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Music festivals kick off 2022 with in-person events through March

Music festivals kick off 2022 with in-person events through March

Hundreds of people attend the free outdoor Downtown Jazz Fiesta, which will be held on Jan. 17 in conjunction with the Tucson Jazz Festival.

Tucson’s premiere music festivals are returning to in-person beginning next week.

Here’s the 411 on the HSL Properties Tucson jazz Festival and the Tucson Desert Song Festival.

All that jazz and some

The HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival is Jan. 14-23 and crosses paths with the song festival. Events are at various locations downtown including Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.; the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.; Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.; and Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., on the University of Arizona Campus.

The schedule:

The Dave Stryker Quartet with Warren Wolf & The Eric Alexander Quintet, Jan. 14, Fox Theatre

“Petite Fleur” with Adonis Rose & New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s NOJO 7 featuring Cyrille Aimée, Jan. 15, Fox Tucson

TJF Jazz Jam, Jan. 15, Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin, Jan. 16, Fox Tucson

Special event: “Arpeggio — Jazz. Wine. Dine,” Jan. 16, The Citizen Hotel, 82 S. Stone Ave.

Downtown Jazz Fiesta, featuring the festival’s artist-in-residence Kendrick Scott with the UA Fred Fox Jazz Ensemble directed by Brice Winston, Jan. 17, downtown

Sammy Rae & Friends, Jan. 18, 191 Toole, 191 E. Toole Ave.

Arthur Vint & Associates, Jan. 19, Hotel Congress Century Room

Spanish Harlem Orchestra with Orkesta Mendoza, Jan. 20, Rialto Theatre

Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, Jan. 22, Rialto Theatre

Dianne Reeves is performing on Jan. 23 as part of the HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival and the Tucson Desert Song Festival.

Shamarr Allen, Jan. 22, Hotel Congress Plaza Stage

Dianne Reeves, Jan. 23, Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave.

Postponed: Jon Batiste presented by Arizona Arts Live

Tickets: Prices vary by event, from $15 to $100 through

Celebrating women and 10 years of song

The Tucson Desert Song Festival marks its 10th anniversary with a stunning lineup of mostly female artists including a few who have performed in the festival in years past.

The festival, which also honors co-founder Jack Forsythe, features nearly 50 events presented by nine festival partners from Jan. 9 through March 19.

The schedule:

Recital: Soprano Ailyn Pérez with pianist Abdiel Vázquez, Jan. 9, University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, East Speedway and North Park Avenue

Sasha Cooke and Jennifer Higdon, “The Creative Process,” Jan. 19, UA’s Holsclaw Hall

World premiere: Sasha Cooke performs Jennifer Higdon’s “Summer Music,” commissioned by the Song Festival, Jan. 20, UA Fred Fox School of Music

Nicole Cabell with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Jan.21 and 23, Tucson Music Hall

Dianne Reeves (coproduction with the Tucson Jazz Festival), Jan. 23, Leo Rich Theatre

New Directions in Song featuring UA students and Kristin Dauphinais performing newer works in the art-song repertory, Jan. 26, Holsclaw Hall

Michelle Areyzaga with guitarist Rene Izquierdo, presented by the Tucson Guitar Society, Jan. 26, Holsclaw Hall

“Across the Alps” featuring soprano Nola Richardson, Jan. 28, presented by Arizona Early Music Society, Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

“Ballet the Callaway,” with Ann Hampton Callaway and Ballet Tucson, Jan. 28-30, Leo Rich Theatre

Soprano Susanna Phillips joins True Concord Voices & Orchestra for the 2022 Tucson Desert Song Festival.

Susanna Phillips and True Concord Voices and Orchestra, “From Silenced to Singing,” Jan. 28-30, various locations

“Heaven and Earth — Music of J.S. Bach” presented by Arizona Early Music, Jan. 29, Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Handel’s “Apollo and Daphne” presented by Arizona Early Music, Jan. 30, Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Susanna Phillips recital presented by True Concord, Feb. 1, Holsclaw Hall

“Carmen” presented by Arizona Opera, Feb. 5-6, Tucson Music Hall

Susan Graham recital presented by Arizona Opera, Feb. 11, Holsclaw Hall

“Nina Simone: Four Women” presented by Arizona Theatre Company, Feb. 26-March 19, Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave.

Other upcoming Tucson festivals

Tucson International Jewish Film Festival is staying virtual this year as it screens 12 full-length feature films and six shorts along with eight post-film programs from Jan. 6 to Feb. 20. For ticket details to access the streams, visit

The Tucson Fringe Festival returns to in-person for its 10th annual event that focuses on non-traditional avant-garde performing arts. It runs Jan. 13-16 with events at The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St.; Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave.; and the Circus Academy of Tucson, 400 W. Speedway. Tickets and details at

Nicole Delprete, center, plays a server waiting on Ryuto Adamson, right, and Adam Denoyer in “Conversation,” performed during the 2019 Tucson Fringe Festival.

14th annual Gem & Jam Festival, a three-day music festival, Feb. 4-6, coinciding with the annual Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, returns to Pima County Fairgrounds featuring dozens of acts including Sound Tribe Sector 9, Claude VonStroke, Gold Fish, Appalachia and Shpongle. For tickets, schedule and lineup details, visit

Rich Hagar, left, talks to John Babiarz about a fossil at Hagar’s Fossils and Minerals booth during the 22nd Street Mineral, Fossil, Gem & Jewelry Show in 2021.

Tucson Festival of Books returns to the University of Arizona campus March 12-13 for its first in-person event since 2019. Notable authors expected to attend include National Book Award winner Jason Mott. Admission is free; details at

The local chapter of Pi Beta Phi hosted a tent at the 2019 Tucson Festival of Books. Members distributed books and held children’s activities as part of their mission to help economically disadvantaged families and children.

Arizona Friends of Chamber Music presents its annual Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival March 13-20 featuring Dover Quartet and the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s String Quartet, the Friends’ latest commissioned work. Events are at the Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave. For tickets, visit

Tucson Folk Festival held a drive-in event last year, but it’s back to in-person for its 37th annual festival April 1-3. It opens with the annual Stefan George Memorial Songwriting Competition at the Club Congress Plaza Stage, 311 E. Congress St. The lineup has not been announced. Visit for updates.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at On Twitter @Starburch

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