2022 Tucson Folk Festival
Roger Mikulas Young Artist Showcase
April 2 -3, 2022
WILDFLOWER STAGE at Jacome Plaza – Presented by Bookmans
The Young Artist Stage is an annual showcase at the Tucson Folk Festival open to anyone 18 years or younger. A great opportunity for young, up-and-coming musicians, the showcase is a fun and welcoming environment that offers a chance to gain performance experience on a professional stage at a popular community event! The tradition is named in honor of Roger Mikulas, who was a strong supporter and one of the founders of the Young Artist Stage in 2006. Organized today by Board Member Ron Pandy, the showcase continues to showcase some of Tucson’s youngest and most promising musicians.
This year’s festival features an incredible line-up of young performers for the Roger Mikulas Young Artist Showcase! It is important for a folk festival to have a program for young musicians designed for growth and self-discovery. Our aim is to nurture musicians in the community and provide career stepping stones so they may one day lend their voices to inspire a younger generation.
Saturday, April 2, 2022
|12:00 PM||Jam Pak|
|1:00 PM||Ron Pandy & The Panda Bears|
|1:30 PM||Aubrey Hadley|
|2:00 PM||Gwen Ryan|
|2:30 PM||Cabin John|
|3:00 PM||Red Yarn (Family Show Headliner)|
|4:00 PM||Halle Bauer-Bedrick|
|4:30 PM||Zaylie Windsor & Diego Garcia|
|5:30 PM||Ayla Moreno|
Sunday, April 3, 2022
|11:30 AM||Grace Lorring|
|12:00 PM||Jam Pak|
|1:00 PM||Mamma Coal Plays Kid’s Country|
|1:30 PM||Lila Poore|
|2:00 PM||Mikayla Williams|
|2:30 PM||Fair Black Rose|
|3:00 PM||Magic Voice Studios|
|3:30 PM||Red Yarn (Family Show Headliner)|
|4:30 PM||Isabella Alam|
|5:00 PM||Cobalt Sunset|
|5:30 PM||Imogen Rose|
FAMILY SHOW BIOS
Red Yarn (Family Show Headliner, Presented by Bookmans)
Red Yarn (aka Andy Furgeson) is a Texas-born, Oregon-based family performer who weaves folksongs and puppetry into high-energy shows for all ages. With his engaging performances, lush folk-rock recordings, and playful music videos, this red-bearded bard reinvigorates American folklore for younger generations. With traditional and original songs that apply an indie aesthetic to folk, rockabilly, country and blues, Red Yarn’s sound is both rooted and modern. Whether performing solo, with his wife and singing partner Jessie, or with a full band, Red Yarn’s shows are a raucous, inclusive celebration of the multicultural musical heritage of the USA. As Red rambles through the landscapes of American folklore, from the Deep Woods to the Old Barn, he introduces his “critter” friends – lovable, handmade puppets – along the way.
Ron Pandy & The Panda Bears
Throw out the rules when Ron Pandy hits the stage! A dad with an open mind and a sense of humor, Ron gets all ages out of their chairs fully participating in movement and spirited music. There are just some things about being a kid that remain the same through time and he makes those memories the ingredients of his show. Whether it’s finding a lost dog or learning how to spell chicken, he reminds us of the moral compass of child raising. If you’re between the ages of 3 to 90 you will enjoy this show! With the fabulous Panda Bear Kids, the songs take us back to a mirror of our own childhood. A memorable experience for all ages!
Mamma Coal Plays Kid’s Country
Country music for kids and families including original songs about fun stuff like javelinas, monsoon season, and rattlesnakes! Carra “Mamma Coal” Stasney is a singer-songwriter steeped in the traditional sounds of country and roots music. Carra was born and raised near Detroit, MI and recently transplanted to Tucson after living in Portland Oregon. Her mission as a musician is to connect and uplift people through her performance. Her family and children’s act features mandolin and dobro, upright bass and herself on vocals and acoustic guitar. She is available for parties and celebrations! Visit www.mammacoal.com for more info.
YOUNG ARTIST BIOS
Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass Neighborhood Band
After twenty-eight years in the bluegrass world of Arizona, most folks know the story of Jam Pak. Enfolded in the love of music, community, food, travel, and love itself, this unique band of all ages, races, and walks of life makes bluegrass music. In the home of Anni Beach of Chandler, they teach each other, gather twice a week, practice, dance, entertain, and at the center maintain the singular goal to make themselves and others happy with their music. The band is ever grateful for the wonderful venues, the donations of instruments and other needs, and the constant encouragement from the bluegrass community of Arizona. Jam Pak plays in many of the Arizona bluegrass and music festivals and community events.
Jam Pak has small bands within the big band and young people hone their band skills, make their own arrangements, and perform in the community. Fair Black Rose was a Showcase Band for IBMA 2021 in Raleigh, NC, a remarkable week during which they showcased diversity in bluegrass. Bluegrass is for everyone! The other small bands include Cabin John and The Would Bees. Professional level bands have emerged from Jam Pak including Cisco & The Racecars and Greenwood Sidee. Jam Pak became a Nonprofit 501c3 in 2017 and an Arizona Qualifying Charitable Organization for the Tax Credit. See www.jampak.org for the whole story.
Cabin John is based on the charm of two old and two young people who love to play traditional-style bluegrass music. Howard Anderson, whom we like to call Mr. Bluegrass, and his wife Susan hosted weekly jams in their home for 35 years. Many people got their bluegrass wings right in their living room. Howard joined the Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass Neighborhood Band as a banjo coach and mentor many years ago and continues to support the band in these ways. Seven years ago he formed a small band from members of Jam Pak which now include Alan Moreno on guitar, Nazarena Delgado on bass and banjo, Anni Beach on mandolin, and Howard on banjo. This band plays straight out traditional bluegrass for gigs including the Beach House Reviews, folk and bluegrass festivals, coffee houses, and senior living. They are what down home bluegrass is all about.
Fair Black Rose
Fair Black Rose is a young band whose members have grown up in the Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass Neighborhood Band of Chandler, Arizona. They love and play traditional bluegrass but also incorporate old-time, gospel, and popular songs into their repertoire. Although most are in their teens, they are polished and unique performers bringing lovely harmonies and solos to their sets and are always pleasing to the audience. Fair Black Rose plays their own gigs as well as playing with Jam Pak in all performances. The band was featured as a Showcase Band in the International Bluegrass Music Association World of Bluegrass 2021 gathering in Raleigh, NC.
Aubrey is an 8 year old young artist who has been playing acoustic guitar with vocals since she was 6 years old. She is in 3rd grade at Tanque Verde Elementary School. She plays folk-style acoustic guitar and vocals with strumming and 3-finger picking. She has trained with Tucson’s own Allegro School of Music and performed at several Allegro recitals. She shared her love of acoustic guitar and folk music with her grandfather who introduced her to the instrument. She also explores song writing and has written several of her own songs for guitar with vocal.
Gwen Ryan is a young performer who has been playing guitar since she was 5-years-old with Allegro School of Music with her teacher Shawn. Gwen has grown her experience and now plays guitar, keyboards and drums. She and her brother Van love to play music and Gwen uploads some of her covers to her YouTube channel called Gwen’s Version. Gwen says her influencers are Taylor Swift, PINK, Gwen Stefani, Billie Eilish, Linda Ronstadt, HAIM, Blink-182 and James Taylor. She also loves musical theater and was Dorothy this summer in a school play of Wizard the Oz.
Halle is a senior at Tucson High Magnet School who has been writing music most of her life in some form or another. Though she would never describe her music this way because she’s not a narcissist, she loves artists like Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Gracie Abrams and would like to think she writes music that’s even slightly similar.
Zaylie Windsor and Diego Garcia
A dynamic duo who will have you mesmerized with astonishing vocals complimented by incredible fingerstyle guitar. Zaylie (15 yrs.) has been singing and performing publicly and privately since she was 5 years old with amazing reviews. Diego (18 yrs.) has played for the last 13 years, playing a unique style of improvised acoustic guitar music which includes Pop, Country, Blues, Latin, Classical and Flamenco. This remarkable duo have played together in numerous public and private venues. Their synchronized vocals and guitar will have you awestruck and wanting more.
Nicandro is a 15-year-old singer-songwriter from Tucson, Arizona. Nicandro began playing piano at five, drums at seven and picked up a guitar at ten, and never looked back. He has played professionally since he was 13 at local businesses, weddings, and fundraisers. In August, Nicandro performed for the Arizona Arts Live. He was one of the youngest ever Tucson Studio guests to perform on the Centennial Hall Stage. Nicandro is an honors student and hopes to attend the University of Arizona to study music and film.
Ayla started playing the piano and violin at the age of 3 and currently she studies piano with Dr. Svetlana Arakelova and violin with Dr. Laura Tagawa. Ayla has been invited to perform at various venues including the Japanese Festival, Tucson Folk Festival, Tucson Youth Showcase and more. Ayla has earned numerous awards including many first prizes from local and also international competitions (Civic Orchestra, TSO, TMTA, ASMTA, SASO, Arizona Young Artist Competition, Bay Area piano competition and international instrumental performance competition in Poland). She also is a first prize winner at the American Protégé Competition and was invited to perform at the Carnegie Hall. Her first performance as a soloist with an orchestra was when she was 6 and she performed the Berkovich piano concerto with the Tucson Civic Orchestra then later she also performed the Mozart Piano Concerto with SASO and TRO and the Bach violin concerto with TRO. Other than music, she enjoys dancing (she enjoyed performing the Nutcracker), painting, Math and Science.
Grace Nicole Sunshine Lorring
Grace Nicole Sunshine Lorring is 10 years old. She has been playing violin since she was 5. She also is active in the circus arts, doing aerial silks and contortion.
Lila is a Tucson native and is an aspiring singer and actress. At 14 years old, she has trained in voice, dance and theatre since a very young age. Recent achievements include placing in the top three in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition 2020 for youth in musical theatre; was a finalist in the Oro Valley’s Got Talent competition 2019; and was recognized by the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition in 2019. Lila enjoys performing live for audiences of all ages in various genres and also has written some of her own music.
Mikayla Williams is a 16 year old singer-songwriter from Tucson, Arizona. She enjoys playing guitar, keyboard, singing, and teaching herself how to play new instruments. Her influences are Alec Benjamin and Counting Crows, among other artists. Mikayla is excited to participate in such a wonderful event!
Magic Voice Studios
For over 25 years the Magic Voice Studio, under the tutelage of Stephanie Fox, has produced singers of the highest quality. Currently teaching students from age 7 – 70, “Stevie” has exposed her students to dozens of performing opportunities and many styles of music. It is a pleasure to return this year to the Tucson Folk Festival with a group of students singing folk songs from Italy. Come see us in our gondola!
My name is Isabella (Bella) Alam and I am a 16 year old student at BASIS Oro Valley, and I have lived in Oro Valley, Arizona for virtually my whole life. I have played guitar for 3 years and sang for 4 and my current experiences consist of a school talent show, a fund raiser, an impromptu performance my guitar teacher had his students put on at Pima community college and recitals. I tend to like a lot of indie music that’s tends to modify a genre rather than be one. I like pop, folk, rock, Broadway and the occasional Jazz, Bossa Nova, or country song. I normally sing with my guitar because I like the freedom of being able to choose the key or pace of the song to my liking, but I have played with others and still enjoy it and I look forward to meeting new people to perform with.
Cobalt Sunset was formed by Corbyn Cleveland and Adrian Negrete in 2019. They both attend Tucson High Magnet School where they study performing arts. They love sharing their passion for music with the community. They play Americana, Blues and Country covers often with unique arrangements.
Imogen Rose is a 17-year-old songwriter from Tucson, Arizona who has been writing and performing her music around town throughout high school. In 2020, she released her debut EP, Water for Blood, followed by a self-produced single, Blue Year. Her next single, Red Flags, is set to be released on February 14th of 2022, all of which are available on popular streaming platforms. In 2021, she was titled a YoungArts national competition winner, representing the top 11% applicants in the voice/singer-songwriter category across the country. Offline, Imogen has recently embarked on her journey as a professional musician, opening for bands such as AJJ and Sophia Rankin. Her style ranges from indie pop to jazz folk, mirroring the poetic language and succinct, observational style of musicians such as Joni Mitchell, Adrienne Lenker, and John Mayer. Follow her on instagram at @imogenrosemusic or check out her website www.imogenrosemusic.com to stay updated on what’s to come!
ROGER MIKULAS: Roger Mikulas was a strong supporter and one of the originators of the Young Artist Stage that began in 2006 at the Tucson Folk Festival. He also helped organize and participated in a Music in the Schools Band. The band played for elementary school children in Tucson, introducing them to folk instruments and folk music. Unfortunately, Roger fell and suffered a serious injury while setting up the Young Artist Stage and never fully recovered. After this happened, he set up the Mikulas Musicians Fund, which lends assistance to Tucson musicians who have health problems that interfere with their ability to play music. He passed away in 2010. However, he had a larger-than-life spirit that is still remembered and still inspires the provision and teaching of folk music for young people.