Tucson-HSL Properties presented the 2nd Annual HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival throughout downtown Tucson from January 14-24, 2016. In its early infancy, the festival has already exceeded expectations. The host city is an idea destination for snowbirds (winter visitors), locals and jazz birds (jazz enthusiasts who travel near and far to festivals).
The HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival is the only major jazz festival in the United States in the month of January, featuring world-class jazz in historic downtown Tucson.
Clear skies with temperatures in the 70’s, great music, and delicious food in historic downtown Tucson created the perfect ambiance to host the Tucson Jazz Festival. My enjoyment of the festival commenced with the Downtown Jazz Fiesta, a free daylong festival, held on January 18th, Martin Luther King Day. There was continuous music on two stages.
There was something for everyone during this most highly anticipated jazz festival. This was a fun-filled day for the entire family. Several food trucks served up some mouthwatering treats for people to enjoy while strolling around historic downtown Tucson. Bella’s Gelato, Jozarelli’s Italian, Pin Up Pastries, BBQ Rush and Don Pedro’s Peruvian Bistro. Adult beverages (beer and wine) were sold by Hotel Congress.
Nossa Bossa Nova kicked off the festival. Just as the name implies, the group performed a set of music representing Brazil. Their set included the beautiful, infectious grooves of Bossa Nova music. The band performed music from previous CD’s- Beyond Bossa Nova, Standards, Standards Too and Reimagined-Songs of Ellis Regina. The crowd and I were thoroughly entertained on the following tunes “So Danco Samba,” “Corcovado,” “Dindi,” and “So Tinha de Ser Com Voce” to name a few. The band consists of Mike Levy-guitar, Theresa Levy-vocals, Lorenzo Levy-bass and Alejandro Canelos on drums.
My friend Adrian Barton and I were in for a real treat. Thanks to the talents of the Tucson High School Mariachi Band directed by Justin Enriquez. We caught the last half of their set and were really amazed during their performance of Glen Miller medley, which consisted of their arrangements of “We Get It,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Stormy Weather,” and “In the Mood” with a Latin twist.
It was obvious that today’s program was booked with the audience dancing pleasure in mind. It wasn’t hard to find people cutting a rug (i.e.,) breaking out with some picante salsa dance steps. People were grooving and moving to the Latin rhythms courtesy of The Lo Bros., De Pedro and Special Guest Joey Burns, Grupo Manteca and Orkestra Mendoza as they each provided the soundtrack to the delight