Jeffrey Osborne, Earl Klugh, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Rick Braun and Everette Harp are set to play the first annual Firebird Music Festival in Scottsdale, Ariz. Sept. 23 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, Billboard can reveal. Grammy-nominated saxophonist Harp is managing partner in JEMrock Productions, the company putting on the event, which he says is the first of many. “We are looking forward to bringing our brand of exciting music festivals to cities across the country,” he said.
Harp further notes to Billboard, “There was an established jazz festival [in Scottsdale] a few years back that drew very large crowds. We’re hoping to bring that back to the Phoenix area in a very big way. This is part of JEMrock’s long range plan here in Scottsdale.”
Producer/bassist Randy Jackson will host the all-day event, which kicks off at 2 p.m. While there are a number of jazz-oriented festivals in the country, including Los Angeles’ Playboy Jazz Festival, he feels the jazz audience will support more activity. “The jazz market place is really underserved in my opinion and we wanted to resurrect the experience that big jazz festivals brought to communities,” he told Billboard. “The Phoenix/Scottsdale area is a great place to start. These artists are brilliant and have earned their place in the history of this genre and we wanted to give them all the thunder they deserve.”
Also on the bill are Bob James, and Harp’s bandmates in Jazz Funk Soul, Jeff Lorber and Paul Jackson Jr.
Tickets, which go on sale Saturday (July 21) for the festival are $85/$75/$65/$55 for reserved seats. General Admission lawn seats are $45.