The Festival has always been the first weekend in May! Why???
After gathering input from the Tucson community through our 2018 post-festival surveys, conducting a Brainstorming Session with interested TKMA staff and community members, and reviewing all 2019 events occuring in the Tucson community, the TKMA Board believed April 6-7, 2019 to be the best option.
Meet the Headliners
Saturday, April 6: 9 pm
Red Molly combines the forces of three songwriters with unique character and style, creating a show that is larger than the sum of its parts. Known for their 3-part harmony, their songs and arrangements lay bare a love of vocal blend. The band weaves together threads of American music—from country & blues to folk & bluegrass. Their innovative instrumentation is suited for roots-rock and heartful ballads alike, and the alchemy of their personalities onstage draws even back row listeners into a sense of intimacy. Red Molly is simply a joy to experience.
Singing spine-tingling high notes, Abbie Gardner is a dobro player and improviser from a musical family. A consummate performer, her songs and performance have the punch of rhythm and blues. Playing guitar and tambourine, Laurie MacAllister draws inspiration from classic folk and singer-songwriters. Her voice stretches octaves, warm and romantic one moment, playful and subversive the next. Molly Venter has a smoky voice that is unforgettable, and a moody approach to song-smithing. Quirky and fashion-forward, she moves in step to the music while playing guitar and tambourine.
Forming in 2004, Red Molly has inspired countless female trios and has since reinvented themselves as a high-octane five-piece band in 2017. They remain a dominant force on the Americana/Folk scene due in part to their laughter and spontaneity onstage. Upright bassist Craig Akin and percussionist and electric guitarist Eben Pariser fill out the sound, giving the show a broad range of musical options—from complex and hard-hitting to sparse and delicate.
and The Lil’ Mama Band
Sunday, April 7: 8 pm
HEATHER HARDY and The Lil’ Mama Band
Heather “Lil’ Mama” Hardy began studying the piano at age six and picked up the violin at nine. In 1983, she auditioned for the Manhattan School of Music as a double major on piano and violin and was accepted on both, but was required to choose only one. She began as a piano major under Zenon Fishbein and after one year realized that though piano was her great love; she was more driven on the violin. Heather returned the following year as a violin major under Raphael Bronstein. While at school, she began to play in the subway to make money while collaborating with different blues and rock musicians. This was the turning point at which she began to explore improvisation on the violin, and her unique style emerged.
In 1984, she joined The False Prophets internationally famous Punk band and began touring the US and Europe. Also at this time, she played regularly for Allen Ginsberg, and doing recordings for a number of New York bands.
After moving to Tucson in 1992, she joined the Sam Taylor Band, originally as a featured violin soloist, but soon becoming a vocalist, as well. Her smooth ambient violin playing that contrasted with her tasty, soulful “wah-wah” blues solos captivated audiences and helped the band win the 1995 Arizona Blues Showdown. That was followed by taking second place in the International Blues Talent Competition in Memphis, and a European tour. By 1997, Heather had formed her Lil’ Mama Band, taking it to New York in 1998. In 2000, she was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.
Currently, Heather tours internationally and has released five albums of original songs, and has recorded on over 220 albums of various artist around the world. She continues to captivate audiences worldwide with her unique soulful style on the violin, sultry vocals and original music
The Lil’ Mama Band includes Alvin Blaine on The Guitar. Alvin is originally from Californi,a and has had a long career in music and has become a cherished member of the Tucson music scene. After many years performing in Vega,s Alvin moved to Tucson and plays with numerous bands in town; including The Sonoran Dogs and The Tusconics and joined the Lil’ Mama Band in 2011. He is featured on Heather’s, “Live in Tucson” CD .
Larry Lee Lerma has played bass for many years in The Lil’ Mama Band. He was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame in 2010. He joined the Lil’ Mama Band in 2004, and is heard playing on Heather’s, “Get Out of the Road “CD and also, “LIVE in Tucson”. Alvin is also a longtime member of the original Blues Brothers Band with Dan Aykroyd and still tours with them.
Dani Ponce started playing drums professionally at the age of 18 in Tucson, Arizona. After moving to California, Dani toured and recorded with The Violet Burning, The Dandy Warhols and My Chemical Romance. Dani co-founded Vintage Sugar and played shows with Great White, The Vince Neil Band, as well, as Lynch Mob. Dani currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, and works as a studio and touring drummer. Dani is the newest member of The Lil’ Mama Band and has played with them for two years.
Sabra Faulk, a previous Tucson Folk Fest Headliner, will be joining The Lil’ Mama Band as a backup singer for the Folk Fest. She is a prolific songwriter in her own right and has collaborated with Heather for their Sabra and Heather, “ Together” CD in 2016 . Heather and Sabra have played together in many bands including the well-loved Sabra Faulk and the Angel Band. Sabra is on Heather’s, “Out of The Road” CD.
Lane Harmon will also be joining The Lil’’ Mama Band for the Folk Fest. She is the Lead singer for the Band Reverie and is well known for her many years fronting Street Pajama. She also sings on Heather’s, “Live in Tucson” CD.
Heather’s 6 Releases:
I Believe 2001
What this Xmas Needs is a Little More Music! 2002
Get Out of the Road 2011
Blue Silhouette 2016
and most recent release . . .
Heather Lil’ Mama Hardy LIVE in Tucson 2017
FAMILY SHOW HEADLINER
MR. NATURE’S MUSIC GARDEN
Saturday, April 6: 3-4 pm / Sunday, April 7: 2-3 pm
Anthony Marc Aldinger established Mr. Nature’s Music Garden, LLC in early 2013! He was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, and is known amongst friends and family as Mr. Nature! The Mr. Nature Garden Crew is made up of amazing creative multi instrumentalists Tom “Po” Privett, Eli “Brother Bear” Beren, Coppelia “Coco” Tarantal and Syndenn Sweet! Mr. Nature’s Music Garden facilitates playgroups designed to build and strengthen positive foundations for social interaction focusing on kindness, compassion and mindfulness engagement through song, dance, interactive music, instrument fun, storytelling and art! Mr. Nature’s Music Garden performs at birthday parties, celebrations, playgroups, in the classroom and elder jams! Mr. Nature fits in almost any situation providing Life Enrichment programing for all!
Anthony shared, “Ever since I can remember music, books and the great outdoors have been an incredibly strong and positive force in my life! I have had the privilege of creating and providing music, crafts and story time programs for children through my employment at different local businesses before taking a leap of faith and creating my own business providing interactive programs for the community! I desire to provide these fun and engaging programs for everyone, young and old. Music and storytelling are an incredible tool that promotes the building of strong social skills like kindness, sharing, teamwork, confidence, literacy and compassion! I am so humbled by the amazing community and local businesses that have helped me achieve so much and continue to contribute to Mr. Nature’s up-rising!”
Mr. Nature’s Music Garden has achieved “Best of Tucson” for Best Children’s Entertainer 2016 & 2017, and runner up in 2018, from the Tucson Weekly, as well as being “Belled” by Ben’s Bells for his kindness work in the community!
Anthony has two children and resides in a tiny home in NE Tucson with his wife, their dog Saguaro, cat Baily the Bathroom Bandit, Professor the Tortoise, Ire the red-ear slider, a bunch of fish and some packrats!