Not Your Mama’s Mother’s Day Benefit

May 3, 2017 |

Event poster_webThe vivacious Jillian Bessett – leader and singer/songwriter, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist of Tucson’s beloved Jillian & The Giants – is spearheading a concert fundraiser for Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse on May 13. You should go.

Here are 10 reasons why.

The incredible event line-up:

Five reasons for social justice:

  • One in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.1
  • A portion of the proceeds benefit Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.
  • Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse provides domestic abuse crisis intervention and housing, prevention, education, support, and advocacy services to anyone experiencing domestic abuse.2
  • In Arizona, first- and second-time domestic violence offenders are not charged with domestic violence; only the third incident is charged as domestic violence. First and second offenders are charged with offenses that then have ‘domestic violence flags’ attached.3
  • There were 109 domestic violence-related deaths in Arizona in 2014; in 2012, Arizona ranked eighth in the nation in femicides per capita.3

Zocalo conducted a quick Q&A with Jillian over email to find out more about the event.

What was the impetus to create this event fundraiser for Emerge?

The greater impetus for this benefit is seeing women and female-identifying people lose a lot of
support in our current political climate and wanting to contribute some good in some small way.

During times when public funding is cut that supports our most vulnerable, nonprofit organizations like Emerge need to be prepared to help fill in the gaps. I love the idea of celebrating Mother’s Day weekend by having an opportunity to be more nurturing, giving, and generous to our community.

How/why were these bands chosen? 

The bands on this bill aren’t just incredible musicians but they’re also incredible people, which is why they were pulled together for this event. Velvet Hammer, the drummer and founder of The Surfbroads quietly volunteers every week for The Lot on 22nd.

The Surfbroads Photo by Julius Schlosburg

The Surfbroads
Photo by Julius Schlosburg

Rey Murphy, the frontman for Street Blues, practices guerrilla style support for people on the street with blanket drives and cookouts at the park. Amy Mendoza is a licensed therapist. Gigi Owen is a social scientist and activist who we’re all not so secretly hoping runs for office. These aren’t just musicians but active, involved members of our community who go the extra mile in support of the big picture.

Street Blues Family Photo by Julius Schlosburg

Street Blues Family
Photo by Julius Schlosburg

The other beautiful thing about this group of bands is how interconnected they are. A shortlist of all the other projects connected to these musicians: Loveland, Velvet Panthr, Sugar Stains, Katie Haverly and the Aviary, Amy Mendoza and the Strange Vacation, Copper and Congress, Three Kings, Shrimp Chaperone, Trees Speak, Leila Lopez Band, West Texas Intermediate, The Cloud Walls, Orkesta Mendoza, Keli and the Big Dream, etc.

Long story short, a lot of the Tucson music scene is represented with these players and we’re expecting a lot of surprise guests throughout the night.

Mark Bloom and his dog Alfie with some of the permanent Tales from the Trash collection.  Photo by Velvet Hammer

Mark Bloom and his dog Alfie with some of the permanent Tales from the Trash collection.
Photo by Velvet Hammer

How did Tales from the Trash get involved and what does “delightfully trashy” entail?

Tales from the Trash is an art show curated by Steve Purdy and my friend Mark Bloom. The premise is found discarded art that’s given a new lease on life in a cheeky art show format. The art is typically bad, odd, and peculiar in some form or another. But these unloved paintings and drawings get a frame and some space in the world to be looked at and appreciated – which is a pretty wonderful thing. If that’s not a metaphor I don’t know what is.

Not Your Mama’s Concert and Art Show Benefit for Emerge! is Saturday, May 13 at Flycatcher, 340 E. 6th St. The event kicks off at 8 p.m. and there is a $7 suggested donation. More information is at


  1. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (2015). Retrieved from
  2. Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse. (2017). Retrieved from
  3. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (2015). Domestic violence Arizona statistics. Retrieved from

Category: Arts, Community, DOWNTOWN / UNIVERSITY / 4TH AVE, Events, MUSIC