Downtown Phoenix joins more than 196 global “International Jazz Day” celebrations on April 30, the date officially designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to celebrate jazz and the role it plays in uniting people in all corners of the world. The FREE outdoor concert at CityScape features world-renowned jazz saxophonist Azar Lawrence, New Orleans jazz vocalist and Phoenix native Nayo Jones, and an all-star lineup of local, national and international jazz artists. This year’s concert includes a tribute to the centennial of Billy Strayhorn, a prolific composer and arraigner who is best known for his multi-year collaboration with Duke Ellington on songs like, “Take the A Train,” “Satin Dolls,” and “Lush Life.”


  • Azar Lawrence – world-renowned composer, arranger and saxophonist who has performed as a sideman to Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. He will be performing songs from his new CD The Seeker.
  • Nayo Jones – Phoenix native and rising jazz vocalist star who has been signed by Universal Records. She performs in the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and is currently touring the country with Kermit Ruffins and wowing fans with her signature new-soul jazz style.
  • Royce Murray – accomplished songwriter whose career includes collaborations with R&B icon Barry White; opening acts for Tony Monaco, Joey DeFrancesco and the legendary Jimmy Smith; and playing organ for ABC, CBS and NBC television soap operas.
  • Dowell Davis – known as “D” to his fellow players, he has graced national and international stages with his drumming since 1983. He’s an accomplished artist who has played a variety of musical styles, and has an innate understanding of grooving.
  • Carlos Rivas – International Latino jazz artist who has performed throughout the world. He is founder and director of Mex-Sal, one of Arizona’s most prestigious Latin groups.
  • Kerry Campbell – Jazz saxophonist and former member of The Dramatics and famed band War. He has performed with jazz greats Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Joe Sample among others.
  • William “Doc” Jones – Jazz saxophonist, keyboard artist, music educator, founder of NextStudent Academy, and proud father of Nayo Jones. His performances include stints with Aretha Franklin and The Temptations.

Wednesday, April 30, 4:00PM to 9:00PM
CityScape at 1 East Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004


“International Jazz Day” is FREE to the public, however donations are appreciated. VIP event seating is also available at Copper Blues with a $100 donation. Proceeds support the NextStudent Academy, a local 501(c)(3) organization that works with schools to make jazz music education and instruments available and accessible to students from kindergarten through college. For more information or to make a donation, visit or (602) 234-3397.