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Join us for our annual Sundays in the Garden Fall Concert Series featuring the Southwestern Americana music of Nancy Elliott and Ismael Barajas. The concert is free with admission and free for members as one of the many amazing membership benefits.

Be sure to visit the cash bar for beer and wine, prickly pear lemonade, and our famous prickly pear margaritas. Treat yourself to a wonderful afternoon outdoors, sipping wine, and listening to live music. Seating is limited, so please arrive early. The concert series is brought you in part by the Tucson Guitar Society.

 

 

Mom and Dad bought a Kimball Organ when I was about seven years old. That purchase came with six weeks of free lessons for the family and I was always excited to for a new song each week so I could practice it with Mom. We sat side by side on the organ bench while we played and we sang the songs she loved from Moon River to Don’t Fence Me In. My thirteenth summer we took an extended working/vacation and I became very ill and could not go out to play. A friend of the family, who went with us and was a guitar player, told my Dad he could teach me to play if I had a guitar. Dad bought one for me at a department store and Ralph sat with me every evening teaching me simple songs. The next year, I got my first “real” guitar and, with John Denver, Batdorf and Rodney and America as my inspirations, I began writing simple songs and playing folk music at campfires, weddings and local festivals.

The years after High School found me in California working for the park service and playing evenings in campgrounds and restaurants. Abilene,Texas was the next stop. With its wild and woolly mix of a low drinking age (that being 18), public dance halls and private clubs, I found my self singing Linda Ronstadt and Willie Nelson covers behind chicken wire. I had the honor of playing one night a week for several months at Mel Tillis’s “The Old Sawmill”, The Town Crier Steakhouse, a pool bar, whose name I can’t remember ( might be a good thing ) near the back gate of the base, and a fund raiser for the Veterans Hospital with Rex Allen, Rex Allen Jr and Johnny Gimble. I got out of Abilene with my guitar, my 1970 Chevy Impala 350,some real good stories and 10 stitches around my eye from one of those nights there was not enough chicken wire in the state Texas to protect the band.

Back in Ohio and of age I hit the local Dayton folk scene once again, including playing Sam’s on 5th, The Trolly Stop in the Oregon District and was a performer on opening night at Mick Montgomery’s Canal Street Tavern, where I also later tended bar. Brisco’s Lounge, Winds Cafe, Tuty’s Inn, my goodness, it was time of stage hopping with friends and solid, paying gigs, many of them sit downs where a player could make a living. I took 10 plus years off from professional performance after ending up back in Texas (not Abilene) and raising my two daughters alone. I did not quit playing though, often sitting in with friends. Coming to Arizona in 1990 I discovered the Western & Cowboy music. Katy Creek Band resulted in 2001, lasting a good 13 years and four albums. This lovely but tiny genre provided inspiration to grow in my song writing and performance abilities. Now, seeking wider and broader opportunities, including for my registered and branded “The Heart of It All” workshops, I once again perform in the Folk genre, particularly my self coined “South~Western Americana”.

My first album in ten years, Tall Tree, has just released. Recorded for Mi Casa Records and produced by Maestro Ismael Barajas, Tall Tree is first in South~Western Americana. The drum styles, arrangements and rhythms, the wide open shelving of instruments against vocals, and the instruments themselves, are a direct reflection of life in the Desert Southwest. The second album in South~Western Americana, “Lightning Woman Danced”, is currently being charted and arranged. Lightning Woman Danced will include a much anticipated recording and video of “By Moon or No Moon”.

 

 

Ismael Barajas, Latin / Classical and Flamenco guitarist began Playing  guitar at the age of 13 years of age, Listening to records of Mexican guitarist Antoñio Bibriesca and Cuco Sanchez also Spanish Guitarist Sabicas. He would also accompany his Father, Miguel Barajas and his fathers’ friends at family gatherings singing Mexican favorites. Less than one year later, he gave his first public concert. The response was so overwhelming, patrons of the arts formed an organization to sponsor his formal training.
Ismael Barajas then began his formal training in the Classical and Flamenco styles with Spains Royal family of the guitar, The Romeros. His Flamenco Guitar training also continued with Carlos Montoya, Jesus De Jerez and Eduardo Santiago Figueroa.

He was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Arizona, School of Music. In conjunction with his studies he began teaching guitar in the Tucson, Arizona public school system, and the University of Arizona.

Ismael toured extensively performing with Flamenco dancers and Flamenco companies throughout the United States and Mexico.

Through the years, Ismael has appeared on many radio and television programs in the United States and Mexico. He made a cameo appearance on the television series Legend for the Paramount network, starring Richard Dean Anderson and John Delancie.
For many years, Ismael has performed in clubs throughout the states of Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada. However, he mainly performs in Tucson, Arizona, where he has been the leader of his band Tu Son (Tu meaning “your” and Son meaning the “beat of life,” “pulse,” or “heartbeat”). His five-piece and his three-piece band versions play a blend of styles using salsa, jazz, and Bossa-Nova, Classical, Flamenco, as well as Mexican folk music.

In the resent years Ismael Barajas has been performing more as a Solo Guitarist with great success playing in the styles of Jazz, Bossa-Nova, Classical, traditional Mexican folk, original compositions and Flamenco.

Ismael Barajas has recorded 13 Albums with a 14th Album in the works, Ismael Barajas and his Band “TuSon” Won a Tammie in 1995 for Best Latin Jazz Band.  He was inducted to the Tucson Musicians Hall of fame in 2008 and is proud to be a grandfather of nineteen grandchildren and a great grandfather of two. Currently Ismael owns and runs his own private recording studio where he spends most of his time recording his music and recording projects for other Artists. It is not often that Ismael performs these days so it’s always a good idea to catch him on stage for one of his performances.

See a performance here.