29th Annual Tucson Folk Festival Strums a Happy Song Downtown
April 30, 2014
by James J. Jefferies
Full disclosure: my relationship with folk music has occasionally been a contentious one. On the one hand, I grew up watching Kermit The Frog singing “Rainbow Connection” and “Bein’ Green”, which instilled a certain love and respect for the power of a genuinely good singer-songwriter to touch the listener’s heart in ways that most of our dead-eyed pop-star Twitterati never will. However, I also worked for a long time at a nameless retail outlet at which my former supervisor insisted on hosting an open mic night, which drew a variety of participants of varying quality, some of whom conjured all the lyrical relevancy and aural majesty of a cat being sucked into a riding mower. Some of them were pretty good, though.
Thankfully, for your listening pleasure, the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association will be putting on the 29th Annual Tucson Folk Festival this weekend. It’s a Tucson institution, packed with a vast roster of terrific local musicians, and some of those scheduled to play are prominent national touring artists such as Ryanhood, Run Boy Run, and The Sonoran Dogs. Music lovers of all stripes are invited to enjoy twenty hours of free live music on five different stages on Saturday, May 3rd, and Sunday, May 4th! Venues include the plaza in El Presidio Park, the Courtyard at the historic Pima County Courthouse, inside the Tucson Museum of Art and the Museum’s patio, and the La Cocina stage at Old Town Artisans.
“This will be our fourth year (at the Festival),” said Tucson-area vocalist Liz Cerepanya, whose band, The Long Wait, will be playing on Sunday at 2:30 at La Cocina. “This is our second year at La Cocina, which is our favorite stage at the Festival. It’s free, and there’s really big crowds that just stay all day, have fun, and are there to see live music,” said Cerepanya. In addition to all the scheduled performances, there is also a songwriting contest, a young artists’ stage, an acoustic showcase, and a variety of workshops that will present a fantastic opportunity for local musicians to network and pick up on some new techniques.
If you’re just taking in the great music, there will also be a variety of craft and food vendors present at the various Festival venues. It all happens this weekend all around the Downtown area, and for more information, please check out the Tucson Folk Festival website here!