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This is the weekend that thousands of people would be making their way into downtown Tempe for the Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts. This is one of the most popular events of the year, as locals and visitors both take advantage of wonderful shopping opportunities, while they stroll the streets of downtown Tempe enjoying arts, crafts, entertainment, food, and people watching.
Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts
Apocalyptic Gar Fish by Michael Ezzell. Photo Courtesy Downtown Tempe Community, Inc.

The Tempe Festival of the Arts has chosen Laguna Beach sculptor, Michael Ezzell, as its featured artist for the 31st annual spring festival. Free to the public, the event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to dusk daily – rain or shine - on Friday, March 28, 2008 through Sunday, March 30, 2008 in Tempe’s Mill Avenue District.

The organizers of the event have announced the lineup and schedule of the entertainment that will be enlivening the Mill Avenue District. All entertainment is free to the public. Here's the detailed schedule, along with parking information.

The Qwest Main Stage will feature several local and national acts from Reggae to Rock music. Located in 6th Street Park adjacent to City Hall, performances run from 11 a.m. to to 5 p.m. daily.

Friday, March 28, 2008

  • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Hans Olson: the Valley legendary Blues man
  • 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    Caribbean Cruisers: Calypso, Junkanoo, Soca, Latina, Reggae, and Contemporary Jazz
  • 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Peppermint James: Beatlesque vocal harmonies, and groovy Reggae
  • 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Hello Swindon: Fun for all ages, this Alternative band delivers an energetic stage show second to none, while band members try to push each other to the limit.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

  • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Delcoa: Known in the west for their “folksy-funk-rock”
  • 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    The Scones: Classic pop tunes with a British edge
  • 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    The Rave: Arizona’s best Top 40 cover band
  • 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    Axe Capoeira: Back by popular demand, this dance/martial arts group will dazzle young and old alike

Sunday, March 30, 2008

  • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Seven Car Pileup: a sharp, innovative musical trio whose sight and sound brings a unique blend of rock music that pays respect to the lineage that was started before Robert Johnson and Son House
  • 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    Telescope
  • 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Flight to London: Alternative/Indie rock with an emphasis on melodic vocal melodies backed by simplistic, driving song structures
  • 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Walt Richardson & the Peaceful Warriors: Walt Richardson has been a part of every Tempe Festival of the Arts since inception; mixture of folk, rock, and reggae.

The Arizona Wine Festival Jazz Stage presents the Valley’s best jazz and Blues vocalists. The Jazz stage is located in the Arizona Wine Festival on 7th Street, just west of Mill Avenue. Nuance, a unique acoustic/electric jazz trio, is the featured back line and will feature these singers each day.

Friday, March 28, 2008

  • 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Nuance
  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    Denise Martin: Growing up in Central Phoenix, Denise studied jazz singing and improvisation
  • 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Nuance
  • 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Vickie McDermitt

Saturday, March 29, 2008

  • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Nuance
  • 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Sherry Roberson: One of the true “Divas of Jazz”, Sherry will be joined her trio playing Jazz standards
  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    Patte' Williams: Dynamic, exciting performer whose energy has made her one of the most popular jazz, rhythm and blues acts in the Valley
  • 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Nuance
  • 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Donna Deussen: Seasoned jazz and R&B performer who just released her critically acclaimed “High Wire”.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

  • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Nuance
  • 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Stan Devereauz & Jimmie McElroy: Accomplished singer and songwriter that has performed all over the world for the past 25 years
  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    Darl Chryst: Los Angeles native who writes and records with the JazzBerries
  • 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Nuance
  • 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Margo Reed: A member of the amazing Reed Family, Margo has become the “Arizona Queen of Jazz”

Several street entertainers will also be performing at different areas up and down the Mill Avenue District. They can be seen from 10 a.m. to to 6 p.m. each day of the festival.

  • The Sahnas Brothers – Thano and Demitri Sahnas create Mediterranean sounds and rhythms culture with the warm, inviting romance of the classical Spanish guitar. West 5th Street just West of Maple
  • Patrick Ki - Guitarist with Hawaiian “slack-key” influences. 4th Street and Mill Avenue
  • Dana Smith and His Dog Lacy – Fast-paced, high energy show featuring fire juggling and circus arts. Intersection of 5th Street and Mill Avenue
  • Kayte Strong – Keyboards/vocalist with an authentic reincarnation of the easy-listening music from the 70’s. East 5th Street East of Maple
  • Sarah Venell – Guitarist/vocalist. 5th Street, east of Mill Avenue
  • Lao Tizer – Contemporary jazz keyboardist and recording artist. Corner of 6th Street and Mill Avenue
  • GradyMusic – Beautiful and soothing original keyboardist. Located in Cottage Edibles
  • Mrs. Rita – tarot card reader. Between 6th & 7th Street on Mill Avenue
  • Henna Tattoos - 5th Street West of Mill Avenue and Mill Avenue North of 7th Street
  • Andean Nation – Band members from diverse parts of the Americas come together to blend a myriad of rhythm and raw instrumentation. Mill Avenue, South of 7th Street
  • Tony Putrino – Accordion player. 5th Street, between Myrtle and Mill
  • Caricatures by D.A. Riggs - 5th Street just West of Mill Avenue
  • Taylor Circus Stars – Spectacular stilt movements, ribbon dancing, juggling, tight rope dancing, acrobatics, contortion, balloon wizardry, and face painting. Roaming on Saturday and Sunday
  • Shawn Greer – Professional magician. Intersection of 7th Street and Mill Avenue
  • Dominic Amato – Saxophonist. 5th Street, just West of Mill Ave.
Located on 4th Street, just west of Mill, the Artist Demonstration Area showcases some of the Tempe Festival of the Arts premiere artisans. Schedule is the same each day of the festival from 11 a.m. to to 5 p.m.
  • 11 a.m. Ed Mitchell - Wire Designs by Edward (Booth #1007). Wire jewelry shaped and annealed by hand using no smoldering, molds, or digs
  • 12 p.m. Cori Harper - TrueDesign Studio (Booth #5526). Taking inspiration from nature, Cori creates handmade glass creations using a propane/oxygen torch
  • 1 p.m. John Wayne Jackson - Imagine That! Creations (Booth #1332). Using his passion for gardening, John will create a fossilized leaf sculpture
  • 2 p.m. Cynthia Duff - Bent Wood Series (Booth #5524). Mixed Media 3D
  • 3 p.m. Debbie Arambula - Heartworks Studio, Inc. (Booth #1301-1303). Painting done live of one of Debbie’s famous hearts
  • 4 p.m. Robyn Feeley - Bungalow Art Studio (Booth # 1003). Pet portrait
Transportation and parking are always a challenge during big downtown Tempe events. Check here for street closures and parking options during the Tempe Festival of the Arts.

All dates, times, and offerings are subject to change without notice.

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