ABOUT MESA JAZZ & BLUES THEATER
Mesa Jazz and Blues Theater is an Arizona non-profit corporation organized for education, to present and preserve the music of the U.S in an intimate, comfortable theater where patrons can sit and listen and enjoy top level performances at a reasonable price. The Mesa Jazz and Blues Theater books top level Local, as well as Nationally known and Internationally known jazz and blues Artists, plus a variety of bands.
We provide jazz music educational clinics by top artists, and also provide opportunities for beginning jazz students and youth organizations to perform.
We are constantly searching for a variety of Top Level jazz Artists, especially in the jazz and blues genre, to add to our shows. If you have suggestions please let us know.
Note: Mesa Jazz and Blues Theater is an intimate venue designed to be a Performing Arts Center, with a large, 16' x 40' stage, a top of the line sound system with a sound booth controlled by an Audio Tech, and a state of the art LED stage lighting system that allows for many different lighting patterns to enhance the performance of any artist. The intimate venue only holds 300 seats.
The Mesa Jazz and Blues Theater is inside the Connect Church facility. The Theater rents the venue on Saturday's, and some Fridays, as a Performing Arts Center to present our jazz Concerts and Shows. On other days the venue is used by the Connect Church, whose name is on the building.
However, when Concert/Shows are scheduled, it is a Performing Arts Center, not a church, so do not expect to hear a sermon, and do not expect to be recruited. Only expect that there will be an exciting Concert or Comedy Show, or some other variety of show for you to enjoy.
Our friendly and efficient volunteer ushers staff will welcome you, answer any questions, help you find your seats, and make you feel like you are one of the family - because you are - and we appreciate you.
All of our shows are family friendly. You can bring your children, and grand parents to join in the fun!
We are a non-profit corporation and have applied for our 501(c)3 designation. We depend on both ticket sales and donations to bring top-level shows to Mesa. All donations are appreciated.
ABOUT THE MESA JAZZ & BLUES FOUNDER
89 year old Bill Travis, the founder and CEO of the Mesa Jazz and Blues theater describes why he decided to form this non-profit corporation.
Mesa did not have a theater for live jazz music that specialized in top-level jazz and live blues music, the music that originated in America. I grew up with jazz music, blues music, and in my late teens attended many live R&B shows in local theaters, and in local night clubs that would allow me in. Then in the early 1950's I began playing drums in bebop jazz bands. Since I felt there was a void to be filled in Mesa and the east valley, I formed an Arizona non-profit corporation and applied for the IRS 501(c)3 exemption so the theater could attract donors who also want to preserve and present that music in Mesa.
After being drafted into the Army in 1953, I was accepted into the 4th Armored Division Band. Using my Army musician friends, I formed a 5-piece band that played jazz standards, and some bebop jazz, at the Officers Club, Non-commissioned Officers Club, and the USO club.
After my Army discharge, I began flight training, and eventually became a Captain for Pan Am Airlines where I had a 28 year career until retirement age in 1992.
I’ve been a musician, drummer, all my life, so after retirement, I formed my own 17-piece band and several smaller ones, specializing in big band music and jazz standards, that I booked and performed with for 10 years in the San Francisco area. After relocating to the Phoenix area in 2004, I gave up playing drums and did some volunteer projects.
While volunteering at a local community theater, in the sound department, I was asked to book some of the performances. After a while I decided to leave and start booking performances on my own at another venue.
Due to Omicron, I had to shut down, and during the down time, I decided to put together a board of directors to develop a non-profit theater specializing in jazz and blues music, R&B, soul and Motown music, utilizing top-level local, and nationally known musicians.