Originally Published: April 10, 2008 9:04 p.m.
Springtime is here, and so is the beginning of the 2008 Jazz Without Borders showcase revue concert series.
Prescott Jazz Society President Milt Cannon said he is especially pleased with the roster of performers lining up for the upcoming season.
Highlights of the concerts taking place the second Sunday of each month at Arcosanti include the Grammy-nominated vocal duo The Cunninghams, as well as Dick Berk, Las Vegas BMA Award winner Genevieve, and a tribute to Phoenix bluesman "Big Pete" Pearson.
Cannon's Cannon Fire Ensemble will perform throughout the series and backs some visiting artists.
"These are, if I can coin a phrase, performers from a road less traveled, if you know what I mean. These are star performers, but you don't know very much about them," Cannon said.
The Cannon Fire Ensemble and The Cunninghams kick off the season Sunday with 3 and 6 p.m. performances in the amphitheater.
The series brings jazz vocalist and blues harpist Ronnie Rose for 3 and 6 p.m. shows on May 11.
Rose sang "America the Beautiful" at the 2002 New England Patriots victory celebration and has performed with Kool and the Gang, The Beach Boys, The Four Tops, Earth, Wind and Fire and others.
The 10th annual Juneteenth Jazz Splash Festival and Ethnic Art & Crafts Fair on June 14 and 15 mark the highlight of the summer events.
Performances start at 11 a.m. with the PJAZZ Quintet, followed by Genevieve with the Al Sarko Trio, The Cunninghams, Reggae performers Henry Turner Jr. & Flava, and the Cannon Fire Ensemble.
The PJS will welcome Berk as the guest of honor for his legacy of recordings and fostering up and coming talent in a series of bands called The Jazz Adoption Agency.
"This is a guy who played with Billie Holiday, with Charlie Parker... he's like a who's who of jazz, and he's very happy to be able to pull in here," Cannon said.
Genevieve is a classically trained musician who began her career performing with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 16, performed in off-Broadway shows, and has worked with Nancy Wilson and Stevie Wonder.
The Prescott Jazz Society will pay tribute to "Big Pete" Pearson on Sunday for his influence in the Phoenix blues scene and work with a recent youth outreach program he established.
"On the basis of his work with these kids, I feel he deserves this. He's an icon anyhow. Culturally speaking, he's contributed enough to the Phoenix area that would be worth the tribute, but to have him come back and work with these kids, that kind of tipped the scale for me," Cannon said.
Jazz singer Walter Belcher performs on July 13 and Cannon recently confirmed Albert King Band singer and trumpeter "Lady J" Huston for Juneteenth's Sunday line up also.
In addition, Cannon's musical instruction program, The Cannon Academy of Performance Art, teaches private lessons at AZ Drum & Music in Prescott for northern Yavapai County students, and conducts clinics and master classes with professional artists at Arcosanti.
The Academy is planning four clinics in October and November covering modern jazz theory, copyright law, recording techniques, Internet music business and performance techniques.
Tickets for each show are $20, $35 for dinner and show, and $95 for dinner and show, room accommodation, continental breakfast and tour of the Arcosanti development.
Call (928) 237-7908 for reservations or additional