Quartzite Country Star

Quartzsite, Arizona is a dusty little town of 2500 on I-10 close to the California border. In the winter months, the population grows to over a million. People come for the weather, ATVing, rockhounding and music.

Musicians from Canada and all over the US reunite with friends from past years. Most of the many RV parks have open jam sessions where anyone can participate. Musicians from beginner to retired professionals gather to sing mostly Classic Country and Bluegrass. Bands form and have names like The Travelers, Skyhawk, The Grandmas and Grandpas, On the Road Again, Jade Street and many more. They play together during the winter then separate to return home. You can go to a music jam every day of the week plus the paid shows and dances. Dances are held several nights of the week. The Travelers played dances for fifteen years until death and age caused them and several other bands to retire. There are still a couple of  bands and now new bands are forming to replace the ones no longer there. The music lives on and will continue as long as there are snowbirds with instruments and a desire to share their music.

The music community is quite large. Listeners move from place to place following their favorite musicians. No matter your level of talent, you are welcomed and encouraged. No one criticizes the newby who can’t stay on key or the 90 year olds who sometimes forget the words but still find joy in singing. Love and acceptance flow from this extraordinary music family as they clap and make the singer feel special. Every winter as people return, friendships are renewed. Some have spanned twenty years or more. When a musician dies, a memorial is performed by his fellow musicians. They are quite touching as people remember favorite stories and play music in their honor.

Older musicians are always willing to help the newcomers with vocals and instruments. As you stand on the stage and sing your heart out, for a few moments you are a star. Anyone willing to take a chance and go on stage can become a Quartzsite Country Star.

Ruby Bonham

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2 Responses to Quartzite Country Star

  1. Jackie Jones says:

    Thank you so much Ruby, it sure brings back alot of great memories. What a wonderful article. Here’s to you Miss Quartzsite County Star.

  2. Rick De Young says:

    Welcome back to Timber Valley, Ruby. I am glad to hear you are still able to travel to Quartzite and enjoy the years of friendship you have enjoyed there. In the meantime, those of us who are older and unable to travel – except to doctor appointments, etc. – have joined new folks in our park, including your next door neighbors – and are enjoying some wonderful meals and gatherings. I hope you and our other returning snow birds will join us and experience the joy we are sharing as we all get older! See you soon?

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