By Crystal Harrell

Downtown Indio has seen an immense amount of change throughout the years—breathing new life into an otherwise quiet part of town. Through a multi-year plan of investment into the beautification and development of downtown Indio, several new businesses and music venues are now staples of the cultural collective on Miles Avenue. One of these new additions is Music House Indio, an instrument shop and functioning performance venue.

Co-owners Geoffrey and Estefania McManus acquired the store almost two years ago, and have taken this family business venture in conjunction with a youth music program that they’ve been doing for the past 18 years, the Heatwave Show Band, a service that Geoffrey’s grandfather, Jim Little, started as a free music service for all children. Heatwave provides real-world opportunities for young musicians in order to enhance and support their musical endeavors and serves youth in the Coachella Valley.

“We started with the Boys and girls Club, where they sponsored us, and we had a youth music program representing the Boys and Girls Club across the country and at private parties. It was something that gave an experience to the kids that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s what we’ve strived for the entire time, and that has found its way through all of our programs that we host at the store,” shared Geoffrey.


Music House Indio continues to offer instrument classes and just participated in the city’s Second Saturday summer concert series at the new Indio Center Stage. Heatwave itself is a nonprofit with a youth cover band that Geoffrey and Estefania host at the shop, but Music House Indio also collaborates with Desert Sands Unified School District’s music educational services program that enables them to provide music classes to local elementary schools.

“The schools decide if they want a beginning band class or a beginning guitar or ukulele class. And then our teachers go to the schools and teach a class of about 15 to 20 kids. We start little beginning elementary bands at these schools that may not have a music or band program during the day. We’re offering different classes and ways to learn music as well. It’s just something that has kind of grown into this really cool passion project,” explained Estefania.

Music House Indio has been acquiring more inventory with a focus to provide quality instruments at really affordable prices, so beginning musicians or anyone interested can access music. The venue space within Music House Indio started as a way to help a friend who needed a place to perform their show last minute. Geoffrey and Estefania cleared the backroom and set up the show. They continued to offer the space to anyone who might need it.

“We’re all about providing different avenues to make music accessible. The venue spot is a place where people, like local musicians, can come and do their first gig without having to bend an arm or leg and possibly being gouged by venue fees and other promoters. It’s really just a safe space for all different aspects of music performance, buying your first instrument, and taking that first step into your musical journey,” stated Geoffrey.

“The venue space was a result of us helping our friend, and the whole point of that venue space was to be the recording studio, and we were close to getting that there. So now the goal is to provide the opportunity for people to do live recorded sets. That’s something we really want to offer to the community as well,” added Estefania.

Follow Music House Indio on Facebook and Instagram @musichouseindio as well as Heatwave Show Band on Instagram @heatwavebandsouth to learn more about upcoming shows and developments.