Contributed photo, Trumpeter and composer Rick Braun hosts the Tucson Jazz Society’s New Year’s Eve Gala Dec. 31 at Starr Pass. Lori Stoll

For the fifth year, the Tucson Jazz Society and the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa present the New Year’s Eve Gala this Friday, Dec. 31.

The event features live jazz, dancing on two floors, a four-course gourmet dinner, a midnight champagne toast and balloon drop, party favors and festivities, a release said.

It begins at 8 p.m. Inclusive tickets start at $189 per person.

For more information, go to www.tucsonjazz.org. A sell-out is expected.

“I am thrilled to be hosting” this year’s event, said trumpeter / composer Rick Braun. He’s being joined by “my good friends” Peter White on the guitar, sax man Gerald Albright, keyboardist and composer Jeff Lorber and vocalist Selina Albright to “ring in the New Year with an unforgettable concert. It is going to be a fantastic night.”

The Tucson Jazz Institute’s Ellington Big Band, dubbed the best community big band in the country by Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center during the 2010 Essentially Ellington Festival, opens the evening. Longtime educator and trombonist Doug Tidaback directs the Big Band.

The Tucson Jazz Society was founded in 1977 with the mission of promoting and preserving America’s original music – jazz. The Tucson Jazz Society is one of the nation’s largest jazz societies, with an active membership of more than 2,200 members.

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