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Attending the Arizona Jazz Festival

Things To Know Before You Go

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Arizona Jazz Festival

The audience awaits the start of the next set.

© Judy Hedding

I have been to several of the smooth jazz festivals held in the Phoenix area. Here are a few observations that I hope will be useful to people attending the festival for the first time.

Ten Things To Know Before You Go

  1. The Arizona Jazz Festival brings nationally and internationally acclaimed smooth jazz performers to the Valley. If you enjoy this kind of music, you will feel like you are in 'jazz Disneyland' here. You will not be disappointed.
  2. The festivals are multi-day affairs, and jazz lovers will find it difficult to pick one day over the other. None of the musicians perform on both days. If you can, try to attend on all days. Without a high quality smooth jazz radio station in the Phoenix area any longer, this might be the only way to get your semi-annual smooth jazz fix!
  3. If you want to go into the resort to eat or sit in the lounge it is nearby. I'd make reservations for dinner, if that's what you have in mind.
  4. People traveling to the Arizona Jazz Festival or locals attending all days should consider a concert package at the hotel. Having a room is very convenient, especially if the weather is a factor or if you want to take nap or change clothes during the day.
  5. About that weather -- I have been to three festivals so far. The first time it rained. The second time I went during the day and it was over 100°F. The third time I attended it was cold and windy and people wore hats and scarves and mittens. Spring and fall weather can be unpredictable. This is a rain or shine event. Be prepared!
  6. Bring whatever you might need and leave it in the car if you don't have a room on property: jackets, gloves, blankets, seat pads, sunscreen, hats, rain ponchos, personal fans -- you get the picture. Re-entry is permitted so you can always go to the car and get anything that will make it a comfortable experience for you. If it is hot and sunny during the day, be aware that there is little shade here unless you purchased cabana style seating.
  7. The seats in prior years were not especially comfortable, being of the plastic folding chair variety. If you are spending many hours here, seat pads for your seats might be advisable.
  8. All of the artists performing will be selling their music here, and most of them will autograph your CD for you.
  9. Reasonably priced food and beverages are available right at the festival without going into the resort. Bring cash.

Page 1: Dates, Tickets, Details
Page 2: My Tips for Attending the Arizona Jazz Festival

As is common in the industry, the writer was provided with complimentary tickets for review purposes. While it has not influenced this article, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy. All prices and offerings mentioned herein are subject to change without notice. 04/12

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