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THE GEM HUNTER

Friday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m.
Borders
5870 E. Broadway Blvd.
584-0111
Sunday, Feb. 8, 3 p.m.
Borders
4235 N. Oracle Road
292-1331

Lately, Afghanistan has gotten a bad reputation. Gary Bowersox wants to show you another side of the country: the glittery, faceted one. Bowersox, a gem hunter, traveled through Afghanistan on a search for precious stones, but got more than he expected. His book is an account of danger, intrigue, friendship, humor, wisdom and, of course, the sparkly stuff.

Bowersox will hold a free meet and greet, and he'll sign copies of his book True Adventures of an American in Afghanistan at both the eastside and Oracle Road Borders stores.


NEW GALLERY ON THE BLOCK

Friday, Feb. 6
Indian Silversmith and Gallery
508 S. Meyer St.
954-3857

A new, unique gallery has opened its doors in Barrio Viejo. Indian Silversmith and Gallery, owned and run by Tohono O'odham James Fendenheim, is hosting a grand opening party on Friday, Feb. 6.

The gallery features diverse local art, including local Indian works and silver and gold jewelry. The gallery opens with an exhibition of Aaron Freeland's oil paintings and monoprints of Southwest landscapes and figures. Enjoy the opening festivities and help support the fledgling downtown gallery. Call the number above or e-mail indiansilversmith@yahoo.com for details.


PERFECT STRANGERS

Saturday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m.
St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church
4440 N. Campbell Ave.
297-9133

Get to know Perfect Strangers in this Sunday's installment of the Rhythm and Roots Concert Series. The bluegrass band, comprised of members from all parts of the country, was formed when singer and fiddler Chris Brashear asked the other musicians to play on his CD.

Each Stranger has his own claim to fame. Mandolin player Jody Stecher is a two-time Grammy winner; guitarist Peter McLaughlin has been named as National Flatpicking Guitar Champion; banjo player Bob Black is a veteran of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boy; and Forrest Rose is an acclaimed upright bass player.

Tickets for this evening of lightning-fast picking and high lonesome harmonies are available at Antigone Books, Brew & Vine, CD City, Enchanted Earthworks and online at dotucson.com. Admission is $15 advance and $18 at the door.


BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS

31st Annual UA President's Concert
Saturday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 8, 3 p.m.
Crowder Hall
Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue, on the UA campus
621-2998 or 621-1162

It's the time of year when talented student musicians gather to show off their skills to the general public. No, not the raucous garage band in the house next door. It's the UA President's Concert!

The concert features winners of the School of Music and Dance's annual Concerto Competition: opera singer Martina Chylikova, clarinetist Kara Yeater, violist Melissa Melendez and pianist Sarah Wu each perform solo with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra. Thomas Cockerell, described as one of America's most versatile young conductors, appears as well.

Pieces performed will include Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and works by Ravel, Rossini, Bartok and Debussy. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. Call MusiCall at 621-2998 for information, or the box office at 621-1162 for tickets. They'll cost you $12 for general admission, $10 if you're a UA employee or a senior age 55 and up, or $8 if you're a student.


NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED

Sunday, Feb. 8, 3 p.m.
St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church
4440 N. Campbell Ave.
889-4310

The Arizona Early Music Society's concert series glides into St. Philip's in the Hills Church this Sunday with "The Dying Swan: The Viol in the Late 18th Century." Featured at the event are Guido Balestracci on viola da gamba and Massimiliano Raschietti on harpsichord.

In the 18th century, many composers and performers had largely abandoned the viola da gamba, a large bowed string instrument, (the name literally means "leg viola" in Italian), as the style shifted from Baroque to pre-classical music. Despite the change in musical trends, composers such as Christoph Schaffrath, Carl Friedrich Abel, J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach continued to work with the viola da gamba.

Works by these composers are performed in "The Dying Swan: The Viol in the Late 18th Century." The concert is preceded by a discussion of the music, led by AEMS president Jeffri Sanders. Tickets at the door are $15 general, $12 seniors, and $5 students. Call or visit azearlymusic.org for more info.


GO EAST, YOUNG MAN

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 9 p.m.
The Red Room at Grill
100 E. Congress St.
623-7621

Steve Poltz used to work as a pipe nipple salesman. Is this the reason for his fame and fortune? Probably not. He also discovered Jewel, fronted San Diego's folk-rock band The Rugburns and was named "San Diego's Most Influental Artist of the Decade." Poltz made it big in the 1990s as singer for The Rugburns, creators of such classic songs as "Hitchhiker Joe" and "Me and Eddie Vedder."

In his post-Rugburns days, the singer-songwriter has released several well-received albums and started his own record label. His songs are popular for their clever and often moving lyrics, and his way with an acoustic guitar is impressive. He's also the skinny guy in Jewel's "You Were Meant for Me" music video (a song he co-wrote)--yes, the guy teenage girls everywhere stare dreamily at.

The show begins at 9 p.m., with doors opening at 8:30. Tickets are $10 at the door.

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