The Nash Announces $2.5 Million Expansion for Jazz in Downtown Phoenix

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The Nash Announces $2.5 Million Expansion for Jazz in Downtown Phoenix

 Dawson Foundation makes $1 Million Gift
to create 3200-square-foot Dawson Center
for Jazz Education at The Nash

Celebratory Kick off on Feb 24 with Count Basie Orchestra
Sarah Vaughan Centennial Concert
to raise funds for The Nash Education Programs  

The Nash/Jazz in Arizona’s leadership has announced plans for an expanded center for jazz in downtown Phoenix, headquartered on Roosevelt Row.  The $2.5 million combined projects will include a new 3,200 square foot education center, as well as extensive renovations for The Nash Jazz Club located at 110 N. Roosevelt.  The new Education Center will be located off the Nash Parking lot at 1014 N. 2nd St, creating a comprehensive complex for jazz concerts and musician training in the heart of downtown Phoenix

The John Dawson Foundation and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust have committed significant support for the project, with the John Dawson Foundation committing $1 million of support to establish The John Dawson Center for Jazz Education at The Nash.

“We are thrilled to be making this transformational gift to The Nash, allowing them to expand their thriving jazz education program,” said Dave Lunt, President of the John Dawson Foundation. “Mr. Dawson was a life-long supporter of jazz music, featuring it prominently for more than four decades at his Scottsdale Plaza Resort and Remington’s, as well as directly supporting Jazz in AZ. We look forward to his legacy being carried on through the John Dawson Center for Jazz Education at The Nash.”

Additionally, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, a longtime supporter of the nonprofit, Jazz in AZ and its signature venue, The Nash, awarded the project a $100,000 grant  toward the education facility and an additional $100,000 challenge grant, matching all donations towards the remodel of the performance facility, up to $100,000.

The John Dawson Center for Jazz Education will include 1,800 square feet of rehearsal space including a 900 square foot hall to accommodate large music groups such as big band ensembles, as well as two 450 square foot spaces for combo and ensemble instruction and rehearsals. The space will also allow additional musical recording space to be utilized for students, including college audition materials.  The new Education Center will expand the organization’s educational programming capacity by 50%. Student performances will continue to be held in the Nash Jazz Club.

In addition to the Education Center, the project includes extensive renovations for the Nash Jazz Club, located at 110 E. Roosevelt in downtown Phoenix.  The project includes plans for a new stage and green room, more relaxed seating including banquettes, booths and bar seating, a full bar and enhanced food offerings, and restroom facilities for patrons.

“The Nash opened in 2012 as a venue to bring the community together to enjoy and learn about the amazing music that uniquely reflects the American experience,” said Joel Goldenthal, Executive Director, The Nash. “The renovation of The Nash performance space, in tandem with the opening of The John Dawson Center for Jazz Education, will make our nonprofit venue more inviting to our multi-generational audiences and become a beacon for asserting jazz in the cultural landscape of our city.”

The project will be unveiled officially at the annual Bash for The Nash on February 24, featuring the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra. Commemorating the Centennial of vocalist Sarah Vaughan, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra will be joined by guest vocalist Carmen Bradford, who was discovered by Count Basie himself and has performed with the Orchestra since 1983. The event includes a VIP pre-concert experience, including hors d’oeuvres and hosted bar, auction and a pre-concert talk with Basie director Scotty Barnhart, guest vocalist Carmen Bradford and Nash namesake and world renowned jazz drummer, Lewis Nash.

VIP Tickets for the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra are available for $250 and concert only tickets begin at $59 and are available at Student rates are available.

Funds raised from the event will support the Nash Education programs.

For more information on The Nash, the Nash Education Center project and its concerts and programs, visit