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Tempe Playlist

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TempePlaylistAstronautsWithBusFINALTempe Playlist: Saturn Sessions features musicians, poets and singers who live, work or study in the 85283 and 85284 zip codes. The two podcasts feature 26 tracks ranging from poems to percussion performances to original songs by local bands in a variety of genres. The group of local artists include:

  • 11 different local bands
  • Three poets
  •  Seven musicians/singers
  •  Five school groups from Corona del Sol, Marcos de Niza and Compadre
Saturn Sessions Episode #1




Dr. DeliciousDr. Delicious - More Soul

The band has roots in Tempe in several ways, from longtime residents to ASU graduates. The city provided them with performance venues and musical outlets as young musicians, which carried their artistic opportunities through today. They appreciate Tempe’s efforts to keep art alive, like with the Tempe Center for the Arts, while also aiding to essential resources like public transportation. The band looks forward to enjoying more years of contributing to the music scene. One of their goals for their song “More Soul” is to emit the same joy they had making it to their listeners. Artist Website

Bohemian Insurgence

Bohemian Insurgence - Quit the Drink
The band’s track “Quit the Drink” is inspired by Rebecca De La Torre’s father and his experience using medical marijuana to overcome alcohol abuse. Their favorite part about Tempe is the great vibe and central location. They’d like to see the city continue to grow and continue to showcase local artists. Artist Website

BeleganasBelganas - Silk

“Silk” was written to note the emotional and mental effects of a person coping with a failed relationship. Belaganas’ appreciates Tempe because of their producer who resides in it. They hope to see the performing arts scene grow, producing new and exciting musical acts. Artist Website

Corona 3Corona del Sol Band - The Diners Club

The other piece, “Diner’s Club” by Christ Crockarell, is an odd track that makes music from dishes and bowls. It makes the sound stand out and interesting to listen to. Christian Torres states that they hope music can create an atmosphere in Tempe that attracts people from all over. Music has a huge influence of how people perceive what’s around them, so playing the right style can attract people to relax and socialize in Tempe.

QuintumRod Ibieta (Quintum) - Over Easy

Ibieta produced this piece of music for the Quintum Jazz quintet. “Over Easy” is a fun jazz piece that is fairly traditional in style with an upbeat melody. Rod loves the beauty of the city along with the creative and diverse residents. He hopes for the arts venues to grow, allowing Tempeans the opportunity to share art. Artist Website

SOLHSohl - Everywhere I Go

Jade Sun of Solh wrote their track, “Everywhere I Go” to describe the feeling of losing someone you love and longing to see them when they are gone. The song was inspired by a dream Sun had after her grandmother passed away; the dream showed her going on a journey to find a treasure chest that her grandmother left for her. Solh loves the diversity that exists in the small area of Tempe. It’s great to be able to rub shoulders with people who have different views of the world. Solh hopes to see Tempe develop a unique identity from the unified community. The city can flourish and stand out as an artistic destination with time. Artist Website

Ruby MoralesRuby Morales - Listen

Morales’ poem “Listen”is a statement about the power of a woman’s walk through life and the ability to love and care for the world. Ruby’s piece is a declaration of tender strength and importance. She enjoys the liveliness of the city and different cultures that thrive within it. Tempe has a special place in her heart because of the long-lasting friendships that were built and strengthened here.

Marcos 3Marcos de Niza Band - Stand By Me
The Marcos de Niza Wind Ensemble is comprised of students from all classes. Their rendition of “Stand By Me”, originally recorded by Ben E. King, was chosen because of its powerful message. They strive to work together to create the best possible experience for the performer and audience. The Ensemble hopes for their performance to share the reminder that it is okay to disagree on important issues if we remain respectful to one another. They hope to put smiles on people’s faces with this performance.

Shawn JohnsonShawn Johnson - Open Up

Johnson’s work describes the courage to open the heart again and develop new trust after a failed relationship. The band’s favorite parts about Tempe is the culture, diversity, and great music scene. They hope to see Tempe continue to be a supportive and thriving city for local musicians. As their new record suggest, there’s always “Sunshine for Someone.”

NitishaNitisha - Salona Sa Sajan Hi

Nitisha sings her track titled “Salona Sa Sajan Hai”. She appreciates ghazals, a form of Arabic poetry, because it shows the deeper roots of music. She likes the various places to socialize in Tempe and hopes to see the arts grow more in the community.

Oliverio BalcellsOliverio Balcells - Otra Oportunidad

Balcells’ track “Otra oportunidad” depicts opportunity and the second chances that people deserve. Oliverio appreciates the support for artists the most in Tempe. He hopes to keep local art alive through projects like Tempe Playlist and others. Artist Website

CompadreAngelica Olivas and Jordan Clark - Missing Piece

Angelica and Jordan are seniors at Compadre High School. Their song “Missing Piece” is about life without a father and finding the strength to raise a daughter without a father figure in her life.


Saturn Sessions Episode #2




The Gentle HitsThe Gentle Hits - Stella

Ian wrote “Stella” as a hope that his daughter will stay innocent and never be subjected to the petty conflicts of human emotion. His favorite thing about Tempe is Paul Waxman. He hopes the arts in Tempe will serve a deeper purpose beyond entertainment. Artist Website

TherosiaTherosia - Eagles & Turkeys

Therosia’s work “Eagles and Turkeys” is a poetic song choosing to live a life that has purpose. Her favorite parts about Tempe are the parks and the city’s ability to keep a casually connected community. She would love to see the arts in Tempe become a galvanizing force for social awareness and healing.

JohammJohamm - Brunch in Malibu

Josias Edouard, known as JOHAMM, wrote “Brunch in Malibu” as a reflection of his first time there. The song reflects how far he has come in life. He favors Tempe’s environment the most and hopes to see artist opportunities grow in the area.

Grupo BombAZoGrupo BombAZo - Congo Esta Llamando

Group BombAZo dedicates their track, “Congo Está Llamando” to a master Bombero who passed away a few years ago. Their favorite parts about Tempe is the diverse culture, cool vibes, and great food! They hope to see the arts thrive throughout the city.

ScottDr. Joe Scherzer - Tristesse (in G Minor)

Joe wrote this melody to “Tristesse” when he was 17. Scherzer strives for artistic creation and never giving up on those hopes. Scott Whitfield arranged the original piece of music and brought the melody to life. Joe appreciates the vibrant community of Tempe which encourages the arts. He sees a bright future for the arts in the city.

Christian WarrenChristian Warren ft. Jordan Clark - Change

Christian is a student at Compadre High School. His song “Change” is dedicated to anyone who has faced the pressures to change who they are. Christian states that the original ‘you’ is the best version and no mask is needed to portray it. 

Robby RobertsonThe Robby Roberson Band- Fairy Tale

“The Fairy Tale Song” touches on some of Roberson’s favorite childhood tales. These stories are perceived as serious narratives, which become more prominent as the song progresses. This song paints gentle yet thoughtful pictures of human nature with the help of Irish jigs. The band believes that good things are happening in Tempe, from the increase of community programming to the strong musical interconnections. They hope to see Tempe become a national magnet of art. Artist Website

Scott GlasserMarcos de Niza Instructor, Scott Glasser - Shogun's Farewell

Glasser is the Orchestra and Mariachi Director for Marcos de Niza High School. His independent performance of Jay Ungar’s “Ashokan Farewell” was originally heard in a PBS miniseries called The Civil War. It’s a sorrowful, yet hopeful melody depicting the bittersweet emotions of saying farewell to a loved one or friend. It’s one of his favorite fiddle tunes and hopes it will allow him to form a musical connection with the community.

Claudia NunezClaudia Nunez de Ibieta - Double Desert Haiku

Claudia Nunez de Ibieta’s work is inspired by the life in her backyard and her track is called “Double Desert Haiku”. Her favorite aspect of Tempe is its people and the origin of its name. She believes in the priceless value of community spaces for the arts to bring people together. This produces color and joy in the shared experience of life. She hopes for the arts in Tempe to increase and maintain its value within residents and public officials.

There is dangerThere is Danger - All My Friends

All My Friends” narrates the strong connection that true friendships maintain even within a disconnected world of social media and online platforms. There Is Danger appreciates the diversity of Tempe and hopes to see the music community, both local and national, grow in it. Artist Website

Casual AlienCasual Alien - Bananas and Cream

Casual Alien advocates for affirmation of life with their music. “BananasNCream” is a song that is self-affirming and brings a positive outlook to people’s experiences. The band favors Tempe the most because of its continuous support of local music. They hope for the community to broaden opportunities to share music and art. Artist Website

United SoundUnited Sound (ASU) - Snarl

United Sound is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship. ASU started their chapter of United Sound in Fall of 2017. “Snarl” was written by John Mackey as a gift for United Sound, which was recorded by the ASU Wind Ensemble. The ASU Sun Devils are their favorite part about Tempe; their goal is for United Sound to become an imbedded part of the community. Artist Website

Corona 1Corona del Sol Band Instructor, Scott Werner - Marimba

The African Percussion track “Spirits Rising”, originally by Matt Savage, is a drum piece featuring djembes and djun djun’s. Issabelle Henderson says the group loves its fast-pace and fun rhythms. Music like this is important to them because it has the power to bring the community together and broaden people’s cultural understanding.

CafeFlutesCafe Flutes - Alexander

The Central Arizona Flute Ensemble loves playing “Alexander’s Ragtime”, a 1911 classic originally written by Irving Berlin. The piece fluctuates between mainstream jazz, swing, and slow ragtime. The Ensemble enjoys how Tempe residents embrace the spirit of innovation, demonstrate the value of community, and share the common goal of thriving in the desert. They wish for the arts to continue to enrich Tempe’s people. Artist Website

Stay tuned for upcoming events and performances in South Tempe!

Photos from event at Changing Hands Bookstore on April 29, 2019

Project Background

Project Background

In 2017, Tempe received a grant to assemble a team of local business people, art experts and education professionals to develop a creative way to mobilize the arts in the city. A partnership between the arts and public transit was created and as a result, Tempe Playlist: Saturn Sessions was born.

Local musicians, poets and singers who live, work or study in the 85283 and 85284 zip codes were selected to take part in two podcasts that are available online. Featuring 26 tracks, the artists range from high school groups to bands to solo performers.  

The purpose of the podcasts is to showcase the talented blend of artistry that exists in the south Tempe community. Orbit Saturn, a free neighborhood circulator, was chosen as a creative connector because it travels within the two zip codes, linking an area of Tempe that is known for the arts and an area of Tempe that, historically, has had less arts exposure, and because it is a free service, accessible to all Tempeans.

AZ Creative Communities Institute
Tempe Playlist: Saturn Sessions is supported in part through the AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZ CCI), a program of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, and Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, with guidance from Southwest Folklife Alliance. AZ Creative Communities is funded in part by a grant from the Surdna Foundation, awarded to the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University as part of its Thriving Cultures grant program. AZ CCI offers small teams, made up of diverse members of Arizona communities, a unique opportunity to explore the many ways creativity can be put to work for positive community impact.

Team Tempe - AZ CCI
Aaron Thacker, City of Tempe Arts and Culture Commission – Vice Chair
Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore - Co-owner
Maggie Fountain, Tempe Union High School District - Fine Arts Curriculum/Instructional Specialist
Maja Aurora, City of Tempe - Director of Arts Engagement
Michael Rhod, ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts- Institute Professor
Samuel Peña, Founder of AZ Beat Lab, ASU School of Music - Community Engagement Coordinator

Orbit - Saturn Route
Orbit, Tempe’s free neighborhood circulator, connects residents to local destinations, including shopping, recreational facilities, schools and major bus routes. The six Orbit routes, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, operate daily, most with 15 minutes between pick-ups.



Maja Aurora, Director of Arts Engagement
(480) 350-5160

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