Jeff Haskell and Katherine Byrnes

Do the names Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and Linda Ronstadt grab your attention? These iconic singers shared a common bond in that many of their songs were arranged for them by famed band leader Nelson Riddle. Come to the Arizona Senior Academy on Tuesday (Sept. 11) at 11:30 a.m. for a concert of Riddle’s arrangements performed by a pair of Tucson’s leading interpreters of the American Songbook.

Vocalist Katherine Byrnes and pianist-composer-arranger Jeff Haskell return to the Academy stage to preview a Nelson Riddle big band show which will be featured in the January 2019 Tucson Jazz Festival.

Katherine Byrnes is an award-winning vocalist who has toured with Blue Note Recording artist Amos Lee, as well as local luminaries Calexico and Orkesta Mendoza. As a solo artist, Byrnes has toured internationally, performing a variety of styles including Broadway, jazz, rock, and classical. She has also appeared at the ASA along with Ryan Alfred in their Americana/folk band Sweet Ghosts.

Jeff Haskell is a legendary figure in the Tucson jazz scene, composing and conducting, as well as educating and coaching many successful jazz musicians. He has won three Los Angeles Emmy Awards for his work on the children’s TV program, “Dusty’s Treehouse,” and his song arrangements have been featured on two Linda Ronstadt albums. His choral/orchestral composition, “Pastiche Americana,” was performed by The Little Orchestra in Lincoln Center, and his “Concerto for Jazz Band and Orchestra” debuted with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Byrnes and Haskell’s decade-long musical partnership goes back to Byrnes’s student days at the University of Arizona when she became the featured vocalist in the university’s Studio Jazz Ensemble led by Haskell, who at that time was director of jazz studies at the UA.

Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Pair to Feature Songs Arranged by Nelson Riddle: September 2018
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