The Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase wraps up its second week with some rock music out at the Pima County Fairgrounds for the Gem and Jam Music Festival.

The festival has grown from its downtown roots when it was held at the Slaughter House, into a local and national musical showcase spread out over three days.

Its been going for a long time, and its kind of a stalwart in the Arizona festival community and greater festival community as well, said Josh Pollack, whose been involved booking and planning the festival since 2013.

Of course, its hard work to run and book a music festival. You cant just show up and hope bands do, too.

As one festival ends, were starting to work on the next year already, its like this consistent cycle, he said. We start thinking about where to improve, what artists we want to target for next year.

One band Pollack and other organizers managed to book for this years festival is Spafford, which is headlining Friday nights lineup.

Known for their eclectic sets that span musical genres, drummer and Tucson native Nick Tkachyk describes Spaffords live sets as 80% original stuff, 20% covers.

Our original music is anything from funk, rock, electronic, disco, jazz, r and b and its vocally driven, we have some incredible vocalists in our group, Tkachyk said.

It wont be the groups first time playing Gem and Jam, either.

We played here in 2014, so were glad to be back. Its just I love the desert; I feel at home here. The air feels like Im at home, he said.

According to both Pollack and Tkachyk the music of Gem and Jam, which will be spread across four different stages each day, is really what gets the crowd going.

Im honored to play in an incredible band like Spafford, and Im honored were playing such an incredible event like Gem and Jam, Tkachyk said.

Tkachyk also said he hopes Spafford and the festival overall help bring out the best in other bands and for both fans and newcomers alike.

I hope fans and the people who are experiencing the show come out with a sense of belonging and community, he said.

If youre interested in attending the Gem and Jam Music Festival, tickets are still available through the festivals website. You can purchase multi-day or individual tickets, as well as parking passes. Visit to learn more.