Club Rhythm Dance Jam... Rachel Brennan's story... AIDS candlelight memorial... And more!

City Week 


Thursday 16

America's most wanted band. The Del McCoury Band is known as the "first family" of bluegrass.

Little wonder. With close to three-dozen awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, including Entertainer of the Year for six of the past 10 years, the Del McCoury Band is the most awarded group in bluegrass history.

The group has been responsible for the increased popularity of bluegrass, from its collaboration with Steve Earle on The Mountain to headlining bluegrass festivals, touring Europe, opening for Phish and performances at the Grand Ole Opry.

At the heart of the band is Delano Floyd "Del" McCoury.

Born in North Carolina in 1939, Mccoury grew up in rural Pennsylvania listening to the Grand Ole Opry. With his first band in Pennsylvania, Del played to thousands of migrants from the South and the hills of Appalachia with a music that reminded them of home.

The group has recorded 24 albums, including its 1999 release The Family. Produced by Dobro master Jerry Douglas, the CD includes the gospel number "Get Down On Your Knees And Pray" and a re-working of the Lovin' Spoonful's classic, "Nashville Cats."

Pulse Magazine writes, "The Del McCoury Band is the top act in bluegrass today," and USA Today says, "most rock bands would kill for their blazing energy. Is there anybody cooler than Del McCoury?"

Tonight, the band brings its adventurous bluegrass with solid banjo picking, dazzling mandolin and high lonesome harmonies to the Berger Performing Arts Center.

The Rhythm & Roots Concert Series presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. at the center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Reserved seats are $22 advance, $25 at the door. Tickets are available at Antigone Books, CD City, Enchanted Earthworks and online at www.dotucson.com/tickets. For more information, or to charge tickets by phone, call 297-9133.


Friday 17

All that jazz. Big names and even bigger music.

Diane Schuur, Chuck Mangione and Spyro Gyra get things cranked up tonight as the Sonoran Jazz Festival gets under way.

On Saturday, check out Boney James, David Sanborn and The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman.

The festival is today and Saturday at the Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater. Gates open at 5 p.m. today and 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Reserved seats are $40. Sit on the lawn and tickets are just $20. Get both days performances for $60 reserved seating or $30 on the lawn. For tickets, visit the Club Sol Booth at Casino of the Sun or Casino Del Sol. For more information, call 883-1700.

Don't you just love her? If you love Lucy--I mean, if you really love Lucy, you'll want to make plans for this.

Re-groove: project's latest production is a 50th anniversary celebration of I Love Lucy's "Vitameatavegamin" episode.

Gregg Oppenheimer, co-author of the book Laughs, Luck, and Lucy will be the guest speaker. Oppenheimer's father, Jess Oppenheimer, was creator and producer of I Love Lucy.

There will be a special screening of the "Vitameatavegamin" episode on DVD and lost scenes from other episodes.

But wait, there's more. Organizers will host a Lucy look-alike contest with prizes.

Oppenheimer will sell and sign books after the show. All proceeds from sale of the books will go to the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.

The celebration starts at 8 tonight at Berger Performing Arts Center at 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $15 and are available at City Home Furnishings, 5420 E. Broadway, or by calling 529-4946.

GET IN THE GROOVE. Disc jockey Jeff Rogers of the Club Rhythm Dance Jam and KXCI is ready to rock your world.

He'll spin you into altered states tonight at the notorious and infamous, dangerous and irregular, delectable and delicious, sacred and secular Bohemian Google at the Bare Foot Ball Room. BYO everything you need including water, blood, breath and attitude.

The event is 8 to 11 p.m. in the spacious ORTS Space, 121 W. Seventh St. Tickets are $5 adults, $1 minors. For more information, call 322-8020.


Saturday 18

SURVIVAL STORY. If you're a local sports fan, Rachel Brennan needs no introduction.

If you're not, Brennan was an Amphi High runner who won the 1987 state championship in the 1600 meters. Later, at the UA, she became one of coach Dave Murray's most cherished distance runners.

In 1995, Brennan's life took an almost deadly turn when she was involved in a motorcycle crash so serious that her sister Margot later confided that doctors had asked for permission to harvest her organs.

Being with Rachel is a book written by her mother, Karen Brennan, a creative writing professor at the University of Utah. The book chronicles a life rebuilt, from the first weeks of intensive care and months of coma to Rachel's determination to walk again.

With Rachel's first words after the accident came the discovery that she had severe short-term memory deficit. In one of the book's many twists, Karen Brennan found striking parallels between brain theory and the principles of narrative writing she'd been teaching her students. The mother-daughter collaborative effort is a dynamic memoir of recovery and reinvention.

Rachel Brennan will never again run a 1,600-meter race, but she is now living independently in an apartment near her mother's home and is in the market for a job as a bilingual teaching assistant.

Find out more about this remarkable story during a reading and book-signing at Reader's Oasis. Rachel and Karen Brennan both will be on hand at the event at 2 p.m. today at 3400 E. Speedway, #114. For more information, call 319-7887.


Sunday 19

Light up the past, and the future. Remember those who have died, but don't forget to bring your vision for a brighter tomorrow.

Join other Tucsonans for a special AIDS Candlelight Memorial tonight at Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

There will be an interfaith service from 7 to 7:30 p.m. and a candlelight vigil from 7:30 to 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend both programs. For more information, call 628-7223 or 624-1779.

His life and tunes. The Tucson Jazz Society is throwing a party.

Welcome Home Lalo is a musical fiesta being thrown to honor the Old Pueblo's very own legend, Lalo Guerrero, and his friends.

Tucson celebrates the genius of Lalo and kicks off the release of his new book My Life and Music.

Festivities will include some surprise mystery guests, all wondering ... "Where in the world is Lalo Guerrero?"

Check out this evening of music, courtesy of the Tucson Jazz Society's Spring Series. The concert starts at 6 tonight at St. Philip's Plaza, River and Campbell. Tickets are $10 for TJS members and $15 general admission. Kids 15 to 18 get in for $8. For more information, call 903-1265.


Monday 20

Art on the fly. Ever drive out to the airport just for the heck of it?

I must say, the thought's never crossed my mind, either. But now there's a first-class reason to beeline to the airport, even if you're not going anywhere else.

Of Wood: Art and Craft Created In and Inspired by Sonoran Regional Wood is an exhibit at Tucson International Airport that features an impressive collection of art, furniture and crafts.

Exquisite mesquite wood furniture from Arroyo Design is paired with examples of master craftsmanship from Alamo Collective's Brian Kelly, also in mesquite. Taking a truly artistic approach to furnishing is Bob Hassan's Mesa, a magical suspension of glass atop ironwood, cholla wood and imprinted sandstone.

Robert Rice's expertly crafted, turned mesquite bowls are a study of form, as is his captivating sculpture of a female dancer. Connie Foster offers beauty in function with her turned mesquite pens and accessories. Charlotte Bender's enchanting botanical painting focusing on desert trees and environs complete the exhibit.

Of Wood will be on display through May 30 in The Gallery, located on the ticketing level between the Southwest and Delta ticket counters. For more information, call 573-8100 or visit www.tucsonairport.org.


Tuesday 21

Cooking up some fun. Take the little ones downtown today and you just might make a few grownup friends.

In case you haven't heard, today is Toddler Tuesday at the Tucson Children's Museum.

Let the youngest family members learn how to make muffin cup flowers while you meet other parents. It's a great way to start the day.

The event is from 10 to 11 a.m. today at the museum, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Admission is $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors and $3.50 children. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays. For more information, call 792-9985, ext. 112.


Wednesday 22

Enduring love. Critics have called it Seinfeld set to music.

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, the off-Broadway smash hit, is the longest running musical revue in theatre history.

It's an entertaining, fresh and romantic musical joyride through the maze of modern love. It's a show for real people about real people and will delight audiences with its hip antics and witty charm.

The production is based on books and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and set the music of Jimmy Roberts.

Check out The Invisible Theatre's production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change through June 9 at 1400 N. First Ave. For showtimes and ticket information, call 882-9721.

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