LET'S PARTY LIKE IT'S 1995: The stretch limos glide to a stop to let the stars step out near the searchlights crisscrossing the night sky. A party at my place? Hardly. The TAMMIES (Tucson Area Music Awards) celebration at Club Congress Wednesday, May 10? Maybe.
I'm not absolutely sure about the limos or the spotlights, but the celestial bodies and minds of Tucson's music scene will gather at the club for the third annual TAMMIES ceremony, party and concert.
Just like the first two, this celebration of local talent is free and full of music. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the music begins a half-hour later with a performance by Los Diamantes, a finalist in the TAMMIES norteño category, on an outdoor stage.
Then the awards for most popular performers in the Latino categories--norteño, Latin jazz, Tex-Mex, grupos and mariachi--will be handed out.
Just after 8 p.m. the Titan Valley Warheads will treat everyone to a 20-minute helping of their bluegrass music before the awards for most popular acoustic solo and ensemble performers, traditional/ethnic and country artists are given away.
At 8:50 p.m. you'll get a jumping jolt of boogie-woogie blues from Blues Kats. Afterwards TAMMIES will be handed out to the most popular blues, reggae and jazz musicians (as determined by readers of The Weekly).
Friends Of Dean Martin are scheduled to seduce and sedate you with their sultry lounge sounds from 9:30 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. The last of the awards will be given out after their set: alternative/pop, hard rock/heavy metal, college rock, punk and techno/hip hop.
The rest of the night belongs to music. The TAMMIES All-Star Band features vocalists Mary Baker and David Dean (Neon Prophet); Stefan George (Joybones and Songtower) on guitar and vocals ; guitarist Gene Ruley (The Drakes); keyboardist Duncan Stitt and other special guests, and will be the last group to play outdoors.
The party moves inside Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., at 11 p.m. with a performance by jazz and blues singer Lisa Otey.
She's followed by the rock and roll of Shovel, The Drakes and Dog and Pony Show.
The TAMMIES celebration party will be emceed by KLPX's Suzie Dunn and Ginger's Dave Slutes.
The whole city is invited to come downtown to enjoy the music and honor the people who liven up the desert with their art.
TUCSON TWO, PHOENIX ONE: The acclaimed trio of R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton and Will Clipman performs pieces from their new Feather, Stone & Light album on Canyon Records on Friday, May 5, at the PCC Center for the Arts Proscenium Theater, 2202 W. Anklam Road.
Native American Nakai, of Tucson, welds his Navajo-Ute heritage to musical traditions of Cheyenne tribes and the indigenous people of the northern Plains when playing his cedar flutes.
Phoenician Eaton carves his instruments from exotic hardwoods and extraordinary visions of music's past and future. His latest creation, the lyraharp guitar, brings three traditional instruments together (lyre, harp and guitar) with a synthesizer linked to sampled sounds of virtually any instrument you can name.
He and Nakai collaborated on the Grammy-nominated Ancestral Voices in 1992.
The two are joined by percussionist Will Clipman of Tucson. He adds world beat polyrhythms and indigenous percussion. Tickets are $15, with discounts for students and seniors. Call 884-6458 for information.
GUIDED BY VOICES: Let yourself be guided to the UA Centennial Hall by the voices of The Tantric Choir of the Gyuto Monks on Saturday night. These Tibetan monks spend years of their lives learning the techniques required to raise three-note chords from their individual throats in their sacred chants of harmony.
Advance tickets are $15.50; and tickets at the door are $20.50. Call 885-6527 for more information.
FOLKING AROUND: The Tucson Folk Festival takes over El Presidio Park this Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7. (See this week's music feature story for a glimpse behind the usually unflappable curtain of the festival's sponsor, the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association.)
Locals scheduled to perform at the free event include: Kathy Rote, Greyhound Soul, Joe Rush, The Ad Hoc Committee, Elise Grecco, Ron Pandy, Meighan, Edmonson and McLaughlin, Elizabeth Davalos, The Hot Desert Love Toads, Eb Eberlein, The Mollys, Shep Cooke and lots of others.
The free festival is from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Call 881-2016 or 887-6942 for more information.
LAST NOTES: The Flagstaff band Blackfire combines punk with traditional Navajo music. If you want to hear what that combo sounds like, get to the Downtown Performance Center, 530-B N. Stone Ave., on Saturday, May 6, for their all-ages concert. Call 628-1650 for more info.
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