By Suzette Sommerer

Did you know that the Tucson area has its own bluegrass festival? The Desert Bluegrass Association is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to playing, promoting, and enjoying bluegrass music that sponsors the annual Marana Bluegrass Festival. The festival’s mission — to showcase bands of Arizona and to provide family-oriented, high quality bluegrass and acoustic music — is our way of sharing our love of great live music with our community.

Come tap your feet to the rhythms of local favorites such as the Sonoran Dogs, the Titan Valley Warheads, and many others, and the very exciting Hard Road Trio from farther afield. We’ll also feature young performers, including the 30+ member Jam Pak bluegrass band from Chandler, and our very own and amazing Will and Lee McDonald and Maria McArthur, three very talented up and comers.

Our free Friday afternoon kickoff includes beginner/intermediate instrument contests, a band scramble, and another great local band, High Lonesome. Expect terrific music all day long on Saturday and Sunday, with lots of fun activities for the kids, plus workshops, food and craft vendors, and jamming in the parking lot after hours for anyone who cares to join in. $20 per day, $30 for the weekend, and under 16 are free. Visit for details.

Photo shows Nick McBlaine and Logtrain (l-to-right Alvin Blaine, Evan Dain, Mark Miracle, Peter McLaughlin, Nick Coventry) with Maria McArthur (the young musician mentioned in the article) on guitar at last year’s Marana Festival.

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