Jazz Happens Here
Text by Laura Schairer

The Nash is always jam packed with world class acts.
Here’s a sampling of the live concerts scheduled for May.


Lewis Nash & The N.Y. Connection Band

On May 14 the Two Show Event, held at 7:00 and 9:15 p.m., will feature saxophonist Vincent Herring, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, pianist Cyrus Chestnut, Wycliffe Gordon on trombone, bassist Rodney Whitaker, and drummer Lewis Nash, with special guest vocalist Vanessa Rubin. Lewis Nash has played with the best jazz musicians in the world over his 40-year career. This “New York Connection” lineup is just the latest example of the caliber of musicians that Lewis brings to The Nash for our enjoyment and total amazement! Each of these musicians is a star in his own right, and with Lewis on the throne, the band will be supercharged. Special guest vocalist Vanessa Rubin punctuates the evening with her crystal clarity, hearth-like warmth and playful lioness sass.

The Frank Smith Quartet with Vocalist/Pianist Lauren Hooker

On May 21, The Frank Smith Quartet will return to the Nash with vocalist/ pianist Lauren Hooker for another amazing show. Lauren, who just recently moved to the Valley from the New York Metropolitan area to be closer to family, is not just a singer, she is a consummate musician. Known as a multi-talented vocalist, instrumentalist, composer, lyricist, educator, producer and storyteller via her Arts in Education Company: Musical Legends, will perform with The FrankSmith Quartet.

Rachel Eckroth Trio 

On May 22, Grammy Nominated pianist Rachel Eckroth, bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Arthur Vint come together to perform the highly influential and enigmatic jazz album Money Jungle. Released in 1963, this trio of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach created an album out of a notably tense recording session with the United Artists label. 


Above: Sherry Roberson & Friends: The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook will be centerstage at The Nash on May 28.

The Superstition Jazz Orchestra Presents Ellington Re-Imagined

On May 4 at 7:30 p.m., attend a musical celebration of one of America’s most beloved composers, Duke Ellington. Come listen to exciting, new arrangements of some of Ellington’s best known tunes, written by orchestra director Mike Crotty, along with trumpeter Nick Cooper. Don’t miss this inspired tribute, featuring the fine soloists and powerful ensemble of the 19-piece Superstition Jazz Orchestra.

Jam Session: Ioannis Goudelis, Stan Sorenson, Pam Morita, Dave Henning, and Beth Lederman.

Held every Sunday, beginning on May 1 at 6:00 p.m., the true spirit of jazz plays out centerstage at The Nash, as student and pro musicians play together, unrehearsed, in a variety of combinations. There’s always a solid core trio.

The Nash Vocal Jazz Ensemble

The Nash Vocal Jazz Ensemble Presents Spring Can Really Jazz You Up the Most at 7:30 p.m. on May 12. The evening will feature music from John Lennon & Paul McCartney, George & Ira Gershwin, Chick Corea, Johnny Mandel, Rodgers & Hart, Jerome Kern, Miles Davis, Al Jarreau among others.

Raul Yañez & Zona Libre

Led by director Rrrrraul Yanez, long time band mates and close friends Zona Libre get together for a night of Latin Jazz and Salsa on May 20 at 7:30 p.m. Raul Yañez on piano and keyboards, bassist Xavier Yáñez, Tony Valenzuela on congas, and drummer Adam Clark.

Sherry Roberson & Friends: The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook

On May 28 at 7:30 P.M., enjoy an evening of timeless classics by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and more, as celebrated vocalist Sherry Roberson leads a deep dive into the Ella Fitzgerald songbook with Dmitri Matheny on the flugelhorn, pianist Beth Lederman-piano, bassist Dwight Kilian, and drummer Emerson Laffey.

For the complete May schedule, visit