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Welcome to the International Musical Sawplayers Association website. Established in California in 1994, we publish the sawplayer's newsletter and also present the annual "Saw Player's Picnic and Music Festival" on the 2nd full weekend in August with a Saturday afternoon jam in Santa Cruz and the evening potluck/jam as well as the Sunday festival at Roaring Camp in Felton, California - www.roaringcamp.com
2:00 pm Open jam at the Scribner Statue, 1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA
6:30 pm Potluck and jam at Roaring Camp outer parking lot in Felton, CA.
10:00 am - 5:00 pm Festival and contest at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA.
11:00 am Musical Saw Contest on the Main Stage.
The 40th annual Saw Contest, the longest running saw contest in the world, will crown our 2017 champion.
In 2016 Alistair “Azo” Bell visited us from Australia and took first place in our musical saw contest. Our 2017 festival is already shaping up and beginning to develop its cutting edge! Mark your calendars for August 12th and 13th, 2017.
In 2015 we were joined by Shou-Bai Yu from China. Mr. Shou-Bai Yu impressed the audience with his excellent showmanship, beautiful tone, engaging manner, and heartfelt music!
In 2014 we were joined by Dr. Haris Gershom from India and the saw playing trio, Kara-a-ge from Japan.
Our festival continues to amaze us with the performances and camaraderie we have developed and diversity of entertainment, including Brownie, Donnie's parrot.
The entrants in the contest drew numbers and appeared in the following order: Hideo Kato (Japan), Maika Saito (Japan), Hirohisa Nakoji (Japan), Yuki Nakamuira (Japan), Tomomi Kamiya (Japan), Donald Hodges (Berkeley, CA), Thomas Spearance (Felton, CA), Cindy Weyuker (Alameda, CA), Hiroko Sakai (Japan), and Art Peterson (El Cerrito, CA).
The winners were: 1st place - Maika Saito (pictured below on the right), 2nd place - Tomomi Kamiya, 3rd place - Thomas Spearance, and a most unique performance award went to Donald Hodges.
Next year, August 10th and 11th, will be our 36th annual Saw Festival.
Pictured on the left is Jackie Jones and on the right is Maika Saito. Both pictures are from our 2010 festival. I'll have photos from the 2011 festival soon. Click on the photo page above to see other past photos.
We had a wonderful festival in 2011 with our friends from the Bay Area and beyond. This year we were graced with two guests from Japan, Yoshiko Saito and Shinsaku Murakawa, and two guests from China, Liu Ya and En Wu Du. All excellent players of the musical saw and Liu Ya won first place in our contest.
Makoto Ogihara, one of the world's finest sawyers, is pictured on the right:
Here's an original selection from his cd. Piano accompaniment: Jotaro Takahashi:
Roads in Orange
Another standout, Giriko Shimizu, has brought her musicality and fun personality to the festival. A photo of her and Art Peterson is on the left and there's a YouTube link to her, with her extraordinary musical ensemble, "Hinemosu" (Giriko plays recorder and saw).
YouTube / Hinemosu with Giriko Shimizu
Referring to the photos below: The 1st photo is a picture of the Tom Scribner statue produced by artist Marghie McMahon, and permanently installed in Downtown Santa Cruz, California. Tom was the saw-playing lumberjack that the original "Festival of the Saws" was organized around in 1978 - he was a beloved and extremely talented sawyer. The 2nd picture is a photo of Tom himself. The 3rd picture is of Charlie Blacklock, legendary sawyer whose musical saws are sold world wide. Charlie organized the California Saw Players Association (which evolved into the International Musical Saw Association in 2003). Charlie is also featured in the "National Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame.” The 4th photo changes as we feature different members, and this time it is of Rosalyn Claret, 2009 Saw Contestant.