Originally published Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 06:00a.m.

For the 18th year of the Prescott Jazz Summit, things are going to be a little different, said co-founder Mike Vax.

Because of a conflict of dates due to the 50th anniversary of Yavapai College, there won’t be a three-day weekend festival this year, Vax said.


Dennis Rowland will perform at the Prescott Jazz Summit's Howlin' in the Highlands concert at the Highlands Center for Natural History Saturday, June 9. (Mike Vax/Courtesy)

“It was just no other weekend that I could make everything work anywhere around our usual weekend,” he said. “I decided this year, we’ll just do a series of concerts and keep it going, and next year go back to three days.”

The first concert in the series is a Howlin’ at the Highlands Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at the Highlands Center for Natural History. The concert features Dennis Rowland, who tied with Prescott artist Doug Hyde to be named Artist of the Year in the 37th annual Governor’s Art Awards.

Rowland was the featured vocalist with the Count Basie Orchestra for many years and has traveled the world for more than 40 years. He’ll be backed up by the Prescott Jazz Summit All Star Combo, which includes Vax on trumpet, Tony Vacca on saxophone, Jack Petersen on guitar and piano, Selwyn Reams on Bass and Cleve Huff on drums.

The Jazz Summit has had Rowland a few times and he’s always been a popular draw, Vax said. For this concert, Rowland will be doing something special.

“He’s going to do a tribute to Nat King Cole,” Vax said. “So many people love Nat King Cole.”

Tickets for the show are $20 and can be purchased online at www.prescottjazz.com, by calling 928-277-1576 or 484-558-0066 or at the door. The Highlands Center for Natural History is located at 1375 S. Walker Road. Other concerts in the series include the Prescott Jazz Summit All Star Big Band at courthouse plaza Tuesday, June 26; a Howlin’ at the Highlands concert Saturday, July 21; the Jazz Summit All Star combo at courthouse plaza Tuesday, Aug. 14; a tribute to New Orleans at the Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center Friday, Aug. 24; and a special fundraiser for music education at Watters Garden Center Sunday, Sept. 9.

The three-day festival will resume next year, Vax said.