Mariah Fleming - Executive Editor
Patricia Myers - Editor at Large

Contributing Writers
Jimmy Magahern
Liz Boyle
Lynne Avril
Blaise Lantana

Photography Editor
R.A. Bowen

Web Lacquey
Ken Skaggs

Compound Grill Unique New Venue for Blues, Jazz and Rock

By Patricia Myers

Blind Boys of Alabama, sketch by Lynne Avril

The Compound Grill is one of the northeast Valley’s newest live music venues for blues, rock and jazz, featuring both local and touring bands.

Open since November 2009, the restaurant (originally a Black Angus) has a raised stage and excellent sound system, and seats 150-plus at tables, high-tops and the bar with wood floors, beamed high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. The venue is at 7000 E. Mayo Blvd. at 68th Street, Phoenix, at the west end of Scottsdale 101 Mall, (west on Mayo Blvd. off Scottsdale Road, south of 101-North Freeway), 480-585-5483,

The producers of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival own the venue, and photographs of previous festivals are displayed on the walls, plus videos on flat-screen TVs and a pull-down screen. The 2010 festival will be staged April 23-25 on grassy turf placed on the adjacent parking lot for daytime sets, with evening performances indoors. The program will feature pop, rock, soul, gospel, reggae, blues and jazz performed by artists including Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Ryan Shaw, Super Chikan, Ruthie Foster, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, plus many local bands. Volunteers are encouraged for the box office, ID station, trash pickup and merchandise sales, go to or email or call 602-343-0453.

Jazz in Arizona has scheduled its annual member meeting and monthly party here on Sunday, April 18, open to the public. The meeting starts at 2:15 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. concert, “Tribute to the Giants of Jazz”: Dave Brubeck, Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea & More,” performed by Scott Zimmer-Keith Kelly-saxes, Brett Reed-vibes, Dan Delaney-piano, Ted Sistrunk-bass, John Lewis-drums; info 480-994-0807.

Weekly Tuesday jazz nights recently included the Fred Forney Quartet on March 23 and Delphine Cortez on March 30. Blues dates included April 1 for the Sean Carney Band (blues guitarist, nephew of the late Gary Carney). Ahead in April, New York guitarist Jack Wilkins appears on April 13 and Shea Marshall’s Latest on April 20. For other bookings see

During the initial weeks last year, bookings included a sold-out house for acclaimed jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. There also were performances by The Blind Boys of Alabama, John Hammond, John Lee Hooker Jr., Norman Simmons (pianist for Joe Williams), Dave Mason, Robben Ford, Los Lobos and a benefit event for Haiti.

Among the local musicians being booked regularly are Dennis Rowland, Walt Richardson, Diana Lee and Greg Warner, Big Pete Pearson, Chuck Hall Band, Armand Boatman’s Bebop Revolution, Scotty Spenner, Papa John DeFrancesco, Fred Forney, Delphine Cortez, Hans Olson, Big Nick and the Gila Monsters, Shea Marshall, Bad Sneakers, Cinco de Moio, Michelle Shocked and Cold Shott.

Unfortunate Timing on Closure
of The Compound Grill

By Mariah Fleming
May 2012 Update

The Compound Grill brought a diverse world of music, and a fantastic menu that was much needed and deeply appreciated here in this 6th biggest city in the United States. The closure was a shock to all, including the employees. Their highly anticipated annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival ended a few days earlier. When I spoke to General Manager James Farmer a few hours after it happened, he said the closure was in no way related to the MMMF. Thanks to James and the staff of the Compound Grill for doing a great job.

Ironically, the club was just building a big head of steam, so the timing of the closure is especially unfortunate. The venue lasted only 30 months, not enough time to establish a big following, though many of their shows were full and the patrons were clearly delighted. The venue came alive with packed houses for acts like The Blind Boys of Alabama, Dr. John, Mickey Hart and Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. Recent MAMAZ interviews included Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Mickey Hart and the Neville’s Dumpstaphunk.

Upcoming shows included the BoDeans, Beau Soleil, Tab Benoit and Royal Southern Brotherhood and Donovan Frankenreiter. These shows moved to the Crescent Ballroom If you bought tickets for any shows not listed, the shows will either be rescheduled or your tickets will be refunded. And don’t forget to stay tuned to the McDowell Mountain Music Festival We bid a fond farewell to The Compound Grill. Thanks for the memories.