Posted by Stu Goldman on Dec 07, 2017
Yvonne Ervin, founder and executive director of the HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival, will explain how and why the festival was started four years ago, and outline the economic impact, demographics and financing of the 11-day event. She’ll also present some musical highlights of the January 2018 festival which will feature Arturo Sandoval and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Sheila E., Diane Schuur, Spyro Gyra, The Mingus Dynasty, the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band and many others. She will also talk about some of her other jazz projects including The Mingus Project and the Tucson Jazz Institute.
Biography - Yvonne Ervin
Yvonne Ervin is a professional fundraiser, non-profit manager, journalist and concert producer. She is the founding executive director of the HSL Properties Tucson Jazz Festival which she started in January 2015. From 1989 to 1998 she was the founding executive director of the Tucson Jazz Society, building it from 500 members to become the largest jazz society in the country with 2,100 members and 42 concert productions a year.  Before the jazz society, she was marketing director for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for five years.
For 17 years, Yvonne organized the Primavera Jazz Fest, the world's longest-running women's jazz festival.  She produced the Jazz on the Border: The Mingus Project, a weeklong festival in Nogales Arizona and Sonora in 1993 and she is chair of the board of The Mingus Project in Nogales Arizona, where she finally realized her goal of building a memorial park for Charles Mingus.  She stage managed at NYC’s famed Apollo Theater and produced the memorials for jazz greats Abbey Lincoln and Hank Jones at the legendary Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Yvonne represented the jazz industry on the board of the International Association of Jazz Educators for four years and since 1994 she has been the executive director of the Western Jazz Presenters Network, a coalition of 45 jazz festivals and venues in the West.  The Mid-Atlantic Arts Alliance and The Kennedy Center hired her to write a curriculum to train new jazz presenters for a National Endowment for the Arts-funded program. 
Since her early 20s Yvonne has worked as a jazz journalist for print and radio, interviewing more than 150 jazz legends.  Thirty of those interviews are archived at the Library of Congress.  She is editor of Hot House magazine in NYC and was the jazz columnist for the Tucson Weekly for several years.  In 2015 she was inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum. During her 12 years in New York City, she held top development and executive positions at non-profits and raised more than $10 million dollars. She moved back to Tucson in January 2011 and was development director of the University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry before leaving to start the jazz festival.