AZ Music Fest Showcases World-Class Visionary Artists

Jacob Devaney
4 min readJan 11, 2024

The relationship between music and visual art is at the nexus of human culture and foundational to conscious evolution. When people study the significant social movements that define our journey through history they will invariably see those changes reflected in the art and music of that era. Brushes dabble in color and dance across the canvas as live painters have become an essential part of most contemporary music festivals. The Tucson Gem and Jam Music Festival, in it’s 16th year this coming February 2–4, continues to be a favorite destination to witness and meet world-class Visionary Artists in action.

What makes a great festival? Of course there are many elements including the music, the workshops, the setting, the art and the venders. Gem and Jam has all of these essential components but what truly makes a great festival is the community. -Arizona’s Quintessential Winter Festival

In a previous article I focused on the powerful sense of community that a festival can evoke. Art and music fuel human evolution but community is the crucible in which this creative alchemy is held. Both musicians and painters feed off the powerful collective energy present. We gather to remind ourselves (and each other) that evolution is a participatory dance that we are all part of.

Live Painting at Gem & Jam 2023 Photo Credit: Dennis Eustace

Big Names, Beautiful Expressions: This year’s Gem and Jam Festival artist lineup, curated by Jennifer Ingram of Tribe 13 Gallery, will feature legendary painters as well as young rising stars. Amanda Sage, Blake Foster, Johnathan Singer, Glass Crane, along with local Phoenix Artists, The Lady Egg, and Ashley Macias are a few of the headliners. There will also be a very rare and special appearance from Autumn Skye Morrison whose lucid realism elicits a “pinch me I must be dreaming” sort of feeling.

“The essence of the desert always brings me back to my core, a knowing born of stone and sun and boundless horizon. And yet, though I have had this kinship with the desert since some of my earliest childhood memories of road trips with my father, I have yet to paint amidst these arid and mystical landscapes. I am very much looking forward to sharing my art and creating a live painting at Gem & Jam, and I’m honored to share inspiration with the playful and heart-centered community gathering there!” -Autumn Skye Morrison

Observing Art: Mirror Neurons are neurons that fire both when a person acts and when the person observes the same action performed by another. This is a very basic concept in human evolution that involves modeling. When you witness the artist work, conversing with them while they paint, and basking in live music under the desert sky you become enchanted with emergent possibilities.

The Language of Stillness by Artist, Autumn Skye

This sense of being drawn into a painting is called “embodied cognition” by neurologists. It is how we dream new worlds into existence and experience them… even if only for a fleeting moment. This is essential as we face the turbulence of a world in transformation.

“The blood flow increases for a beautiful painting just as it increases when you look at somebody you love. It tells us art induces a feel good sensation direct to the brain.” — Professor Semir Zeki, chair in neuroaesthetics at University College London

The Cards are Stacked in Your Favor: Amanda Sage will be present at the festival for the second straight year and this time she will be showcasing some of the original artwork from her new tarot deck collaboration with Liba Waring Stambollion called, Dreams and Divinities. Amanda is well aware of the power of art to shape culture and inspire the artist within us all. She created a beautiful painting that has now become part of an inclusive, collaborative movement called Vision Train. All aboard!

“Gem and Jam is a fantastic watering hole for creative visionaries, coming together to share, learn and co-create in community.” -Amanda Sage

The Musical Lineup

Medicine for the Soul: We need art and artists or we may forget about the inherent beauty of this world. Music reminds us to dance and let ourselves be moved like the trees in the wind. Community is where we heal while bathing in the love of our friends old and new. Festivals provide fertile soil for new growth. Gem and Jam, in the midst of winter, reminds us that spring is on the horizon. It is just what the doctor ordered.

With 4 stages of live music, live painters, workshops, a kids area, on-site camping and the majestic Sonoran Desert sunsets, Gem and Jam ’24 promises to be another great chapter in the story of festival culture. Get your tickets here and be sure to tell your friends. A new world is being birthed with every brush stroke, dance-step, and friend met along this evolutionary journey we call life.



Jacob Devaney

Cultural-Creative, Media-Maker, Dreamer, Musician. Technology, Art, Science, Health, Spirituality, Culture, Community, Environment. UNIFY Co-Founder