Today is June 16th, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”. This week we speak with John Bujak, a local musician and business owner bringing the international Make Music Day to Tucson
Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on DowntownRadio.org- we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app.
Today our intro music is by Ryanhood, we exit with Ashbury and start our show with Tucson transportation on the move.
Make Music Day – Worldwide Celebration Comes to Tucson
We consider it the beginning of summer now, but we approach the day our ancestors called Midsummer- that time every year where the earth’s poles are at maximum tilt toward the sun. It’s the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and it happens the Friday, June 21st. Throughout history the summer solstice has marked a special moment for cultures across the world. It could be the origins of Stonehenge and it’s certainly celebrated with festivals and rituals. Religious and Pagan. And in Tucson this year, it will be marked with music.
For the first time, Tucson will join the list of hundreds of other cities who celebrate with Make Music Day. It’s roots are in France in the 80’s and its impact is spread worldwide. Make Music Day is a festival of sorts, but not the type we are used to seeing in Tucson. “Make Music is a open to anyone who wants to take part. Thousands of amateur musicians play in public spaces, often for their first time. Professional musicians perform for new audiences, who come out from under their headphones to hear unfamiliar groups risk-free. And everyone is invited to sing along and enjoy the first day of summer.”
We spoke the John Bujak, a local musician, a merchant, a concert promoter and the man bringing Make Music to Tucson. He shared his passion with us and why he believes Make Music Day is an integral part of developing culture in the old Pueblo.
Good morning Tuscon! It’s a beautiful Sunday in the Old Pueblo. Thank you for spending a part of your Father’s Day brunch shower with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored rock and roll radio station. Today is June 16th. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to Life along the streetcar this week. We speak with John Bootjack a local musician and business owner bringing the international make music day here to Tucson each and every Sunday. Our focus is on social cultural and economic impacts and Tucson’s Urban core and we shed light on hidden gems. Everyone should know about from a mountain to the U of A and all stops in between you get the inside track right here on 89.1 FM streaming on Downtown Radio dot org also available on your iPhone or Android using our Downtown Radio app. You can get that by heading over to the Google Play or the iPhone app store and downloading Downtown Radio Tucson. If you want to reach us on the show, our email address is contact at Life along the streetcar dot-org
you can interact with us on Facebook at Life along the streetcar or follow us on Twitter at streetcar life. We start Today’s Show with Tucson Transportation on the move. I did a look back at the Tucson Citizen newspaper archives from about 50 years ago on this date and there was a story and photo of a brand new three-story underground parking garage under construction going in behind the county courthouse. This is the area we call El Presidio Park and it’s near City Hall and it’s relevant today because parking and transportation Remain the focus of our city leaders, neighborhood groups and business organizations as we create a density of population bring in more businesses and parking spots get converted into Skyward structures the question still plagues us. Where can I park when I go downtown now, it’s all this conversation play out at the TCC when caliber Hospital. Party proposed an increase in the size of their new Hilton brand hotel to be adjacent to the convention center when they proposed
adding 50 more rooms to the project parking became a big concern and alleviate that a three-story parking garage will be added at the convention center along with the new hotel. So 50 years ago today. We’re building three stories underground and now we’re under construction for three stories above ground. Parking is a concern for visitors of downtown as well as employees of the businesses and residents who live in the area Tucson’s new director of Transportation. Diana Alarcon has been advocating for a complete streets initiative in all future Transportation plans. She wants to make best use of space relative to the different modes of transportation to so nen’s are likely to use in the area at a recent city council study session. She made the comment. She hopes the Department of Transportation becomes renamed and seen as the department of Mobility what part of her vision will be on display at this Thursday’s Forum hosted by the downtown merchants and Retail Council and held at the AC Marriott this
Transportation form for which I will be the moderator will update merchants on Tucson’s plans for revising the parking meter system after months of study and research it appears the city May begin to increase the hours of enforcement for metered areas this could mean Parking at meters later into the evenings and on weekends now to my knowledge the complete and final version of the plan has not yet been presented. So we’ll need to wait for all those details. It is anticipated that the change what changes will take place during Peak parking hours and in select parts of town representatives of Park Tucson of indicated. This approach is designed to increase turnover in the parking spots creating more on Street options for those coming downtown Merchants. With whom I’ve spoken fear. This will put a burden in hiring and retaining employees if they’re unable to use the free parking access and it also May create the impression parking is getting harder to come by and dissuade people from visiting downtown
4th Avenue and Main Gate and again to be clear no decisions have been announced. So we’re just speculating at this point. The Forum on Thursday is designed to provide additional information to Merchants and area residents. It’s open to all but Question and answer period will be focused on the needs of the merchants of the host of the council. Now in addition to parking the city will discuss the progress of selecting the to scooter companies to launch the pilot project here in the urban core. And you remember we touched on this a couple of months ago in the city council approved a six-month pilot program to integrate scooters as an additional mode of transportation. We expect that to roll out later this summer and hopefully the companies will be selected soon also at the form but not presenting will be groups representing the downtown links project that effort to divert traffic heading to I-10 around downtown. The complete streets Alliance will be there as will a team from the downtown merchants and
Retail Council all groups, whether they’re presenting or not will have tables set up and be on hand to discuss their various efforts. The form is from 3 to 5. That’s this Thursday, June 20th. At the AC Marriott on Broadway the presentations and question and answer for the public will be from 3 to 4. We’ll hear about parking meters and scooters during that time frame and then the booths will be open from 425 with all the groups. We mentioned and a little bit more one-on-one question and answer sessions there. Of course, you can hang out in the lounge AC afterwards and maybe have a beverage or two. Again. That’s this Thursday. Hope to see you there and get some questions answered. Well,
we consider at the beginning of Summer now, but we approach the day our ancestors once called Midsummer that time of year where the Earth’s poles are to maximum tilt toward the sun. It’s the summer solstice the longest day of the year and it happens this Friday, June 21st. Throughout history the summer solstice has marked a special moment for cultures across the world. It could be the origin of Stonehenge. It’s certainly celebrated with festivals and rituals religious and Pagan and in Tucson this year. It will be marked with music for the first time Tucson will join the list of hundreds of other cities who celebrate with make music day its roots are in France from the 1980s and its impact is spread worldwide make music day is a festival of sorts, but it’s not the type. We’re used to seeing as far as music festivals go here in Tucson from their website. It says that make music is open to anyone who wants to take part thousands of amateur musicians play in public spaces often for their first time
professional musicians perform for new audiences Who come out from under their headphones to hear unfamiliar groups risk-free and everyone is invited to sing along and enjoy. The first day of summer. Well, we spoke with John boo Jack. He’s a local musician. He’s a merchant. He’s a concert promoter and he’s the man bringing make music to Tucson. He shared with us his passions why he believes make music day as an integral part of developing culture in the Old Pueblo and the efforts are underway to make it successful. I’m from the East Coast. I’ve lived in other Builder places throughout the years, but mainly called Arizona home. I’ve been here a long time. I more than 40 years and more. I’ve been playing music Ashley this time about 40 is like I started when I was 16 here in Tucson hunting clubs here in Tucson. Yeah. So what were some of your what were some of the club’s that you remember playing back in the day? I’ll let you choose in the Night Train The Embers. Okay, Daddy Jack’s blue note the
pawnbroker. It’s all persons de yeah, I know would you go the Night Train? The word Surly wench stands now and if you take the buildings like say to the right of the to a store fronts to the right and not those out of it. That was that was the nitrogen’s fairly big place. Okay? Yeah, that was probably the best best club in Tucson. I went on the road with a couple of bands after that through about mid 80s, like say 85 84 85 86 to a lot of touring around the country playing and in the original cover bands and whatnot. There wasn’t we didn’t have iPhones that you didn’t have YouTube and all this stuff. So live music is huge it matter, you know, if you you know, if you played Hank Williams songs or you know, or what was then Dean heavy metal. It didn’t matter people people they went out and they enjoyed music there was a there was a big demand for it. So, what was your what’s your what’s your instrument guitar? Mainly guitar? And I say I fronted a lot of bands and of course I later did play bass.
And I actually started out playing bass in the band. My first pro gig was 14 years old. I played the Girls Club of Tucson here bad. I made a living books in a meal. So my first paid gift of the demand it’s a paid gig. Yeah, just over the years. I just picked up other instruments. I play piano but to and do you write music? Yes. Yes, I do are your parents musical or how did you know my father my father was musically play guitar and harmonica and and he loved it, but he played a long time but not professionally. No, I’m not actually no. I just I fell in love with music as a young age listening to you know, all the deep purple and then as soon as you get 11 bucks in the meal, you know, like this is my thing. Oh, yeah, absolutely, but I was in a bit of a couple of original bands of snakes in love was a Tucson band here. Probably the most notable band. I played in was a backhaul – Barry it’s fairly recently. You’re still you’re still performing. You’re still yep. Yep, still still performing what
you know, when I can the place that I have now, I get a chance to do acoustic shows in my son. And I have a cover band armed at night. Do you say acoustic pop your stupid music shows on My Son Your Son? Yes. No. Yep. Tell me about Ian. He’s he’s quite a player to he’s he’s 21. He runs he manages my music store and we have we’re kind of doing that together and it’s primarily education and what we sell instruments as well and he he he plays with me. We do a lot of he doesn’t solo stuff to we do a lot of acoustic gig together. He interesting musician himself, you know, his some of his favorite bands or you know, T-Mobile gear and Mayhem and all these are death metal bands yet his main act. He plays like Marty Robbins. And Buck Owens and he just loves everything about that period of music so he owned a store or shop or yes Ellen and music center and it started out as lessons and more across the street from where we are now, which is where primarily to Speedway 49:15 he Speedway. Okay, and we’re just
east of swamp on the north side of the road. Okay, and we got a lot of instructors that just kind of trickled in you know, and we ran out of room. So we move next door to 4915 and started selling instruments. And now we’re a full-on music store. We do everything been an orchestra PRO Sound Guitars and amps that and you said you perform in that shop as always you your crystal that’s what we do is we also I also am co-owned with Judith part the the bar next door to the club Nick Storehouse of bars. Okay, we own that and yeah, we play we play there during the week and on weekends and we’re She’s also involved in the make music Day program. We have a nonprofit called meet music foundation. And that’s for it provides funding for private instruction instruments and also education assistance for gifted students music or even low income families. So the make music Foundation this is this is yours through your because there’s we’re here to talk about today is to make music day. Correct. That would that
that’s that I understood that to be a national that is okay make music day is brought by the make music Alliance, which is a ma’am Foundation sponsored group and ma’am is a National Association of Music Merchants. They’re out of bed of California, and they’re really highly involved in music education big. It’s all over the country and The focus is on playing or is it on listening isn’t on learning? It’s on everything. Absolutely. It’s all of that all of the above. It is a worldwide celebration of Music started in France and I seen a suit and then that got had it. When did it come become popular in United States. Oh probably in the last I would say since 2007 is when we started seeing presence in the United States since then it’s grown to over 800 cities around the world. What happens on make music that I mean? What’s the what’s the what’s the catch people everywhere and say New York Boston California’s very very popular Army East Coast, especially but let’s just say take New York people everywhere
musicians, whether they’re professional or amateur pour into the streets on street corners in backyards and music venues storefronts everywhere. Even School’s football fields and high schools and they celebrate music they make music. They’re organized. Some are organized Jam sessions. I guess you could say it’s one big Open Mic different. All right, involving all kinds of instruments. There are Mass Appeal events. They call them like for example Sousa palooza, which is where what he whose who plays us a brass instrument including the Susan point. Guess together and they play all of the marching Great’s of written by John Philip Sousa. So that’s just one, you know certain event. There’s also shower singing for people who sing in the shower. We have a big shower. We put out in the front of the store and people jump in the shower and they grabbed a microphone is plugged into the PA and they just start singing the people think differently when they’re surrounded by like they’re not seeing of an
audience to the yep. Absolutely Matt people are uninhibited in the shower, right? So put them behind a curtain and they’ll sing anything put about a stage they’ll be timid and their voice will crack you put them in a shower and the rock stars. Yep. Exactly. That’s the whole point of our shower singing event. You
are listening to our interview with John Bluejack. He’s a local musician and business owner and we’re finding out why he’s bringing make music data to son will be back with the second part of that interview in just a moment. My name is Tom. Hey, Ethan, you’re listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio. 99.1 FM Tucson available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot-org. Well, if you’re just joining us our guest today is John boo Jack. He’s the organizer behind make music day here in Tucson. It’s a celebration of Music on the summer solstice this Friday, June 21st, John shared his history as a musician and the importance of bringing music to everyone and now in the second part of our interview, we’re going to discuss the celebration details and how it impacts our community. Where did you first hear about this? Well, I’m an a member of my from my store. Haven’t gone to The NAMM Show as a as a rock musician for years every year just to hang out with a rock stars and check out all the
new music gear and everything and when I became a store owner and really involved in music on a retail level and and and and especially in the education private lessons. I sort of pay more attention to the other things that ma’am offers and I realize what they’re really about not about, you know, this giant trade show everybody drinks beer and play school guitars. It’s really very serious what they’re doing and on this end. I started looking at The NAMM foundation and the different things they’re doing for getting kids involved in music and I found a link to instead make music data. Click on the link and boom. I got all this information. What wow what? Wow, I haven’t I haven’t I heard of this before and then when I dug deeper and deeper is all these States in America that are doing it the trumpet the violin the cello these instruments that is the type of music that is that economically is driving music education worldwide and the music retail business. And so their their whole point with make
music dat America is to raise awareness of that of that, you know, the music comes in all in all kinds of forms. There are people out there who played music for 20 minutes and you know and figure out its no future in this. I’m not you know, I’m not really good. But for that 20 minutes it touch them, you know it touch something inside of them and they were lovers of music that about professional it’s just about getting out there and doing it right now exactly and so Tucson this we haven’t had a make music day in Tucson before correct or not. They’ll be the first year first year. The date is June 21st, in case that’s coming up here pretty quick every June 21st at yes. Now this one is going To be a bit more manageable. I guess you would say a not as big as as what I want to see for next year in the years after because of the time I think we could do something to jumpstart this thing and they get people on board for next year and make it even bigger have to have like a special certification to
call it make music day. No, you don’t want to be a join. The alliance is gonna be a member of the alliance and I am and I’m a non-profit and that’s even better. It helps me to raise because you have to raise your own funds for this damn doesn’t pay for this but they really support you a lot. There’s I’ve had twenty four seven support with all of this and there you’ve got venues lined up around the city right now. And yeah, I do have a couple of nice. I think Runway is one of them was House of Cards got Encore has volunteered their spot as well, which is right down the street from me. And then of course I went to music we’re trying to get something happening for downtown when the City of Tucson gem chimed in with Alchemy Plaza. We were looking, but hopefully we’ll get some music out and how can we City sounds like they’re interested is just a matter of pulling against its you but on your shoulders trying to pull all this together, right? Do you have a committee here in Tucson or is it really just
you going out and doing everything on the board of directors to the Tucson musicians Museum? Okay. So I have some resources. There are helping Chiron Belanger has been really really good. But they a couple of I have a couple of bands in there that are volunteering the musicians volunteering Stella Geraci which will be meeting this evening. You knew really need a lot of Staff volunteer staff living they call them Street teams on Facebook, I guess right where you get out there you get the word out and kind of gather up performers because the really the whole point the idea is for other people to see it and go be part of that. And so I have free instruments for everybody to come I have hundreds of pairs of drumsticks that were donated from drum companies have a few hundred guitar books and ukulele books. I have owner gave me a hundred and sixty harmonicas. I have guitar instructors involved to run surf guitar circles. Going to be drum circles going on bucket drumming. So it’s really going to
be just participants are going to doesn’t matter. If they don’t even know how to play an instrument. Just pick up some sticks and play along with us. Is there a centralized website where people can get information? Yes, there is there’s a w-w-w DOT make music day.org forward slash Tucson UK that will take them to our website and there’s a participate and sign up. Also if there is if you want to know where things are going to be there’s a they’ll be a matchmaking as we call it link set up on there as well. So we are going to have we’re trying to get everybody listed who’s going to be playing click it click on the band’s name will still where they’re at and they’ll what time it’ll be. Okay really quiet and then again this if you just want to get out there and try to beat on a bucket for a while and get a little rhythm and go to this website and find out where the drum circle is and head out there and they’ll Bring in. Yep. Absolutely. We have plenty of instruments to use even have free ukuleles they
can take home with them, but they want only the buckets until we’re done but you can take the buckets at the end of the night and doesn’t matter if you can’t play like, you know, like like Ritchie Blackmore Jimmy Page or or even you know, if Mozart it really doesn’t just matter. What matters is that you play and enjoy it. It’s the it’s the it’s the voice of the soul and you know, you’ve can’t forget that. That
is jeonbu Jack. He is the organizer of make music day Tucson. He began his Endeavor just a few months ago. And he’s pulling together the venue’s musician sponsors and equipment to make it all happen in Tucson this Friday the 21st. And if you want to learn more you want to help out or maybe just want to plant the seeds to get involved for 2020. You can head over to their website make music day forward slash Tucson.com and then we’ll link to all that stuff from our Facebook page. Of course right after the show. You mentioned Haka me Plaza in there is potential venue. We’re still hoping that happens. If you’ve been down there Tuesdays and Thursdays, by the way, they do have live music as it is and we’re hoping to add something in there potentially for Friday the 21st at Haka me Plaza. My name is Tom. Hey, Ethan, you’re listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio. 99.1 FM Tucson available for streaming. from Downtown Radio dot-org Well, that’s going to wrap up episode 88. Hope you enjoy
the rest of your Father’s Day to all those you celebrating. Thank you and congratulations on. Another year of being a wonderful father. Well the Today Show we focused on the transportation changes potentially coming to the urban area and the Forum to answer some questions and address concerns of coming up here on Thursday. And then on Friday at summer solstice and it’s make music day want to thank John Bojack for spending his time with us and it was busy getting prepared for that. And if you want any those details will have them all on Facebook right here after the show if there’s something we should be covering. If you have a passion something that you’re involved with that we’re not discussing here on the show. Give us a shout out. Let us know you can get us here on our email contact at Life along the streetcar dot-org interact with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. And if you have your own social media account or you know, someone who’s got a really good one tag us mention us just
get us connected because we’d love to share what you’re doing. Well, it’s been another fun week for us here, and we’re going to leave you with music that is an honor of our featured guest today. He is most recently been touring as he mentioned with Ashbury through Europe. So from their 2018 album, which is entitled I of the stygian witches you’re listening to good Qatar. That’s a little bit of a long song surprise not going to get all of it. But I hope you do enjoy what you listen to. Hope. You have a great week and tune in next Sunday for more Life along the street.