The tradition of dance is taken seriously in many cultures around the world, and Mary Redhouse is keeping the Navajo dance tradition alive by performing spiritual dances and songs with her Native American performing arts group.
Redhouse's talents lie not only in the field of dance, but also music. The jazz vocalist was nominated in the New Age category of the 2005 Grammy Awards for People of Peace, an album with the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet. She plays the electric bass, keyboards and guitar and is a native flute player. Redhouse has also produced music for two KUAT-TV documentaries, discussing the first Americans and American Indian journeys.
"We are really pleased to have her come," said Bonnie Brooks, media director for the 17th Street Market. "Her performances are storytelling, mythical and religious."
The upcoming performance will be special, because it will be very spiritual, Brooks said. The Mary Redhouse Dancers, composed of members of the Rex Redhouse family of the Dine (Navajo tribe), will perform two 30-minute programs of Native American dances and songs that teach about the traditions of the Navajo tribe. The hoop dance and the eagle dance will be featured.
"The explanation of her journey is incredible; her charisma is incredible," Brooks said. "The Redhouse family is a Tucson treasure."
Brooks said Redhouse explains each of the dances from a historical point of view and shares her religious dance and musicality with hopes of educating and entertaining the community through the traditions of the Navajo.
"It's important for the community to acquire (Redhouse's) education," Brooks said. "She is a poet."
The performance is free. Call 624-8821, ext. 145, for more information about the event. --L.H.
Siblings Steven and Laura Moeckel grew up in a musical family that inspired the duo to take up the violin and the viola, respectively. The two have been playing for more than 20 years, and for the first time in five years, they will be reunited on stage in two performances, titled "Sibling Sonatas" and "Brothers and Sisters."
Younger sister Laura, who is the principal violist of the Folkwang Chamber Orchestra in Essen, Germany, is coming to Tucson for the performances, which are part of the St. Andrew's Bach Society summer concert series.
Steven, a Tucson Symphony Orchestra concertmaster violinist, is an advocate for musical families, like his own. Moeckel said he is pleased to perform with his sister.
"Music is really important in families, and it is always fun to perform with family," Moeckel said. "There is a different type of chemistry on stage being brother and sister."
Steven Moeckel says the Friday performance will consist of solo sonatas, a duo and then a trio with pianist Paula Fan. "I've done the (St. Andrew's) concert series before, and since my sister is in town, we thought we would do one together."
Sunday's performance will feature the Moeckels along with another pair of siblings, Ellen and Robert Chamberlain, who play the violin and the cello. While many of the pieces to be performed are by composers like Paul Hindemith and Johannes Brahms, Moeckel said he's particularly excited, because one of his favorite composers--Edward Elgar--will also be showcased.
Tickets for both concerts are $10 for adults and $5 for students, and will be available at the door. For more information, visit standrewstucson.org or call 323-2771. --L.H.
It's impossible for anyone who has lived in or worked in Vail during the last few years to miss the fact that the area is rapidly changing. That's why Sharon Hunt, the librarian and archivist at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, decided to preserve some of the area's history in her new book, Vail and Colossal Cave Mountain Park.
"It was frustrating to me," said Hunt, who has been working at the park for five years. "We have so many resources out there (at the library and archives), and not many people are using them."
She decided a book featuring these resources would be a great way to both preserve them and to make them more accessible to people who can't make it all the way out to the park, but who are still interested in the information.
The book, which was released earlier this year by Arcadia Publishing, is made up mostly of photos taken of families, ranchers and those who worked in the area during the early part of the last century. It also highlights Colossal Cave Camp, which is where thousands of men worked over the years excavating Colossal Cave into the tourist attraction it is now.
When folks whose families have been in the Vail area for years heard that Hunt was working on a book, many of them donated photos to her collection.
"Some of the people in the book are still around," Hunt said. "... Vail is changing so quickly, I thought a book was a good way to preserve the history before it doesn't exist anymore."
Hunt will be signing copies of her book at the Vail Connection on Saturday, July 14. For more information, contact the Vail Connection at 762-0000. --T.M.
Before there were cars, there were trains. To make sure we remember this, the folks at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum are serving up a little history throughout the summer with a series of historical lectures.
The series opens July 17 with a lecture on "The Arizona and South Eastern Railroad and Bisbee," about the railroad which went through Bisbee in the early mining days. Richard Dick, a historian with the museum, will give this hour-long lecture.
"We'll talk about the history of the railroad in Southern Arizona and the importance of it and the impact it had on developing Tucson and Southern Arizona," Dick said.
Other Tuesday lectures in the series include "The Arizona Narrow Gauge Railroad," on an unfinished transportation project that was supposed to take travelers from Tucson to Globe; "On the Ground in the Steam Age," about steam engines in Southern Arizona; "Hooves and Rails: The History of the Tucson Street Railway," on a short-lived horse-drawn public transportation project; and "Southern Arizona Railroad Engineers and Construction," about the workers who built and ran the railroads.
Dick said the lectures will include photos of these early transportation projects, and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions. The lectures will be held in the Hotel Congress's Copper Room, not at the museum.
The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum is free and located across the street from Hotel Congress, at 414 N. Toole Ave. The museum is open Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The cost is $5 per lecture and $20 for the whole series. All the proceeds go to the museum. For more information, contact the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum at 623-2223, or visit tucsonhistoricdepot.org. --T.M.