Dennis Rowland & The Extreme Decibel Big Band
Headline Jazz In AZ Father’s Day Benefit

By Joel R. Goldenthal

The fourth annual Father’s Day Big Band Dance starring Dennis Rowland and the Extreme Decibel Big Band will be held in the ballroom of the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 N. Scottsdale Road, from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 17th. The dance is a fundraiser to support the youth jazz education programs of Jazz in AZ and The Nash, the new nonprofit education and performance center of Jazz in AZ in downtown Phoenix. Once again, the dance is being held in honor of John Dawson for his continued generous support of jazz.

Dennis Rowland

“Mr. Dawson’s personal and corporate generosity have helped to make many of Jazz in AZ’s signature events and youth programs possible during the past four years,” according to Steve Douglas, president of Jazz in AZ. “Jazz is America’s original art form and its future is in the hands of those special individuals who appreciate its value and importance to future generations. Our organization, and especially the young musicians that it serves, have benefitted immensely from Mr. Dawson’s support, and we are most grateful,” Douglas said.

Former Count Basie vocalist Dennis Rowland will front Clark Krueger’s Extreme Decibel Big Band, performing a classic dance repertoire and familiar songs made popular by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. A fun swing-dance lesson, courtesy of Steve Conrad and the Lindy Hop Society, will kick off the event.

Rowland continues to be a standout in the current music scene. While he has his own style, he is clearly reminiscent of his key mentor, the legendary Joe Williams, who sang many years earlier with the Count Basie Orchestra.

Formed in 1987, the Extreme Decibel Big Band is one of the Southwest’s longest running big bands. The 17-piece group features many of the Valley’s top musicians, and boasts a repertoire of more than 300 arrangements, including classic and contemporary big band charts.

During the dance, several “rising star” jazz musicians will perform as guests in the band. “Playing along-side professional musicians is an important step in the development of young players. Their playing at this dance is the perfect occasion to showcase these up-and-coming jazz musicians who will carry on America’s original art form, jazz,” Douglas said.

General admission tickets to the Father’s Day Dance are $30 per person or $35 at the door ($5 discount advance tickets for members). Partially tax-deductible sponsor tables of 10 to help support Jazz in AZ are available for $500. Details and tickets at or by phone at 480-994-0807.