Each year in the beginning of February mineral enthusiasts and vendors from around the globe descend on Tucson, Arizona for the annual Tucson Gem & Mineral show. This happens to be one of the largest mineral shows in the country (if not the biggest), so you can only imagine the crowd it draws. People of all ages come out of the woodwork to feast they eyes on world class specimens and take advantage of some of the killer deals that can be found. For the younger crowd that travels out to Tucson there has been another attraction that has rooted itself in the city around the same time, and that’s the annual Gem & Jam Music and Arts Festival from February 6-8th. This is a festival unlike many others you will see because they seem to put an equal amount of focus on their vending as they do on the musical support they reign in. Vendors will be displaying everything from art, to minerals, jewelry, and a wide variety of other unique handmade goods. This will be our second time being able to cover the event and we simply cannot wait. 2015 marks the ninth year of Gem & Jam and from the looks of things it’s shaping up to be the best yet! When tickets first went on sale they were entertaining a wide variety of specialized packages that included an array of perks but now that the event is looming on the horizons options are beginning to look a little more limited so if you’re on the fence it’s time to make the final call to swoop your tickets before it’s too late. We made it easy for you and embedded a link below.
Before we delve into the music let us first shine the spotlight on the massive line up of talented visual artists that will be gracing the festival grounds with their presence over the course of the weekend. With fifty plus artists on the bill to be painting live and even more coming to showcase their work you can rest assured you will be able to find the perfect visual stimulus to captivate you throughout the festival. It is going to be truly amazing to watch all of see what all of these talented visionaries will be churning up over the three days. When we made out first trip to Gem & Jam last year they had a pretty beefy array of artists but man does this year really take the cake. Everyone from well known painters from all around the country to smaller artists that are still working to get their name out in the community will be in attendance so don’t hesitate to stop, chat them up, and let them know how much you appreciate the work they are doing. For those of you that might be unfamiliar with a lot of these artists we suggest taking to Facebook and doing a little research so you can try to spot out some of the people whose work is most appealing to you!
Now we get to the tunes. Whether you’re into electronic music or really dig the presence of a full band, you are sure to find plenty of appealing new acts throughout the weekend. The team that put this event together really tries to bring in a little bit for every listener out there so everyone is satisfied in the long run. This year every day is stacked with an immense amount of talent so you’re going to want to make sure you’re there all weekend. To kick things off on Friday we have Templo kicking off the evening followed by sets from SaQi, SunSquabi, a talk from Alex Grey, Andreilien, Krooked Drivers, LTJ Bukem, Papadosio, and Pumpkin before the late night shenanigans pick up (we will touch on those soon). Carrying on to Saturday we are looking forward to catching Tasty Treat, Russ Liquid, Thriftworks, Late Night Radio, Random Rab, the Michal Menert Trio, Ill-Esha, and the Emancipator Ensemble. While this isn’t everyone on the line up for either night so far they are artists we already know will be throwing down some heat. The final night you will be sure to find us catching sets from Jason Burruss, Kaminanda, Giraffage, The New Mastersounds, Smokovich, and Phutureprimitive while also checking out some of the unfamiliar artists on the bill. Below you will be able to check out a wide selection of material from artists on the line up, even some we failed to mention above.
Before we start laying the tunes on you we can’t help but cue you guys in on the late night festivities that will be happening this year. Last year things seemed to wind down a little too early for people and with a much more limited late night schedule some people had a hard time making up their mind as to what they should do. This year the team at Gem & Jam has arranged quite the selection of options for all of you night owls that are looking to party until the sun comes up. A Silent Disco will be taking over the festival grounds after 1am and off site after parties will be held at the Solar Culture Gallery, both hosting music until around 5am. With a line up that is almost equally as epic as the main festival we will leave it up to you guys to decide what you will do with yourselves once the night takes hold.