Opening of the Tucson Musicians Museum
The Tucson Musicians Museum held their grand opening event and fund-raiser on 11 November 2007. The event was held at the Rialto Theater in Tucson, Arizona, and the invitation to attend this function went out to all music-lovers, whether they are long-time followers of the Tucson music scene or just starting to appreciate the talent of the musicians in Tucson.
The diverse line-up of musicians to perform at the event included Dean Armstrong, Jim and Susie Ronstadt, Tony Garcia, Neon Prophet, AZ Blues Hall of Fame All-Star Combo, Batucaxe Brazilian Drum Ensemble, George Howard, Ada Redd Austin and Kevin Hamilton, as well as Julian Ackerley and the Tucson Boys Chorus. These talented musicians are among the 60 artists who are to be the first inductees into the Tucson Musicians Museum. The museum is dedicated to the man who started the first philharmonic band in Tucson in the late 1800s, Fredrico Ronstadt.
Currently, the Tucson Musicians Museum is a virtual museum with the status of a non-profit organization. Through fund-raisers, such as the grand opening, the originator of the museum, George Howard, hopes to turn the virtual museum into a reality. To this end, he is looking at sites in downtown Tucson that may be suitable to house the museum which will ultimately preserve information and objects representative of all inducted artists. He also aims to develop a program whereby children in the community will be given the opportunity to develop their musical talent under the guidance of professional musicians at no cost. Another objective of the Tucson Musicians Museum is to establish an emergency fund to assist musicians who may be faced with a crisis, such as ill health or stolen equipment.
George Howard is a drummer who has been involved with a variety of genres from blues to jazz to gospel. He is a member of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. The concept of the Tucson Musicians Museum has been in his mind for some time now, as he wanted some way to recognize the talent of the musicians who he has had the privilege of working with during his long musical career. He also aims to honor the heritage of music and culture unique to Tucson.
With the support of local music lovers, the Tucson Musicians Museum hopes to achieve its goals – to the benefit of musicians, budding musicians and music lovers alike.