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Memorial planned for Tucson Jazz Fest founder Yvonne Ervin

Memorial planned for Tucson Jazz Fest founder Yvonne Ervin

Yvonne Ervin

A public memorial for Tucson Musicians Hall of Famer Yvonne Ervin will be held March 9, more than two months after the Tucson Jazz Festival founder died after undergoing liver surgery in Phoenix.

The memorial event at the downtown Scottish Rite Cathedral will include tributes by Tucson dignitaries and performances by some of the city’s finest musicians paying their respects to a woman many credit with putting Tucson on the country’s jazz map.

Ervin was the indefatigable force behind Tucson’s jazz music scene, first in raising the prominence and profile of the Tucson Jazz Society and then in founding the festival.

Her death on Dec. 26, following a monthslong illness, came just weeks before the fifth annual festival kicked off in January. Her husband, Alan Hershowitz, said he waited to hold the memorial services until after the jazz festival. His wife would not have wanted anything to distract from the festival, which this year featured Trombone Shorty, Pink Martini, Asleep at the Wheel and Bobby McFerrin.

The March 9 memorial begins at 10 a.m. at the Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave.; doors open at 9:30 a.m.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch.

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