Spring's outdoor jazz series at St. Philip's Plaza wraps up Sunday, May 23, offering one more chance to experience music under the stars among friends of the Tucson Jazz Society.

Crystal Stark will join Big Band Express for the spring finale before the jazz moves indoors for the summer.

The 16-piece Tucson band, led by drummer/singer Tom Patrick, is a model in swing jazz expertise. Its members claim dozens of combined years performing with the likes of Liberace, Vikki Carr, Bob Hope, Sarah Vaughan and Joe Williams.

Since 1994, Big Band Express has entertained audiences with favorites such as "Kansas City," "Strike Up the Band" and "In the Mood," as well as memorable tunes from Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller.

Standing out front of this good-time machine is Crystal Stark, the bright-eyed singer known for her enthusiastic delivery of hits from the rock, blues and soul genres. She was one of the finalists in the fifth season of TV's "American Idol."

The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the courtyard of St. Philip's Plaza, voted by The Explorer's readers as one of the city's best venues to hear live music. Tickets are available at www.tucsonjazz.org, 520-903-1265 or at the gate. Pricing ranges from $10 student tickets to $15 for members and $20 for the general public.

Acacia will sell food and beverages in the courtyard during the show. The plaza is located on the southeast corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road.

The Tucson Jazz Society moves indoors to Loews Ventana Canyon on Sunday, May 30, to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with the sultry sounds of saxophonist Jessy J, named top new smooth jazz artist of the year in 2008.

Tucson Jazz Society Jazz Under the Stars

Crystal Stark and Big Band Express

Sunday, May 23, 7 p.m.

The courtyard at St. Philip's Plaza

Tickets, $10-$20, www.tucsonjazz.org, 520-903-1265 or at the gate

Sax man Abate under the stars Sunday, May 16

Jazz Under the Stars brings the virtuoso playing of East Coast sax man Greg Abate to St. Philip's Plaza this Sunday, May 16.

Abate's improvisations draw on every jazz source, from swing and bebop to post-bop and hard bop," a release said.

Critics say Abate is "a distillation of swing's easygoing vibe and bop's more animated groove . . . an absolute powerhouse who will absolutely not let hard driving bebop die."

All Jazz Under the Stars concerts begin at 7 p.m. and take place at St. Philip's Plaza, on the southeast corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road. Tickets are $15 members, $20 general public and $10 students and may be purchased at 520-903-1265, www.tucsonjazz.org or at the gate.

Acacia will sell food and beverages in the courtyard during the shows.

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