BY MELISSA ESPINOZA
Susan Durazo working on a tin can, Ariss Duazo performing. Photo courtesy of Susan Durazo.
The downtown Palm Springs Village Fest, also known as the Street Fair, features arts, crafts, food and entertainment located on Palm Canyon Drive. The event welcomes tourists and the local community every Thursday night.
There are many unique vendors, in fact, there are over 150 selling everything from produce, jewelry, clothing home goods and more. Musician Ariss Durazo and her mother Susan Durazo are both vendors at the Village Fest. Ariss sings and plays the piano, the guitar, as well as other instruments, her mother Susan, runs Sue’s Tin Can Art, where she sells one-of-kind pieces.
Ariss and her daughter Susan who is single-mother of three moved to Palm Springs from Tucson, Ariz. She started performing music at the age of 12. She is now 22 and in her final year at California State University, Fullerton, Ariss performs on and off at the Village Fest. She started in 2010 with the Heatwave Jazz and Show Band but in 2014 became a solo performer.
“I always had a passion for music. At 4 years-old I knew every Disney song, I knew every theme song from Cartoon Network and Disney Channel shows, and I sang every chance I got,” said Ariss, “I began to develop myself as an individual artist and started performing solo at the Village Fest, singing and playing piano to tracks, playing acoustic guitar and having occasional guest artist join me such as saxophone artist Chase Huna.”
Aside from Ariss’ solo performances at Village Fest on Thursday nights, Susan developed something she loves by crafting personal tin art for her guests that come to her booth. Susan said,”I learned this art of recycling that I do with a blowtorch and I make whatever designs people want on the spot.”
Both Susan and her daughter have made an impact on the local community as well as on the out of town attendees at Village Fest, not only as individual vendors but as a family. At the beginning of their settlement in Palm Springs, Susan would take Ariss to every festival during the time she would create and sell her art to the public.
“I sat on my little back patio, cutting and creating until I made three buckets full of small pieces and my sister told me to come up here and do this show, and I came. I started to come every week after that for a year, 358 miles each way with Ariss as a baby. Now I create all up-cycled materials, I do hanging lamps, night lights, and luminaries,” said Susan.
The Village Fest has giving Susan and Ariss an opportunity to grow not only as artists but as entrepreneurs and has help built a stronger relationship between mother and daughter.
“She has been a part of it since she was two. To watch her and our relationship of being a single mom with her and she used to start drawing on my booth and she would sell her palm tree pictures and all of the sudden, just doing her schooling and doing amazing and then her art, her singing, all these amazing things that she’s doing and just her as a person, we are both like our rocks…”
You can see Ariss perform with Vice Versa every month at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on March 29 and 30 and Thursday night at the Village Fest on March 7, 14 and 28. You will also find Susan’s unique tin can art creations in front of Ruby’s diner.
“I love the fact that I can be a part of this with my mom. Honestly, there is so much I can say about this woman. She is my inspiration for becoming the person I am today. She has always been so creative and artistic, and I love that I grew up with those values and interests because now we get to be a part of sharing our passions with the world, together,” said Ariss.