by Dan Gibson
Local concert promoter Jonathan Holden, who brought blues, roots, Americana and other acts to Tucson for decades, has passed away at the age of 60.
Our own Linda Ray wrote about Holden for No Depression:
The Tucson roots music community is shaken this evening by the sudden and unexpected death of long-time Tucson music promoter Jonathan Holden from a pulmonary aneurism. He was 60.
Holden's Rhythm & Roots Concert Series has for 13 years provided artists and fans of the blues, folk, singer-songwriter, and world music genres with their only reliable home in Tucson. Shows currently scheduled are expected to continue, both in the outdoor space at Plaza Palomino, and in the indoor space he opened last year in Suite 147 of the plaza, in order to be able to continue the series year 'round. Recently, Holden had extended the series to include the much larger, downtown venue, the historic Fox Theatre, where he had booked Taj Mahal for May 24.
Upcoming shows such as Fred Eaglesmith, Sons of the Pioneers and Johnny Rawls reveal the range of his own taste, and that of the fans he served, uniquely, in Tucson.
I knew Holden from my time working in record stores like Hear's and Zia and although I didn't really know him outside of the stores and seeing him at shows, he was always exceptionally kind and worked tirelessly to bring musicians he believed in to town. The Rhythm & Roots website mentions that shows will go on, which seems like the best tribute to what he did for this town musically. For more information about a planned public memorial, keep an eye on a page set up on the R&R site.