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Fri, May 24

Annual Prescott Jazz Society Juneteenth Festival features numerous performers

Prescott Jazz Society director Milt Cannon plays and plans the Juneteenth Jazz Festival this weekend at Arcosanti
Courtesy photo

Prescott Jazz Society director Milt Cannon plays and plans the Juneteenth Jazz Festival this weekend at Arcosanti Courtesy photo

One of the biggest jazz events of the year takes place at Arcosanti this Saturday and Sunday at the Juneteenth Jazz Splash Festival and Ethnic Arts & Crafts Fair.

Continuous live musical entertainment will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and continue until 11 p.m. on Sunday.

A reggae dance on Saturday night at 7:30 and limbo contest on Sunday night at 6 will feature popular recording artists Henry Turner Jr. and Flavor from Louisiana.

A blues dance, "Trial by Fire," will end the festivities at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Prescott Jazz Society director Milt Cannon and the PJAZZ Band will perform with feature artist Malik Alkabir on Saturday at noon, with Navajo vocalist Mary Redhouse on Sunday at noon and Cannon will also appear with the Jill Allen Quartet at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Cannon said the versatile Redhouse has a four-and-a-half octave vocal range and is able to incorporate Navajo chants, animal cries, bird calls and various other sounds into her singing.

The concert lineup includes local and national jazz musicians such as master jazz guitarist Joshua Breakstone.

"He's one of the more important jazz ambassadors of the current era," said Cannon of the New York-based Breakstone whose latest CD, "Memoir," was recorded in France this past year.

This will be Breakstone's first appearance at the festival.

"I'll play a mix between old standards and originals of mine," said Breakstone.

"I rely on the mood of the crowd and my own cycles to decide what to play."

Breakstone has played a Gibson L5 for the past 20 years.

"Jazz is a unique means of communication and the Gibson L5 gives me the type of sound I want," said the guitarist, who will also be a part of the "Cannon Academy" on Monday, offering workshops and classes to aspiring jazz musicians.

Young local performers, jazz guitarist Matt Butterman, drummer Ryan Vaughn, and pianist Justin Shore, are part of the Matt Butterman Quartet appearing at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

"We'll pretty much be playing modern music but with a traditional style and influence," said Butterman, who is touring the state with his band this summer before returning to the City College of New York.

"I really like that venue (Arcosanti)," said Butterman, who has performed at the festival in the past with different bands.

"The stage and seating is set up really nice and I love playing outdoor venues."

In addition to the live entertainment, the festival will have an assortment of great food including Indian fry bread, waffles and fried chicken, bean pie, rib tips and more.

Fine art will also be on display along with world class craftsmen, health clinicians, speakers and a children's theater with storytelling, puppet and magic shows.

"The Jazz Splash Festival honors the African American artistic expressions and welcomes all artists that embrace hope and harmony," said Cannon.

Daily admission is $10 for adults, $5 for teens and free for pre-teens.

V.I.P. passes (including reserved seating, wine and cheese garden, and admission to the backstage lounge) are $25 for one day or $40 for both days.

For reservations and more information, call 925-1422.

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