The ‘Gems’ of Gem and Jam

All Photos by: Sagetee Photography

 Winter is HERE!

As most of the United States hunkers down to deal with the freezing cold temperatures and indescribable snow storms, we festival goers have one thing on our mind– SUMMER FESTIVAL SEASON!  If you’re looking for solace, you don’t have to wait until Summer for one of the best festivals of the year.  Gem & Jam Music Festival takes place in Tuscon, Arizona this January 25th-28th.

The annual Gem and Jam Festival is held each year during the world-renowned Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase, making this special weekend each year the perfect pairing in music and art for gem enthusiasts and festival-goers of all kinds. While for many music still remains the main attraction, Gem and Jam Festival also features artists of all mediums including visual performers, live artists, arts and crafts along with workshops and lectures, food vendors, and high-end art galleries.

Over 55,000 people are expected to gather and visit Tucson, AZ from around the world during the 3 week Gem and Mineral Show which has motivated the organizers of Gem and Jam Festival to provide a unique atmosphere- celebrating the art and ethos of the Gem and Mineral community along with entertainment and visual arts.

The Festival will be celebrating the 12th year of the Gem and Jam Festival in 2018!

Make sure to buy your tickets here!

Our motto at Festival Squad is “Festing for the People”.  The people that contribute to this blog live, breath, eat, and sleep music.  We often times have our personal favorite musicians that have lead us to become who we are today as a music-lovers.  Below, we’ve outlined some GEMS that you CAN NOT MISS while at Gem and Jam!

Sound Tribe Sector 9: 

20 years before the emergence of STS9, NASA sent Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 on a mission to the farthest reaches of the solar system and beyond. Each of these probes was equipped with identical Golden Records, special messages attached to what Carl Sagan called “a bottle launched into the cosmic ocean”.

For more than two decades, Lettuce has brought a new vitality to classic funk, matching their smooth and soulful grooves with a hip-hop-inspired urgency. Their latest offering, Mt. Crushmore EP, showcases the exceptional musicianship and improvisational, rhythmic genius that fans have come to expect. Once again co-produced by Grammy-nominated Joel Hamilton (Elvis Costello, Highly Suspect, Pretty Lights), the EP is comprised of seven previously unreleased tracks from their acclaimed full-length studio album Crush.

Falling somewhere between rock, jazz, and electronic mayhem we find space rock. This is a genre that is not readily defined and is a state of mind as much as it could be considered a genre. This range of frequencies is where Papadosio tends to spend their time, sometimes dining in deep space, and other times snacking right on your front porch. Papadosio strives to create music that is strangely familiar, and calls all walks of humanity to bask in a unique experience celebrating the one constant in an ever-changing world: music.

Join Papadosio in an effort to create, augment, and rejoice in the universal language of music. Most importantly, have a good time.

Okay, Jackson is by far one of our FAVORITES!  Our Founder and CEO- Stephanie Rosa- had the opportunity to interview Jackson at Bonanza Campout and since then we’ve fallen in LOVE!  Check out the interview here— or just take our word and GO SEE BIG WILD!

If you’ve seen Big Wild perform live- here is what to expect– Golden blonde locks swinging from side-to-side, drums beat with excitement, and the fans going, well, wild. Big Wild’s music doesn’t just make you dance. It makes you feel alive, and that’s exactly what he has been aiming for. Jackson Stell, better known as Big Wild, has been Invincible since he connected with Seattle-based ODESZA on Soundcloud years ago.

Stemming from a relentless desire to create something new, Big Wild’s sound taps into the natural curiosity we all share by exploring beyond conventional boundaries in music. Oh yeah,- he also likes to make you dance.

Redefining the possibilities of modern music, The Russ Liquid Test fuses the raw vitality of classic funk and the inventive sound design of electronic production. Songwriter/producer and renowned brass specialist Russell Scott heads up the New Orleans-based band. Guitarist Andrew Block and drummer Deven Trusclair round things out, with each providing a distinct musical background deeply rooted in the New Orleans jazz scene. Their debut EP 1984 featured an eclectic array of guest collaborators such as Mr. Lif and Ivan Neville—successfully creating an auditory canvas to forge The Russ Liquid Test’s irresistibly soulful future-vintage stylings.

Michal Menert is an electronic music artist and producer based in Denver, Colorado. Throughout his youth, his father exposed him to a wide variety of Eastern and Western music, giving Menert fertile soil in which to plant his musical visions. His passion for original analog sounds coupled with a vast knowledge of music history has given him an even larger platform from which to produce. A multi-instrumentalist, he incorporates live guitar and keys into his final production for a full sound and rich feel. By tapping into the world of music that surrounds him, Menert twists and turns day-to-day inspirations into music that is all his own.


Still not convinced to buy a ticket yet? 

Check out some pictures from Gem & Jam 2017!  

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