Thursday, November 20, 2008 : Women's movement : Women's movement

Female musicians gaining locally
Women's movement
By Kevin W. Smith
Tucson, Arizona Published: 11.20.2008

While women make up more than half the world's population, in American popular music they're largely outnumbered by dudes with guitars. This also holds true in Tucson's music scene, but one area the ladies are increasing in, both locally and nationally, is the singer-songwriter field. "It's kind of an exciting time in the world to be songwriting," said Tucson's Amber Norgaard, one of many women leading the local scene.

Nothing away from the guys in town — Nick Luca, Al Perry, Al Foul and Andrew Collberg, to name a few — or the women rocking out in bands such as Winelord, The Okmoniks and The Runaway 5.
It's just, if you're seeking the most diverse array of female voices in Tucson music, you need to listen to the singer-songwriters.

Local radio personality Cathy Rivers said she's seen more and more women performing on local stages since she started crafting her own music here in the '90s.

"There's a lot of chicks around town playing music," Rivers said. "It's absolutely growing."
The result is some of the most honest, exciting and diverse material the city has to offer, with varying styles, from pop to folk to rock.

"Everyone is totally legitimate in their own right, too," said Namoli Brennet. "It's not just that they exist in this scene."

Segments of the women singer-songwriter collection in Tucson are like small communities that tour, play and share lineups and resources, negating competition.

"There's no making it in Tucson. It's happened, but it's rare," said veteran singer-songwriter Amy Rude. "People are here for the music."

Tucson has a rich tradition of women singer-songwriters, like longtime resident and blues diva Lisa Otey, Americana artist Nancy McCallion, the folky Kathleen Williamson and the incomparable alt-country songstress and Old Pueblo transplant, Neko Case.

This year we've had such quality artists as Ani DiFranco, Sheryl Crow and Johnette Napolitano swinging through town. This month has seen local performances from national acts K.D. Lang and Grace Potter of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

"Women have a softer way of looking at things, almost more sarcastic and less animalistic," said Potter, who played Club Congress earlier this month. "And I really enjoy playing with that and experimenting with it."

Two pioneers, Lilith Fair founder Sarah McLachlan and Alanis Morissette, will perform at the Tucson Arena on Dec. 11 for the listener-appreciation show from The Mountain (92.9-FM).
On the national and international stages, there've been several who have found success pushing the boundaries, starting way back in the '60s and '70s with Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith, all the way to the '90s with DiFranco, Melissa Etheridge, Björk, Lauryn Hill and PJ Harvey.

Today there's a female artist — be it Feist, Regina Spektor, Cat Power, Joanna Newsom, Norah Jones or M.I.A. — at the forefront of just about any genre.

The winner of the Arizona Daily Star's 2008 Battle of the Bands was the folk-pop duo Mirror Image. Twins Andrea and Juliet Wilhelmi, the only females in the competition, prevailed against 24 guys.
Still, reasons vary as to why more women don't use the musical-strength-in-numbers philosophy as often as guys do with bands, instead of opting to do their own thing as solo artists.
Rivers said many garage bands evolve out of friendships, and, more often than not, that's "boys getting together with boys."

"Women, then, are like, 'Well, I'm just going to learn to play guitar. I'm going to start playing on my own,' " she said.

Local crooner Marianne Dissard doesn't consider herself a singer-songwriter because she only writes lyrics, but she said the advantages of being a solo artist are simple.

"If you're a one-person band, you are free to do whatever you want, whenever you need to do it," she said via e-mail while on tour in France.

A challenge for women musicians is that they are often lumped into a stereotype — even the term "singer-songwriter" is seen by some as a way to marginalize a large group of distinct voices.
"I think the expectation of a female musician should be just as high as a male, and I don't like it when people lower their expectations because there's a girl," Potter said. "It's like, 'Oh, give her a chance, she's really pretty.'"

Tucson's Kaia Chesney thinks guys, for instance, get more credit for being emotional in songs; when similar sentiments are coming from a woman, it's expected.

"I want to be honest in everything that I write and sing, and I want it to be realistic," she said. "But at the same time I don't want to be swept under the rug as a 'feminist, coffee-bar singer.' Which I think happens to a lot of good female musicians."

Potter, who is signed to a major label, would love to see more women making music, but said they have to give audiences something different.

"Don't complain about having all this flooded industry of men if you're not going to provide something substantial for people to latch onto," she said.

"I don't want to hear a million Tori Amoses. We've got one."
Among Tucson's female singer-songwriters, there were also mixed feelings about the number of venues that support their music.

Coffeehouses such as Epic Cafe, Javalinas Coffee and Friends, Shot in the Dark Cafe, and Bentley's House of Coffee & Tea are all seen as being supportive.

There are also traditional music venues such as Club Congress, Plush, Solar Culture, Red Room at Grill and the Living Room that will provide a forum.

Kris Kerry is the concert booker at Plush nightclub and husband of Rivers. While he's not keeping a tally of the male-to-female musician ratio at Plush, he said it is a welcoming venue for singer-songwriters.
"I don't think there's any blatant sexism," Kerry said. "But there does always seem to be more male artists than female artists."

Rude would like to see more venues in town welcome singer-songwriters, although she's been known to get creative: Her first Tucson gig was busking on a Downtown sidewalk near Hotel Congress.

Williamson, a singer-songwriter who moved to Tucson more than 20 years ago, said she would like to see additional art galleries open their doors for performances from "a poet with a guitar."

"The venues aren't going to be created unless the audience comes out," she said.

Williamson also thinks that some of the coffeehouses that do support singer-songwriters could do more to promote the shows, and that musicians often receive little or no ompensation.

"It's a labor of love," she said.

Today we introduce you some women making music locally — and there should be plenty more new faces in the years to come.

"More parents are buying girls guitars," Rivers said. "They never used to. And that's just pure evolution of the feminist movement."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Music notes | ®

Music notes ®: "

Music notes

Tucson, Arizona Published: 11.14.2008

The Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., will become boogie woogie central as Lisa Otey presents her Fourth Annual Boogie Woogie Blowout on Saturday.

Among the acts will be pianist Doña Oxford from Los Angeles and Carl Sonny Leyland, a blues and Boogie Woogie player inspired by classic artists such as Roosevelt Sykes and Otis Spann.
Local favorites Otey and Arthur Migliazza also will perform.

The evening begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance (call 370-5912) and $30 at the door."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Observer - Tucson, Arizona: Around Tucson This Time

The Observer - Tucson, Arizona: Around Tucson This Time:

"Rounding out our entertainment on the main stage, Tucson Pride are very pleased to welcome local acts as well as acts from across the state and around the nation. This year’s roster includes: 8 Inch Betsy; Clint Crishner; Namoli Brennett; Sabra Faulk and Amber Norgaard; Liz Stahler; Too Much Information; and Courtney Robbins, as well as presenting on a second stage of live entertainment, the CoffeeHouse Stage! Scheduled entertainers on the CoffeeHouse Stage include: Desert Voices; Lisa Otey & Diane Von Duerzen; Arthur Migliazza; Reveille; and T-Squares.

For more information, go online to"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Arizona Jazz Academy to Perform at 233rd Naval Birthday Bash

Press Release: Arizona Jazz Academy to Perform at 233rd Naval Birthday Bash « TJDuprey Unlimited

Press Release: Arizona Jazz Academy to Perform at 233rd Naval Birthday Bash
October 10, 2008

Navy Operational Support Center Tucson

Morale, Welfare and Recreation Committee

Pima Air & Space Museum

6000 E. Valencia Rd., Hangar 1, Tucson, Arizona 85706

Guest Speaker

CAPT (Ret.) P. Kevin Peppe, USN

Deputy Vice President, Raytheon

Naval Weapons Systems

Entertainment by:
The Arizona Jazz Academy Ellington Big Band,
under the direction of Doug Tidaback
and The Lisa Otey Trio with Diane Van Deurzen

Date: October 18, 2008


1800 (6:00 pm) – Cocktails

1900 (7:00 pm) – Dinner & program

Dancing to follow

No admittance after ceremonies begin

Ticket Prices (each):

E-7 and above: $40.00

E-5 & E-6: $30.00

E-4 & below: $20.00

Civilians/Retirees: $40.00

For tickets, information, sponsorship and corporate table purchases, please call 520-228-6271

Military & uniformed service attendees: Dinner Dress Blue, Dinner Dress Blue Jacket or service equivalent uniform

Civilians: Formal dinner attire

Retirees: Uniforms encouraged

Navy Birthday Facts

The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775 by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work.

In 1972 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition of 13 October as the Navy’s birthday. The Chief of Naval Operations has stated that the Navy Birthday is one of the two Navy wide dates to be celebrated annually.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lisa Otey's family show rescheduled from August | ®

Lisa Otey's family show rescheduled from August ®

Lisa Otey's family show rescheduled from August
Tucson, Arizona Published: 08.21.2008

Lisa Otey and Diane Van Deurzen will share the Z Mansion stage with Otey's mom, Gay, and brother David for two special performances next week.

The shows on Monday and Tuesday were originally scheduled for Aug. 4, but were canceled when Otey's father died.

The rescheduled concerts will pay tribute to Otey's father and to Van Deurzen's mother, who died in July.

Otey is a heralded Tucson blues singer and boogie-woogie pianist, while her partner, Van Deurzen, is a respected vocalist. Otey's brother plays trombone and has a regular gig on Princess cruise ships. Her mom anchors the ensemble at piano and vocals.

Monday's and Tuesday's concerts begin at 7 p.m. at Z Mansion, 288 N. Church Ave. Tickets are $20 online at For reservations, call 370-5912.

— Cathalena E. Burch

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Explorer - The Voice of Marana, Oro Valley and Northwest Tucson > El Sol > The Guide

The Explorer - The Voice of Marana, Oro Valley and Northwest Tucson > El Sol > The Guide: "FRIDAY, AUG. 22

• Local jazz/blues singer Lisa Otey will perform as part of Tohono Chul Park’s Summer Concert Series. Details: 7 p.m.; 7366 N. Paseo del Norte; $10 members, $12 for non-members in advance; $15 and $17 at the door; 742-6455.FRIDAY, AUG. 22

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fest will beat the blues | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com

Fest will beat the blues Cincinnati Enquirer Cincinnati.Com

By Rick Bird • Enquirer contributor • August 1, 2008

The theme of this year's Cincy Blues Fest could well be "Let's party!"

The lineup features a number of high-energy showmen, infectious blues rockers and rollicking jump blues.

Organizers acknowledge it's an attempt to show people the blues doesn't have to be, well ... blue.

"Our goal this year was to book interesting shows that keep things hopping," said Joy Henderson, Cincy Blues Fest coordinator. "Some people think blues has to be sad, crying-in-your-beer stuff. It doesn't have to be. We wanted to attract a younger crowd with a lot of high-energy music."

Organizers expect up to 20,000 people for the 16th Cincy Blues Fest tonight and Saturday at Bicentennial Commons at Sawyer Point. The volunteer-run event is sponsored by the Cincy Blues Society, with all proceeds going to its Blues in the Schools program.

Headliners include Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials today and Watermelon Slim Saturday. Guitar slinger Lil' Ed is known for his upbeat showman style; Watermelon Slim is a true character with his campy storytelling style on guitar and harp.

Other highlights include veteran roadhouse blues rocker Jimmy Thackery and the Kilborn Alley Blues Band, featuring younger practitioners of the classic Chicago electric blues tradition. Also on the bill is Grammy-winning harmonica player Sugar Blue.

This year, organizers dropped a gospel stage and added an "AlternaBlues" stage today. It includes blues-derivative folk, roots rock and Americana music ranging from local troubadour Jake Speed and blues rockers Pearlene to the eclectic Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band (a trio with Peyton's wife on rub board).

The stage also will feature a tribute to Sean Costello, the up-and-coming Atlanta guitarist who died in April one day short of his 29th birthday. His death was ruled an accidental drug overdose that included prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Costello was originally scheduled to be the Saturday night headliner. Northern Kentucky guitarist Jon Justice, a friend of Costello's who shares a soulful/R&B-influenced blues style, will perform the tribute set, with donations encouraged for the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research established by his family.

The blues fest continues its tradition of an all-day boogie-woogie piano stage. The event is thought to be the only blues festival in the country with a stage dedicated to the genre. There's increased female power on the stage this year, with five women players, including Lisa Otey, Wendy DeWitt and Sue Palmer, who have toured together as the "queens of the boogie-woogie piano."

Cincinnati's prodigal harp son, Steve Tracy, will return to his hometown to emcee the piano stage and perform. Tracy is professor of African-American studies at the University of Massachusetts and author of "Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City."

Arches Boogie Woogie Piano Stage


3:45 p.m.: The jam session includes piano players Mark Braun, Eden Brent, Wendy DeWitt, Ricky Nye, Lisa Otey, Sue Palmer, Liz Pennock and Dr. Blues, Rob Rio, Bob Seeley and Matt Wigler.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tucson Weekly : CityWeek : City Week

City Week

Tucson Weekly : CityWeek : City Week:

"Lisa Otey and Walter Belcher (shown) perform at 7 p.m., Monday, July 7, at Z Mansion, 288 N. Church Ave. $20. Call 370-5912 for information."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The LUMIES ~ Tucson Pima Arts & Business Award Gala Event at the FOX Theatre May 4th!

Tucson Theatre Announcements List: Tucson: The LUMIES ~ Tucson Pima Arts & Business Award Gala Event at the FOX Theatre May 4th!

The LUMIES ~ Tucson Pima Arts & Business Award Gala Event at the FOX Theatre May 4th!
Tickets selling FAST! Buy your tickets NOW! Tables already SOLD OUT!

On Sunday May 4th Join Master of Ceremonies Chuck George (KOLD NEWS 13) at the FOX Tucson Theatre for an glamorous evening of celebration as we honor those Luminaries in our community – artists, volunteers, individuals, businesses and arts organizations – nominated for their outstanding contributions to the arts.

Featuring Performances by: The Arts for All Acting Ensemble, Thom Lewis Dance - featuring Max Foster & Andrea Murray, Opening Minds Through the Arts (OMA) - Matthew Vera, Violinist/violist accompanied by Joan Ashcraft & the Tucson Jazz Society featuring Lisa Otey & Diane Van Deurzen.

Click on the link below to see Mary Davis, Lumie Event Chair & Ron Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council discusses this important event on Inside Arizona Business!
TPAC wishes to extend congratulations to all of the 2008 LUMIE ~Tucson Pima Arts & Business Award Nominees! Visit our website for the complete list of nominees:
Tickets are on sale NOW at the FOX Theatre box office ~ visit: or call 547-3040.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Enquirer - Cincy Blues Fest set for August

The Enquirer - Cincy Blues Fest set for August:

"Cincy Blues Fest set for August"
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cincy Blues Fest will return to Sawyer Point Aug. 1 and 2 for its 16th year.
The “Sweet Sixteen" edition of the blues extravaganza will include more than 50 local, regional, and national acts.

On Friday, Aug. 1, the festival will run from 5 p.m until midnight on three stages with a $7 admission (Blues Society members free). Tickets will be available at the gate; there are no plans for advance sales.
The Main Stage will feature headliner Sean Costello along with Alvin Jett, Phat Noiz, and Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers.

This year, the Arches Stage features “AlternaBlues”: blues-influenced roots music with performances by local bands that will include Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band and Jake Speed and the Freddies.

The Aug. 2 shows run from 2:30 p.m until midnight for $10 (Blues Society members free). The headliner is Watermelon Slim and the Workers, along with Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Sugar Blue, Gina Sicilia, Lisa Otey, Sue Palmer, Wendy DeWitt, Luther G. Williams, Matt Wigler, Bob Seeley, Marc Braun, Liz Pennock and Dr. Blues, Rob Rio and more.All proceeds go to the Cincy Blues Society to help fund their Blues in the Schools program, educating area local students from elementary through high school on the history and styles of Blues music.For more information visit

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Arizona Dialy Star - MUSIC NOTES

Baroque, Romantic pieces at Organ Series concert
Tucson, Arizona Published: 03.28.2008

Leave it to Tucson blueswoman, boogie-woogie practitioner and piano tickler Lisa Otey to strike upon an idea that entertains the lot of us.

This time, Otey is hosting a series of piano concerts. Her Piano Series at Z Mansion kicks off Monday and runs through early May.

The series features Otey paired up with other noted Tucson pianists, starting with jazz pianist Susan Artemis on Monday; recent transplant Marilyn Harris, who dabbles in jazz and song parodies, April 7; longtime boogie-woogie charmer Arthur Migliazza, April 21; Gaslight Theatre legend Linda Ackermann, who double-dips in ragtime and classical, April 28; and Chicago transplant and jazz dispenser Judy Roberts, May 5.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. at Z Mansion, 288 N. Church Ave., Downtown. Admission is $20 per show, or three shows for $50.

For details, call Otey at 370-5912 or visit her Web site,

Friday, January 18, 2008

Harris will be guest diva with Lisa Otey group | ®

Harris will be guest diva with Lisa Otey group ®:
Harris will be guest diva with Lisa Otey group
Tucson, Arizona Published: 01.17.2008

Every year about this time, the Desert Divas with Lisa Otey at the helm get together to re- inforce their divadom.

On Saturday, they will be sans a diva; Anna Warr is sitting this one out to rest her voice for her European tour next month. But Otey will sing alongside her other sisters — Hurricane Carla, Liz McMahon, Diane Van Deurzen and Regina "the Queen."

They will be backed by Rich Nordenberg on bass and Jon Westfall on drums, with special guest diva the campy cabaret singer/pianist Marilyn Harris. Saturday's concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway.

Tickets are $25-$30 in advance, $20 for Tucson Jazz Society members online at or by callinbg 370-5912.