Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 3:27 PM

Steve Roach, Tucson’s resident electronic music pioneer, is hosting a three-day gathering of “sonic innovators and ambient architects” this weekend. SoundQuest Fest runs from Friday, March 26 to Sunday, March 28, and will include a variety of local and international musicians, including Robert Rich, Serena Gabriel, Erik Wøllo, Michael Stearns, Madhavi Devi and more.

SoundQuest Fest is a free livestream concert series of ambient, New Age and electronic music that will run as a “continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder-worlds and deep immersion zones” from Roach’s YouTube channel.

Roach describes the music festival’s mission is to "create three days of global connection, togetherness, and inspiration through the power of sound and vision during this consequential and unique moment in time.”

Each night before the opening concert, "Timeroom TV" will feature music videos, sponsor features and interviews from the Soundquest musicians and more.

SoundQuest Fest debuted as a live festival in Tucson in 2010. But this online edition allows for performances from musicians around the world, all while keeping spectators safe.

Performing musicians: Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Michael Stearns, Erik Wøllo, Ian Boddy, Jeff Greinke, Chuck van Zyl, Serena Gabriel, Chris Meyer (Alias Zone), Nathan Youngblood, Will Merkle, Caldon Glover, Tony Obr, Howard Givens, Madhavi Devi and Craig Padilla. Audio-visual sets are provided by Bluetech, Matt Black and Daniel Pipitone.

The transcendence begins at 4 p.m. Friday, March 26.

For more information, visit soundquestfest.live.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Posted on Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 11:40 AM

click to enlarge UA hosting ‘Guns in Crisis’ webinar series after nation saw record firearms sales in 2020
Detail from the cover of Carlson's new book

With a pandemic, nationwide protests, record-breaking weather events and political upheaval, it’s no wonder the past 12 months saw record gun sales across the nation. In 2020, the FBI conducted nearly 40 million background checks for gun purchases, an increase of 40% from 2019.

In the same year, Jennifer Carlson, a University of Arizona associate professor of sociology, earned a National Science Foundation grant to document the surge in American gun purchases. This resulted in her latest book, "Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement and the Politics of Race."

Ahead of a weekly webinar series with gun experts, UA highlighted some of Carlson’s research and work.

“Gun sellers' reports about why people were buying guns related to uncertainty. The fact that people were going to the grocery store and there was no toilet paper, that places were shut down, people were getting laid off – there is this sense of uncertainty and chaos,” Carlson told the university. “The striking aspect of 2020, though, is that this becomes a moment when guns become appealing to a much broader sector of the population who either thought about getting a gun but never took that step, or were adamantly opposed to guns and gun ownership.”

Carlson spoke with gun sellers who reported seeing more gun purchases from first-time gun owners, including women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community.

“With this shift to first-time gun buyers, I think the question is: Does owning a gun make you part of gun culture?” Carlson said. “You may buy a gun in the context of acute insecurity when you find that for the first time in your life you can't go to the store and buy toilet paper, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you've invested in the broader political project that's represented by pro-gun politics. So I think that's a question that's still waiting to be unraveled."

The next webinar takes place at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 23, and will cover gun culture and gun violence during coronavirus. The final webinar will be 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, and will cover guns and democracy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge Pima County Library names Gregory McNamee as Writer In Residence
Courtesy PCPL

Twice a year, the Pima County Public Library selects a local writer in residence to teach writing workshops and hold office hours for the community. For the upcoming spring semester, PCPL has selected Gregory McNamee, a local writer, photographer and journalist who has released multiple books on the culture and history of Arizona.

McNamee’s selection marks the 11th writer in residence since PCPL started the program in 2016. The residence is open to authors of any genre, and previous writers in residence include Alice Hatcher, J.M. Hayes, Janni Lee Simner, Susan Cummins Miller and Tucson Weekly's Margaret Regan.

Due to COVID, the writer in residence office hours will be conducted over Zoom in 30-minute blocks. McNamee will offer these one-on-one consultations every Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m. and Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. But there will be no sessions offered on Thursday, Feb. 11.

During his tenure, McNamee will also host three virtual workshops:

"I'm fond of the program because it embodies so much of the library's mission," said Holly Schaffer, PCPL community relations manager. "It allows the community to learn about writing in different styles and genres. It really demystifies the process of writing."

The Writer in Residence Program is funded by the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 4:26 PM

click to enlarge Botanical Gardens' Luminaria Nights becomes Winter 'Wanderland' (3)
Photos by Jeff Gardner
The annual Luminaria Nights celebration is one of Tucson Botanical Gardens' largest events. The gardens, illuminated by thousands of paper lanterns, are filled with holiday decorations, local musicians, food and drinks, and even Santa.

COVID-19 threatened to entirely remove this beloved event from the calendar. But TBG reworked their plans and are instead hosting "Wanderland," a similar event with extra precautions. Much like Luminaria Nights, Wanderland sees the gardens filled with holiday lights and decor, but there are no performers and capacity is greatly reduced.

As the name suggests, guests are encouraged to move through the park rather than gather around performers as in years past, for the sake of social distancing.

Instead of the usual jazz bands and carolers, the gardens are still featuring some of the Dia de los Muertos sculptures from their "La Calavera Catrina" exhibit among the Christmas lights.

The Tucson Botanical Gardens' Wanderland takes place Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 3. Tickets are $15. Reservations Required. For more information, visit tucsonbotanical.org/event/wanderland

Friday, December 4, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Dec 4, 2020 at 3:22 PM

While it might not be safe to take your kids to sit on Santa's lap this year, that doesn't mean ol' Kris Kringle won't be back downtown for the annual Miracle on Congress Street.

Starting Friday, Dec. 4, Santa will be up on the rooftop at Playground, 278 E. Congress St., to wave to kids from the proverbial safe physical distance. Kids can drop their letter to Santa in a mailbox on Fifth Avenue next to the Tucson Together mural painted on the side of Playground.

Plus, all good boys and girls get a free scoop of peppermint ice cream from the HUB Ice Cream truck, which will be on hand to bring us all a little more holiday cheer.

And if the grownups in your group have been good, HUB
Restaurant and Ice Creamery has put together a new cocktail menu to celebrate the season. Among the offerings:

- Santa’s Peanut Butter Cookies (Screwball peanut butter whiskey, creme de Cacao, half/half)

- Red wine and winter spices (Orange, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg)

- Spiced Rum (cream of coconut, vanilla, cinnamon

- Tucson Boulevardier (Del Bac, Campari, Sweet Vermouth

Santa will be on duty between 4 and 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday every weekend through Dec. 19. (After that, Santa has a lot of work to get done!) Free parking is available at the nearby AC Marriott Downtown.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 10:57 AM

click to enlarge University Blvd. becoming Holiday Blvd. through Jan. 3
Jeff Gardner
University Boulevard and Main Gate Square are continuing their annual tradition of decorating for the holidays, with a few extra safety precautions this year. From Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 3, University Boulevard between Euclid and Park avenues will have holiday events and decorations including a poinsettia tree, a Rose Bowl float and Santa.

Santa Claus returns this year, but will take up residency in a socially distanced "Santa Snow Globe" in Geronimo Plaza from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 27-29, every Sunday in December through Dec. 21, and on Christmas Eve. Taking pictures with Santa is always free.

Other events include:

Nov. 27—Main Gate Square Blax Friday Pop Up Musicians Virtual Concert from 1 to 5 p.m. in Main Gate’s newly completed Plaza south of 2nd Street between Tyndall and Park. The limited-capacity pop-up events and music performances amplify Black businesses.

Through Nov. 29, the art installation “Monuments” by Arizona Arts Live is in Geronimo Plaza and near the Arizona State Museum on the UA campus after dark. "Monuments" projects the faces of local heroes in an outdoor environment, exploring the conversation around monuments and their meaning.

Dec. 10—Lighting of the Menorah at sunset through the end of Hanukkah.

According to the Marshall Foundation that helps organize these events, mask wearing is required outside unless you can continuously social distance. Masks are required to enter all retail establishments. Masks are also required to enter all restaurants and to remain on until seated.  Masks are required to be on when using the facilities or leaving the restaurant.

For more info & additional events, visit maingatesquare.com

Monday, November 9, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 2:12 PM

Children’s Museum reopening Nov. 11
Tucson Weekly file photo

The Children’s Museum in downtown Tucson has announced their plans to reopen with limited admission on Wednesday, Nov. 11. The Museum will be open with two two-hour play sessions from 9-11 a.m. and from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Visitors will have access to all indoor exhibits, as well as their outdoor “curiosity courtyard.” Museum admission, including the courtyard, will be by timed ticket only, with a limit of 50 visitors at the museum at once.

Visitors ages 5 and older will be required to wear masks while at the museum. There will also be sanitation stations in the courtyard for visitors, and staff will clean and disinfect activities and areas between sessions.

The Curiosity Courtyard is filled with activities, crafts and games, including a cactus ring toss and animal-themed beanbag toss. A dig pit with backhoes has also been added to the courtyard.

The Children’s Museum in Oro Valley will continue with virtual programming only as part of their phased reopening plan.

Admission is $9 per person, with discounts available for military and visitors on public assistance. The Children’s Museum is located at 200. S. 6th Ave.

For more information, visit ChildrensMuseumTucson.org

Friday, October 23, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 2:29 PM

The two-day lineup has been announced for the 2021 Tucson Jazz Festival, which will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21, on the main outdoor stage at Armory Park, 220 S. Fifth Ave.

Saturday will include performances by Nayo Jones, Ghost-Note, Cory Wong, and Dirty Loops. Sunday will feature Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Marcus Miller, Dave Grusin + Lee Ritenour, and St. Paul & The Broken Bones.

Social distancing protocols will be instituted throughout the festival, and face masks will be required for all attendees. Reservations for tickets to the 2021 Tucson Jazz Festival are now available.

The following artist info is from the Tucson Jazz Festival:

1 p.m., March 20
Nayo Jones (pronounced Nīyō) is the Chicago-born jazz vocalist based in New Orleans, where she regularly performs with her band, The Nayo Jones Experience. Her vocal range has been compared to Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson and Whitney Houston. Annually, she can be seen at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and French Quarter Fest. She has toured with Kermit Ruffins as the featured vocalist, headlined at various jazz festivals and most recently joined forces with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

3 p.m., March 20
Ghost-Note is a band with an explosion of sound pushing funk music into the future. Building on the uplifting, pioneering foundations laid out by James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone, they infuse their music with tastes of Afrobeat, hip-hop, psychedelia and more. The band creates seductive, danceable grooves and offers a contagious feel-good energy to ensure their audiences “let loose and connect.” 

CORY WONG with Special Guest CODY FRY
5 p.m., March 20
Cory Wong considers himself music’s answer to motivational speakers like Tony Robbins. The NY-born, Minneapolis-raised guitarist attended the University of Minnesota and the McNally Smith College of Music. With head-spinning rhythm guitar wizardry, technical ebullience, and laugh-out-loud jokes, he is both a sought-after collaborator and celebrated solo artist.

7 p.m., March 20
Stockholm, Sweden, band Dirty Loops are known for their jazz fusion re-harmonized covers of pop songs like "Baby" by Justin Bieber, "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele, and "Wake Me Up" by Avicii, but don’t let the pop covers fool you. These longtime friends and schoolmates borrow from jazz, jazz fusion, gospel, funk, electronica and disco.

1 p.m., March 21
After 10 years of due diligence, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra gained recognition with a crowd-funded, self-titled debut resulting in a GRAMMY for "Best Tropical Latin Album." This San Francisco based orchestra is leading the rebirth of Latin big band music, using the traditions of the classic mambo-craze orchestras of the '50s. While their repertoire consists of mostly original scores they also include clever arrangements of hit songs, performed in English and Spanish.

3 p.m., March 21
It is said that Marcus Miller has one of the most enviable careers in music, having performed, recorded and toured with legendary artists such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Luther Vandross, in addition to working with various rock legends, hip hop icons and pop stars. Marcus Miller is a multi-instrumentalist, albeit primarily known as an electric bassist.

5 p.m., March 21
Dave Grusin, a 10-time Grammy winner, is a seven-decade music professional: pianist, arranger, composer, record producer and co-founder of GRP Records. Grusin is considered one of the top 10 film scorers of his generation, writing more than 60 film scores, including The Graduate, On Golden Pond and The Fabulous Baker Boys, and receiving eight Academy Award nominations and one Oscar.

Grammy winner Lee Ritenour has been a guitarist for six decades beginning with session work in the late '60s. It was in the studio with the Mamas and the Papas that he earned the nickname "Captain Fingers." He has garnered 19 Grammy nominations, #1 spots on guitar polls, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Canadian SJ Awards, Alumnus of the Year Award from USC and 35 chart songs from more than 40 releases.

7 p.m., March 21
Since forming in 2012, Alabama-based rock & roll soul band, St. Paul & The Broken Bones has released two albums, toured the world relentlessly, opened for the Rolling Stones, and appeared on Letterman. They have become a must-see performance due in part to frontman Paul Janeway’s fearless showmanship, thoughtful lyrics, and dedication to performance. Janeway is supported by co-band leader Jesse Phillips and a full eight-man roster of the best young instrumentalists in the South. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Today, The University of Arizona-led OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will make its first attempt to gather dust and rocks from the surface of the asteroid Bennu. NASA is currently streaming the operation live. While there isn't a live feed from spacecraft itself (which is millions of miles away), the live stream is providing mission details, interviews with scientists and graphics of the spacecraft's maneuvers.

The sample collection timeline is:  
  • 2:50 p.m.: Checkpoint maneuver, in which OSIRIS-REx adjusts its position and speed to begin descending steeply toward the asteroid's surface.
  • 3:01 p.m.: Matchpoint maneuver, in which the spacecraft slows its descent and targets a path to match the asteroid's rotation.

  • 3:12 p.m.: Touch-And-Go maneuver, in which the spacecraft descends to the surface, touches down for about 10 seconds and fires one of its three pressurized nitrogen bottles. The gas agitates and lifts Bennu's surface material, which is then caught in the spacecraft's collector head. The spacecraft will then fire its thrusters to navigate safely away from the asteroid.

  • 3:30 p.m.: Live broadcast ends.
More information and updates can found on OSIRIS-REx's Twitter.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2020 at 11:52 AM

Moments of carefree, silly joy are more valuable than toilet paper, these days. The Best of Gaslight Fall Revue is chock full of them. While the folks at the Gaslight haven’t been able to hold a show in their indoor theater venue on Broadway Boulevard since March, their drive-up porch concerts throughout the summer were a delight. Order a pizza, a root beer float, or even some alcohol and sing and laugh along to a series of numbers that are almost impossible not to sing and laugh along to. (Bonus: You can also leave your windows rolled up and listen to the show through your radio, if you tune it to the right dial).

As the weather cools down (however slightly) the Gaslight has launched a special fall edition of the show, featuring a series of community favorites from the past 42 year, with an emphasis on spooky numbers and silly costumes. We’re talking the Time Warp, The Monster Mash and I Put a Spell on You, of course, but also fun renditions of tunes like Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Secret Agent Man and Silly Love Songs.

It’s really something special to watch the Gaslight crew perform, because you can tell how much they all love what they do. David Fanning, who has been with the theater for 27 years, now lives in New York. When the pandemic shut down venues across the country, he watched the Gaslight folks begin their porch concert series via Facebook, and missed performing there so much that he came back for a visit. Mike Yarema, who’s been with the theater for over 20 years, treated us to a series of his classic, cringe-inducing jokes (“What do you say about a mummy joke that’s really bad? It sphinx!”) and a variety of numbers—including an enticing performance as Doc Croc from the Gaslight’s show Spider-Guy. Heather Stricker, who started with the theater back in 2000, wears about a million different hats/wigs/outfits in the show, and looks and sounds great in all of them.

Take it from the group of kids in the parking space behind us dancing with ecstatic abandon to “Puttin’ on the Ritz”: If you’re looking for a night of fun, an opportunity to support local art and a delicious slice of pizza, you can get them all in one place at this show.

The Best of Gaslight Fall Revue takes place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday nights through Sunday, Oct. 25. The theater is located at 7010 E Broadway Blvd. Pizza and popcorn packages are available at the time of reservation, and additional menu items are available at the show. You’re welcome to bring chairs and set up outside your car, but be sure to maintain social distancing and wear a mask when interacting with your servers. Bathrooms are available, and will be sanitized after each use. $40 per car.

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