The Nash. These will include a Latin Drumset Clinic with Dom Moio on Sunday, July 22 from 3-5 p.m., a Rhythmic Improvisation Clinic with Eric Rassmusen on Sunday, August 5 from 3-5 p.m., and a Doubling Clinic with Mike Crotty and Monica Shriver tbd. Most clinics will be scheduled to precede the Sunday jam. They are open to students of all ages. For updated info and fees, call The Nash at 602- 795-0464.

“Catch a Rising Star”

After six seasons at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale, Catch a
Rising Star has moved to The Nash. Concerts are on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m.; general admission is $10, $5 for students and seniors. “Catch a Rising Star” concerts give young musicians an opportunity to perform for an appreciative audience (that’s you!). Performance opportunities for young jazz musicians is at the core of The Nash mission. The Rising Star line- up includes high school and college student musicians, as well as recent music school graduates. Scheduled to perform as of the end of June are:

July 11 – Paul Eirik Melhus-Cody Rowlands Quintet – Paul (tenor sax) and Cody (trumpet) are Jazz in AZ scholarship recipients who are on summer break from their studies at Berklee College of Music (Boston) and The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music (NYC) respectively

July 25 – “Experiment 114” – This exciting ASU-based group was the subject of a video project that will be previewed at the concert and includes JiA scholarship recipient Vince Kaufmann (tenor sax)

August 1 – Jacob Sieckman Quartet – Also a JiA scholarship recipient, Jacob (tenor sax) is a student at The New England Conservatory of Music. A remarkable young player!

August 8 – Lucas Pino-Nick Finzer Quartet – A JiA scholarship recipient, Lucas (tenor sax) was a fellow at The Brubeck Institute, completed his undergraduate degree at The New School and recently earned his Masters in Music at Juilliard. Lucas will perform with trombonist Nick Finzer in their New York City-based group.

And…we’re expanding too!

Jazz in AZ has signed a lease for the approximately 1,000 square foot suite adjacent to The Nash. This will house our additional educational facilities for combo coaching, one- one-one instruction and more. We’re targeting a mid-fall opening of the facility. To find out how you can get involved with The Nash as a sponsor, donor, volunteer or instructor, contact Joel Goldenthal ( or 602-750-7045) or Barbie Baugh ( or 602-525-2687).

The Nash is located at 110 E. Roosevelt Street. At The Nash, you can hear more than great music. Listen. That’s the sound of something beautiful happening in our community. The Nash: Jazz Happens Here.


4th Annual Father’s Day Big Band Dance with Dennis Rowland

The fourth annual Father’s Day Big Band Dance starring Dennis Rowland and the Extreme Decibel Big Band will be held in The Scottsdale Plaza Resort Grand Ballroom on Sunday, June 17, from 3 to 7 p.m. The dance is a fundraiser to support the youth jazz education programs of Jazz in AZ and The Nash, the new nonprofit education and performance center of Jazz in AZ in downtown Phoenix. Once again, the dance is being held in honor of John Dawson for his continued generous support of jazz.

Former Count Basie vocalist Dennis Rowland will front Clark Krueger’s Extreme Decibel Big Band, performing a classic dance repertoire and familiar songs made popular by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. A fun swing-dance lesson, courtesy of Steve Conrad and the Lindy Hop Society, will kick off the event.

General admission to this year’s Father’s Day Dance is just $30 per person in advance, $35 at the door – so BUY NOW! Current Jazz in AZ members may take a $5 discount on tickets purchased in advance; $10 for youth under 18 with parents.

Special sponsor tables of 10 to help support Jazz in AZ youth education programs at The Nash are available for $500 and are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Details and tickets online or by phone at 480-994-0807.

Turn the Father’s Day Dance into a weekend getaway by taking advantage of incredible summer room rates at The Scottsdale Plaza Resort, $129 per night with $100 property credit for food & beverage or spa services (credit cannot be used at the Father’s Day event and other restrictions apply). The Scottsdale Plaza Resort is located at 7200 N. Scottsdale Road, just north of Indian Bend Road. Call 800-832-2025 for your summer reservations.

Freddy Cole Quartet plays The Nash May 31st


It’s a jazz happening! On Thursday, May 31, the Freddy Cole Quartet will perform in two shows at The Nash, the new Jazz in AZ education and performance venue in downtown Phoenix at 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, on the northeast corner of First Street and Roosevelt. The intimate nightclub configuration of The Nash provides an incomparable up-close and personal setting in which to experience this truly great exponent of America’s music.

The early show will be a fundraiser to benefit the youth education programs of The Nash. It includes a pre-concert social with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine for a $75 donation. The social starts at 6 pm; show at 6:45 pm. Tickets to this early show must be purchased in advance. The late show at 9 pm will be $30 general admission. Some refreshments will be available for purchase, but no alcohol. Current Jazz in AZ members may take a $5 discount on either show.

In addition, you are invited to consider philanthropic support as The Event Sponsor at $2,500, The Hospitality Sponsor at $1,000, or an Event Patron at $500.

Tickets and details of sponsorship opportunities (such as included seats) are available online and by phone at 602-795-0464.  Early show donations and Sponsorships/Patron support are tax deductible to the extent of the law.

Nash jam session

Last night we hosted the first of hopefully many jam sessions at The Nash. Dozens of the best musicians in town attended representing all ages and styles. Equally exciting is that just as many young musicians and students came too, ready to play, listen, and hang out. Jeff Libman traded his guitar for a clipboard and took on the happy mathematical challenge of organizing the session while making sure everyone got a chance to play. It was a phenomenal experience, and I’d like to thank all the musicians, fans, and volunteers who made it happen.

If you attended, leave a comment and let us what you thought. We’ll keep you posted on upcoming events throughout the summer as we prepare for our formal opening in the Fall.

Thanks for being a part of the Nash!

Doug Mayes

The Nash Is Open!

The NashThe Nash – the new downtown Phoenix Jazz in AZ education and performance center – became a reality on Tuesday, April 10th when it transformed in an instant from a construction site to a jazz club setting with a rehearsal by six of the top jazz musicians in the world: Lewis Nash-drums, Peter Washington-bass, Renee Rosnes-piano, Jimmy Greene-sax, Terell Stafford-trumpet and special guest Wynton Marsalis.

On Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., The Nash filled up with 130 4th through 8th graders who were introduced to jazz by Wynton, Renee, Peter and Lewis. And on Thursday, April 12, Young Sounds of Arizona rehearsed at The Nash for their Friday concert at Tempe Center for the Arts with guest trombonist Conrad Herwig, plus the added bonus of percussion coaching by Lewis Nash.

What a launch and promise of great things to come for our community!

Back to Wednesday night: the sold-out benefit concert at the Musical Instrument Museum in support of The Nash was a huge success! The Chris Pena Trio with Pena-piano, Andrew Schiller-bass and Wes Anderson-drums played for the pre-concert social hour. Then Lewis and Wynton took the stage in a drum-trumpet duet that evolved into their scatting a cappella. Wynton then praised Lewis Nash for his many accomplishments, exemplary character and expressed how deserving he is of being honored and how fortunate Phoenix is to have The Nash in our community. Emcee Todd Barkan (from Dizzy’s Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center) presented well wishes from Bill Cosby, Tommy LaPuma, Ron Carter, Randy Westin and George Wein. Then it was a 100+ minutes of great jazz! Major sponsors of the event were recognized and Herb Ely, philanthropic founder of The Nash, gave an impassioned dedication that positioned The Nash as nothing short of continuation of the Civil Rights movement. “Our nation’s greatest injustice gave birth to our nation’s greatest cultural achievement. The Nash is a place to continue our expression of freedom through jazz and especially to cultivate young jazz musicians and audiences.” A hosted reception followed the concert with awesome food hosted and prepared by celebrity chef Mark Tarbell and glowing reviews of the day’s momentous events.

About The Nash

The Nash is owned by Jazz in Arizona, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Located at 110 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, It is named for “the most valuable player” in jazz (Modern Drummer Magazine), Phoenix native drummer Lewis Nash. The Nash preserves the cultural treasure of American music history, showcases live performance and ensures the future of the iconic art of jazz for generations to come. Educational and performance programs at The Nash will include: classic jazz and new music; performance by student musicians, local pros and touring artists; jazz after hours; and educational programs ranging from one-on-one private lessons to combo labs, workshops, clinics and master classes, guided listening, jazz in film, jazz camp and more.

The Nash will serve our entire community based on the conviction that jazz is for everyone: children, adults, seniors and families; musicians and non-musicians, privileged and underserved youth. The Nash will operate in collaboration with schools and other arts and culture organizations.

Look for details on these programs soon:

  • MCC Jazz Orchestra Year-end concert with guest trombonist Bob McChesney, April 30th
  • Freddy Cole, May 31st
  • Weekly jam sessions
  • “Catch a Rising Star” summer concert series
  • Combo coaching workshops/summer camp

The Nash: Jazz Happens Here!

An Evening with Wynton Marsalis honoring Lewis Nash

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mr. Marsalis will perform an exclusive charity benefit concert with the Lewis Nash Allstars at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix.

Proceeds from this event will benefit The Nash: the new nonprofit education and performance facility of Jazz in Arizona, with a portion of the proceeds directly benefiting the MIM Field Trip Program.

Your support ensures the future of the iconic art of jazz through our programs in music education, preservation of music history and live jazz performance.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to support the arts in our community and enjoy an exceptional evening of live jazz!

Only 300 seats in the MIM Music Theater. Tickets: $250, $200 and $150. Tax deductible to the extent of the law.

For event/sponsorship information, contact Barbie Baugh, Event Chair at 602-525-2687.

Buy Tickets

Nash at The Nash

We recently got the chance to take Lewis Nash himself on a tour of The Nash.  It was awesome, and Lewis loved it.  Check out the pics. 

Nash steering commitee







Joel Goldenthal and Lewis Nash


Our architectural team and Lewis

Nash Stage Revealed

Nash stage rendering

I’m pleased to share this beautiful rendering of the Nash stage.  As you can see, the stage isn’t rasied which will create an intimate listening experience by literally putting the audience on the same level with the performers.  We’ll have flexible seating that will seat 100+ when set up in rows, and 60 when set up cabaret style with round tables.  Our design team has cooked up a number of other cool features including a concession area, a custom designed founder’s wall to showcase our generous sponsors, teaching space, and an artist’s green room.  We’re part of the vibrant Roosevelt Row scene and we want our design to reflect that sense of place, so we plan to feature local art as well.  We love to hear your comments and great ideas, so please don’t be shy.

New pics of The Nash

Hi guys.  Check out the latest update.  Looking pretty good.

Construction on The Nash to Begin in January.

That’s right, hammers will be swinging shortly on what is becoming the West’s premier jazz education and performance venue.  Our renovation plans have been reviewed and approved by the City of Phoenix pending a few minor revisions.  We estimate that construction will begin during the last week of January allowing us to have a soft opening and hard-hat tours in March.  We’ve also begun the bidding process to secure our contractor, and we’ll announce the winner on this blog soon.  This ball is rolling…and fast.  

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