With tears in his eyes, Don Z. Miller, the producer of the Paradise Valley Jazz Party has announced that after a 37 year run the Paradise Valley Jazz Party is history.

Miller and his late wife Sue started this legendary event back in 1978. Over the years some of the stars of the jazz world have appeared on the Paradise Valley Jazz Party stage. A list of some of those musicians is included in this page.

Miller, who as of the date of this announcement, November of 2014, is skidding into the 83rd year of his life, said, “ . . . it’s enough already! . . . it was great fun bringing the marvelous musicians to the Valley of the Sun over the years. Musicians from all over, . . . the west coast, the east coast, the gulf coast, the Barbary coast, from Europe, South America, and on and on, . These genius musicians produced some wonderful music for a group of dedicated jazz fans.”

If you were among the lucky ones who attended one or more of the parties, you know what we mean. If you missed this 37 year run, we are sorry.


JJA 'Jazz Heroes' are activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities. This year's 'Jazz Hero' awards were presented on June 11, 2011, in conjunction with the presentation of the Jazz Journalists Association's Jazz Awards honoring significant achievements in jazz music and journalism.

Don Z. Miller is Arizona's jazz impresario, an active producer, advocate and supporter of live music for four decades.

Founder and president of Concerts and Music Productions Inc., Miller has booked top-name musicians for 34 years of the annual Paradise Valley Jazz Party -- world-renowned stars of the swing, bebop, hard bop and modern eras. He's also one of nine founders of Jazz in Arizona Inc., a 34-year-old nonprofit jazz-support organization. From 1989 through 1992 he produced the Phoenix and Scottsdale Jazz Festivals, featuring a stylistic range from the Lionel Hampton Big Band to Spyro Gyra, Rebirth Jazz Band, Dave Brubeck Quartet and the Clark Terry-James Moody Quintet, among others. For Jazz in AZ, he conceived and produced "Treasures of Jazz" concert series, with artists such as Ellis Marsalis, Danny Barker, Bud Freeman, Dave Frishberg and Art Van Damme.

He's also organized and led tours to jazz festivals in Europe and produced several Festivals de Jazz in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico. Don was proclaimed "Arizona's First Citizen of Jazz" by Gov. Bruce Babbitt of Arizona, and named "Promotor Turistico" by the State of Sonora Tourism Department in Sonora, Mexico. He is author of two non-fiction books and publisher of music-instruction books.

The seeds of both the Paradise Valley Jazz Party and Jazz in AZ were sown during a 1976 series with live music by local professionals and Arizona State University students at the University Club of Phoenix; Don produced those in conjunction with weekly jazz-history lectures by ASU music professor Wally Rave. Since then, he has been responsible for bringing hundreds of major jazz stars to the state. Such jazz activism, without parallel in Arizona, makes Don Z. Miller a true Jazz Hero and he will be honored on June 11 at a private gathering in Phoenix. – Patricia Myer

Piano: Dick Hyman, Roland Hanna, Ralph Sutton, Roger Kellaway, Jay McShann, Kenny Barron, Ray Bryant, Paul Smith, Bobby Enriquez, Kirk Lightsey, Oliver Jones, Buddy Weed, Jeannie Cheatham, Keith Greko, Bill Charlap, Armand Boatman, Ross Tompkins, Dave Frishberg, Dave McKenna, Diana Krall, Larry Fuller, Freddie Cole, Geoff Keezer, Don Phillips, Jeff Haskell, Shelly Berg, Bill Cunliffe, Tamir Hendelman, Pamela York, Richard Wyands, Junior Mance, Larry Nash, Les Czimber, Brian Holland, Butch Thompson, Andy Margolis, Johnny O'Neal, Mike Kocour, Gerald Clayton, Bill Mays, Matt Lemmler, Jacob Koller, Donald Vega, Beth Lederman, Nick Manson

Bass: Milt Hinton, Major Quincey Holley, Ray Brown, Brian Torff, Monty Budwig, Eddie Gomez, George Mraz, George Duvivier, Bob Maize, Richard Davis, Michael Moore, John Clayton, John Daley, DonThompson, Red Mitchell, Eugene Wright, Jay Leonhart, Andy Simpkins, Keter Betts, Chuck Berghofer, Mark Shelby, Jim DeJulio, John Heard, Brian Bromberg, Lynn Seaton, Eddie Jones, Sean Smith, John Leitham, Peter Washington, Kristen Korb, Dwight Kilian, Christoph Luty, Rufus Reid, Jim Hughart, Jeff Littleton, Phil Flanigan, Nicki Parrott, Blake Thomson, Jon Burr, Michael Bowie, John Sims, Paul Keller, Dwayne Dolphin, Ted Sistrunk, Chris Finet, Tom Wakeling, Rodney Whtaker, Alex Frank

Drums: Bobby Rosengarden, Jake Hanna, Shelly Manne, Jeff Hamilton, Nick Ceroli, Alan Dawson, Barrett Deems, Butch Miles, Joe LeBarbera, Mel Lewis, Terry Clark, Ed Thigpen, Lewis Nash, Bobby Durham, Frank Capp, Louie Bellson, Tootie Heath, Akira Tana, Claudio Slon, Greg Hutchinson, Dom Moio, Rob Perkins, John O'Reilley, Jr., Kariem Riggins, Mel Zelnick, Miro Desa, Herlin Riley, Grady Tate, Sherrie Maricle, Gregg Field, Jim Petrocino, Duffy Jackson, Ralph Penland, Randy Drake, Andrew Haake, Shannon Powell, Walter Harris, Bobby Breaux, John Lewis, Roger Humphries, Greg Warner, Jacob Eary, Pete Swan, Jake Reed, Clayton Cameron

Guitar: Herb Ellis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Louie Stewart, Cal Collins, Barney Kessel, Kenny Burrell, Bruce Forman, Doug McDonald, Ted Goddard, Gene Bertoncini, Marty Grosz, Frank Vignola, Mundell Lowe, Mark Elf, Papa Don Vappie, Eddie Erickson, Joe Cohn, Carl Amundson, Marty Ashby, Stan Sorenson

Trumpet/cornet: Joe Newman, Danny Stiles, PeeWee Erwin, Clark Terry, Red Rodney, Warren Vaché, Doc Cheatham, Wild Bill Davison, Jon Faddis, Jack Sheldon, Billy Butterfield, Glen Zottola, Wallace Davenport, Jim Cullum, Stacey Rowles, Wendell Brunious, Snooky Young, Jesse McGuire, Bill Berry, Byron Stripling, Nicholas Payton, Conti Candoli, Sal Cracchiolo, Leroy Jones, Lou Soloff, Jeremy Davenport, Bobby Shew, Ingrid Jensen, Irvin Mayfield, Charlie Sepulveda, Guy Barker, Dan Barrett, Bobby Rodriquez, Troy Andrews, Chuck Findley, Kevin Clark, Carl Saunders, Mark Braud, James Williams, Gilbert Castellanos, Dmitri Matheny, Marvin Stamm, Claudio Roditi

Trombone: Bill Watrous, Carl Fontana, Al Grey, Slide Hampton, Roy Williams, Urbie Green, Rob McConnell, Phil Wilson, Jimmie Cheatham, Steve Turre, Ray Anderson, Tom Ervin, Michael Grey, Wycliffe Gordon, Lucien Barbarin, Harry Watters, Jay Ashby

Saxophone/clarinet/flute: Flip Phillips, Kenny Davern, Bob Wilber, Peanuts Hucko, Zoot Sims, Buddy Tate, Richie Cole, Chris Woods, Scott Hamilton, Al Cohn, Bud Shank, Bill Usselton, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Spike Robinson, James Moody, Sonny Stitt, Pepper Adams, Lew Tabakin, Bud Freeman, Rickey Ford, Red Holloway, Eric Schneider, Houston Person, Frank Wess, Rickey Woodard, Holly Hofmann, Charles McPherson, Nick Brignola, Nino Tempo, Tommy Newson, Harold Land, Plas Johnson, Andrew Gross, Teddy Edwards, David “Fathead” Newman, Ken Peplowski, Jeff Clayton, Hank Crawford, John Denman, Harry Allen, Allan Vaché, Dave Valentin, Victor Goines, Virginia Mayhew, Buddy DeFranco, Evan Christopher, Brice Winston, Mark Colby, Don Menza, Bill Easley, Melissa Aldana, David Wise

Other instrumentalists: Frank Marocco (accordion), Poncho Sanchez (congas), Joey DeFrancesco (organ), Bob Cooper (vibes), Tarik Winston (tap dancer), Art Van Damme (accordion), Sam Pilafian (tuba), The Jazz Devils (a band), Warren Wolf (vibes), Noah Freedman (violin), Kirk Joseph (tuba), Aaron Weinstein (violin), The Young Sounds Of Arizona, multi-instrumentalist Max Goldschmid, Joe Corral (flute), Bruce Forman’s Cow Bop

Vocalists: Joe Williams, Carrie Smith, Ernie Andrews, Etta Jones, JoAnne Horton, Margaret Whiting, Dennis Rowland, Linda Hopkins, Kevin Mahogany, Nancy Gee, Ruth Brown, Ian Shaw, Sandy Graham, Carmen Bradford, Barbara Morrison, Chris Murrell, Bill Henderson, Topsy Chapman, Dee Daniels, Melissa Morgan, Pammy Forman