2nd Annual Tucson Guitar Festival

Date and Venue Saturday June 14 2014 | Park Place, Broadway, Tucson Arizona

Reviewer Patricia Cassidy

The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, once again, put together a superb free Music Festival on Saturday, June 14 from 10:00AM through 6:00 PM, in the indoor, and air-conditioned, Park Place on Broadway.

The event was ALL about Guitars: listening to them, painting them, how-to sessions on looping them, vendors selling them, classes given in Guitar, and a variety of other Kids art/guitar activities throughout the day. Plus 50 performances – classical, rock, flamenco, bluegrass, jazz, country, progressive metal, acoustic finger style, Celtic, a Guitar Orchestra and Mariachi performances from local school groups to name a few styles of play. All in all, the Festival provided a full day of great entertainment - no matter what your musical taste.

Visitor wearing a guitar tee shirt
Photo: Patricia Cassidy


The venue made it easy to move between the four stages, and get some exercise to boot, and to experience many different guitar styles. All of the musicians or groups were given enough time in their session for them to play their guitar and talk about themselves and their backgrounds - A little story telling.

Each stage area had chairs set up for us, and as Tucson is home to a very active Bluegrass scene, I particularly enjoyed the immensely talented Greg Morton playing a Bob Wills’ number and a couple of other bluegrass favorites. Kathy Acosta-Zavala, a young lady from Peru, played some beautiful classical pieces, and so it went throughout the day – just following the program from one stage to another. Some other highlights: The fantastic Dan Griffiths Jazz Guitar session, The Youth Mariachi band, the Blues at Noon by the father and son team of Jeff and Clark Engelbert. Also, for a novice guitar gal like myself the day was very educational as I now know what a wah-wah peddle is and all about guitar “shedding”.

Lastly, the Air Guitar contest was a lot of fun for all the budding Eric Clapton’s or Bonnie Raitt’s who entered, and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It!” were two of the hot, favorite riffs. This event was a great crowd pleaser and attracted a lot of potential guitar players to the stage. A fun event and a fun day!

© 2014 Patricia Cassidy