Tucson Jazz Festival returns Friday after being canceled last year due to COVID-19

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) — The Tucson Jazz Festival kicks off Friday, Jan. 14, after having to cancel the 2021 event due to COVID-19.

Due to a spike in cases and the raging omicron variant, three headliners have postponed their performances.

Dianne Reeves’ performance will be rescheduled for May 13. Herb Alpert and Lani Hall will be rescheduled for June 5. Executive director Khris Dodge said the festival is still working with Jon Batiste on the rescheduling.

Despite the change in plans, Dodge said the festival is eager to bring about 15 live shows to Tucson.

“We are thrilled to be able to present live jazz here to our Tucson community,” Dodge said. “Our community yearned to have live music and the fact that we can perform something again this year is a wonderful thing.”

The Dave Stryker Quartet with Warren Wolf and Eric Alexander Quintet will premiere the festival Friday at the Fox Tucson Theater beginning at 7:30 p.m.

A number of indoor and outdoor performances will follow this performance over the next week. Dodge said the festival is following CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of performers and guests.

“For these indoor performances, everyone is required to have vaccinations and vaccination cards and masks must be worn indoors unless actively having a drink,” Dodge said. “We are confident that we can provide a safe space for people to enjoy music.”

A Jazz Jam will be held Saturday at the Congress Hotel from noon to 5 p.m. The Jazz Fiesta, with bands and celebrations throughout downtown Tucson, will take place on Monday.

Tickets can be purchased online. For a list of upcoming performances, you can click here.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

Willie J. Johnson