Originally Published: July 8, 2016 6 a.m.
Dennis Rowland is the consummate jazz musician. His stage presentation can be best described in these words, “charm, wit and wonderful music.” He promises to, once again, deliver an evening of jazz favorites performed to perfection with his wondrous bass voice.
Peter Watrous of The New York Times described Rowlands’ voice as, “...at once honest and liberating. What Mr. Rowland dispenses should be sold at drug stores.”
This, the first concert this season in a series of concerts sponsored by the Prescott Jazz Summit will take place Saturday, July 9, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Highland Center for Natural History amphitheater— nestled among the pines and one of Prescott’s most beautiful outdoor settings.
Rowland’s musical pedigree includes a list of who’s who in the jazz world. He was the voice of the world-renowned Count Basie Orchestra between 1977 and 1984, where he shared the stage with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams and Tony Bennett.
An electrifying performer, Rowlands’ musical tours in recent years have taken him to Germany, Russia, England, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, the Czech Republic and Croatia. Stateside, he has performed at major jazz festivals, with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and at the metropolitan Phoenix-area jazz Clubs and performing arts venues.
Dennis is a Detroit native and a Phoenix resident. He is well known to theatergoers in Phoenix, appearing in Arizona Theatre Company productions of “Blue” (with Leslie Uggams), “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Blues in the Night.” His Phoenix Theatre productions include “Chicago” and “Once on this Island.” In 2007, he was inducted into the Herberger Theater Center Hall of Fame for his contributions to the performing arts.
Perhaps Miles Davis said it best: “Dennis Rowland brings with him the stage performer’s ability to convey intimacy in even the most immense of settings. He cannily pulls off an inspired homage to the ultimate larger-than-life musician.”
Rowland will be accompanied by the outstanding Jazz Summit All-Stars Band under the direction of Mike Vax. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Jazz Summit’s website, www.prescottjazz.com or call Kristy at 928-277-1576. Tickets are also available at the Highlands Center by calling 928-776-9550. The Highlands Center for Natural History is located at 1375 Walker Road, Prescott.