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Tucson Folk Festival returns with 75 performances across three stages, April 10-11

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Tucson Folk Festival returns for its 36th year, April 10-11, with a range of new ways to enjoy the festival, including over 75 socially-distanced performances, broadcast live from three stages, Centennial Hall at the University of Arizona, the Drive-In Stage at Park Place Mall, and the MSA Annex at Mercado San Agustin.

After cancelling the in person Festival last year because of the pandemic, the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association adapted the program greatly for 2021 festivities. All performances will be broadcast live for free viewing online and viewers can watch the Festival at home, by car, or in person.

“Whether you’re streaming the performances from home, enjoying the drive-in, or grabbing a seat at MSA Annex, this year’s line-up is not to be missed!” said TKMA President Matt Rolland. “We’re so excited to offer the festival in a brand-new way this year, designed with the safety of our performers and audience in mind. The festival remains free to the public and is now viewable by live broadcast. We thank our community partners and sponsors for making this year’s Festival possible, especially our new title sponsors Arizona Arts and Arizona Arts Live.”

>> For schedules and performers visit the Tucson Folk Festival.

NATIONAL HEADLINERS

Grammy Award-winning folk and bluegrass artists Laurie Lewis & Nina Gerber will perform live from Berkeley, California. Their performance will be broadcast live both online and to the big screen at Park Place and MSA Annex stages on Saturday, April 10, from 8-9:15p.

For fiddler, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and Grammy-winner, Laurie Lewis, the traditions of bluegrass and folk aren’t so much tools in her hands, but burning sources of inspiration that have driven her through a 30+ year career at the forefront of American roots music. A pioneering woman in bluegrass, Laurie has paved the way for many young women today, always guided by her own love of traditional music and the styles of her heroes that came before.

Laurie is joined by the inimitable Nina Gerber on acoustic and electric guitar. After carving a career out of what some might call the shadows, guitarist Nina Gerber is at last beginning to dare the light with her latest solo record. Nina has performed and recorded with Karla Bonoff, Peter Rowan, Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, and many others.

REGIONAL HEADLINER

The Tucsonics, featuring special guests, will perform live on the Drive-In Stage at Park Place Mall on Sunday, April 11, from 7-8:30p. It will also be viewable online and on the MSA Annex Big Screen.

The Tucsonics is Tucson’s premier western swing band playing older tunes from the 30’s 40’s and 50’s from the likes of Bob Wills, Spade Cooley, Milton Brown, Gene Autry and much more. The Tucsonics features some of Tucson’s finest session and performing musicians including Alvin Blain (steel guitar), Lex Browning (guitar), Matt Mitchell (guitar), Nick Coventry (violin), Evan Dain (bass) and Fred Hayes (drums). This band is sure to deliver a night of fun!

FAMILY SHOW HEADLINER

Ron Pandy will perform live on the Centennial Hall stage, presented by Arizona Arts and Arizona Arts Live, and streaming online on Sunday, April 11, at 12:15p.

Throw out the rules when Family Show Headliner Ron Pandy hits the stage! A dad with an open mind and a sense of humor, Ron gets all ages fully participating in movement and spirited music. There are just some things about being a kid that remain the same through time and he makes those memories the ingredients of his show. 

Remaining performers are a who’s who of local and regional fan favorites, including such beloved artists as the Heather Hardy Band, JC & Laney, Ryanhood, CS&M Trio, Gertie and the TO Boyz, P.D. Ronstadt & the Company, and so many more.

STAGE SCHEDULES

Saturday, April 10

·        Noon – 9p           Drive-In Stage at Park Place Mall

·        10:30a – 7p         Centennial Hall at University of Arizona

·        1145a – 9p          MSA Annex at Mercado San Agustin, 11:45 AM – 9 PM

Sunday, April 11

·        11:30a – 9p         Drive-In Stage at Park Place Mall

·        10a – 7p              Centennial Hall at University of Arizona

·        11:45a – 9p        MSA Annex at Mercado San Agustin

LOCATIONS

o   Drive-In Stage at Park Place Mall

No reservations are required to enjoy this stage in person or online. Up to 300 cars can view the performances in spaced-out parking spaces just southeast of Park Place Mall (in the lot behind LA Fitness near Wilmot and Broadway). Attendees can bring chairs to sit in their parking space to watch the show.  This stage features live performances viewable by spaced out parking spaces and broadcasting live online. 

o   Centennial Hall at the University of Arizona, presented by Arizona Arts and Arizona Arts Live. This stage will not have an in-person audience and is viewable online by live broadcast. This stage will feature live performances all weekend, the Young Artist Showcase and Ron Pandy Family Show on Sunday at 12:15p, and a broadcast of our pre-recorded Stefan George Memorial Songwriting Competition on Saturday. 

o   MSA Annex at the Mercado San Agustin, where up to 94 attendees can view the live performances in spaced out seating pods. Reservations are required and can be made online and in-person at any Bookmans store.

HOW TO WATCH

All performances will be available as a free-to-watch live broadcast accessible through the Tucson Folk Festival website, with audience members invited at the Drive-In Stage at Park Place Mall (no reservation required), and to socially-distanced pod seating at the MSA Annex (reservation required).

TICKETS

MSA Annex ticket reservations can be made in any Bookmans store or online at the Festival website.

ABOUT TUCSON KITCHEN MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION

Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association (TKMA) began as a group of friends gathering regularly on Friday nights for potlucks and jammin’ in the kitchen. In 1986, recognizing a need to celebrate Tucson’s unique music talent on a more national level, TKMA became an all-volunteer operated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and began promoting the annual Tucson Folk Festival. With the mission of furthering public awareness and interest in acoustic music and other folk arts, TKMA is proud to promote and produce the Tucson Folk Festival each year, one of the loveliest events on the Tucson calendar. Since 1986, the Tucson Folk Festival is one the oldest FREE folk and Americana music festivals in the country! Visit Tucson Folk Festival.

ABOUT ARIZONA ARTS

Arizona Arts is a unified gateway to extraordinary arts assets, experiences and educational programs at the University of Arizona. This new division brings together the highly-regarded academic programs of the College of Fine Arts with the world-class offerings from the Arizona Arts in Schools, Arizona Arts Live, Center of Creative Photography, and University of Arizona Museum of Art. Fueled by our belief in the transformative power of the arts, and in collaboration with partners across the university, throughout Arizona, and around the world, we integrate the arts throughout the university experience to establish our campus as an arts destination. We strive to ensure all students, regardless of major, have meaningful experiences in the arts and that the arts play an essential role in realizing our land-grant mission. Visit Arizona Arts.

ABOUT ARIZONA ARTS LIVE

Arizona Arts Live (formerly UA Presents) curates extraordinary live experiences to inspire creativity, enrich the culture of our community, and elevate our place in the world. These experiences create more thoughtful and empathetic southern Arizonans so that we might work together to expand human potential, explore new horizons, and enrich life for all. Southern Arizona grows stronger when we cultivate spaces that welcome people from all backgrounds to gather and share in the extraordinary and the unexpected.

Visit Arizona Arts Live.

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