Chandler Jazz Festival

Stan Sorenson, right, will play with other musicians 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. April 5 at Kokopelli Winery & Bistro and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 6 at La Stalla Cucina Rustica as part of the Chandler Jazz Festival.

Photo courtesy Chandler Jazz Festival

Downtown Chandler’s nice most anytime, but it’ll be a particularly good spot to while away a few hours April 5-6.

That’s when the 14th annual Chandler Jazz Festival returns, giving those of us who enjoy hanging out in pretty weather, people watching, and generally not over-exerting ourselves something easy to do.

Live music performances start at 4:45 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday (and go all night) on sidewalks, in green spaces, and at bars and eateries centered around the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort.

Los Angeles-based band El Chicano, which has performed with artists as varied as The Allman Brothers, Chaka Kahn, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan, headlines a free concert 8 p.m. Friday at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. Marcos Crego and the seven-piece Cuban Tribe play at the same time and place Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Highland/ASU Jazz Festival, organized by Gilbert’s Highland High School band program, will also be in full gear. Primarily a series of master classes with professional jazz artists for Arizona high school musicians, it does offer two rousing concerts open to the public.

Trumpeter Byron Stripling and bassist Rufus Reid will headline at 7:30 p.m. April 5 and 6, respectively, at the Highland High School Auditorium, 4301 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert.

Tickets to each Highland concert are $15-$20

DETAILS >> The Chandler Jazz Festival starts 4:45 p.m. April 5 and noon April 6 at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave. Admission is free. (480) 782-2732 or For information on the Highland/ASU Jazz Festival, call (480) 813-0051, ext. 4421.

Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or

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