Recent Articles


The ancient Hohokams of Central and Southern Arizona saw an otherworldly meaning in our state’s radiance: in the springtime explosion of bright yellow flowers on paloverde trees; in the carpeting of purple lupines and orange poppies; in crimson cactus blossoms; in hummingbirds, butterflies, even the glint of minerals in the desert sand. For those who lived here first, these were visual thresholds through which they could glimpse the Flower World — the glimmering, iridescent land of the spirits. Read more . . . 

Aleksandra Kolosowsky | Saguaro National Park

‘Lead Guitar’ Brings Guitar Education to Our Nation’s Most Impoverished Young People

Classical guitarist and composer Brad Richter wasn’t expecting what he found when he stopped by the high school in Page, a small city in Northern Arizona’s Navajo country. On tour, Richter had been asked to lead a master class for guitarists in Page High School’s music program, and he had been advised that some of those young players were quite good. From past experience, he was skeptical. So imagine his reaction when the five young Navajos before him began to play a Bach lute suite—and played it well. “I was blown away,” Richter remembers. “They had taught themselves to play classical guitar by ear.” Read more . . . 

Acoustic Guitar

Inside the McClurg Jam, the Heart of the Deep Ozarks Sound

For many Americans, unversed in the traditions and culture of the isolated Ozarks countryside, these remote hills conjure romantic tales of moonshiners, hillbillies, and such notorious outlaws as Frank and Jesse James. More recently, the area meth labs served as a backdrop for the gritty 2011 Oscar-nominated film Winter’s Bone, shot on location just a few miles from my destination, tiny McClurg in Missouri’s sprawling Mark Twain National Forest. There,  stereotypes dissolve and time stands still: Music takes over. Read more . . . 

Acoustic Guitar

More Music & Culture

Roots Music of the Ozarks

Cover story: Exploring the hills and hollars of the Ozarks, as brought to life by the “Baldknobbers” of Branson. September 2017. Read story

Birthplace of the Blues

Cover story: Cultural attractions along the Blues Highway in the Mississippi Delta. November 2016. 

Ry Cooder & the Latin Connection

Ry Cooder joins the celebration of the late king of Latin music, Lalo Guerrero. May 2017. Read story

Women Take the Stage

Cover story: Interviews with Janis Ian, Aimee Mann and others on making it in the music business. March 2017. 

Mariachi Is Hot, Hot, Hot

Mariachi is taking center stage  in school music programs across the country. October 2017. Read story

Classically Native

Native American Gabriel Ayala grew up Yaqui and with a passion for the classical guitar. September 2017. 

Additional Examples

Organic Gardening

“Homegrown and Healthy,” Edible Baja Arizona magazine, July / August 2017.

Lessons Learned in Prison

Christian Howes, a celebrated jazz violinist, thought he understood the value and beauty of music, until he went to prison. Strings Magazine, May 2017. Read story

“A Legacy of Playing It Forward,” Strings Magazine, 2016

Benning Violins of Los Angeles is helping to make a difference in the lives of young prison inmates and orphans in Baja Mexico.