By ELLIANA KOPUT
After their 2019 hiatus, Gem and Jam Festival returns to the Pima County Fairgrounds Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2020. Encapsulating a collective experience of music, visual arts, gemstones, camping and workshops, this festival is a grassroots staple in the Southwest.
The festival takes place during the Tucson Gem and Mineral show, which has several events taking place around town between Jan. 20 and Feb. 21.
Gem and Jam harbors a lineup of local, national and international talent, consisting primarily of jam bands and electronic artists.
Tucson’s own, Soulular juxtaposes an indescribable array of wholesome downtempo beats, vortexual grooves, drum and bass and spacey dubs. Having played at festivals like Oregon Eclipse, Shambhala and June Jam, it’s a pleasure to welcome him to the stage in the place we all call home. Check out his recent release, ‘Layers’ at soulular.bandcamp.com/album/layers.
Eminence Ensemble is a live band that transcends genre binaries, jamming fusions of jazz, rock, soul and electronic music. Their carefully orchestrated sets work to solidify the vibe of any environment. Eminence Ensemble’s latest LP ‘Real News’ features 13 tracks of goodness for your listening pleasure: https://www.eminenceensemble.com/realnews.
Marvel Years is one of the Godfathers of 2010s electro-funk music alongside artists like Pretty Lights, Manic Focus and GRiZ. His music combines electronic elements with soulful guitars and endearing lyrics. Explore the sound of Marvel Years here: https://marvelyearsmusic.com/stream/.
Dirtwire is a folk-esque, psychedelic inspired, bluegrass band. Frequenting Arizona, their most recent encounter at Arcosanti Convergence had participants dancing and vibrating just an arm’s distance away from Dirtwire members themselves. The sounds of Dirtwire can be accessed here: https://dirtwire.net/music.
Tipper enacts unique audio-sensory experiences through his intricate surround-sound compositions. Producing and performing an array of downtempo, breakbeat, glitch hop, and ambient music, Tipper has contributed to a culture of musical performance emphasizing full scale artistic production. Listen here: https://tipper.bandcamp.com/
Other artists on the lineup include Big Gigantic, Desert Dwellers, SoDown, Pink Talking Fish, Kiitos, Ratchet Noir and Scott Nice. Gem and Jam weekend passes are currently priced at $179, with walk-up camping included. Additional camping bundles can be found at their website alongside the full music lineup and participation applications: https://gemandjamfestival.com/.