Bluebird Theater July 20, 2000

by Alex Teitz

MaggieJack is a spirited and addictive roots band. On this night they were the opening act of three bands. MaggieJack brought a large following with them, and the Bluebird filled early.

MaggieJack is a four piece band led by Lisa Maestas-Wagner. Maestas-Wagner is also lead vocals, and percussion. At any given time she may be playing congas, bongos, Zambian bass, Djimbe, and an assortment of other instruments. On stage she is ringed with these instruments. Joining Maestas-Wagner is Jason Wagner on guitar, Rick H. on bass. Ryan Ester finishes up the group with a separate percussion set-up as well as saxophone and flute.

MaggieJack’s set is all originals. The songs are environmental and spiritual pieces. They include “Truth” a song of hope highlighted with guitar, “Endangered” with a strong preservation message wrapped in an African beat, and “She Gives Me” that reflects on Mother Earth. MaggieJack’s most popular song is “Homegrown” that is about Maestas-Wagner’s Colorado roots. All of the songs are high energy and driven by percussion combinations that attract the audience more so than any drum kit could ever try. Maestas-Wagner’s vocals are inviting and driven. She does not overshadow the other members. Guitar, flute and saxophone solos appear in surprising places. Those familiar with the band Jaka will find much to like about MaggieJack.

MaggieJack is not an easy classifiable band. Their percussion base is new and refreshing and rarely seen in this market. Their experimentation in sound, lyrics and performance has potential to play in many areas. For more information visit

July 20th, 2000