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Thursday 13

VISIT TAJ MAHAL. Shoutin' in Key was recorded during three nights of blistering live action at the Mint in Los Angeles.

A new record seems always just around the corner for Taj Mahal, a complex, prolific artist who has recorded 39 albums, earned six Grammy nominations and one Grammy Award.

He got his start when he and Ry Cooder co-founded Rising Sons, which landed Taj Mahal a recording contract and in 1968 resulted in his self-titled debut.

The legendary performer and the Funky Meters will rock the Rialto Theatre tonight. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through Zia Record outlets and Zips on University. Or call 800-965-4827 or visit www.ticketweb.com.

AND THE BAND PLAYS ON. The Tucson Symphony's had some well-deserved time off, but the orchestra plays on tonight as noted Russian pianist Mark Zeltser launches into a program of classics.

Conductor George Hanson, now in his sixth season with the TSO, leads Zeltser in a reading of Rachmaninov's magnificent Piano Concerto No. 3. Also on the program is Igor Stravinsky's Fireworks (Feu d'artifice) and Richard Strauss' monumental tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra.

The 73rd season opens at 8 tonight at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall. The program will be repeated at the same time Friday. Free pre-concert talks begin at 7 each night. Tickets cost $11 to $35 and are available by calling the TSO box office at 882-8585 or by stopping by 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Tickets also are available through Ticketmaster by calling 321-1000.

THE DEFINITIVE RIVER GUIDE. Catch a sneak look at native Tucsonan naturalist Roseann Beggy Hanson on KUAT tonight as she talks about her new book, The San Pedro River: a Discovery Guide.

Or meet the author in person this weekend as she visits bookstores to talk about her definitive guide to the last undammed, unchanneled river in the Southwest. The Nature Conservancy called the San Pedro one of North America's "last great places."

Hanson, who is executive director of the Sky Island Alliance, will appear at 6:30 tonight on Arizona Illustrated on KUAT-TV. She will read from her book and sign copies from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Reader's Oasis, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd. (319-7887), and 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Barnes and Noble, 7325 N. La Cholla Blvd. (742-6621).


Friday 14

CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER. A mixed-media art collective calling itself the Plasticity Group opens a show today that has a name sure to attract curiosity seekers.

Inflated, Stretched and Worn deals with domestic issues, demonstrating the freedom to re-examine and restructure relationships inside the home, according to inner truths. Ultimately, the work expresses the group's desires to stretch, and its willingness to reinvent.

So. Who are these people? Well, they are Peggy Hansen, Rebecca Young and Tracy Featherstone, whose various works involving latex, rubber and upholstery are part of the Tucson/Pima Arts Council Community Gallery's 2001-2002 exhibitions.

A reception will be held from 7 to 9 tonight at the Tucson/Pima Arts Council, 240 N. Stone Ave. It is free and open to the public. Free covered parking is located on the east side of the building. The show runs through October 18. Regular gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call Aimee Baker at 624-0595, ext. 26, or e-mail her at aimee@tucsonpimaartscouncil.org. Also visit www.tucsonpimaartscouncil.org.


Saturday 15

BIG BASH FOR ATC. Arizona Theatre Company is celebrating its 35th season tonight with a gala that includes a performance of the international hit Two Pianos Four Hands.

The evening begins at 5:30 with a wine reception in the courtyard of the Temple of Music and Art, followed by a performance of the comedy about two young would-be classical pianists growing up at the keyboard.

The aspiring pianists run through the gantlet of musical education--pedantic teachers, pushy parents and piano-nerd rivals--while learning to play everything from Bach to Billy Joel.

Also tonight, Don Luria and Donna Nordin will receive the Georgy Award for their contributions to ATC and the arts in Arizona.

Finally, partygoers will enjoy a sumptuous buffet catered by Dakota Café and Catering Co., and dance under the stars.

The event is at the Temple at 330 S. Scott Ave. Tickets cost $175. Proceeds benefit ATC. For tickets, or more information, call 884-8210 or visit www.aztheatreco.org.

SHAKE YOUR BODY. Experience the principles of physics through movement, especially movement experienced in sports and dance, in an exhibit that opens today.

Flandrau Science Center's Bodies in Motion, a new interactive exhibit for all ages, includes 1,500 square feet of exploration stations with interpretive information that invites children and adults to check out how their bodies really work.

Created by the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts with funding from the National Science Foundation, Bodies in Motion has three main themed areas: Structure of the Human Body, which teaches visitors how the human body works as a mechanical system; Forces, in which visitors can experience Newton's laws of motion and learn about inertia; and Physics of Dance, which juxtaposes a discussion of physics principles with a demonstration by dancer Amy Filpin.

In addition to the exhibit, Flandrau Science Center's education staff is planning several live programs on exhibit themes featuring local artists, scientists and athletes. They will be open to the public.

Tickets to Bodies in Motion are $3 for adults and $2 for children. The show runs through December 31. Exhibits are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Information on exhibits and programs is available on both the 621-STAR information line and the Center's Web site, www.flandrau.org.


Sunday 16

SMOOTH OPERATOR. The soothing vocal stylings of John Ronstadt have caressed many a jazz-loving ear over the years.

Add to that Jed Paradies' tasty licks on tenor saxophone and flute and you have the core of one of Tucson's perennially popular groups, Round Midnight. With two recordings under its belt and another on the way, this local institution knows how to please jazz audiences by expertly rendering well-known vocal and instrumental standards.

Round Midnight take the stage at 6 tonight at La Placita Village on the corner of Broadway Boulevard and Church Avenue. Tickets cost $6 for Tucson Jazz Society members, $11 for non-members. For more information, visit www.tucsonjazz.org.

ALL YOUR FACULTIES. Thomas Cockrell, director of orchestral studies and conductor of the University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra, coordinates a UA faculty concert, which unlike some of the lectures I endured at the university, shouldn't fall on deaf ears.

That's due in large part to a program that includes Ernest Chausson's La Nuit and Le Réveil, performed by soprano Faye Robinson, tenor Grayson Hirst and pianist Rex Woods.

The concert also includes Serge Prokofiev's Quintet, Op. 39; Richard Strauss' Serenade in E-flat, Op. 7, for winds; and Silvestre Revueltas' Homage to Federico Garcia Lorca.

Faculty members performing in the concert include oboist Neil Tatman, clarinetist Jerry Kirkbride, violinist Mark Rush, violist Hong-Mei Xiao, bassist Patrick Neher, pianist Paula Fan, tubist Kelly Thomas, trumpeter Ed Reid, trombonist Tom Ervin, bassoonist William Dietz and piccolo player Jean-Louis Kashy.

The event, part of the faculty artists series, is presented by the UA's school of music and dance.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. today in Crowder Hall, in the UA music building, at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway Boulevard east of Park Avenue. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 UA employees and seniors (55-plus) and $4 students with valid ID. Tickets are available through the UA fine arts box office by calling 621-1162. For more information, visit www.arts.arizona.edu/music.

OVER SO SOON? The St. Andrew's Bach Society's final program of its 2001 summer concert series looks to be a fitting finale.

Organist Stephen Keyl, who received a Ph.D. in musicology from Duke and is director of music at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Tucson, is featured in a concert of music for voices and organ by 16th- and 17th-century composers. The list includes Schlick, Kleber, Isaac, Sweelinck, Scheidemann, Praetorius and Froberger, with the assistance of Christina Jarvis, soprano; Gabe Harris, alto; Timothy Cloeter, tenor; and William Bradley Roberts, bass.

The concert starts at 3 p.m. today at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 545 S. Fifth Ave. Tickets cost $8 general admission and $6 for seniors and students, and are available at the door. For more information, call artistic director Christina Jarvis at 628-8119 or e-mail her at christina@delegation.org.


Monday 17

GET YOUR DANCING SHOES ON. Come on. Admit it. You would like to learn how to dance in the folklorico style.

OK. So maybe not. But anyway, if you're the least bit interested, you really ought to check out the free "try-it-out" dance class at the Ballet Folklorico Tapatio dance studio. Classes are open to all ages--kids to adults.

Authentic Mexican dances are taught by master teacher and choreographer Sergio Valle and five other instructors.

Regular dance classes cost $25 per month for two classes each week. The freebies are offered from 7 to 8:15 tonight and Wednesday and 7 to 8:45 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

For more information, call Valle at 206-9296.


Tuesday 18

GETTING DIRTADIAN. Armen Dirtadian is the phantom haunting Gaslight Theatre, and it's hilarious.

Phantom of the Opera wasn't supposed to be funny, was it? Go figure.

Anyway, the play runs through November 3. It's Peter Van Slyke's adaptation of Gaston Leroux's novel. Van Slyke also directs the show, with music direction provided by Linda Ackermann.

Regular show times for Phantom of the Opera are 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, with additional performances at 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Gaslight is located at 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. Tickets cost $14.95 adults; $12.95 military, students and seniors; and $6.95 children. A dinner menu is available at the theater. For more information and reservations, call 886-9428.


Wednesday 19

SPEAKING VOLUMES. It turns out poet Ellen Bryant Voigt had quite a few things to say the first time she picked up a pen or booted up her PC.

Whatever the avenue for her creative outpouring, there is no denying that she is prolific; Voigt has published five volumes of poetry: Claiming Kin, The Forces of Plenty, The Lotus Flowers, Two Trees and Kyrie. She co-edited an anthology of essays, Poets Teaching Poets: Self and the World, and her most recent book is a collection of her own essays on poetry, The Flexible Lyric.

For her poems, which have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New England Review, The Southern Review and Slate.com, she has received the Emily Clark Balch Award, the Hanes Poetry Award, the Teasdale Award, two Pushcart Prizes and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. A new book, Shadow of Heaven: Poems, will be released in February 2002.

Voigt founded and directed the nation's first low-residency MFA writing program at Goddard College, and she now teaches in its relocated incarnation at Warren Wilson College. She has also taught at Iowa Wesleyan College, M.I.T., the University of Cincinnati, Bread Loaf Writers Conference and in brief residencies at numerous colleges and universities.

She will read tonight as part of the Visiting Poets and Writers reading series, presented by the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona

The free reading starts at 8 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages auditorium, on the north side of the mall west of Cherry Avenue. Voigt will also give a craft lecture on poetry at 9:30 a.m. on September 20 in the "Swede" Johnson Building, 1111 N. Cherry Ave. (on the northwest corner of Speedway and Cherry), Room 303. For more information, visit www.coh.arizona.edu/poetry.

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