On the second day of the 13th annual Juneteenth Festival, Milt Cannon and the Giants of Jazz riveted the Colly Soleri Amphitheater audience with the sounds of smooth jazz. The band is comprised of saxophonist Milt Cannon, bassist Ray Carter, pianist Nicky Adams, drummer Hanzq Ab Dul and guitarist Byron Fry.

[photo & text: Logan Bier]

Pianist Nicky Adams recently graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and has already proven himself as a talented performance artist in Prescott, Arizona’s jazz scene. On improvisation in his creative process, he has stated, “Improvisation is commonly assumed to be synonymous with openness. Yet to reach this openness, one has to have an established idea of form. After all, form is a central part of life. You have your way of living life day in and out, meeting people and so forth. Throw this to the wind, and you are throwing out a key component of life.” [quote from http://www.oberlinreview.org/article/musician-profile-nicki-adams/ ] [photo: Youngsoo Kim & text: Logan Bier]

Ray Brown Jr. was the next to grace the stage with an original take on rhythm and blues, as well as country and rock and roll. His discography includes Slow Down for Love (2001), Committed from the Heart (2003), Stand by Me (2007), & Friends and Family (2008). Ray Brown Jr. is the son of legendary bassist Ray Brown.

[photo & text: Logan Bier]

And a very special thank you to our tireless theater technician, Andrew “Worm” Chisholm, for making the multiple performances of this year’s Juneteenth Festival as seamless and acoustically satisfying as they were.

[photo & text: Logan Bier]

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