With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s time to consider what we are thankful for even in light of the tumultuous year that is 2020.
One thing Tucsonans can add to their grateful lists: living in a city where outdoor events are possible this time of year.
The MSA Annex is hosting “Give Thanks for Music,” a weekend of concerts at the west-side shopping center’s outdoor stage featuring Amor Deluxe, fronted by Naim Amor and Katie Haverly, on Friday, Nov. 27, and Mamma Coal and Freddy Parish on Saturday, Nov. 28.
“This is a super-cozy way to enjoy live music,” said Kira Dixon-Weinstein, the executive director of the annex’s parent Mercado District and the concert’s organizer.
Socially distanced seating will be arranged in two- and four-seat clusters with 12 feet in between. Drinks can be consumed only while seated, and masks must be worn at all other times.
“(We’re) getting back to living with the virus. Wear your mask, be smart, don’t crowd, and let’s try to do it,” Dixon-Weinstein said. “It won’t have that same feeling of being in a crowd listening to live music. It’s an experiment for all of us, learning to enjoy the world without that festive nature in it.”
Dixon-Weinstein curated concerts that pair what she described as the “lovely French pop vibe” of Naim Amor with Katie Haverly, Tucson’s answer to Joni Mitchell, on Friday, and foot-stompin’ old country and honky tonk on Saturday with the bluesy Mamma Coal teaming up with the neo-trad country of Freddy Parish. The combined six-member band will feature fiddle, dobro, banjo and pedal steel, with Alvin Blaine on pedal steel and banjo; Matt Rolland on fiddle and violin; Thoger Lund on bass; and Fred Hayes on drums.
“(They will be) very lovely evenings to sit outside and listen to those beautiful sounds,” Dixon-Weinstein said.
Sunday Joyahnah Holland is a University of Arizona journalism student apprenticing with the Star.