Arizona Musicfest kicks off its second quarter century presenting wide-ranging musical artists with the first-ever Fall Fest, a four-concert schedule featuring Melissa Manchester, Musicfest competition and scholarship winners, two of America’s hottest bluegrass bands and The Midtown Men: The Original Cast of Broadway’s “Jersey’s Boys,” from Oct. 28 through Nov. 7 in Scottsdale.
The 26th annual Arizona Musicfest Winter Festival opens Jan. 27 with Grammy Award-winning trumpet sensation Chris Botti and runs through March 10 when Decades of Divas: From Billie and Aretha to Celine and Barbra closes the season.
In between, among the special guests are legendary multiple Grammy Award-winning Manhattan Transfer, vocal powerhouse Cantus, world renowned classical violinist Midori, Kennedy Center Honoree Mavis Staples and Grammy winner Patti Austin with The Festival Orchestra celebrating Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday.
The inaugural Fall Fest “reflects our commitment to our growing and engaged patron base to expand both our schedule and concerts by major artists and Arizona’s incredible young talent,” said Executive and Producing Director Allan Naplan.
During the past three years under Mr. Naplan’s direction Arizona Musicfest attendance has grown from just under 7,000 in 2013 to nearly 16,000 in 2016.
The Fall Fest schedule includes:
• Singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Highlands Church, 9050 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale. Tickets: $34 to $76.
• The Young Musicians Fall Concert, featuring the best young musical talent in Arizona, 1 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. Tickets: $20.
• Bluegrass Duet: Featuring The Lonely Heartstring Band and Mipso, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, 25150 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale. Tickets: $35, $59.
• The Midtown Men: The Original Cast of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys,” featuring Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Highlands Church. Tickets: $34 to $76.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.azmusicfest.org or at the venues.
The Arizona Musicfest Winter Festival’s classical, jazz, bluegrass, Broadway, pop, folk and rock-and-roll tribute-band concerts include:
• Chris Botti (Festival Headliner), 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at Highlands Church. Tickets: $34 to $82.
• Young Musicians Winter Concert, 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at Musical Instrument Museum. Tickets: $20.
• Mirage: Visions of Fleetwood Mac, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Highlands Church. Tickets: $24 to $67.
• Nicole Pesce (Arizona Spotlight Artist), 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Fairway House at Grayhawk, 8620 E. Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale. Tickets: $52.
• The Manhattan Transfer, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at Highlands Church. Tickets: $34-$76.
• Cantus, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Musical Instrument Museum. Tickets: $49 and $59.
• A Band Called Honalee: The ‘60s of Peter, Paul and Mary, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at Highlands Church. Tickets: $24-$67.
• Kruger Brothers bluegrass trio & Kontras Quartet classical string ensemble, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at Highlands Church. Tickets: $24-$67.
• A Broadway Romance, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Highlands Church. Tickets: $24 to $67.
• Bob Moody & Friends with Broadway’s Telly Leung, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at Fairway House at Grayhawk. Tickets: $59.
• Festival Orchestra Chamber Players: Bach, Mozart & Stravinsky, 3 p.m. Feb. 19 at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church. Tickets: $47 and $67.
• Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto and Saint Saens’ “Organ” Symphony, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at La Casa de Cristo Church, 6300 E. Bell Road. Tickets: $24-$76.
• Midori (Featured Artist) with The Festival Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at La Casa de Cristo Church. Tickets: $45 to $100.
• Ella at 100: The Centennial Celebration featuring Patti Austin with The Festival Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Highlands Church. Tickets: $24 to $76.
• “Italian” Symphony & Opera: Pagliacci in Concert Featuring Stars of the Metropolitan Opera, 3 p.m. Feb. 26 at La Casa de Cristo Church. Tickets: $24 to $76.
• We’ve Only Just Begun: The Carpenters Remembered, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Highlands Church. Tickets: $24 to $67.
• Mavis Staples (Musicfest Legend), March 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Highlands Church. Tickets: $34 to $76.
• Decades of Divas: From Billie and Aretha to Celine and Barbra, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Highlands Church. Tickets $24 to $67.
For more information, visit www.azmusicfest.org or call 480- 840-0457.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.