Downtown Jazz Fiesta gets ‘rained in’ — moves inside to Club Congress, The Century Room & The Rialto

January 16, 2023
By Matt Sterner

The show must go on!

Oh, what gloomy weather the Old Pueblo has on display these days. A lot of us here in Tucson enjoy the rain, though.

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On that note, not even a rainy day in Tucson can keep one of the Tucson Jazz Festival’s major events from taking place. Last week, the festival’s executive director, Khris Dodge, announced that the all-day free Downtown Jazz Fiesta will continue as planned on Monday, January 16.

However, instead of being rained out, the show will be “rained in” at several indoor locations on the west side of downtown near Congress and Pennington including The Century Room, The Rialto Theatre, and Club Congress.

Photo by Lucas Allmann
Photo by Lucas Allmann

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., all scheduled entertainment will perform throughout the day as originally planned, including performances by Gabriel Ayala, Matrix, Ada Redd Austin, Elliot Mason, and others. The jazz will be flowing until 6 p.m. for this free day of music — designed to bring the community together while honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Food & drinks galore

Bring an appetite as well because food and beverages will be available at all locations. Last year, The Century Room revealed its new menu small bites menu to go along with its variety of cocktails and mocktails. Hotel Congress also has plenty to choose from at Cup Cafe inside the historic hotel’s lobby (it’s likely to be busy since the patio is drenched).

The ninth annual HSL Properties Jazz Festival began on Friday, January 13, and will continue through Sunday, January 22 at various venues/locations throughout downtown Tucson. You can check out the full schedule online and in the meantime, here’s what’s happening on Monday, January 16:


Rialto Theatre
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Neamen Lyles
  • 1 – 1:45 p.m. – The Tucson Latin Jazz Nonet
  • 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. – The University of Arizona Studio Jazz Ensemble directed by Angelo Versace. With Special guests, Elliot Mason and Sofija Knezivic
  • 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Gunhild Carling
The Century Room
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Tribute to Clifford Brown by Max Roach Quintet: Jason Carder, Brice Winston, Angelo Versace, Tom Wakeling, Dom Moio
  • 1:30 – 3 p.m. – Mike Gellar & Sheryl Ann Mckinley
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Tommy Gearhart – Singing & Swinging the Big 3: Ballads, Blues, & Bop
Club Congress
  • 12:15 – 1 p.m. – Gabriel Ayala
  • 1:45 – 2:30 p.m. – Matrix (Richard Katz – Keys, Gary Love -Sax, Evan Ardondo -Bass, Pete Swan, Drums)

For more information about the Tucson Jazz Festival, visit


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