Since 1955, the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase has taken over Tuscon, Arizona. This particular show has set the standard across the globe, as well as becoming the largest of its kind in the United States. Birthed of this gathering, came none other than the wondrous Gem & Jam Festival, a unique music, art, and performance festival. In 2020, Gem & Jam celebrates its 13th edition at the Pima County Fairgrounds on Friday, January 31st; Saturday, February 1st; and Sunday, February 2nd.
As we count down the mere days until we jam, you might find yourself staring at the calendar and wishing that time moved just a little bit faster. Unfortunately, the Rave Hard Radio staff do not have the capability of speeding up the clock, but we sure can entertain you while you wait! In cosmically appropriate Gem & Jam fashion, we have gathered a handful of this year’s musical performers–and imagined them as if they were semi-precious stones. In another life and all, right?
The first time I held Pyrite in my hands, I was shocked at how heavy this stone felt. Interestingly enough, I also had this same feeling the first time I heard Mersiv in my ears. Although he hasn’t been in the scene long, Mersiv is coming in hot with his “pretty-dark-loud style of bass music” that we just can’t get enough of. Legend has it that striking two pieces of Pyrite together can even produce sparks. After his set, you should feel full of confidence, vitality, and be overflowing with creative energies of manifestation.
“To be SoDown is to seize every opportunity, explore new grounds, try new things and ultimately live the most epic life possible.” -Ehren River Wright of SoDown
SoDown makes music that allows thunderous bass and saxy grooves to co-exist for a soul-permeating audial experience. His tunes fit into three self-decided separate categories: SoHeavy, SoGroovy, and SoChill. Similarly, Rogerley Fluorite consists of three colors: dark emerald green, strong blue-purple daylight fluorescence, and an even stronger purple-white fluorescence under long-wave UV light. Plan to leave SoDown’s set feeling courageous, healed, as well as mentally and physically coordinated.
Not only is Buku a master chef in the studio, but also in the kitchen. If he’s not on stage or in front of his computer, you will probably find Buku cooking up something other than just tasty beats. And for that reason, this heavy-hitting bass producer shares many qualities with the natural form of sodium chloride (aka, salt), which is known in the healing stone world as Halite. The pure, raw energy Buku’s enthralling tunes exhibit is a resounding result of his utmost understanding of sound design and music theory. Expect to find yourself after Buku’s performance with a sense of clarity, a feeling of total purification, and an intense sensation of self-love and motivation.
The Floozies are known for their incredible infusion of funk and electronica; truly the best of both worlds. The energetic brother-duo works together flawlessly onstage by blending their two brains into one glorious, free-flowing funk and wobbling bass fusion of sound. Much like Banded Amethyst, which is a blend of purple and white streaks in one stone, The Floozies showcase their talents best when their two members are playing on stage, side by side. Banded Amethyst combines the strengthening properties of Quartz and the stress-relieving qualities of Amethyst for an incredibly spiritual stone–which is exactly what a Floozies set does to a person, as well. After your Floozies experience on Saturday, your intuition will be greatly enhanced and you will be ready for the journey that is your life.
Bismuth is an eye-catching silvery metal with a yellow and pink shine. Its complexity is part of what makes it so interesting to gem collectors; and in that same realm, is something we love about Manic Focus. Similar to the intricate layers in this stone, Manic Focus’ tunes layer different genres together (like soul, funk, hip hop, and drum and bass) to create one unified piece of artwork. Much like his song, “All This Is,” Bismuth assists its holder in connecting to “all that is.” Let his music be the guiding path you take to energize, motivate, and transform yourself.
Smoky Quartz is a type of grey Quartz with soothing and healing qualities, both physical and emotional. Just like Twiddle, your Gem & Jam Sunday headlining jam band. Their entire message is that of healing and love, and they spread it in the form of live instrumental improvisation. Have a blast at their rock-jazz-bluegrass-reggae-funk influenced set, and allow it to promote feelings of balance, stress relief, and give you some much needed gentle healing.
Image via Rukes
Nothing quite compares to the bright green beauty that is Malachite. Nothing, except the huge, substantial sounds of the instrumental jazz electronica duo that is Big Gigantic. A popular healing stone, polished Malachite is one of the most important gems for protection from negative energies. Just like its differing shades of green banding throughout the mineral, Big G takes one on a journey of uplifting manifestation, intention, and plenty of inspiration. Sing along to the sax while you can, but when it ends, you will leave their set brimming with a sense of enlightened leadership, creativity, and confidence.
Image via Nick Patton of North Bass Media
“I hope it [my music] makes them feel all warm and wobbly and enhances their weirdness receptors as we spin around on this strange ball.” -David Tipper
Yes, Tipper is of course on this list. And yes, he is Labradorite. This magical stone is known for its calming effect on the mind, while also stimulating creativity and the imagination. It is also shockingly visually stunning, exhibiting a “remarkable play of color” known as labradorescence. Just like witnessing Tipper in action, Labradorite is extremely captivating in the way that as it moves through one’s perspective, its colors vividly flash with surprising changes. Maybe we change depending on how we look at Tipper, or maybe, Tipper changes depending on how we look at him? Depart from Tipper’s headlining Friday set with a new grasp on understanding your own personal abilities, enhanced luck, and an expanded imagination. And keep in mind that you might not get the Tipper set that you want, but you will always get the Tipper set that you need.
Special thanks to Heather McCrackin and Jacob Bruns, owners of Gnome’s Nook, for all of their crystal expertise and assistance! Visit them on Facebook and Instagram and say hi to them at Gem & Jam. The desert is ready for us, so gather your pals and pack your bags! Get tickets here.
Life is all about finding perfect souls to dance with. You can find me following the music.
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