Music in the Desert – a success!

What a jam-packed weekend it was! Our 13th gathering since our beginning and our FIRST gathering at Desert Rose Baha’i Institute.  Perhaps our writers (Maya and Deb) would call it “Volume 2, Issue 1” or perhaps, in the vernacular of our musician chef Jim, “the start of a second dozen”.

However we number it, it was fun. From  dinner and our beloved song-circle on Friday evening, to our closing reflection and wonderful closing lunch on Sunday, I firmly believe it was a good experience for all.

That’s not to say we can’t make improvements, we can! (That’s what we reflected on Sunday morning) But, for an abbreviated schedule, in a new venue for the first time, I think we all did pretty well. Of course, much thanks is owed to the volunteers who operate the Desert Rose Baha’i Institute for opening their doors to us at an affordable price and offering support for anything we needed (with special attention to Ginny Healy, Jerry Healy, Brenda Hadden, Peggy Hadden, Linda Fuller, and Betty Johnston).

IMG_4925-cropI want to thank everyone who attended and encourage you to look up their websites (those that have one) and hear their music.  In particular I want to thank Jim Rust, our chef, who volunteered last year to make this event work by feeding us handsomely! I suppose a fed musician is a happy musician because we were all grinning after every meal. (That Saturday morning breakfast was worth the trip all by itself!)

BrianAnd a sincere thank you to Brian Taraz, a man of extraordinary talent AND myriad skills, who sacrificed his time to assist Jim in the kitchen and handle a variety of emerging needs.  And thanks also to John Armour, man of a thousand flutes, who arrived 2 days early just to help us shop for food and stack the kitchen. John’s assistance throughout the weekend was essential.

I also want to give a special thanks to Rick Heyman (bass) and Michael Parker (drums) who drove from Tucson with their equipment to serve as the “House Band” backing up all who desired their support. The did an excellent job with very little rehearsal time (as always).

IMG_4929-cropThanks again to Alan James, Russ Salton, Jeff Bohnhoff and Maya Bohnhoff for their workshop sessions sharing their immense knowledge of the various aspects of our craft.

And thanks to  Jackie Odess-Gillett,  to Anna Resendiz, to Ladjamaya Green, and to the marvelous Jean T. Quinn for their performances in our Saturday night Showcase. Thanks also to Warren Odess-Gillett and Gary Sloan for their participation and contributions to the weekend’s success.

Now, perhaps we’ll start planning for next year!


Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist

Good Start!

We’re off to a good start in the Arizona desert. Jim Rust our chef did a great job with dinner.  Here are a couple photos of last night’s song circle:

IMG_4919 IMG_4915 IMG_4912

The Round House is a pretty cool place to play.

More later…

Ready for Friday

The registrations are in and the final preparations are underway! Our chef, Jim Rust, will be here a couple days early so that we can stock the kitchen with food.  Brian Taraz, our fellow weekend alum and musician, is coming to assist Jim. I appreciate these two guys very much.

MMW Free ShowWe’ll likely adjust the schedule somewhat, but for sure we’re doing a public show Saturday night. There are many local folks who have expressed an interest in coming – it should exceed any audience we’ve seen in years past.  So wish us all well in putting on a great show. We’ll have help from my own band mates Rick Heyman and Michael Parker who are coming from Tucson just to support us with bass and drums. They are adept at all genres!

Of course, we’ll take pictures to share here in our galleries.

To those coming, travel safely! To others, remember this next year.


Darrell Elmer Rodgers – Coordinator
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist


In just 2 weeks, we will be gathering at the Desert Rose Baha’i Institute in Eloy, Arizona for our annual weekend event!  If you haven’t yet registered, Please do so now!  (see below)

You might be thinking “what could I learn from Music Makers Weekend that could help my music career?”  Well, I can tell you that I have self-produced 4 DIY albums using the skills I have learned from our weekend participants and with each one, I have gotten successively better at it.  No, my products aren’t super polished, but I’ve made money on every one of them!  Our presenters are top-notch at their craft and they will share practical knowledge you can use in recording, songwriting and performing. See our “UPDATES” tab to read more.

More important perhaps are the relationships you will build with other “musicians of spirit”.  The friends I have made at our music weekend have grown to be my most trusted.

I hope you registered participants are working up your 30-day Songwriting Challenge song to the theme “YOUR HEART”. It has been delightful to hear the varied songs that come from our annual 30-day challenge. Mine is ready and I know of at least one other participant whose song is already written.

YOU CAN STILL REGISTER for the 2015 Music Makers Weekend at Desert Rose Baha’i Institute in Eloy, Arizona 18-20 December 2015.

Here’s the Direct  link to Register

Or, you can visit the Desert Rose Baha’i Institute website

You can also register by mail, phone or fax with this form:
MMW Registration Form

Please register soon, because space is limited and the day is fast approaching!  This is going to fun!

P.S. – CONGRATULATIONS to JON REZIN for his 2015 Latin Grammy Nomination!


Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist