10 to be inducted into Tucson Musicians Museum this weekend

The Tucson Musicians Museum will be welcoming 10 inductees to the museum in an event at Hotel Congress on Sunday night.

“We have a lot of inductees this year. For the last couple of years
when George (Howard) was sick, we only had five. He was just not up for more,”
TMM secretary Liz Walter said. “Early on in the museum’s history, there
was up to 17.”

Howard was a co-founder of TMM, and a photographer and blues musician. He died in April 2023.

Three
of the inductees are being recognized posthumously — Earl Edmonson, Travis
Edmonson and Dennis Francis, a.k.a. Papa Ranger. 

Earl Edmonson played
in the Titan Valley Warheads and was one of the founders of the Tucson
Folk Festival. Travis Edmonson sang with the Gateway Singers before joining his friend Bob Dashiell to form Bud & Travis. He eventually became a solo artist. 

Papa Ranger worked to bring reggae to Tucson as a DJ after he moved to the United States from Jamaica. He was a DJ for KXCI in the 90’s and the proceeded to host “Reggae Connection” after being discovered by KEKO the Echo 92.1 and 106.3 FM. He was the owner of 12 Tribes Reggae Shop off 4th Avenue.

“The recognition goes to the ones who have dedicated 20 to 25 years to the community,” Walter said. “So they’re not just hobby musicians.”

Walter said they will be inducting Bob Mick because although he is not a musician, his work as a luthier has been instrumental to the community for decades and has “gone without recognition.” 

The list of inductees includes Tony Terry, Harvey Moltz, Joe Scibilia, and two bands — which Walter said is new for the museum — Bad News Blues Band and Ritmo Suave. 

Terry is the founder of Little Anthony’s Diner, Grandma Tony’s Pizza, the Gaslight Music Hall and the Gaslight Theatre. He created a space where local bands and other artists could have a place to play “that is family oriented.” Moltz is the owner of Rainbow Guitars on Grant Road.

“Harvey Moltz knows about anyone who is a musician,” Walter said.

Scibilia joined the music scene in Tucson in the early 1980s and played with bands such as Rocket J, Woody and the G-Men, Riff Raff and eventually formed the King Bees, who won the Southern Arizona Blues Challenge. 

He is also a founding member of the Coolers, which will be one of the bands playing at the event. Ritmo Suave, which will also perform at the ceremony, is a cumbia band and has been present in many local events and for diverse causes. 

The Bad News Blues Band will be performing at the ceremony as well; they have won the Arizona Blues Shootout twice as well as more than 20 TAMMIES.

Walter said the fourth band that will perform as the opening act is The Whoa’s – a guitar quartet from Pueblo High School. Another highlight Walter mentioned is that the museum will be presenting a fourth grader from White Elementary School with a trumpet.

“The museum has a community side, aside from the gallery, and that’s where we try to help the community as best as we can,” Walter said. “And we’re excited to give her the trumpet on the stage.”

The ceremony will be at Hotel Congress at 3 p.m. and all ages are welcome. The admission is a $20 donation request that can be done at the door or online.