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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Musicians represent Tucson at South By Southwest

    Marianne Dissard, a local musician, and James Hudson, editor of TucsonScene.com, have organized showcases for Tucson artists to perform at during South By Southwest. SXSW, a musical festival in Austin Texas, attracts not only fans but also many record representatives and media outlets. Keep your fingers crossed as local musicians try their best to break into the big, bad music world.
    Marianne Dissard, a local musician, and James Hudson, editor of TucsonScene.com, have organized showcases for Tucson artists to perform at during South By Southwest. SXSW, a musical festival in Austin Texas, attracts not only fans but also many record representatives and media outlets. Keep your fingers crossed as local musicians try their best to break into the big, bad music world.

    Some of Tucson’s best local musicians will be leaving town next month to participate in one of the biggest music events in America.

    The annual music festival South By Southwest (known as SXSW to hipsters) draws in record executives and media from across the country to Austin, Texas. SXSW has become a big deal in its 20-plus years of existence, bringing in over 13,000 acts from around the world.

    Thanks to local music Web site TucsonScene.com, Tucson artists will also be strongly represented. The site has organized several showcases in Austin during SXSW. Artists invited to play the showcases include local musicians Na’m Amor, Marianne Dissard, Salvador Duran and Vicki Brown.

    TucsonScene editor and local music enthusiast James Hudson organized the events to give Tucson better representation in Austin.

    “”I’ve been unimpressed by the one band that the Tucson Weekly traditionally chooses to represent Tucson at South by SXSW each year,”” Hudson said in an e-mail.

    Local musician and showcase performer Dissard credits Hudson for the diverse lineup.

    “”James decided, which was really smart on his part, that it needed to be a selection of singer-songwriters,”” Dissard said. “”It’s a madhouse (at SXSW), and we need to be a little different from the start.””

    One of those singer-songwriters is Duran, a flamenco guitarist from Mexico, who recently collaborated and toured with famed Tucson band Calexico.

    “”He truly represents the heart and soul of Tucson,”” Hudson said, referring to Duran’s emotional performances that showcase him playing guitar and harmonica while stomping on a wooden box for percussion.

    In addition to performing, Dissard took on the responsiblity of getting the Austin shows scheduled. While setting up packed concerts may seem like a daunting task, Dissard said the most difficult duty was saying no to venues that wanted to host the performances.

    Andrew Collberg, another performer, hopes to connect with fans and record labels in Austin. Collberg’s goal is to “”make connections with people that are going to listen to music and appreciate it.”” In addition to performing in the TucsonScene showcase, Collberg also plans to record some new material in Austin.

    “”It’ll be a good experience regardless of what happens,”” Collberg said. “”I think we’ll do a decent job of representing Tucson.””

    Dissard and Hudson also hope for increased exposure during their trip. Dissard recently recorded an album with Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico. Burns co-wrote and produced the record that Dissard hopes to release in upcoming months. Hudson, on the other hand, hopes to boost recognition for his Web site and Tucson.

    “”I want to promote Tucson as not only a great place to stop on tour but also a hotbed of up-and-coming local bands that deserve national attention,”” Hudson said.

    A benefit show is scheduled for tomorrow night at Club Congress to help provide the showcase performers and Hudson with money needed to complete the trip.

    “”Since TucsonScene is ad-free and is paid out of my pocket, we need to raise money for gas, food, lodging and van rentals,”” Hudson said.

    Attendees of the benefit show and Austin showcases can expect much collaboration among the Tucson artists. Dissard and Hudson even hinted at a Calexico cover song performed by several of the performers.

    The TucsonScene SXSW benefit show will take place tomorrow night at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Tickets are $4 with proceeds going toward the SXSW performances. The doors open at 8 p.m. for this 21-and-up show.

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