7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 2
The Gaslight Theatre
7010 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson Meet Yourself has once again rounded up some of Tucson's most famous local musicians, this time for a fantastic night of bluegrass and roots music.
The Monsoon Jamboree features some of the most well-known acts that Tucson has to offer. The Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen are headlining, and will be taking the stage along with Frank Fields; "Big Jim" Griffith (the founder of Tucson Meet Yourself); Greg Morton; Linda Lou and the Desert Drifters; and Dave Firestine and Claire Zucker.
The show was birthed at a gathering at Big Jim's house, where the performers apparently went off musically—and had a fantastic time doing it.
"This all came out of a jam session," said event organizer Mia Hansen. "We had a joyful evening of fun, and I asked everyone if they would like to do something like this in a show, and they most definitely did."
Tucson Meet Yourself has been doing a good job of staying financially solvent despite the faltering economy, as the organization—whose annual festival will take place Oct. 8-10 this year—continues to grow.
Hansen was excited about all the performers involved, but said the Dave Firestine/Claire Zucker set might surprise some people.
"Dave Firestine is a virtuoso on the mandolin, truly amazing," she said. "And Claire will be singing and clogging, which is a certain type of dancing, and it's a lot of fun."
The Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen have reputations and fan bases that speak for themselves, and all of the other participating artists have become synonymous with the Tucson music scene.
Admission is $20 for adults, and $15 students. All proceeds will benefit Tucson Meet Yourself. —A.L.
Exhibit on display 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, Wednesday, Aug. 4, through Saturday, Aug. 28
Artist reception: 6 to 10 p.m., next Saturday, Aug. 7
110 E. Sixth St.
The ex-voto style of painting originated in Spain, as works of art created and offered as vows to a variety of religious icons, such as the Virgin Mary or the Trinity. They are usually votives on metal plates, used to express gratitude and devotion for the fulfillment of a personal vow.
The Contreras Gallery is serving up an exhibition of these ex-voto paintings, with 16 participating artists in the show Milagros.
"Ex-votos are an offering," explained Eugene Contreras. "When a person is sick or injured, they make a vow. If they ended up being healed, they would offer the ex-voto to their saint as a thank-you, or a pledge of allegiance."
This is the second Milagros display the gallery has put together—and it is possible that the exhibit might become a regular offering in the future.
All 16 of the artists involved will bring their own flavor and distinctions to their work. The only unifying theme of the show is that all of the artists will be portraying their own votives—or something that they hold sacred themselves.
"Though the paintings will all have a religious appearance, everyone does their own things," said Neda Contreras. "Not all of them will be religious-based; some will even be funny."
The artists featured in the show are Christina Cardenas, Neda Contreras, Eugene Contreras, Miguel Flores Jr., Ceci Garcia, Carolyn King, Lydia Maldonado, David Moreno, Ruben Moreno, Barbara Peabody, Hector Perez, Martin Quintanilla, John Salgado, David Tineo and Julianne Hurst Williams.
Admission is free. —A.L.
Out in the Silence showing
6 to 8 p.m., next Thursday, Aug. 5
Himmel Park Library
1035 N. Treat Ave.
Out in the Silence, a well-received documentary, offers lessons in tolerance and humanity.
The film follows a gay couple, Joe Wilson and Dean Hammer, and their marriage in Washington, D.C. In an act of both defiance and joy, the couple placed an ad for the wedding in Joe's hometown of Oil City, Penn.
The couple received an unsurprising yet disappointing number of ugly and demeaning responses to the ad—but Kathy Springer, a mother of a 15-year-old homosexual boy, C.J., also saw the ad. The film follows the relationship between these two sets of people, and how they tried to break down stereotypes and lessen the ignorance of their communities.
"I like the way it addresses the issue," said Himmel Park Library spokesperson Suzanne Parker. "It helps challenge peoples' perceptions of homosexuality, and also shows them the ugliness of what these people went through."
Parker is an ardent supporter of gay- marriage rights and hopes the film will get more people to come around to her way of thinking.
"Marriage is always a legal procedure, and sometimes a religious procedure," she said. "Everyone protected by the Constitution has right to these legal proceedings. Homosexuality isn't a choice, and it shouldn't affect a human being's right to marriage. "
Suzanne became a little emotional over the issue, and she knows that showing this film is important to her cause.
"A second cousin of mine just revealed to me her child had come out as being gay, and she was thrilled that I was going to show this movie," she said. "I'm chosen to show this film."
Admission is free. —A.L.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and Aug. 1
Sonoita Vineyards Winery
290 Elgin-Canelo Road,
three miles south of Elgin
Local-wine connoisseurs can get their taste buds going at HarvestFest 2010, which will incorporate fine wine with a variety of fun activities that include tours of the vineyards on a tractor-drawn trailer or horse-drawn wagon; grape-stomping; and, of course, wine-tasting.
Katee Blaushild, from Sonoita Vineyards, said she is excited about the return of the annual event.
"I think the people who attend the event are in for a treat. We have had around 500 people that attend the event, and the number continues to grow each year," Blaushild said. "There is so much going on that each individual has a platter of activities to choose from. HarvestFest is also a good way for people to come out and enjoy different types of wine that they might not have tasted before."
There will be 10 different wines available for tasting, along with wine-and-food pairings. (Lunch from two different area restaurants will also be available onsite for an extra charge.)
Blaushild also touted the loveliness of the area.
"Many of the people who attend HarvestFest want to see the vineyards and its whole entirety while having their questions answered as well. We have about 25 acres of plants to show off," Blaushild said. "People also enjoy participating in the grape-stomping, because it is a fun way to let loose and have fun."
Admission to HarvestFest 2010 is $15 per person. The cost includes all of the activities, which also include live music and dancing, as well as a souvenir glass and a souvenir cork magnet. Visit the website for more information. —D.O.