guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
2017 International Tucson Guitar Festival
. The guitar is one of those things that allows space for infinite improvement: You can practice for years and still only beginning to unlock your potential, because there are just that many possibilities. But the world-class guitarists coming to this event will blow you away with what looks and sounds a whole lot like mastery. Three-time Grammy Award nominee Berta Rojas performs at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18 and Grammy Award winning composer/guitarist Sérgio Assad and Grammy Award nominated pianist/vocalist Clarics Assad perform at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. Cuban guitarrista Iliana Matos opens the festival at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 and the Beeston competition is at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. Holsclaw Hall, Fred Fox School of Music, 1017 N. Olive Road. Ticket prices vary.
A Celebration of Joni Mitchell with Kimberly Ford
. It goes without saying that every day is a celebration of Joni Mitchell in its own way, or at least it should be. But treat yourself to an evening jam-packed with Joni by seeing this six-piece SoCal based band headed by Kimberly Ford on vocals. Let Kimberly and Joni remind you that we’re all stardust, and that sometimes sadness, when sung about in just the right way, can be overwhelmingly beautiful. 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Gaslight Music Hall of Oro Valley, 13005 N. Oracle Road, No. 165. $25.
April Verch Band: Canada’s Finest Fiddle & Stepdancer
. Not many adults are doing the same things today that they were doing when they were 3, or 6 and a half. But those are the ages at which April Verch learned to stepdance and fiddle, respectively, and she’s been steppin’ and fiddlin’ away ever since. Also, she sings. And sometimes she does all three at once. She fiddled at the 2010 Olympic games, she’s fiddled in Vienna Austria, and she’s fiddled her way onto the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. Now, it’s time to let her fiddle, stepdance and fiddle her way into your heart. With Matt & Bekah Rolland of Run Boy Run. 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile, Tucson. $15.
The Spirit of Argentina
. They move quickly, dramatically and sensually, to the music composed by some of the most legendary figures in the world of tango. They are Tango Buenos Aires, known internationally as one of the most talented and authentic Tango dancers in the world. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take two to tango. It takes a whole expert company of musicians, vocalists and dancers to bring you the cultural experience of a lifetime. (And don’t worry. You don’t have to tango.) 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress. $24 to $39.
Made in Tucson Market
. They say home is where the art is, and at this festival, you can find art and goods from dozens of vendors who make their goods locally. And while you’re picking up art prints, candles, jewelry, ceramics, kitchen supplies and other Tucson-made treats, you can chat with the artists (all of whom are Tucson residents) and learn about their processes. How sweet it is to stock up on holiday gifts, treat yourself and support local artists all at once. 10 a.m. to dusk. Saturday, Nov. 18. On Seventh Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Free.
Market on the Move
. Market on the Move is back! This weekly event is hosted by the 3000 Club, a group that works with food banks by providing both money, labor and food. The MOM program helps to reduce food waste and your grocery bill by rescuing fresh produce from being sent to landfills and offering it to community members for an affordable price. Your $10 donation will help the host site (on third Thursdays like this one, it’s the Northminster Presbyterian Church) and get you up to 60 pounds of fresh produce. Yes, please! 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Northminster Presbyterian Church, 2450 E. Fort Lowell. $10.
32nd Annual TMA Holiday Artisans Market
. We’re getting to that time of year where it’s not terrible
if you haven’t started holiday shopping, but if you wait much longer, you might find yourself in a little bit of a Christmas pickle, facing a Kwanzaa quandary or dealing with a Hanukkah hassle. So pick up some unique, artisan crafts and artwork at this three-day market and preempt any issue that may crop up in your holiday journey. And you know what they say! “Locally made goods are totally great goods.” And if no one says that, maybe they’ll start now. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave. Free.
Old Paints Records Presents: Animal Party Record Swap
. Buy! Sell! Swap! Listen to some bebop! Everyone is invited to bring in their record collection to do with what they please, and if you don’t have a record collection, this is the perfect time to start one. Super vinyl DJs will be laying down hot tracks all night, and everyone else can throw back cold brews all night. It’s a night full of music and bargains, and we’re not really sure what more you could ask for in this life. 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave. Free entry.
MOCA Third Thursdays: Vox Urbana & Screening
. Not only is MOCA open for free to the public every third Thursday evening, but the free nights have themes, including stuff like performances, music, crafts and a cash bar. Tonight’s event? Local band Vox Urbana is taking interviews with immigrants and using them to make music that merges Latin sound, electronic boogies and rich storytelling. They’ll also be screening an animation by artist Wesley Fawcett Creigh, which looks at the relationship between MOCA Tucson Youth Programs, PCC’s Border Cultures class, Ondrea Levey’s Art Appreciation Class at Tucson High and the U.S./Mexican border. Help yourself to some serious culture. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. Free.
Wee Winter Wonderland
. The holiday season, brought down to an itty-bitty scale! The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures opens its Wee Winter Wonderland exhibits for the holiday season, featuring holiday themed gallery spaces and a decorated lobby. Fifteen of the miniatures from the regular collection are decorated to depict holiday traditions from around the world. Bring the kids for a scaled-down celebration, but don’t worry—the fun is still full-sized! Tuesday-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday: noon to 4p.m. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Tuesday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Jan. 7. Tucson Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive. GA $9, Seniors/Military: $8, Youth (4-17): $6, 3 and under free.
50 Years of Music
. Dan Aters, music historian and photojournalist extraordinaire, is bringing a collection of rare and uncirculated photos to the Tucson Musicians Museum to be permanently installed. Aters himself will be installed at the museum on Friday and Saturday, selling photos, talking about his career taking photos of greats like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt and Tom Petty and answer questions about his work. His work includes live concert shots as well as personal and backstage photos. 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Nov. 17 and 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18. Tucson Musicians Museum, 260 S. Church Ave. $15 to $35.
Look, Up in the Sky!
Library Star Party with the UA
. When you get hit in the head, sometimes you see stars. When you’re on Hollywood Boulevard, sometimes you see stars. And when you live in the beautiful desert that is Tucson, you can see stars pretty much whenever you want (except during the day). Give the stars a little bit of a closer look at this event, with a fancy telescope, a speaker on astronomy and, if you come early enough and get a ticket, a portable planetarium where you can search for aliens in the night sky. 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library, 7800 N. Schisler Drive. Free. Planetarium event is at 6 p.m. and tickets will be sold starting one hour before.
It seems just yesterday that we were all heading up to Kitt Peak to see the Orionids, but here we are getting ready to see the Leonids. Time really does fly. Speaking of flying, the Leonids are about to fly by, and it’s going to be fly. What are the Leonids? They’re basically the result of the comet Tempel-Tuttle totally cropdusting our inner Solar System every 33.2 years or so. But it’s actually quite pretty and odorless. If you don’t already know the drill, this event is late at night, so return shuttles won’t be going back to the parking area until their 1, 2 and 3 o’clock runs. Dress warm, and bring sleeping bags, blankets, lawn chairs and/or cots if you want. 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 to 3 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Kitt Peak National Observatory Visitor Center, AZ-386. $50 adults, $47 kids 8 to 16 by phone, $55 adults and $52 kids 8 to 16 over the phone. Free for Tohono O’odham tribal members.
El Tour de Tucson
. Now in its 35th year, America's largest perimeter bicycling event welcomes riders of all ages and abilities. The event allows riders to combine their passion for cycling with the opportunity to help others. Many riders are attached to fundraising programs to raise money for charities around Tucson. Hop on a bike, get out in the community to meet new people and share love for cycling! 106-mile ride starts at 7 a.m., 76-mile ride starts at 8:30 a.m., 54-mile ride starts at 10:30 a.m., 37-mile ride starts at noon, 28-mile ride i starts at 1 p.m., El Tour Fun Ride starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Various starting points. $200.
New El Tour Ride Day After Party
. There’s always something weird about the day after a big race. You’re proud of yourself, and you’re excited it’s over and all, but you also sort of don’t know what to do with yourself, and it’s all too tempting to just sort of lay around and eat. Or maybe that’s just us? Anyway, this year it’s going to be different, because Martin Drug Co. is hosting this day-after party with live music, awards, guest celebrities and fellow El Tourists. Playground Tucson will have a special El Tour menu (most items $10 to $15) and you will have a chance to talk shop with your fellow cyclists. 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Martin Drug Co., 300 E. Congress St. $10 cover charge includes your first drink and cake!
Yoga for All Body Types
. Do you think of yoga as the type of thing that people who can already put their noses on the ground without bending their knees? Or for people who wear yoga pants in everyday life because they’re flattering? Well, it’s not! We can all benefit from learning how to connect to our bodies, breathe a little deeper and do some serious stretching. If you give your body some love, it might help you remember how much your body deserves to be loved. 6 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. Martha Cooper Library, 1377 N. Catalina Ave. Free.
Fun in General
Pir Zia Inayat Khan Comes To Town
. You might not have heard of this man, the spiritual leader of the Inayati Sufi order, but you need to hear his message about the ways in which we are all connected, and the underlying unity among religions. In his book, Mingled Waters: Sufism & the Mystical Unity of Religions, he writes, “To seeing eyes, it is plain to see that all of the world’s great faiths harbor at their core the same message of love.” How wonderful and refreshing does it sound to sit down and hear about something so positive? Learn about how you can feed your soul with meditation, discourse, prayer and zikr (remembrance) at his speech, and if you can’t get enough after that, check out the retreat he’ll be doing all weekend. 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club Road. $10 suggested donation. The retreat is located at Redemptorist Renewal Center from Friday, Nov. 17 to Sunday, Nov. 19 at 7101 W. Picture Rocks Road. Rates vary based on length of stay and whether you need housing.
Coyote Classics Dog Shows
. There’s a lot of good dogs out there in this great big world, and you can see a whole bunch of them in one place at this event hosted by the Tucson Kennel Club and Greater Sierra Vista Club. Specialty dogs, like Irish Setters, Doberman Pinschers, Afghan Hounds and German Shorthaired Pointers will be shown, and 4-6 month old puppies will be shown at noon on Friday, Nov. 17. Puppies! Dogs can win prizes in all sorts of categories, including highest score in obedience classes and best in show. And we don’t want to give anything away before the show has even started, but considering all of the entrants are dogs, and all dogs are the best, it looks like it’s going to be a big ol’ furry tie. Also, Friday through Monday, dogs and their people are encouraged to dress up in their finest cowboy getups. Thursday, Nov. 16 to Monday, Nov. 20. Varying times. Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road. Free for spectators.
Tucson Roadrunners vs. San Diego Gulls
. Thanks to Alfred Hitchcock, we all know what happens when birds decide to turn on humans. But what happens when birds decide to turn on other birds? Find out when our hometown roadrunners face off with San Diego’s seaside gulls. We’re an awful long way from the sea, so it might just be safe to say we’ll have a little bit of a home rink advantage. 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22. Tucson Arena. $11 to $56.
Rally for Ironwood Forest
. Have a beer (and a brewery tour) for bighorn! Have a pilsner for preservation! Have an IPA for the Ironwood Forest. Dragoon Brewing Co. is hosting this event to help raise funds and awareness for Friends of Ironwood Forest. Learn about ongoing preservation efforts and updated monuments, hear from guest speakers and watch a slideshow to remind you how cool nature is. Also, there will be food trucks and a snack. Worth stopping by, at the very least. 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. 1859 W. Grant Road, #111. $10 donation gets you a souvenir glass and your first beer.
Fall Ikebana Floral Festival
. For all of you uncultured swine out there who don’t know what Ikebana is (just like we didn’t before we googled it just now), Ikebana is the Japanese art of floral arrangement. There are more than 1,000 different schools of Ikebana, and at this event, Yume Japanese Gardens invites experts in five of the schools to create more than 50 displays all over the grounds, gallery and museum. Take in the beauty and the incredible diversity in the compositions over the course of this five-day festival, and see why the tradition has been kept alive since its birth in the seventh century. Tuesday, Nov. 21 to Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 26 (closed Thanksgiving). Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. $15 adults, $5 children under 15.
. A big, boot-stomp of a chorus hits simple phrases again and again. British, bombastic, explosive, yet ultimately formulaic, Barns Courtney grabs you with an Elvis-meets-Mumford & Sons (gah!) impression of a post-Billy Bragg swagger. Wait! That’s a good thing. No matter the topic: selling your soul for the gift of melody, “Lord gimme that fire,” rising up “like glitter and gold,” or schtupping a lover in a field of “golden dandelions,” Courtney will always hit an epic level of intensity by the chorus. Forget subtlety and content, this is about snarl, pout and bravado. Courtney has proven it’s easy to come off like a genuine, guitar-wielding hero in these days of YouTube fascinations. But it works, even if it’s music destined to market Androids on primetime TV. With Craig Stickland on Tuesday, Nov. 21. 191 Toole, 318 E. Congress. Doors at 7 p.m. $18-$20. All ages. —B.S. Eliot
The Cabin Project
. Think Appalachian gospel turned on its head—no angels, only ghosts. It’s got three-part female harmonies that bend and stretch minor-chord progressions, while viola and guitar gently embrace sadnesses, adding a blanket of warmth. Orchestral drums offer sparse rhythmic counterpoints—and pedals dampen it all. This is The Cabin Project, a Portland-based, female quartet whose gentle couplets disturb: “I never wanted your love to be squandered/The truth to be haunted with shame.” A sonic reflection of watching a Southern winter unfold through a smudged window at a Greyhound bus station, the music is intimate and subtle and warm. It reveals melodic sparseness of Leonard Cohen and post-Low creep. And like Cohen, The Cabin Project has a lonesome sound, but not so much to make you feel all alone. “I got lost in my own wilderness/ And the green of passion/And the need to feel anything but myself.” On Thursday, Nov. 16 at The Flycatcher, 340 E Sixth St. Doors at 8:30 p.m. 21+. Tickets: TBD. —B.S. Eliot
. It’s got all the DIY-charm of late-night music recorded in a living room, and it tiptoes into your brain. But it ain’t his “Real Gs” authenticity, content or charisma-dripping flow which attracts ass; rather, it’s his straight-up manner and heart. Perhaps better-versed at creating the Portishead and Warren G-inspired beats and samples than rhyming overtop, this rising Denver rapper offers east meets west-coast post-gangster flava, with a hypnotic dash of trap. When you’re filled of naïve charm, who needs originality? And like how doctors must attend medical school, hip-hop heads like Rhymesight must research the greats (BIG, Nas, Dre are directly summoned)—he’s self-referential, self-made and an unabashed rap fanatic. While his music and lyrics reek sweetly of juvenilia, rooting for RhymeSight feels okay, like supporting your wide-eyed kid bro who has somehow mastered skating at a tender age. On Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Solar Culture Gallery & Performance Space, 31 East Toole Ave. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets: TBD. —B.S. Eliot
. A plain young woman wearing no make-up and thick glasses floats over to the piano bench. She sits, closes her eyes and places her fingers on the ivories. Then a great transformation occurs: at once grounded and confident, McClellan tips back her head and lets loose an unwavering wonder of a voice, unflinchingly honest and direct. “I did not make it up, I just wrote it down. That’s enough.” Indeed it is. The Omaha-born McClellan is following in the footsteps of confessional greats like Chan Marshall and Ani DiFranco, or even Jane Birkin or Rickie Lee Jones, as she simply sings of nature and its impact, metaphorical or otherwise: “Waking up at midnight to a giant storm, I just want to get some rest, but it won’t stop pouring.” Although she’s reluctant to let it in, the outside world compels Anna again and again to take action. “I just want to be part of the flame you see; it’s a part of me.” Maybe it is her Midwestern plain-spokenness, or her obvious skills as a transmitter of emotion, but this young woman is doing what few others can. With Thick Paint on Sunday, Nov. 19. Bar Passe, 415 N. Fourth Ave. 21+. Free. —B.S. Eliot