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Thursday 18

Fiesta grande. Although it's a high school production, it isn't some fly-by-night affair.

In fact, the Tucson High Magnet School mariachi and folklorico advanced classes will be performing their 29th celebration of Noche de Gala with the show De Norte a Sur--From North to South--a spring festival of Mexican music and dance.

The folklorico group Los Tucsonenses--the Tucsonans--will perform folk dances with authentic music and costumes from various regions of Mexico. The mariachi group Rayos del Sol--The Sun Rays-- will alternately provide lively musical interludes.

Performances start at 7 p.m. today and Friday at Tucson High Magnet at the corner of Sixth Street and Euclid Avenue. A suggested donation is $4. Children under 10 are free. For more information, call 225-5384.


Friday 19

Rock on. Drummers of all ages and sexes beat together on the third Friday of every month at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

The action takes place in the Awareness Room or, if weather permits, the banging rocks the great outdoors. Pounders are urged to bring drums, rattles, bells, sticks or any other fascinating instrument. Come on, don't you really want to take a turn at the Big Drum?

Everyone is invited to enjoy this ancient form of relaxation. Follow your heart and beat to its rhythm.

The free drumming is from 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. Reservations not required. Drummers of all persuasions are invited to attend. Bring your drums and rattles, etc. For more information, call 790-4933 or e-mail CharLittle@aol.com.


Saturday 20

FINDING ANSWERS. Aspiring artists most often have to brush up on basics before they can realize their creative potential.

Solutions, a new exhibition at The Drawing Studio, features the works of 15 master class students. Selected for the show are solutions for assigned problems relating to classic principles of design as applied to two-dimensional art.

Students enrolled in the master class must have successfully completed three progressive levels of design studies. Watercolor, acrylic, pencil, collage, ink, pastel and oil are represented in the exhibit.

The Drawing Studio is a not-for-profit, independent association of studio artists and students of art dedicated to the practice of drawing and related studies for beginning and advanced artists.

A reception for the show, which runs through May 11, is planned for 5:30 to 8 p.m. tonight at The Drawing Studio, 214 N. Fourth Ave. For more information, call 620-0947 or visit www.azstarnet.com/~tds.

What's so funny? Scott Kalechstein is a really funny guy to be with.

An internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter, Kalechstein's songs have been reported to induce uncontrollable laughter in both humans and laboratory rats.

See for yourself at 7 tonight during his comedy concert at St. Mark's Courtyard, 3809 E. Third St. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. For tickets and more information, call 297-8262.

One strange outing. Abba's "Dancing Queen" meets the BeeGees' "Stayin' Alive" meets an adaptation of Bach's "Ave Maria" from Prelude in C?

OK. So just what in the hell is going on at the University of Arizona?

The way I understand it is that each of the three bands that comprise the UA Steel Band program will perform a "wide-ranging selection of music at the program's annual spring concert."

The UA steel band program was founded in 1987 by Professor Gary Cook and then-doctoral student, Jeannine Remy. Born from a small group of Remy's own steel drums, the band now has more than 50 instruments and includes students from across campus.

Today's unique performance begins at 3 p.m. at Crowder Hall, Music Building, UA Campus, at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway Boulevard east of Park Avenue. Tickets are $8 general admission; $6 UA employees and seniors; and $6 students. Tickets are available through the UA Fine Arts Box Office, 621-1162. For more information, call 621-2998 or visit www.arts.arizona.edu/music.


Sunday 21

Date a real dog. Make a Date with a Poet is celebrating its sixth birthday this month with dogs as feature readers.

The Laughing Dog is a local poetry journal that publishes three times a year and is dedicated to printing the highest quality poetry.

Many local poets have appeared in its pages over the last two years, as well as poets from as near as Phoenix and as far as Florida. Hillary Lyon and Warren Andrle, editors of The Dog, will be guest hosts for the evening. Open mic to follow feature.

The free event is from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Sharky's Urban Sports Grill in the basement of 800 E. University, at the corner of University and Euclid. For more information, call 360-5269.

Beeline for Bisbee. It might be hard to find a better place than Bisbee to celebrate earth.

If you agree, get in the car and make a beeline for Bisbee's 13th annual Earth Day Festival.

The event features educational and environmental booths, demonstrations and speakers, entertainment, arts and crafts, mini-massage, natural foods, an Earth Day parade and maypole and children's activities.

This thing is guaranteed to be educational and fun. The event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at City Park in Brewery Gulch in Old Bisbee. For more information, call (520) 432-3726 or e-mail mobius@theriver.com.


Monday 22

Art on earth. Seasons of the Sonora celebrates the beauty and significance of the Sonoran Desert and its seasons while appealing to all Tucsonans to join the fight to protect this unique and fragile ecosystem.

Like that'll work.

But you're missing the point.

The show's artists--Keith McHenry and Marion MacDonald--have spent the past year hiking and camping in the Sonoran Desert, from the Seri Coast and Reserva de la Biosfera Pinacate in Mexico to Tucson's Catalina Mountains. On their journey they stopped to draw, take photos and write about the natural and cultural history of area.

They hope that by sharing their art and love of the desert they will inspire others to help protect what's left of this 120,000-square-mile international desert garden.

Also, these enterprising creative types want you to buy their stuff. Generously, they will donate 10 percent of the sales from this show to the Center for Biological Diversity.

The show feature watercolors and prints by McHenry and photos by MacDonald. The opening will include a presentation on the natural and cultural history of the Sonoran Desert by the artists and by a representative of the Center for Biological Diversity. Seasons of the Sonora will also include a web site and audio and video record for future broadcast. The art will be exhibited at Epic Cafe for one month.

The art show opens today at the Epic Cafe. For more information, call 623-5252 or visit www.biologicaldiversity.org.


Tuesday 23

Viva la musica. If you're a mariachi fan, you have some idea of the caliber of this year's entertainers at the Bank One Tucson International Mariachi Conference. And if you're new to mariachi, you're in for a grand treat.

Gracing the stage at the 20th annual event will be the best and most popular mariachis in the world and one of Mexico's best-loved vocalists.

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Los Camperos de Nati Cano, and Mariachi Cobre with vocalist Angeles Ochoa will entertain during one of Tucson's largest cultural event. One of last year's favorites, Los Arrieros, also is returning.

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan has been thrilling audiences for more than 100 years. The group, formed in 1898 in the town of Tecalitlan, south of Jalisco, has the distinction of being the world's premier mariachi, a reputation it has held since the 1950s in an era when it was headed by Silvestre Vargas, son of founder Gaspar Vargas.

This group headlined the very first International Mariachi Conference and is back for the 13th time with a fourth generation of performers to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Conference. Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan has come a long way from the one harp, single guitarra de golpe, two violins and peasant garb of its early days.

Los Camperos de Nati Cano is a longtime favorite of the conference and holds the prestigious position of having performed more than any other group at the event. This will be the group's 17th appearance. Los Camperos, formed by Nati Cano in 1960, has been among the most widely recognized mariachis for the last 40 years.

The event is today through Friday. There are three ways to get tickets for the event: Call the Mariachi Conference office at 884-9920 ext. 392; pick up tickets in person at the Tucson Convention Center Box Office, or call Ticketmaster at 321-1000. Tickets are $26 to $76.


Wednesday 24

New views. Widely regarded alumni-poets such as Tony Hoagland, Li-Young Lee, David Rivard and David Wojahn have all read from their work as part of their tenure as graduate creative writing students at the University of Arizona.

Check out the latest and greatest products of the University of Arizona's Creative Writing Program in poetry. Featured poets for readings tonight are Alison Hoffmann, Mark Horosky, Rachel Lehrman and Morgan Schuldt.

The graduate readings have long been an opportunity for the University's creative writing program to show off its brightest talents.

The free event begins at 8 tonight in the Modern Languages Auditorium, UA campus--on the north side of the Mall, west of Cherry Avenue. For more information, call 626-3765 or visit www.coh.arizona.edu/poetry.

STRAIGHT TALK. Grief can tear your life apart in an instant. Getting it back together often takes a while.

If you're trying to get back on track, maybe it's time for Exercises in Reverence, a lecture by Patti Harada. She is certified as a grief counselor and death educator with the internationally acclaimed Association for Death Educators and Counselors and has worked as a grief and trauma counselor for 17 years.

As we proceed through life, we often become intensely aware of what we've lost, and can develop a deep fear that we'll never find a way to repair the rips in the fabric of our lives so that we can make a place of contentment for the future.

Regrets of missed opportunities, mistakes made by ourselves and by others, and plain old bad luck, clutter our views of ourselves and our views of what life has to offer us, and can leave us believing we've nowhere to go.

In this week's seminar, the last in a series, participants will summarize the philosophy of having reverence for pain and suffering as a value to be revered, and will talk about how to go about it in a health-promoting, self-loving manner that takes us out of the gibberish mentality of phony spirituality and into the grounded reality of living, growing, changing and loving unconditionally.

The focus of Harada's work has been teaching the value of applied self love (meaning care, kindness, interest, attention and affection) in a state of released resistance to pain as a tool for developing the compassion required for healing from trauma.

She teaches Psychology of Death and Loss, and Psychology of Love and Spirituality at the University of Arizona.

Tonight's lecture is from 7 to 9 p.m. in University Medical Center's DuVal Auditorium. Cost is $10 and no reservations are required. For more information, call 886-6046, e-mail patti@lovematters.net or visit www.lovematters.net.

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