Legacy Ensembles Story

By John Willis | March 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

The Downtown Devil recently published an excellent story about the two Nash Legacy Ensembles, directed by Michael Kocour and Eric Rasmussen.

CLICK HERE to read the article.

The Nash Welcomes Naquana Borrero, CFRE as Director of Development and Communications

By John Willis | February 23, 2022 | 0 Comments

The Nash Welcomes Naquana Borrero, CFRE as Director of Development and Communications

[Phoenix, Arizona] Jazz in Arizona/The Nash is pleased to appoint Naquana Borrero, CFRE as the Director of Development and Communications.

Naquana joins the organization’s executive team and as the agency’s chief fundraiser, is responsible for leading all philanthropic fund development and communications efforts for both the performance venue, and the educational programming provided by the Southwest’s premier Jazz venue.

Naquana joins at a time of growth and expansion for the organization, which was the recent recipient of a gift from the Virginia Piper Foundation on their historic “Day of Giving”, where more than $123 million was gifted in surprise grants to local nonprofits.

“We are so fortunate to have an individual of Naquana’s extraordinary background and expertise join our organization as we celebrate our first decade in operation,” said Joel Goldenthal, Executive Director of The Nash. “Naquana has what it takes to help us to build upon our success by further expanding our diverse community and developing the financial capacity that is essential to our sustainability for the future.”

Naquana joins The Nash after completing a Covid-focused fundraising assignment in the Tucson region to provide housing and food assistance for those in need, as well as raising funds for the region’s first medical respite center serving individuals experiencing homelessness. Previously, Naquana had served at Community Legal Services, the State’s largest nonprofit law firm, where she was the Director of Development and Communications overseeing all funding, outreach and communications for the organization, including the agency’s recent rebranding efforts. She was responsible for creating legal outreach partnerships for both the Veteran and Faith-based communities. In addition, she is the owner of Bella Vita Consulting Group, a consulting firm focusing on fundraising, DEI, and board development in the nonprofit and political arena. Naquana has also worked on behalf of low-income students, serving as Director of Development and Community Relations and McKinney Vento Coordinator for Empower College Prep Charter School Network in Phoenix.

“I am thrilled to join the team at The Nash. They are a pivotal part of the arts community here in Arizona, with a rich history of providing high quality jazz performances and excellent educational opportunities through their ensembles and workshops. It is also a wonderful gift to be able to step back into the musical world with this position and I am looking forward to working with the team to bring the organization to the next level.”

Naquana holds a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) licensure, a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and graduate certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In addition, she holds two bachelor’s degrees in Music and is a trained classical vocalist. She serves on the Board of Directors for Arizona Squash and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)-Greater Arizona Chapter. Naquana also serves as the current Vice President of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN-AZ) and is a proud member of Valley Leadership Class 40 and the African American Leadership Institute’s cohort #10. She resides in the Valley with her husband.

To reach Naquana and learn more about how you can support The Nash, contact her at naquana@thenash.org.

Legacy Ensemble Auditions – Fall 2021

By John Willis | August 3, 2021 | Comments Off on Legacy Ensemble Auditions – Fall 2021
The Nash Legacy Ensemble program is intended for exceptional high school music students in the Phoenix metropolitan area to pursue the art of small jazz ensemble improvisation, composition, and arranging. During the 2021-2022 season, we will once again be offering the Nash Legacy Ensembles in person and will be holding auditions for two small jazz groups, The Nash Legacy Ensemble Red and Blue.


Recommendations of students from area teachers and musicians are welcomed and encouraged. An open audition for both ensembles will be held at The Nash on Sunday, August 8 and Sunday, August 15 at 12:00pm.


If you are interested in auditioning please contact Dr. Ben Hedquist at ben.hedquist@thenash.org


*If you are unable to make the live auditions you may also submit a video audition. Please email Dr. Ben Hedquist at ben.hedquist@thenash.org for more information.

The Nash Legacy Ensembles – Fall 2020

By John Willis | July 25, 2020 | Comments Off on The Nash Legacy Ensembles – Fall 2020

The Nash Legacy Ensemble is holding auditions for two jazz combos for the 2020-21 academic year.  Directed by two of the leading jazz musicians/educators in the Southwest – Mike Kocour (Director of Jazz Studies, Arizona State University) and Eric Rasmussen (Director of Instrumental Music, Scottsdale CC) – students will develop the art of small jazz ensemble improvisation, composition, and arranging in a highly-supportive and collaborative manner.

This tuition-free program selects up to 12 musicians to perform regularly throughout the year and produce a CD of their music at the end of the academic year.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Legacy Program will begin the year online and move to an in-person model as the situation in Arizona becomes safe for students and teachers.Auditions will be open to all interested students. Students will record video auditions using the provided lead sheets and play-along tracks. The requirements for the audition include: 1) Improvise three choruses of a blues 2) Play two choruses of the jazz standard “Autumn Leaves,” with one of these choruses being the melody.
Each play-along is the required number of choruses.

Those who are interested in participating in this program (or educators that wish to refer students) should contact Dr. Ben Hedquist at ben.hedquist@thenash.org.

Audition recordings must be submitted to ben.hedquist@thenash.org on or before August 14, 2020.

Javon Jackson interview on KJZZ

By John Willis | October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Check out the interview with Javon Jackson that aired on KJZZ, Thursday, October 10th, 2019: https://youtu.be/sE3JJMz_vSM


Contact info

The Nash Jazz Club
110 E Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 795-0464


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