The song is Ended (but the Melody Lingers On)
We were sewing up this edition celebrating the Tucson Jazz Festival when we heard the sad news that Yvonne Ervin passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
Yvonne was Jazz Fest's grand ambassador, a relentless advocate, a talent scout and hostess for the acts who came through town over the last five years. She was a longtime advocate for local jazz; it was her beat when she wrote for the Weekly some three decades back and she led the Tucson Jazz Society before she moved to New York City in the late '90s.
As Dan Coleman, vice president and co-founder of the Tucson Jazz Festival, told me when he heard the news: "Yvonne Ervin mastered every skill in support of jazz. She was a preeminent fundraiser, a shrewd concert promoter and a compassionate arts journalist. She could have maintained her outstanding national reputation by staying in New York City, but she brought her expertise home to Tucson, and proudly celebrated artists from the region who rose to prominence. Her relentless dedication was incomprehensible until one understood that she felt obligated to work as hard as the musicians she championed. Her legacy will be cherished."
Indeed it will—and her spirit will be dancing at every one of the Jazz Fest's shows this month.
Now in its fifth year, the Jazz Fest is packed with great acts: Trombone Shorty at Centennial Hall. Pink Martini with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Sheila Jordan, who is still singing at age 90, at the Temple of Music and Art. Up-and-coming superstar Magos Herrera and her quartet at the Fox Theatre. A whole day of free jazz downtown on MLK Day. And much more. Music correspondents Eric Swedlund and Brett Callwood have details on the festival in this week's music section.
Elsewhere in the book: I talk with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild about why he decided against seeking a third term; columnist Tom Danehy shares his hopes and wishes for the new year; our staff rounds up the transportation projects you'll see in the year to come; movie critic Bob Grimm enjoys getting reacquainted with Mary Poppins; Chow writer Mark Whittaker experiences Caribbean/Asian fusion; Cannabis 520 columnist Nick Meyers questions some statistics about teen pot use; and there's plenty more, so dig in and start planning your week.
You might notice a few of our regulars aren't with us this edition, but don't fret: You'll see plenty this year from arts writer Margaret Regan, theatre critic Sherilyn Forrester, comedy correspondent Linda Ray and Nightcrawler columnist B.S. Eliot. They're just taking a well-deserved holiday break.
See you at the jazz fest!
— Jim Nintzel Executive Editor
Hear Nintz talk about what's happening in Tucson's entertainment scene Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. during The World Famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.