The 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!