Desert Overture and Desert City Jazz stand in solidarity with our community in the call to end violence against black people. We grieve the loss of countless black lives stemming from more than four hundred years of systemic, violent racism. We are eternally grateful for the courage of black LGBTQ+ activists that led the gay liberation which allows for the existence of our bands today. Music teaches us every day that we must listen, practice, fail, and try over and over again in order to learn, grow, and become better. #BlackLivesMatter
We hope you are doing well as things begin to open up and life cautiously moves toward a new normal.
We don’t yet know when either Desert City Jazz or Desert Overture will be able to rehearse and plan for our next concerts. We hope it will be soon! We miss the camaraderie of rehearsals, engaging with friends, and working on challenging music to perform for you!
In the mean time, since we can’t perform live, we are going online. We hope you enjoy this remotely recorded video of our new theme song, Desert Jazz Opener, by our director LaShaun Tweedie.
Desert City Jazz is not rehearsing or performing at this time due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our members and our audience is our top priority.
Please consider joining our email list so that we can let you know when performances can be scheduled.
We look forward to the day when it will be safe to gather in public again to enjoy live music together. Until that time, please be careful, stay home as much as you can, and wear a mask when you do go out.
LaShaun Tweedie Takes the Reins of Phoenix’s Premier LGBT & Ally Jazz Ensemble
Desert City Jazz announced LaShaun Tweedie as its new Artistic Director, immediately overseeing the 17-piece jazz ensemble. In addition to being a current member of the band’s trumpet section, Tweedie is a gifted composer, arranger, keyboard player, as well as audio recording engineer. He studied jazz performance at Mesa Community College under the direction of Fred Forney and Grant Wolf and graduated from the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences. Prior to joining Desert City Jazz, Tweedie played keyboards and served as musical director for various local and national touring bands for 20 years.
“I couldn’t be more excited to work with this group of talented and dedicated musicians,” stated Tweedie. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to influence, motivate, and develop Desert City Jazz into new territories while building each musician’s confidence in their ability to create fun and dynamic jazz music.”
Tweedie succeeds Michael Collier, Desert City Jazz’s founding director, who recently resigned. Under Collier’s direction, the band enjoyed significant artistic growth and developed a loyal audience.
Desert City Jazz is a full-size jazz ensemble comprised of many of the best jazz musicians in the Phoenix area’s LGBT and Ally community. Formed in 2015, the band performs to sell-out crowds in venues such as the Nash jazz club, the Clarendon Hotel sky deck, and Tempe Center for the Arts.
Desert City Jazz operates under the umbrella of Desert Overture Live Cultural Entertainment, Inc. (DOLCE), a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to entertain, enrich, educate, and support the community and our members through our passion for music. DOLCE serves as the parent organization for both Desert Overture Wind Symphony, Phoenix’s Premier LGBT and Ally Wind Symphony, and Desert City Jazz.
Desert City Jazz is a full-size, 17-piece jazz ensemble (5 saxes, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, piano, bass, drums, vibes/percussion) comprised of many of the best jazz musicians in the Phoenix area’s LGBT and Friends community. Our director is LaShaun Tweedie.