University of Arizona Campus  •  March 10 - 11, 2018  •  9:30am to 5:30pm
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Save the date for 2017!

March 11-12, 2017 (9:30am - 5:30pm)

Save the date for 2018!

March 10-11, 2018 (9:30am - 5:30pm)

Entertainment at the 2017 Festival

Entertainment Committee / February 18, 2017

The Festival has a diverse offering of entertainment available across multiple performance stages. Those appearing are listed here. The times and locations for shows will be listed in the Events Schedule on January 15, 2017.

Active Imagination Theatre (AIT)
Rabbit Hood is a very dedicated Easter bunny, but she has no eggs for the children’s Easter Egg Hunt. Farmer Brown is hoarding them all, so Rabbit Hood is forced to steal some eggs. The farmer hires two chicken bounty hunters, Cluck and Nugget, to hunt the bunny down. Lots of fun and active participation for all. This show was an annual event at the former Beowulf Alley Theatre and other locations as a touring show.

Participatory, improvisational plays are developed by AIT’s actors and geared for pre-school and elementary-aged children, 6 to 12. Under the supervision of adult actors, children in the audience are invited to participate in scenes with only a bag of silly hats and costumes for props, allowing for the most fun, flexibility, and creativity and designed to inspire imagination and story-telling skills. Children and their parents are invited to come on stage and share these exciting performances and be a part of the action.
Alex Caine & Kari Assad
Alex Caine is an up-and-coming stand-up comedian from Tucson. He's been featured all around Los Angeles and has performed at The World Famous Comedy Store, Flappers, and The Ice House.
Kari Assad has performed in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. She won Road to the Funny Fest and was a finalist in the Funniest Comic in LA.
Be prepared for laughs!
Andrew Daniel Cates
Listen to some contemporary country music with a Desert Country style from a Tucson local. Enjoy songs about love, life and good times.
Annie Hawkins
Enjoy acoustic singer-songwriter returning from last year's Festival of Books!
Annon and TLS
A published band with their own unique sound - Southern Midwest R & B (includes R & B, jazz, Latin and country).
Antonio Sacre - Storyteller
Antonio Sacre is an internationally touring storyteller, author and solo performance artist. His picture books include "My Name Is Cool" and "A Mango in Hand" as well as "La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story."
Arizona College Prep Academy Poetry Club
Arizona Trombone Association
Listen to the Trombone Ensemble and duet performances.
Ballet Folklorico Los Tucsonenses
Now in its 43rd season, Ballet Folklorico Los Tucsonenses from Tucson High Magnet School continues to preserve and promote Hispanic performing arts by presenting a variety of both traditional and innovative interpretations of Mexican folk dances.
Belly Dance Tucson
This belly dance troupe is a sight to see! Enjoy the music and dance performance.
BMX: Physics In Motion
Physical science is brought to life with high flying stunts and intricate moves on the ground. Learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion in an exciting and entertaining way, with former X-Games champion, John Parker.
Bruce Phillips
Come listen to acoustic guitar and vocal music that is oriented toward children and families. Performances include puppets and picture books based on songs.
C.A. Goody
Come to a storytelling performance on Charlie the Cat's adventures.
Capoeira Mandinga Tucson/ Capoeira Institute Southwest
Join in on rhythm, singing and moving to the amazing fusion of martial arts, percussion, song and dance within the Afro-Brazilian arts of Capoeira and Samba de Roda! The Capoeira Mandinga Tucson / Capoeira Institute Southwest group carries on its 20 years of respecting the traditions and bringing the fun-filled energy of Brazilian culture to all.
Carol Markstrom
Carol is a solo singer/songwriter who plays acoustic guitar. She will be performing Western-inspired folk and outlaw country-type tunes. Many of her original songs are set in the Southwest and some tap into Native American cultures.
Celtic Steps
Come enjoy this Irish dance extravaganza!
Character Parade
Kick-off to the Tucson Festival of Books!
Families and children are invited to dress up as a favorite book character and join us for a parade that will kick-off the weekend festivities! We'll have Clifford the Big Red Dog "paper ears" to pass out (limited supply). Music will be provided by Mariachi Los Toritos. Storybook characters include: Clifford, Splat the Cat, Berenstain Bears Brother & Sister, Pete the Cat, Spot the Cat, Corduroy Bear. Ronald McDonald, the Kindness Crusaders, Jeanette Mare (Executive Director of Ben's Bells) will join the parade and there may be some surprises too! Route starts at the Canyon Stage by the Bookstore and ends in the Children's area.
Crowded Quartet: The Tucson Repertory Orchestra Wind Quintet
The Crowded Quartet is a wind quintet ensemble, comprised of members of the Tucson Repertory Orchestra in Tucson, Arizona.

For the Tucson Festival of Books, the Crowded Quartet will present a concert of "Miniature Masterpieces," performing arrangements of Debussy's "Petite Suite" arranged by Gordon Davies to John William's "Harry Potter Themes" arranged by George Shaw. The members of the Crowded Quartet are Mindi Acosta (flute), Christian Hill (oboe), Wes Sansom (clarinet), Cassandra Bendikson (bassoon) and Eric Holm (horn).
Dancehall Darlins'
This is a fun Old West style musical revue with can can dancers!
Duets of a Wind
Listen to these soft jazz and ballads played in duet with soprano sax and flute. Lilting, uplifting music!
Elly Reidy
Join us for an interactive story time with Storyteller Elly Reidy.
Fragile Excess Baggage: Riding the Orphan Train
This is a unique opportunity to see true stories of actual orphans who rode the orphan trains from 1854 - 1929 come to life in costume by author and professional speaker, Charlotte Endorf.
Gabriel Smith
Hot Club Junior
Enjoy watching a jazz and bluegrass / old-time trio: violin, cello and guitar from performers Maria McArthur 14, Will MacDonald 15, Lee MacDonald 12.
Jake Wichman
Acoustic Alternative, Indie Pop. Jake Wichman's band includes an Upright Bass, and Cajon/Percussion, along with him playing guitar and fronting the vocals.
Joe Hayes
Come to a storytelling performance - "Grandpa's Hal-la-loo-ya Hambone" - tall tales with a Southwestern twist.
Johnny Cashew
Johnny is a solo acoustic guitar with vocals. Enjoy rock, country, pop, bluegrass and more!
johnny rodriguez
Back from the 2015 Festival, Johnny brings classical and flamenco guitar with his drum troupe.
Leikarring Norwegian Dancers & VASA Swedish Dancers
Watch traditional folk dancing from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland and Finland. Dancers are accompanied by live music!
LindleyLopez Literary Circus
This is an exciting and special Cirque du Soleil-style circus performing literary masterpieces.
Liv Conlon
Mariachi Arizona
Come listen to this mariachi ensemble in their performance of traditional mariachi music.
Mariachi los Toritos from White Elementary
Observe Mariachi and Folklorico performed by elementary school students.
More to the Story Entertainment
More to the Story Entertainment is more than a Princess Character Company. We bring to life characters from many beloved fairy tales from Mother Goose to Little Red Riding Hood, as well as original fairies and mermaids.
Our mission as a company is to bring to life characters that children love while bringing awareness to the magic of literacy and music (which is awesome for mom and dad). All the learning is disguised with the fun of interacting and having the children feel part of the story.
We believe that "Happily Ever After" is only the beginning because there is always..."More to the Story."

We would love to be part of The Festival of Books and bring some of our magical characters to do a performance (or more) and meet the children and families in our community. We are partnered with The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures and have been doing story times (Tiny Tales for Tots) for almost 3 years. Enjoy the video linked to our recent story time from May Day, featuring three characters who are special to the museum (Fairy Caitlin - the resident fairy guardian of the museum, Tawarthion - the museum tree sprite, and Fairy Caitlin's best friend, Commodore Evangeline Winters).

Thank you so much!

-Brittany Butler
Owner/Founder of More to the Story Entertainment
Mr. Nature's Music Garden
Mr. Nature’s Music Garden facilitates playgroups designed to build positive foundations for social interaction and motor skills through song, dance, storytelling and art!
Musette is an accordion duet from Tucson!
Musical Mayhem Cabaret
Musical Mayhem Cabaret is a self-proclaimed under-rehearsed and over-dramatic musical comedy troupe based in Arizona since January 2011.
Natalie D-Napoleon
Enjoy music from the acoustic singer-songwriter from Australia.
Ocotillo Rain and Thunder
Come enjoy some high energy Bluegrass music from a Marana band.
Paula Williamson: America's Yodeling Sweetheart
Paying tribute to Patsy Cline and other female country-western artists.
Pet Partners of Southern AZ
Postal History Foundation
Puppets and Poetry -- Emily Dickinson - by Jeanne Missey Osgood
This one-woman puppet show about the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson is performed by Jeanne Missey Osgood, MA. Jeanne performs with her hand-built muppet puppet, reciting poetry, dispelling myths and revealing the eccentricities and wit of the famous 19th century poet, Emily Dickinson. There will be a variety of visual aids given out to encourage audience participation.
Reading Seed
Ronald McDonald
Magic show performance for children of all ages.
Saguaro Stompers Clog Dance Company
Watch contemporary American clog dancing to a variety of music genres!
Second Hand 76
Blues/Jazz Combo
Serena Gabriel
Fun, family-oriented music with many interesting instruments such as kalimbas, native flute, frame drums, Tibetan bowls, lyre, voice, didgeridoos and more. In addition to the live music, there will also be a dance performance!
Seven Pipers Scottish Society of Tucson with the Tucson & District Bagpipe Band
Both traditional and contemporary Scottish Highland and Country Dances. Accompanied by bagpipe performances from the T&D Band.
Society for Creative Anachronism
The Society for Creative Anachronism (501(c)(3)) is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our “Known World” consists of 20 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more. Middle ages combat demonstrations.
Southern Arizona Women's Chorus
Choral Performance
St. Michael's School Choir
Come listen to middle school members of the St.Michael's School Choir!
Steve Bennett & The Two-Hand Band
Enjoy a blend of Americana, rock, folk, blues and country music while enjoying a meal at the food court!
Stories that Soar!
Stories written by local youth soar to life on stage through the skills of multi-talented adult performers. The "variety" style show connects literacy and the arts through comedy, drama, singing, dancing and live music.
Tellers from the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute
The South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute has trained storytellers for over 20 years. The Institute specializes in preparing storytellers to apply their skills in a wide variety of contexts.
The Dust Devils
Come enjoy this six-piece bluegrass band play a blend of traditional, newgrass and original bluegrass music.
The Gotes
Come watch the "Band of Public Defenders" play rock & roll!
The Jitterbugs
This event will be full of jazz swing/bebop standards from the 30's, 40's and 50's and features piano, guitar, vocals and bass.
The King Stones
Listen to the alternative rock / alternative country band!
The Maguire Academy of Irish Dance
Watch traditional Irish step dancing from dance students of the Maguire Academy.
The Manhattan Dolls
Singing music from the 1930s-1940s in the style of the Andrews Sisters in honor of our active duty military and veterans. They tour the U.S. and abroad throughout the year and have been featured on The Rachael Ray Show, BBC London, Fox and Friends and more!
Tucson Chinese Cultural Center
Chinese folk dance, lion dance, singing and tai chi.
Tucson Girls Chorus Hummingbirds Choir
Listen to the well-known and highly-regarded singing choir of girls from Tucson!
Tucson Improv Movement
We are an improv comedy theater located on 4th Avenue. We do a weekly show called the Soap Box where local guest monologists tell stories and then we improvise a comedy set based off of those stories. The last couple years we have engaged with authors to tell stories and then we improvise based off of those stories.
Tucson Tae Kwon DO School
Enjoy karate demonstrations from local martial arts students!
Twoman Bookclub
This is a unique musical experience described as "shoegaze twang!"
University of Arizona Faculty & Staff Choir
Listen to a group of 30-40 faculty, staff and graduate students from the University of Arizona sing a variety of music styles including Broadway, classical, jazz, contemporary and more.
Volcano Eruption!
Get ready to have your mind blown when you come see the biggest volcanic eruption in Tucson (for the last few million years, at least)! Plus, try other fun geology activities.
Western Music Association - Arizona Chapter
Various groups performing music and poetry in the western genre, representing our western heritage.
Widow's Hill
Widow's Hill has been playing swinging old 1950s Rockabilly and vintage country music, Americana, oldies Rock n' Roll and happy hillbilly, feel-good music for five years now. They love to see patrons dance, sing along and have a great time.
We play and sing music that will have your toes a-tappin' and your hounddog's tail a-waggin' with our resplendent harmonies by Ruthie Spies, hot guitar licks by Jimbobillybob Becker, and a sumptuously cool acoustic bass line from Federico Pennacchini.
Zin! Zin! Suzuki Violins!
Listen to the returning act of 20-25 violin, viola and cello students ranging in age from 5 to 17.
Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friend of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
University of Arizona - Facilities Management

Key Sponsors

Brucker Trust
Marshall Foundation
Monark Premium Appliance Company
William & Mary Ross Foundation
Western National Parks Association

Show sponsors