Milton Cannon, organizer of the Hero’s Honor Rally and president of the Prescott Jazz Society, is planning a celebration for Christmas as well as his 80th birthday.
Held from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, at the ’Tis Art Center and Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., Cannon said he’s looking forward being one of the performers at the celebration.
“Eighty years old and I’m still able to play my own party, you know that’s great,” he said. “To be in the shape that I’m in and to be able to play at my own 80th party, I feel really great about that.”
A gala that includes jazz, gospel, blues and Christmas music from 14 musicians, including Cannon, three vocalists, two jazz bands and one blues band. Tickets are $49.50. Admission includes dinner and dancing along with all the performers. For just the show, admission is $25, or $15 ladies at the door. Las Vegas showman Freddie B Eckstine is also going to be the master of ceremonies at this once in a lifetime celebration that celebrates Cannon’s 80th birthday as well as Christmas, Cannon wrote in a prior email.
It’s been a different feeling putting all this together and preparing for performing in the celebration, Cannon said. Over the years, he’s featured a lot of good players, many of whom were iconic and friends of his, he said. However, it’s different than preparing himself as a feature player.
“Once I started preparing this party and preparing myself as a feature performer, I started feeling like I was already playing,” he said. “I was that into it which was quite different than presenting other players.”
Though it may be a different feeling altogether, Cannon said he’s looking forward to every aspect of the celebration.
Money from the ticket sales goes straight to paying the musicians, Cannon said. In fact, Cannon mentioned he does not allow a musician to perform at any of his events without receiving payment.
For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.pjazz.org.