Music of Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona has a strong, growing independent music culture that focuses on locally grown and locally derived musical genres. The city is home to musical organizations that seek to nurture artists from the local music scene as well as introduce the community to other musical styles from beyond Southern Arizona.
Regional musical genres
Tucson is home to both home-grown and imported musical styles and influences, including:
- Desert Funk / Desert Groove / Roots Music — influenced by Sly and the Family Stone, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson and Billie Holiday
- Desert Noir
- Desert Rock
- Mariachi — an integration of stringed instruments highly influenced by the cultural impacts of the historical development of Western Mexico
- Native American Jazz — blends Native American and non-Native musical traditions
- Sonoran Dirty Rock
- Tohono O'odham waila
- Western Cowboy
- Arizona Friends of Chamber Music — brings chamber music artists to Tucson
- Tucson Chamber Artists — vocal and instrumental musicians performing masterworks and modern classical music.
- Arizona Opera — baroque, bel canto and verismo works, turn-of-the-century masterpieces, operettas and American operas
- Desert Bluegrass Association — promotes traditional bluegrass music in Tucson and Southern Arizona
- Mexican Institute of Sound — electronic music project created by Mexico City-based DJ and producer Camilo Lara
- Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO)
- Tucson Jazz Society — helps develop local jazz and brings jazz musicians to perform in Tucson,
- Tucson Junior Strings
- Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association — acoustic music and other folk arts
- Tucson Symphony Orchestra — the oldest symphony orchestra in the American Southwest
Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES)
The annual public-choice music awards — nicknamed the TAMMIES — seeks to recognize local talent by highlighting Tucson's best musical performers. The awards are held in the fall and are sponsored by Tucson Weekly magazine.
Recurring musical festivals and fairs
- Tucson Film & Music Festival celebrates the past, present and future of the Tucson, Arizona music and filmmaking scene
Prominent local musicians and bands
The following Tucson-based artists have been featured in a variety of local and national media.
- The Aggressive Sound Session a.k.a "The A.S.S" —1994-2002
- Alter Der Ruine — power noise / electronic music / industrial music
- Black Sun Ensemble — psychedelic rock
- Blynd — Hard Rock, Hardcore 1998–2008
- Cadillac Steakhouse
- Calexico — musical style is influenced by traditional Latin sounds of mariachi and Tejano music; blends "jazzy-rock with traditional Mexican music"
- Friends of Dean Martinez — instrumental rock/post-rock band, americana tunes with influences from electronica, ambient, lounge.
- Los Gallegos
- Mostly Bears — experimental rock
- Overcast Off — indie rock
- Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta — psychedelic, indie, mambo, cumbia and jazz
Established choirs and choral groups
- Tucson Boys Chorus
- Tucson Girls Chorus
- University Community Chorus, University of Arizona
- Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus
- Southern Arizona Women's Chorus
- Sons of Orpheus - Male Choir of Tucson
- Tucson Women's Chorus
- Arizona Repertory Singers
- Reveille Men's Chorus
- Desert Voices
Major music performance venues
- Temple of Music and Art — brings Broadway musicals to Tucson audiences
- Tucson Music Hall
- Sturman, Dr. Janet, "World of Music and Dance in Tucson, Arizona", content by University of Arizona students enrolled in Music 334
- Cowboy music fest debuts here, Arizona Daily Star, Caliente section, Thursday, May 26, 2011. Retrieved: September 5, 2011.
- Armstrong, Gene, "A Tucson Music Hub ", Tucson Weekly, September 1, 2011.
- Seigel, Stephen, Soundbites, Tucson Weekly, August 25, 2011.
- McLemore, Mark, "And The Winner Is...", Arizona Public Media, Arts and Life, August 29, 2011.
- Raven, Daniel, "Industrial Strength: Alter Der Ruine grins through the goth", Phoenix New Times, Thursday, Nov 8 2007.
- Soundbites, Tucson Weekly, Aug 10, 2011.
- "The Black Sun Ensemble (Camera Obscura Records)", Phoenix New Times, May 17, 2001
- Golston, Maggie, "Welcome to the Cadillac Steakhouse. May they rock your face off?", Tucson Sentinel, Posted Feb 11, 2010.
- Smith, Dylan, "Calexico on Jimmy Kimmel Live", Tucson Sentinel, Posted May 6, 2011.
- 2009 "Tucson Music Hall of Fame: Calexico", Tammies: Tucson's Music Site, Posted by Tucson Area Music Awards on September 7, 2009.
- Newman, Paige, One more gift from two great bands, MSNBC.com, Updated 10/13/2005.
- "Tucson HoCo Fest features Latin music tonight", Arizona Daily Star, Tucson's entertainment guide, Posted Friday, September 2, 2011.
- Tucson Area Music Awards: "Critics' Choice Awards: Best New Band or Artist", Tucson Weekly, August 16, 2007.
- Tucson: Southern Arizona's Music Sanctuary, Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau, News Release, December 16, 2010.