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July 5 – 18, 2014


‘Tango’ inspires at Gangplank BY LYNETTE CARRINGTON

The community is being asked to assist with an art project at Gangplank in Chandler honoring survivors of serious illness. “Resiliency Roses” will provide the base for public art installation called “Push Down and Tango,” which also pays homage to those with chronic conditions. “This idea evolved from my own experience with tango,” says Crystal Daigle, artist. “I always wanted to take lessons but thought it was beyond my reach due to my chronic pain.” She is a cancer survivor who has also lived with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia for many years. “I decided to follow my heart and began lessons last summer. It’s been great for my health. I want viewers to think about dance as a healing activity, too,” she says. Prospective participants are invited to make roses are Daigle’s “maker parties” from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, July 7, and 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, July 14, during “Craft Hack.” Both parties will take place at Gangplank, 260 S. Arizona Ave., north of Frye Road. “I need a lot of people...20 people on each one of those nights,” notes Daigle. “Push Down and Tango” will be on display at the Mill Avenue Post Office

in Tempe from Aug. 14 to Dec. 10 along with artwork from Joan Baron, Ann Morton and Peter Bugg. The collection of four installations is entitled “Minimum Daily Requirements.” Daigle’s sculptural, site-specific portion of the art installation was designed to fit the space of a particular window at the post office. “I thought about who’s going to be looking at it and who is going to be walking by there and what kind of impact the piece could have on the community. Part of that is that the audience down there is a lot of ASU students and their families and also Tempe families. I took some photographs intentionally of ASU students who dance tango because I wanted there to be a directed tie-in between ASU and the piece,” states Daigle. “Craft Hack” is the second Monday of each month. “We’ve been meeting for at least three years now at Gangplank,” says Eileen Kane, who together with Anne Watson Barber and Stephanie Liebold coordinate the event. “Crystal was attracted to something that we have at Gangplank called ‘Creative Mondays.’” On that night, Gangplank is open late to accommodate various artists and Daigle met up with the “Craft Hack” group and it turned out that it was a

CREATIVE: Crystal Daigle is creating “Resiliency Roses” that together, with many other roses, will become a part of her “Push Down and Tango” art project that will be on display at the Mill Avenue Post Office in Tempe from Aug. 14 to Dec. 10. Submitted photo good time to invite the community to come assist with the “Push Down and Tango” project and the construction of roses. To learn more about the artist, visit Lynette Carrington is a freelancer for the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at



July 5 – 18, 2014

Writers discuss craft, offer help

Jazz Jamboree in July

The Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter, a group of local mystery writers, will hold its next meeting for chapter members Wednesday, July 16, at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, 4000 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale. The meeting will be a roundtable discussion entitled “Writers helping writers,” and members are invited to come with questions for other writers as well as to be ready to share their own expertise. The group is also hosting the WriteNow! 2014 Conference, to be held Friday, Aug. 15, and Saturday, Aug. 16, at Embassy Suites Phoenix – North, 2577 W. Greenway Rd., Phoenix. Registration for members is $100; nonmember registration is $125. The conference will feature guest speakers including authors Catriona McPherson, Timothy Hallinan, Mark Sullivan and Graham Brown. Also available for an additional fee this year is a special oneon-one meeting with a Desert Sleuths member Aug. 15, where writers will have the opportunity to bring the first 15 pages and a synopsis of a work for a personalized critique, which will be sent to the writer within two weeks following the conference. Find out more about the conference, including registration, at www.desertsleuths. com/conference. Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter is part of an international organization that promotes

The Arizona Classic Jazz Society is holding its annual Jazz Jamboree to celebrate Dixieland music. The event will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 27, in San Marcos Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort, One San Marcos Pl., Chandler; and will welcome fans of the music, musicians themselves or anyone who wants to learn what the ACJS is all about. Dixieland music, also known as early jazz, dates from around the 1890s. It is derived from a melding of styles of blues, piano rags, gospels and marches. The style flourished in New Orleans, and most prominently features the clarinet, trumpet, trombone, tuba, banjo and drums. The ACJS works to preserve and promote the musical style through monthly performances, a festival every November and more. The Jazz Jamboree is a great opportunity for

professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry. The latest “Savvy Sleuth” newsletter is available online at www.DesertSleuths. com by clicking on “Newsletters.” The group’s latest anthology, “SoWest: Crime Time,” is also online at gl/kRulyx. For more details, visit www. and www. or email

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those unfamiliar with Dixieland music to experience the traditional jazz, as different musicians rotate in and out of a performing group in a “jam” style performance. Dance floors will be open to swing the afternoon away. There is no fee to attend, but guests are encouraged to make a donation to be divided among the musicians. Jazz musicians who are interested in playing are invited to consider joining in. Ray Templin from Tucson’s Original Wildcat Jass Band will be among the performers. Templin owned and played at Ray Templin’s Bar in the “Matlock” television series and moved to Arizona after performing many years at Disneyland. Musician sign up begins at 12 p.m. Sunday, July 27. Food and drink will be available for purchase. For more information, go to or call (480) 620-3941.

Arts and crafts fair seeks works A local arts and crafts fair this fall will give artists of all stripes a chance to show off their work. The Springfield Arts and Crafts Fair will be hosted by the Springfield Adult Community from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, in the SanTan Ballroom at 6495 S. St. Andrews Blvd., Chandler. Space will also be available in

the card room, lobby and patio. Homemade arts and crafts in a variety of mediums and styles will be featured at the event, which is welcoming vendors to reserve a table for $15. Vendors are asked to call Marilynn at (480) 883-3312 to reserve a space or with any questions.


July 5 – 18, 2014


Orchestra seeks community involvement, volunteers After completing its 2013-2014 season of performances the Chandler Symphony Orchestra kept going strong, and has already planned the 2014-2015 performance season, to begin Friday, Sept. 5, at the Chandler Center for the Arts. In its off season, the group irons out details to make

all performances run smoothly and to plan for the future, and is now welcoming feedback in a survey available at www.chandlersymphony. net/Survey.html. The organization is also looking for volunteers to help run all aspects of orchestra performances. Individuals

Move to the music as you browse art at ArtWalk Art aficionados ranging from newbies to seasoned critics are invited to the Scottsdale Arts District from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays for Scottsdale ArtWalk, when dozens of art galleries along Main Street and Marshall Way in downtown Scottsdale welcome all visitors in a casual setting. The walks are put on in cooperation with the Scottsdale Gallery Association and the City of Scottsdale The Scottsdale Street Performer program brings music to the scene with Thursday Tunes at ArtWalk. Some of the Valley’s hottest pop, rock, jazz and classical talent will be spotlighted Thursday, July 10, during the Summer Spectacular ArtWalk. World music, soul and cool jazz will be playing on the east block of Main Street from Scottsdale Road to Marshall Way, as Simon Crown performs in front of Overland Gallery, 7155 E. Main St. Acoustic guitar sounds will flow from the west side of Main Street, from Marshall Way to Goldwater Boulevard, as John Calvert plays his eclectic tunes. “Island Magic” will be featured along the north block of Marshall Way from Third Avenue to Fifth Avenue, near Method Art Gallery, with Caribbean steel drum music by Keith Johnson. Cool jazz improvisations on the piano by a talented young musician will play along South Marshall Way from Indian School Road to Third Avenue. The Scottsdale Street Performer Program is coordinated by Scottsdale Communication Arts Network’s Southwest Arts and Music. For more information, visit www.

interested in all volunteer positions are encouraged to apply. Anyone actively involved with members of the community may also inquire about openings on the board of directors. For more information, visit www. html.

The Chandler Symphony Orchestra brings together professionally trained musician volunteers to perform classical concerts for free. For more information, call (480) 899-3447, email or visit

Local headliner at Outliars Award-winning funny man Rick Olson from Chandler will take the stage at the Outliars Comedy Club Mesa Friday, July 11. He will be the new location’s first local headliner. The Mesa venue is located at 1666 S. Dobson Rd. Olson will also perform Saturday, July 12, at the Glendale location in the Renaissance Hotel, 9495 W. Coyotes Blvd. Tickets for either show are $10. Olson has performed at venues such as the Flappers Comedy Club, Tempe Improv, The Comedy Spot and The Comedy Store. Combining a “fat kid” persona, keen observations and a knack for sarcasm, Olson has embraced comedy ever since working for AIG during the economic collapse—he notes that perhaps he’s “too big to fail,”

too. The Outliars Comedy Club Mesa consistently books some of the top talent in the nation and consistently sells out. “We want to give the community a chance to see these guys before they leave us to go on to do great things. We’ve already sent people off to work with “The Colbert Report” in New York, Second City in Chicago and L.A. Rick is one of those guys we would like to see in the comedy stratosphere. He does the work and he is on his way. We are glad to have him here while we have him,” says Dave Thurston, comedy instructor and founder of the Outliars. For more information, visit www.

FUNNY MAN: Rick Olson will take the stage July 11 at Outliars Comedy Club Mesa to weave humorous tales of life, love and losses. Submitted photo

Award-winning group at MAC Nickel Creek, a Grammy Awardwinning musical trio who went on hiatus in 2007 and recently reunited, will stop at the Mesa Arts Center for a show on Thursday, Aug. 28. A special guest, soon to be announced, will open for the show. Nickel Creek features Chris Thile (mandolin and vocals), Sara Watkins (fiddle and vocals) and Sean Watkins (guitar and vocals). The group went on an “indefinite hiatus” in 2007, but recently reunited and began touring in April. The group’s new album, “A Dotted Line,” debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 7, the band’s highest chart position to date. Formed in 1989 when Thile and Sara Watkins were 8 and Sean Watkins (Sara’s older brother) was 12, Nickel Creek earned a following playing the festival

circuit for nearly a decade. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 2000 to commercial and critical acclaim. Nickel Creek released two more records: 2002’s “This Side,” which won a Best Contemporary Folk Album Grammy, and 2005’s “Why Should the Fire Die?” Beginning as bluegrass child prodigies, Nickel Creek grew into an acoustic band known for its breadth of musical influences—from Bach to Radiohead—and its surprisingly large sound on stage. The New York Times described its music as “postmodern” and “polystylistic.” The band wanted to do something special to mark its upcoming 25th anniversary, and together produced six co-written new songs, one song by Thile, one by Sean Watkins, and two covers: Sam Phillips’ “Where Is Love

NICKEL CREEK: Freshly reunited, the musical trio Nickel Creek stops by the Mesa Arts Center on Thursday, Aug. 28. Submitted photo Now” and Mother Mother’s “Hayloft.” The new album has received critical acclaim, with praise for both their familiar harmony and new energy. Tickets are available at www., www.mesaartscenter. com and at the Mesa Arts Center box office, at (480) 644-6500.


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July 5 – 18, 2014


Alexakis celebrates the ‘90s with ‘Summerland’ BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

In 2012, Everclear singer-guitarist Art Alexakis saw a resurgence of 1990s music—especially bands from that decade who were still putting out albums. So he founded the Summerland Tour, which features Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog this year. (See accompanying story about Soul Asylum.) “It’s a great opportunity for people who really love ‘90s music—rock ‘n’ roll and guitar heavy bands; bands that had big hits back in the day who are still out there chasing the carrot,” Alexakis says. “The first year wasn’t so much, but the last two years really have been. I think it’s going to blow up the next couple years. People are paying attention to ‘90s music; ‘90s everything, actually.” Another reason Alexakis set up the tour is simply because the music is fun. “There’s a sense of nostalgia to it,” he says. “There’s a sense of great sounding, professional rock bands that kick (butt) and play with a lot of passion. That, to me, is worth the price of admission.” The four-band show is completed in three hours. Alexakis requires the acts on the tour to play the hits, but new songs are welcome. “There’s time for everyone to play an awesome set that makes you want more,” he says. “There’s the old adage of the pop song—people wanting more. I love songs that I want to hear again. When it’s fading out, I want to hear it again. That’s what this tour’s about.” Everclear, who already has a new album “in the can,” as they say, is playing a new track from the collection called “The Man Who Broke His Own Heart.” The record is expected to be out around March. “People seem to really get into it,” Alexakis says about the song. “I get a lot of great feedback. It’s going to be a fun record to do. It’s kind of dark. It’s kind of heavy. “I want to be playing rock ‘n’ roll until I’m 90. With two daughters, I’m going to be paying for college for the next 20 years. I’ll be singing these songs until I don’t have any teeth.” The song is “typical Everclear,” he says. “The music sounds uplifting, positive, poppy, but the lyrics are really

Soul Asylum runs away to join ‘rock ‘n’ roll circus’ BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

Soul Asylum frontman-guitarist Dave Pirner had reservations about joining the ‘90s-heavy Summerland tour with Spacehog, Eve 6 and creators Everclear. But he warmed up to the idea as soon as he kicked off the jaunt, which comes to the Marquee in Tempe on Tuesday, July 15. “By about the third show, I was saying, ‘Wow this works. It just works,’” Pirner says. “The crew is good at getting the bands on and off the stage real quick. And they’re trying to give people as many bands for their buck, or however that expression goes.” Pirner—whose band scored hits with “Black Gold,” “Runaway Train” and “Somebody to Shove”—says he’s impressed with the kindness of his tourmates. “It’s a little bit of a rock ‘n’ roll circus,” Pirner says. Pirner and his fellow Soul Asylum musicians—drummer Michael Bland, bassist Winston Roye and guitarist Justin Sharbono—have just wrapped up a circus of its own. They just wrapped up recording the follow up to 2012’s “Delayed Reaction.” “Hopefully (it will be released) sooner than later, before the end of SEE SOUL ASYLUM PAGE 71

HITMAKERS: With hits like the modern rock radio staples “Santa Monica,” “Everything to Everyone,” “I Will Buy You a New Life,” “Father of Mine” and “Wonderful,” Everclear has sold more than 9 million albums globally. Submitted photo

depressing. This time it’s depressing all the way through. It’s awesome.” The Summerland Tour features Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, at the Marquee, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe. Tickets are $35 for the all-ages show. Call (480) 829-0607 or visit for more information. Christina Fuoco-Karasinski is the executive editor of the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at christina@

COMING TO TOWN: Soul Asylum will perform its hits at the Marquee in Tempe on Tuesday, July 25. Photo by Michael L. Smith

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CCA hosting auditions for 25th anniversary party

Auditions for young rockers

Tryouts held July 11; winners perform at weekend celebration Chandler Center for the Arts has teamed up with Rock ‘n’ Roll High School to search for the best undiscovered talent in the Valley to perform as part of a “Plugged In” concert during the CCA’s 25th season anniversary launch party. The weekend celebration will take place Aug. 22-24. Two auditions, featuring 20 bands, will be held for the “Plugged In” concert. The first was held on Thursday, July 3, at the Hard Rock Café in downtown Phoenix. The search continues from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, July 11, at Alice Cooperstown. Bands of all genres are welcome to audition. The majority of band members must be under 21 with none being older than 25. Bands will perform two songs in front of an impartial panel of judges comprised of members of the local music scene. The top nine bands selected to perform at “Plugged In” will be announced at the end of the audition at Alice Cooperstown on July 11. The aspiring bands auditioning were selected by members of the “Plugged In” committee, a youth committee comprised of members from the Chandler Youth Action Committee and musicians from Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. “This will be a great opportunity for the community to see some of the best young bands performing in Phoenix today,” says Steve Berg, owner of Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. “The Phoenix area has some of the best

young bands in the country and ‘Plugged In’ will prove that. Having these kids perform in prominent venues such as the Hard Rock Cafe, and Alice Cooperstown will be a great experience as they compete to perform in front of a larger crowd at Chandler Center for the Arts.” Chandler Center for the Arts will officially launch its 25th anniversary season with a weekend celebration of multiple performances, interactive activities and more from Aug. 22 through Aug. 24. The “Plugged In” concert will be held 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at the Chandler Center for the Arts. A diverse blend of nine bands, from emerging to seasoned, will showcase its musical talents in 20-minute presentations. Performing bands will receive a stipend, a professionally created PR kit, in-studio recording and video of the concert. “This launch party is a very special weekend to and for the residents of Chandler and the region,” says Michelle Mac Lennan, general manager of the Chandler Center for the Arts. “Partnering with Rock ‘n’ Roll High School is a great way to inspire and motivate these young aspiring musicians while also serving as an educational opportunity.” Rock ‘n’ Roll High School is a completely new approach to music education organized under the model of youth sports leagues. Located throughout


July 5 – 18, 2014

metropolitan Phoenix, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School provides aspiring young musicians, ages 7 to 19, with the opportunity to play regular performances in front of their family and friends in a safe and instructive environment. For more information, visit or call (480) 209-3149. The Chandler Center for the Arts is jointly owned by the City of Chandler and the Chandler Unified School District. The Chandler Cultural Foundation was contracted in 1989 by the City of Chandler as a means to facilitate programming and fund development for the Chandler Center for the Arts. As a nonprofit organization, the center relies on a variety of funding sources to help underwrite internationally acclaimed artists, educate young audiences, create important community programs and maintain its remarkable facility. Ticket sales and other earned income do not completely cover the costs of the center’s numerous programs and education offerings. Only support from individuals, corporations, foundations and its public partners can make these programs possible. Membership contributions sustain a spectacular array of services and programs and make Chandler a better place to live and visit. To become a member or to purchase tickets with no per-ticket fee, visit the website at

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, a school that uses the model of youth sports leagues to teach young musicians and form bands, is holding auditions for singers, guitarists, drummers and other talented musicians ages 7 to 19; for the upcoming Alice Cooper “Proof is in the Pudding” Competition. The school is holding the auditions at its Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale and Scottsdale studio locations to fill open positions. After auditions, the school places musicians with similar tastes and skill levels in bands with three to six people, which practice once a week until performances start. School bands perform regularly at venues like the Hard Rock Café, Cooperstown, Crescent Ballroom, Tumbleweed Park, Tempe Marketplace, Sleepy Dog Bistro and more. To schedule an audition, call David Searle at (480) 234-6853 or Steve Berg at (480) 206-3149. For more information, including dates for auditions and upcoming performances, visit www.

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July 5 – 18, 2014


Boston finds ‘Life, Love and Hope’ in new music BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

Boston guitarist/vocalist Gary Pihl doesn’t remember much from his days of living in Phoenix as a sixth grader, but as he’s aged, he’s been able to further explore the Grand Canyon State. When he’s not touring with Boston— who performs Wednesday, July 23, at the AVA Amphitheater in Tucson, and Friday, July 25, at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix—he indulges in photography. “One of my hobbies is photography,” Pihl says during a recent phone interview. “I love it up there in the northeast corner—Monument Valley, Painted Desert and Canyon de Chelly. “It’s just spectacular country that makes for some spectacular photos. If you’re driving around and you have a rental car, there will be stations in Navajo. I always thought that was interesting, too. It gives you a flavor of the area.” Touring with Boston allows Pihl to explore plenty of the United States. These days, the classic rock band is gigging behind its 2013 album “Life, Love and Hope.” More than a decade in the making, “Life, Love and Hope” features 11 tracks embodying the classic Boston sound, as well as the latest in the evolution of singer-multi-instrumentalist Tom Scholz’s musical artistry. On the road, Scholz and Pihl are joined by Tommy DeCarlo (lead vocals, percussion, keyboards), David Victor (guitar, vocals), Kimberley Dahme (guitar, flute, vocals), Tracy Ferrie (bass guitar, vocals), Jeff Neal (drums, percussion, vocals) and Curly Smith (drums, percussion/vocals). One to eschew modern technology, Scholz recorded “Life, Love and Hope” on analog tape, giving the album a warmer feeling. Pihl says the band admires that fans love to sing along with hits like “More Than a Feeling” and “Amanda,” even though it has released new tunes. “There’s no better feeling in the world when we’re playing one of the old songs and people are smiling, singing along, waving cellphones—instead of lighters— back and forth,” he says. “There are artists out there who say, ‘Oh my gosh. If I have to play that song one more time, I’ll shoot myself.’ That’s not the case with us. We’re all just loving doing it. I appreciate the fact that people still want to hear it. How lucky can we be?”

RETURNING TO PHOENIX: Boston guitarist/vocalist Gary Pihl is a one-time Phoenix resident. The band returns to the state to play a show in Tucson on July 23 and Phoenix on July 25. Submitted photo

One of his favorite songs to perform is “Walk On,” a tune that he calls “very challenging, musically. “It’s a long song, eight or nine minutes or something,” he says. “It has a lot of pieces to it. There are some tough guitar playing, but Tom does a wonderful organ solo.” He says he feels that a lot of Boston’s music is pretty intricate. “I certainly think there’s a lot of musicality in there,” Pihl says. “They may sound like simple songs, where fans may say, ‘Gee, I can sing along with that.’ But there’s a lot going on in the background— the guitar parts, the vocal harmonies. All seven of us on stage sing so we can get a pretty good choral sound when we really try at it.” When Pihl isn’t taking photographs or touring with Boston, he’s performing with December People, a charity act that, naturally, only plays around the winter holidays. “It’s traditional songs but in the style

of our favorite classic rock bands,” he says with a laugh. “We’ll do ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ that sounds like ZZ top. Or we’ll start a song with an acoustic guitar that sounds like The Who doing ‘Pinball Wizard,” but instead of ‘Pinball Wizard,’ we’ll sing ‘Joy to the World.’ It’s all for fun. My whole career is fun.” Boston plays the Ava Amphitheater at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Rd., Tucson, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 23. Tickets are $30 to $375. For more information, call (855) 765-7829 or visit Boston and Cheap Trick perform at 8 p.m. Friday, July 25, at the Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. Tickets are $35 to $95. For more information, call (800) 745-3000 or visit Christina Fuoco-Karasinski is the executive editor of the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at christina@

Arizona Opera meets fundraising goal The Arizona Opera has raised more than $500,000 to match a challenge grant posed by an anonymous donor, according to Arizona Opera General Director Ryan Taylor. The combined efforts have resulted in the second consecutive “Million Dollar May,” in which the company has raised more than $1 million in a blitz campaign, the first achieved in 2013, when Taylor took the helm of the opera company last April. Contributions have come in from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, as well as Japan, Canada and Austria, with New Hampshire being the final state to complete the nationwide effort. The campaign was supported by 100 percent of the company’s board of directors and staff as well as donors from within the organization’s orchestra, chorus and larger artistic community worldwide. “It has been absolutely overwhelming to receive support from all over the world; artists, patrons, friends, family—all people who care about our community and our art and want to see it thrive,” Taylor says. “One of the most meaningful moments for me was receiving a $50 donation from a serviceman stationed in Japan, who gave a gift to ‘support the people that make home worth fighting for.’ We have a solid board of directors, dedicated staff, incredibly talented artists and an unbelievably passionate group of supporters from around the world who constantly remind us why we continue to tell stories worth singing across this amazing state.” The $1 million fundraising achievement comes on the heels of April’s announcement that CopperPoint Mutual signed on as a multi-season Presenting Sponsor for Arizona Opera, a major milestone enabling the company to eliminate a large portion of its accumulated deficit. Including the original $500,000 matching gift, the 2014 Million Dollar May Campaign reached $1,013,582.91 by 12 a.m. June 30, with gifts from 325 donors. The Arizona Opera’s 2014-15 season will begin in the fall, including the first mariachi opera, “Cruzar la Cara de La Luna” to open in October, as well as Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment.” More information about the Arizona Opera’s performances and programs can be found at

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July 5 – 18, 2014


How three local bands stack up to national acts BY CHRISTINA CALDWELL

Party Gardens

Getting into the world of Phoenix’s local music scene can be a daunting task. You have to circumnavigate the hipsters, pick out the poseurs and get to the heart of why people make and listen to music—because they actually freaking love it. You don’t need to be part of the too-cool-for-school crowd to love local music, and there are dozens of local acts that are just waiting for their moment in the national spotlight. Don’t let casino cover bands fool you—these original artists are the real deal.

Genre: Psychedelic surf, indie rock Who they are: Jake Brennan, Sean Brennan, David Moroney, Greg Muller, Paul Waxman Sounds like: Best Coast, The Strokes Your ďŹ rst listen: “Eat Sunlightâ€? Why they rule: These guys are a supergroup of local bands of the past and present. Members of Dear and the Headlights, What Laura Says and Wooden Indian all make a home in Party Gardens. Plus, they have a sound totally unique to them. Part beach rock, part psychedelic, part lo-ďŹ , it harkens back to ‘60s Venice Beach without going full Morrison. They have obscenely catchy hooks that don’t venture into the realm of pop.

Black Carl Genre: Blues rock, soul rock Who they are: Emma Pew, John Krause, Chad Leonard, Matthew Noakes, Ian Woodward Sounds like: Janis Joplin, Alabama Shakes Your ďŹ rst listen: “Hussyâ€? Why they rule: It’s hard to believe that Pew’s soulful, powerful voice comes out of a little white girl. She commands the stage like she’s been doing it for 20 years. The rest of the Black complements her and is happy to play second ďŹ ddle, knowing what a talent they have on their hands in Pew. Still, it’s not like the rest of Black Carl is small beans. They’re the internal groove of the band, rife with funky bass and sexy guitar.

Mergence Genre: Blues rock Who they are: Adam Bruce, Yod Paul, Brandon Shupe, Jason Roedl Sounds like: Cold War Kids, The Black Keys Your first listen: “Me And My Family vs. The Robots� Why they rule: Mergence is a local band with staying power. Since its 2010 debut, it has been winning over fans young and old with its classic rockinspired blues rock tunes and playful stage presence. Taking influences from Led Zeppelin and The Beatles doesn’t mean it has totally adopted its sound. Mergence twists classic

Black Carl. Submitted photo

rock with jumpy, bright guitar hooks and a keyboard lead at the hands of frontman Adam Bruce. Good luck getting a ticket to any of their shows locally. They’re a hot commodity

around these parts. Christina Caldwell is a staff writer for the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at

Experience Hendrix performing live at Mesa Arts Center Following a wildly successful 25 date national excursion this past March and April, the Experience Hendrix Tour is set to launch another trek across the U.S. in September and October, which will include a performance in Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7. The Experience Hendrix Tour has been paying homage to the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix for over a decade, bringing together a diverse, all-star aggregation of extraordinary guitarists including multiple Grammywinning Kennedy Center honoree Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Black Label Society’s Zakk

Wylde. All of the aforementioned are returning for the forthcoming edition of the Experience Hendrix Tour as are Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Gales, Mato Nanji, Ana Popovic, and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble’s Chris Layton. As always, the legendary Billy Cox, bassist for both The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys, who has anchored each Experience Hendrix Tour since inception in 2000, is on board. “Obviously, I’m a fan of everybody that’s on (the Experience Hendrix Tour) because they can all throw

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down like it’s nobody’s business,� states Zakk Wylde, whose work with Ozzy Osbourne earned him a legion of devoted fans worldwide. Wylde, a lifelong admirer of Jimi Hendrix, was new to the Experience Hendrix Tour this past spring and immediately immersed himself in its famed collaborative spirit, lending piano to Eric Johnson’s rendition of “Are You Experienced?� while shredding Hendrix’s “Purple Haze� and “I Don’t Live Today� to the delight of sold out houses across the U.S. The tour evokes the era when artists treated each performance as a unique interaction with their audience. Jimi Hendrix called this his “electric church.�

The Experience Hendrix Tour fully embraces this approach, presenting multiple opportunities for performers and audiences to witness unique collaborations among the participating artists, and will highlight these artists performing their favorite Hendrix signature songs including “Little Wing,� “Fire,� “Purple Haze,� and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).� As in years past, Fender Guitars and Dunlop Manufacturing, whose gear is an integral part of the tour’s backline, sponsor the Experience Hendrix Tour together with Axe Heaven, IK SEE HENDRIX TOUR PAGE 70



July 5 – 18, 2014

The Sail Inn sails away to Ahwatukee BY ANA ANGUIANO

“So our Sail Inn is sailing away,” says Gina Lombardi, owner of one of the few standing Tempe music venues, which closed its doors on June 29. Lombardi points all around the venue and remembers that only a few years ago everything surrounding The Sail Inn was dirt. Now there are traffic cones and construction signs for the brand new condos being built all around and developers are planning to fill the area with bars and restaurants. “Our property, half an acre, a little over, this is going to be The Lodge, which is a bar in Scottsdale. It will be mainly a bar/restaurant and they won’t be doing live music,” she says. Lombardi has been a mover and a shaker in the Tempe music scene for three decades. As the owner of the Sail Inn she has given musicians and their loved ones a place to gather and feel at home. She has cultivated a family of loyal friends that came together to celebrate the venue one last time at the Sail Inn Farewell Festival, June 27 through June 29. “We’ve had a really good run here and the Sail Inn has been my baby since I was a kid, really,” she says. “I’ll be 53 and I got the bar when I was 28. It’s seen many changes.” The patio area once had grass and the outdoor stage area once was a volleyball court, but the memories that live on are those of times spent together with friends, some who have passed on. Ken Kareta, the production manager at the Sail Inn and the man behind the sound system for both indoor and outdoor stages, says the venue is a place that put him back together after the loss of his wife. “I think it’s a shame that we are going to be losing the only local venue with an outdoor stage,” Kareta says. “We have probably one of the most extreme varieties of any club in the area. We have the tie-dye sect dancing with their children in bare feet Sundays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays it could be a jazz show or a punk show, there’s indie pop bands. It’s definitely a variety. It’s hard to get

SAIL AWAY: The Sail Inn in Tempe is moving to Cactus jack’s in Ahwatukee. STSN photo by Ana Anguiano


Multimedia and Hal Leonard. Cox’s relationship with Jimi Hendrix dates back to the early 1960s when the two met while serving in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. The two bonded over their love of music and would later work together backing R&B acts on the “chitlin’ circuit.” They reunited when Cox was recruited to be part of Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys as well as the ultimate iteration of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, performing at such landmark festivals as Woodstock and the Isle of Wight. Cox, who has been part of all previous Experience Hendrix Tours, notes, “It’s as much of a thrill for me to play Jimi’s music for audiences now as it was in the early 1960s. The Experience Hendrix Tour shows you how timeless this music really is.” Janie Hendrix, President/CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC, notes, “My brother was a musical visionary whose impact transcends his lifespan. He often spoke of the concept of ‘Electric Church,’ using music to connect directly with people. The Experience Hendrix Tour, now in its ninth incarnation, is testimony to the fact that Jimi continues to connect musicians and audiences, crossing generational and cultural boundaries. It’s our continuing mission to do all we can to celebrate what he’s given us and to keep his music in the forefront. The wonderful musicians on this tour express their love for him in ways that are a direct reflection of the gift he’s given us.” Profoundly popular with fans and critics alike, an earlier edition of the Experience Hendrix Tour inspired Doug Walters of the Charleston City Paper to rave, “It was an inspired night of great energy and incredible playing. Nothing but good vibes filled the Performing Arts Center. Jimi’s spirit and music could not have been honored more.” Daniel DeSlover of the Madison Music Examiner, impressed by the musical diversity of the artists involved, noted that, “As each guitarist took the stage, the interpretation shifted. Eric Johnson on ‘Are You Experienced?’ and ‘May This Be Love’ was vastly different than Zakk Wylde’s metal-infused take on ‘Purple Haze.’” Ryan O’Malley of The Wilkes Barre, PA Times Leader called the tour “a talent-filled Experience to remember,” and went on to observe, “If anything, the tour shows that many of the musicians people look up to today were influenced by one name when they were making their own mark in music – Jimi Hendrix.” Mesa Arts Center is located at One East Main Street in downtown Mesa. Tickets are on sale. To become a member, or to purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at (480) 644-6500.

bored.” The Farewell Festival served as a memorial for the venue and a final hoorah before Lombardi moves on to Cactus Jack’s in Ahwatukee. “This was going to be it and I was going to retire and so many of the bands kept coming up to me and saying, ‘You’re not done. Where are we going next?’” Lombardi says. A new stage, almost as big as the outdoor Sail Inn stage, is being built at Cactus Jack’s with a new sound system and a dance floor. The Noodles, which were one of the first bands to play the Sail Inn, will be one of the first bands to play the new stage. Lombardi says the venue plans on starting live music there on Sunday, July 13. Ana Anguiano is a staff writer for the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at

EXPERIENCE HENDRIX: The Experience Hendrix Tour has been paying homage to the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix for over a decade, bringing together a diverse, all-star aggregation of extraordinary guitarists, such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Photo courtesy Mesa Arts Center


July 5 – 18, 2014

ON STAGE “Hollywood Costume,” through Sun., July 6, PAM. See your favorite film characters in a blockbuster exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum, showcasing costumes from films like “The Big Lebowski,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Gangs of New York” as well as interviews and behind-the-scenes insights from costume designers. Desmond Ng, Fri., July 11, TN. Evening performance by accomplished trombonist Desmond Ng, who was a member of the Young Sounds of Arizona, a youth all-star jazz program in Phoenix. Superstition Jazz Orchestra, Wed., July 9, through Wed., July 30, TN. Every Wednesday night in July the Superstition Jazz Orchestra will perform charts from the greatest writers of the big band world, and locals are also welcome to bring in large ensemble arrangements as well as originals. Band directors are invited to bring charts and hear them played before the 2014-2015 school year begins. “Pictures of Cake,” Fri., July 18, TN. This eclectic jazz quintet features five ASU jazz studies students and is known for its interesting original compositions. Ryan Stigmon, Fri., July 25, TN. Ryan Stigmon is a tenor saxophonist whose


the year for sure,” Pirner says. “It’s pretty fast and it’s pretty hard and it’s pretty melodic. “I think there’s a natural sort of evolution. There’s only one song that’s like a slow song it’s (‘Oh Karl’) the saddest thing I’ve ever written. It’s extremely personal. Hopefully it’ll make the record.” The song is about the late bassist Karl Mueller, who died of cancer in June 2005. “Sometimes it’s almost impossible for me to sing,” Pirner says quietly. “There’s something really important to me about it. But, you know, I’m not offended if someone thinks that song is just so sad they don’t want to listen to it.” Pirner, who bluntly said Soul Asylum will play no new songs on this tour, fondly remembers playing Phoenix—even if the shows were a little challenging. “I particularly remember one that was really hilarious,” he says. “It was forever ago. The power went out in the club. It was pitch black and somehow we managed to play acoustic guitars or something—I can’t even remember the details. It was funny because it was a disaster and we made the best out of it. Oddly, those are the things that stand out, when things go incredibly sideways. “Then the last time we played in Phoenix—I’m pretty sure I have this right—Michael, my drummer, had a really bad leg injury. We had to play an acoustic show with me, Justin and Winston. I was really afraid that people were going to be really disappointed that it wasn’t a full-on


ON STAGE VENUE INDEX HTC—Herberger Theater Center 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix Tickets: (602) 252-8497, www.

COMFORTABLY FUN: Australian Pink Floyd plays the classic songs from many of the Pink Floyd albums that audiences love so much.

style brings a powerful sound with highenergy solos. Aubrey Martin and Dalton Danks, Fri., Aug. 8, TN. Take in a performance by Martin on tenor saxophone and Danks on drums, both members of the Tucson Jazz Institute. “West Side Story,” Fri., Aug. 8, through Sun., Aug. 24, HTC. In this classic Broadway musical, “Romeo and Juliet” is retold on the streets of 1950s New York City. Ross Lewicki, Fri., Aug 15, TN. Lewicki, an up-and-coming pianist enrolled in the Jazz Studies program at Arizona State University, leads a piano trio of fellow Valley musicians. “Charlotte’s Web,” Sun., Sept. 7, through Sun., Oct 12, TCA. Back by popular demand, one of Childsplay’s most beloved productions brings the

rock thing. They went with it, though. They got into it and sang along. It was really a pleasant surprise, because I was just really scared and they made me feel OK about it.” The Summerland Tour will feature all four bands in a three-hour period. So, Pirner says, fans should expect a short show. “We sort of play, I guess what you call a handful of Soul Asylum standards,” Pirner explains. “We mix the rest of it up and play something different every night. The main effect is you get all the bands on and get all the bands off. You can’t take nearly as many sharp journeys, or musical explorations into your jazz odyssey or try a bunch of songs you just made up yesterday “We’ll probably be playing some things if you’re into Soul Asylum— either you’re very familiar with Soul Asylum and hopefully you’re not so into Soul Asylum that you just can’t stand hearing ‘Black Gold’ one more time.” The Summerland Tour features Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, at the Marquee, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe. Tickets are $35 for the all-ages show. Call (480) 829-0607 or visit for more information. Christina Fuoco-Karasinski is the executive editor of the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at

MAC—Mesa Arts Center One E. Main St., Mesa Tickets: (480) 644-6500, www.

endearing piglet Wilbur, the winsome spider Charlotte and their friends to the stage with a brilliant version of E.B. White’s American classic.

PAM—Phoenix Art Museum 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix Tickets: (602) 257-1222, www.phxart. org

Australian Pink Floyd, Thurs., Sept. 25, MAC. Taking its tour title from “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” from the album “A Saucerful of Secrets,” this show presents Pink Floyd classics including “Another Brick in the Wall,” “Comfortably Numb” and “Wish You Were Here,” as well as a few surprise tracks.

TCA—Tempe Center for the Arts 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe Tickets: (480) 350-2822, www.tca. TN—The Nash 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix Tickets: (602) 795-0464, www.

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,” Mon., Oct. 19, through Mon., Nov. 16, TCA. Childsplay brings back last year’s breakout hit, based on Newberywinner Kate DiCamillo’s beloved book. Centered on an exceptional toy that becomes lost, the play tells a fantastical story of finding friendship, finding yourself, and eventually finding your way home.



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