The Tucson Jazz Music Foundation, in addition to providing tuition and travel scholarships to individual students, sponsors students’ travel expenses to jazz festivals and competitions across this country. We also sponsor guest artists to present workshops, mentor students, and participate in recording projects with students of the Tucson Jazz Institute. These events are always free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of our donors.
You are welcome to donate to specific funds sponsoring travel expenses, guest artists, tuition scholarships, and more, from the drop down list provided in the DONATE button above.
2023 Guest Artist: $1000 funded Guest Artist Roxy Coss. Coss conducted a clinic ‘in person’ this year on October 7, 2023, with the 2021-22 Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band. Students were treated to a lecture and Q&A on her career in addition to technical performance mentorship. Each student was able to perform a solo and all received feedback.
2023 School Show: $1450 Dave Brubeck & Charlie Parker Centennial Celebration at Utterback Middle School, Tucson, on May 8, 2023. Performers included Eric Nakanishi (alto sax/Charlie Parker & Paul Desmond), Sly Slipetsky (piano/Dave Brubeck), Pete Swan (drums/Max Roach & Joe Morello ), and Scott Black (bass /Eugene Wright & Ray Brown). Tap dancers Brendan Kellam and Maya Vinayak were featured and symbolic of the time as tap improvisation inspired the development of Bebop jazz style by Charlie Parker. This event was sponsored in partnership with Altrusa International of Tucson (grant for students admission) and Utterback Middle School (venue).
2023 Travel & Education: $32,365.64 Essentially Ellington Regional Festival at the Newark Academy, Livingston, New Jersey, on April 15, 2023. Julius Tolentino was the host and Terell Stafford was the featured guest artist. Twenty nine (29) TJI students, which included the TJI Ellington Big Band, participated in this trip that included four days in NYC exploring sights, famous jazz clubs, attending jazz performances, and even one-on-one classes with NYC jazz artists. Students enjoyed the special opportunity to go backstage at Jazz at Lincoln Center to meet Wynton Marsalis after the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performance on Friday, April 14, 2023.
2023 Travel & Education: $2145 Highland/ASU Jazz Festival in Gilbert, Arizona, on April 1, 2023. All Tucson Jazz Institute students participated in their respective big bands and combos.
2023 Guest Artist: $500 funded Guest Artist Ronald Carter. He conducted a virtual workshop on January 10, 2023, preparing the TJI Ellington Big Band for upcoming competition submissions.
2022 Guest Artist: $1000 funded Guest Artist Roxy Coss. She conducted a virtual master class on January 16, 2022, with the 2021-22 Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band, helping them prepare four songs for submission to national competitions and for upcoming performances.
Musician, Composer, Educator & Activist Roxy Coss has become one of the most unique and innovative Saxophonists on the scene. Winner of a 2016 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, the Downbeat Critics Poll has listed her a “Rising Star” on Soprano Saxophone for seven years, and Jazziz called her an “Artist to Watch.” She has headlined extensively around the world, including major festivals such as Sopot Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Melbourne Big Band Festival, NYC Winter JazzFest, BRIC Jazz Fest, Earshot Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Summerfest, Ballard Jazz Festival, and venues like The Jazz Standard and Jazz Showcase. You can read the rest of her bio here.
2022 Guest Artist: $200 co-funded Michael Weiss, New York jazz pianist, composer, and educator, who stopped in to the Tucson Jazz Institute and worked with combos and the TJI Ellington Big Band on Sunday, September 18, 2022. We were fortunate to have him redirect his flight home from Phoenix (where he had a gig) to Tucson. Thank you, Michael! You made a difference.
2022 Travel & Education: $2900 Highland/ASU Jazz Festival in Gilbert, Arizona, on April 1, 2022. Six Tucson Jazz Institute bands were adjudicated. Featured guest artist was Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer and producer Joe Lovano. Clinicians included Alex Parker, Joey Sellers, Patrick Langham, Rob Parton and Scott Burns.
2020 Guest Artist: $850 funded Guest Director Cynthia Hilts for the Girls Jazzin’ It Up Combo Video: Mad Girls Swing (Cynthia composed this piece special for the girls), Alex Weitz for video editing/engineering of the TJI Covid Combo (quartet pictured below) performing Have You Met Miss Jones, directed by Scott Black, plus private lessons for a few Tucson Jazz Institute students.
$1500 for the Joe Bourne CD Recording Project Residency (music of Nat King Cole), May 2019, thanks to the generosity of The Seldin Family, 5151 E Broadway in Tucson, Kent Circle Partners, and Seldin Real Estate, Inc. To purchase the CD Orange Colored Sky, visit https://www.tucsonjazzinstitute.org/CDs.html
$600 for the LeBoeuf Brothers clinic and performance (quarter) (open to the public), April 2019, at the Tucson Jazz Institute / Utterback Middle School Auditorium. You can watch excerpts here.
$1200 for Nat “King” Cole School Shows (Amphitheater, TUSD and Sunnyside school districts) featuring vocals by Joe Bourne, with musicians Scott Black/bass, Daniel “Sly” Slipetsky/piano, and Matt Mitchell/guitar. Photo below: Gallego Intermediate Fine Arts Magnet School (Sunnyside District), May 2019.
$2025 for Guest Director Mary Petrich (Phoenix) of the first Girls Jazzin’ It Up 3-week free, all-girls, jazz intensive in June in partnership with the Pima Community College Performing Arts Department, Tucson. Esme Martin was the guest pianist (Tucson Jazz Institute alum) at the performance, Pima Community College Center for the Performing Arts Proscenium Theatre, West Campus. All the girls received a Certificate of Completion.
2019 Travel: $5000 Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Festival & Competition, Monterey, California. Tucson Jazz Institute Concord Combo placed 1st, Conglomerate High School Division, and performed in the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 2019. Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band placed 3rd, Conglomerate High School Division.
2018 Guest Artists: $1700 for the Dennis Rowland CD Recording Project Residency, May 2018, thanks to the generosity of The Seldin Family, 5151 E Broadway in Tucson, Kent Circle Partners, and Seldin Real Estate, Inc. Photo: Dennis pictured with TJI Ellington Band pianist Esme Martin. The CD Everyday I Have The Blues may be purchased here.
$475 Russell Schmidt clinic with the TJI Ellington Big Band, December 16, 2018.
2018 Travel: $13,634 total to the NAU Jazz Festival in Flagstaff and NYC for the 23rd Essentially Ellington High School Big Band Competition & Festival.
2017 Guest Artists: $4500 for the Marcus Printup CD Recording Project Residency, May 27-29, 2017, thanks to the generosity of The Seldin Family, 5151 E Broadway in Tucson, Kent Circle Partners, and Seldin Real Estate, Inc.
$1000 for the clinic and performance by the Emmet Cohen Trio, October 26, 2017, at Pima Community College Center for the Performing Arts, Recital Hall.
Here’s a video clip of the Q&A session with Printup at the recording session on Sunday, May 27, 2017:
2017 Travel: $30,182 total to the Jazz Educators Network Conference in New Orleans, NAU Jazz Festival in Flagstaff, the Next Generation Jazz Festival & Competition in Monterey CA, the 22nd Essentially Ellington Festival & Competition in NYC, and the Prescott Jazz Summit in Prescott AZ.
2016 Guest Artists: $3500 total for the Jimmy Heath CD Recording Project Residency, May 28-29, 2016, thanks to the generosity of The Seldin Family, 5151 E Broadway in Tucson, Kent Circle Partners, and Seldin Real Estate, Inc.
Here’s a clip of the Q&A session with Heath at the recording session on Sunday, May 29, 2017:
2016 Travel: $15,831 total to the 21st Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition in NYC
2015 Guest Artists: $1350 total for Ron Carter, Kenny Rampton, Walter Blanding and Sherman Irby
2015 Travel: $3350 total to the 20th Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition in NYC, the Next Generation Jazz Festival and Competition in Monterey CA, and the Highland/ASU Jazz Festival in Phoenix