Dennis Francis of Jamaica opened Twelve Tribes Reggae Shop in central Tucson during the 1980s with confidence, selling reggae music and merchandise, hosting shows, and spreading awareness of a culture which had fascinated him from childhood on.
He even helped found the original Uptones, who will perform this weekend and remain one of the most acclaimed bands in town.
Tucson’s vibrant music scene and beach vibes combine for an exhilarating mix of reggae festivals. These events showcase both local and international acts on their main stages, while many hotels and bars also host smaller performances by local reggae bands; some intimate, others large-scale public. If you prefer an alternative experience, head down to the beach for an evening show!
Iration, an alternative reggae band from California, will bring their Fall Tour to Che’s on Congress this Friday for a night of reggae that blends rock and pop with Hawaiian influences. Opening up this show is bilingual cellist/singer Helen Gillett who creates rhythmic figures by layering ostinatos (repetitive musical phrases that alternate pitches) over vocal lines in order to form rhythmic figures.
The Four Corners Reggae Festival at Tico Time River Resort in Aztec this weekend honors Tucson and Arizona’s vibrant cultural mosaic through food, art, and music. Established by University of Arizona anthropologist James Griffith in 1974, this celebration offers a range of ethnic foods and performers from around the region including African Roots Reggae, Yaqui Norteno Music and Scottish music and dance performances.
Tucson Folk Festival takes place every late October and features performances by musicians from across the United States. This year’s lineup includes acclaimed singer-songwriter Lisa Sanders and Brown Sugar who have shared stages with artists such as Steve Poltz, Jim Lauderdale and Lucinda Williams. In addition to her songwriting talent, Sanders founded Star Woodwork by Lisa, an innovative company which handcrafts wooden materials into structures and garden pieces using her unique techniques.
Arizona’s beautiful desert landscapes and lively culture provide the ideal setting for Reggae concerts. Events range from large festivals to intimate concerts held at hotels or bars – some even offer activities such as dancing, food, drinks and crafts!
From traditional Jamaican reggae to more contemporary selections, Arizona Reggae events offer something for everyone. Local bands often perform at these events to add an authentic feel and bring life into these experiences. Some even feature dancers and acrobats!
Tucson provides the ideal atmosphere to experience reggae music. From high-energy concert experiences to relaxed beach vibes, Tucson hosts numerous events throughout the year including popular festivals and concerts at venues like Rialto Theatre and Tucson Music Hall; even its beaches provide ample opportunity for watching sunset shows with local bands in a relaxing atmosphere.
Rebelution’s debut album was released in 2007 and since then their music has stayed true to their instincts, blending classic reggae melodies with pop hooks, alt-rock grit and hip-hop beats for an eclectic sound that bridges past and present. Their sell-out live performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Greek Theatre has seen sell-out headline slots across North America and more!
Hotels & Bars
Tucson hotels and bars often host reggae bands for intimate concerts. These events provide a wonderful way to experience music without feeling overstimulated; many venues even feature full bars with food services, and sometimes even have pools onsite – check their websites to see what events are scheduled.
Club Congress is an all-in-one venue located at the center of downtown and features everything from large concerts to intimate intimate gigs – guaranteeing something for every musical taste and preference! With so much happening here each night, don’t be surprised if something catches your fancy!
The Uptones are one of Tucson’s longest-standing reggae bands. Starting out as jazz musicians, when they saw how well crowds responded to reggae music they decided to add it as part of their repertoire and now perform at clubs as well as private parties.
Are you in search of dancing and cocktails? Visit Jackrabbit Lounge – this retro lounge features live performances as well as monthly discos to create an upbeat, cool environment – ideal for date nights or social outings with friends.
The Maverick is another popular music venue in Tucson. Open since 1962, it is known for attracting both local talent as well as big country names. Plus they boast a spacious patio where you can relax with your beverage in the sun!
Mercado San Agustin and MSA Annex offer excellent venues to watch concerts. Both offer outdoor seating with vendors selling beer and wine; in the Mercado you’ll also find dining options, while MSA Annex boasts food truck vendors for dining convenience.
Tucson offers a great variety of venues to experience live music, from large festivals to intimate concerts. No matter your musical preferences – rock, reggae or otherwise – there will undoubtedly be an event suitable for your tastes somewhere here. Not only do these spots provide plenty of live tunes; some offer unique touches that add something extra that make your experience truly enjoyable!
Club Congress, situated in the heart of downtown, provides food, beverage and entertainment. Their three different spaces accommodate intimate gigs to huge concerts – and their events calendar is regularly updated so you can stay abreast of everything they have going on via their website and social media pages.
Frog and Firkin Pub on University Boulevard is another great venue to catch live performances, hosting local bands while providing a patio that allows customers to watch the sun set while sipping on beer or wine from its cool bottles. Check their Facebook page for their events calendar!
Brother John’s is an ideal destination for fans of country music, offering ample space and regular live performances by country singers – you’ll hear modern, old-school country classics as well as original tunes played there! Additionally, dance lessons are offered for those wanting to perfect the two-step.
Common Kings is more than a band; they’re family. This collective of Pacific Islanders includes Hawaiian lead vocalist Sasualei “Jr. King” Maliga; Samoan guitarist Taumata “Mata” Grey; Fijian bassist Ivan “Uncle Lui” Kirimaua and L.A.-born Tongan drummer Jerome “Big Rome” Taito from Fijian descent, with their music transcending genres to reach people across generations and life stages.
The Tucson Fair is an ideal opportunity to catch live performances and have some outdoor fun from April 20 to 30 this year, featuring tons of events spanning from rap and rock music, country and reggae performances at its Budweiser Stage – like T-Pain and Naughty By Nature on April 20, while Josh Turner takes over on April 22 for an 8 pm concert!