GLOBAL CHORDS. East meets Southwest when the Hong Kong Children's Singers appear in Tucson.
Internationally renowned for high-quality and superbly trained warblers, the choir is considered Hong Kong's cultural ambassador. The group was founded in 1983 by Dr. Yip Wai-Hong, and was formerly known as Yip's Children's Choir. It consists of some 800 members ranging in age from 4 to 17, with a 55-member touring ensemble. Their repertoire ranges from the Renaissance to modern periods, and includes religious works, art songs and folk music from across the planet.
The choir has made no fewer than 19 recordings, and was the only children's group invited to take part in the hand-over ceremony of Hong Kong to China in 1997. During the ceremony, 300 members of the chorus performed with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Now they arrive in Tucson en route to the Festival of the Americas in South America. Their visit here is hosted by the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus.
The free concert is 7:30 p.m. in the Catalina Foothills Church, 2150 E. Orange Grove Road. Call 296-6277 for details.
RIDING HIGH: Ride into the maw of the beast and return unscathed, as another Community Bike Ride rolls into gear.
These lighthearted junkets make a deadly serious point: There's no future in gridlock, and the air-poisoning use of fossil fuel. Or as one bikey puts it, "You can build new roads until you're blue in the face--literally--and there will always be more cars to clog 'em. Where's the future in that?"
Join the informal fun on the last Friday of each month. Riders meet at 4:30 p.m. in the Time Market parking lot, 444 E. University Blvd. Call 792-1334 for details.
HOUSE BAND. Fast-hitting Irish music takes center stage with Round the House.
Guaranteed to keep your toes tapping, the band performs instrumental arrangements of Irish jigs and reels. Hornpipes are added to the flurry, lending sweet sentiment to love songs and ballads, and a rollicking spirit to rowdy--occasionally bawdy--sing-alongs. Round the House includes a variety of acoustic instruments, from a mandolin and bouzouki to banjo, fiddle, guitar and the Irish drum called a bodhran.
The band plays from 8 to 11 p.m. in Montgomery's Irish Pub, 9155 E. Tanque Verde Road. Admission is free. Call 298-3014 for details.
THE BEAT ROLLS ON. Enjoy charming summer soirées with fine jazz every Saturday night at Ric's Cafe.
The venerable east side eatery dishes up meaty music with a rotating roster of local improv talents. Tonight you can catch the lush vocals of Susan Artemis, covering a smorgasbord of contemporary tunes.
She'll perform from 8 to 11 p.m. in Ric's Cafe, 5605 E. River Road. Admission is free. For information, call 577-7272.
TIKES' TEE-OFF. Pull on your best plaid and head out to Funtaskicks Family Fun Park for a mini-golf tournament benefiting the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.
Along with high-powered putting, the festivities will include animal adoptions and contests, including the "Palmer the Golf Club," which entails balancing a club in the palm of your hand; the "Silver Spoon Golf Ball Race," where kids traverse an obstacle course holding a golf ball in a spoon. There will also be a "Not-a-Hole-in-One" putting contest and the miniature golf tourney itself. Proceeds will be earmarked for the Humane Society's educational and children's programs.
Tee time is 11 a.m. at Funtasticks, 221 E. Wetmore Road. Registration is $7. Pre-registration is available at the Humane Society, 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. For details, call 321-3704.
LATIN BLAST. Sizzling Spanish guitar laces spicy Latin percussion in a performance by the legendary Cerro Negro.
The band's flamenco rumba rhythms are flavored by everything from world beat to contemporary jazz, with plenty of gypsy stylings added to the mix. "People hear 'flamenco,' and they think of something ethereal," says guitarist Frank Giordano. "We show them that it's not. It's a likable, easily accessible form of music, the blues of Spain."
Although they play other musical styles as well, Giordano, fellow guitarist Shane Gonzalez and percussionist/vocalist John Martin are flamenco traditionalists who use timeless hand techniques rather than picks. Martin rounds out the sound with the cajon, a Flamenco drum that doubles as a stool. He also plays the Senegalese djembe drum, and Latin congas, shakers and castanets.
Cerro Negro's flamenco rumba rhythms "jazz up the blues of Spain" at 8 p.m. in the Plaza Palomino, on the southeast corner of Fort Lowell and Swan Roads. Advance tickets for the all-weather concert are $14, and are available at Hear's Music, The Folk Shop, Antigone Books, Brew and Vine and Enchanted Earthworks. Tickets are $16 at the door. For information, call 297-9133.
VOLUMES OF VISION. The Tucson-Pima Library celebrates chaps from down south with Vatos: A Photographic Tribute to the Latino Male.
Roughly translated, vatos means "guys" in Spanish. In this show, two of those guys--Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer José Galvez and acclaimed writer Luis Alberto Urrea (a winner of the American Book Award)--have collaborated on this tribute to Latin men everywhere.
In the exhibit, Urrea's poem, "Hymn to All the Vatos Who Will Never Be in a Poem," accompanies Galvez's photographs, presenting vatos in straightforward, honest portraits of migrant workers toiling for a better life, homeboys in the barrio, grandpas, uncles, veterans and others.
Galvez is internationally known for his arresting black and white photography. His work has shown in galleries and museums across the United States and abroad. Throughout 30 years of experience, his subjects have ranged from celebrities to gang members, demonstrations to baptisms, all aimed at capturing Latino culture and preserving the essence of Chicano heritage.
Vatos: A Photographic Tribute to the Latino Male, runs through August in the Tucson-Pima Main Library Gallery, 101 N. Stone Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 791-4391 for information.
FIGURATIVE FANCY. Anyone who owns a rugrat or two knows that some of the best illustration to be found appears in the pages of children's books. Now Tohono Chul Park celebrates that fact with the Arizona Storybook Art Exhibit.
Working with a variety of media, from oil paints and watercolors to folded paper, ink, gouache and pastels, these artists create visual images that complement the books' written texts. Once considered merely supplemental to the text, the illustrations are now recognized for their power to express a quality of meaning words alone are sometimes unable to convey.
Fortunately for us, many of the best illustrators live in Arizona. Even better, 10 of them are featured in this show. The exhibit includes art work by Lynne Cravath, Sylvia Long, UA art professor Katalin Ehling, David Christiana, Red Wing Nez, Shonto Begay, Julia Miner and Baje Whitethorne. Also included are three-dimensional pop-ups by Paul MIrocha and Rhod Lauffer. Several of the artists' books are available in the gift shop.
The Arizona Storybook Art Exhibit runs through September 24 in the Tohono Chul Park Exhibit Hall, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. Gallery hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4, $2 for members. Call 742-6455 for details.
LONG FOOTSTEPS. Take a far-reaching step back in time at the Arizona State Museum's Paths of Life exhibit.
Hailed by the National Endowment of the Arts as "ground-breaking exhibition that provides a national model for exhibitions on Native American history and ethnography," it depicts Indian cultures as living societies rather than dusty anachronisms, and vividly captures their struggle to protect ancient traditions from a split-second world.
For example, one photo depicts the Tohono O'odham yucca harvest, while another describes the O'odhams' recent battle for water rights. East central-Arizona Apaches are shown in traditional villages, and at their Sunrise Ski Lodge. A vibrant mural captures the Yaqui creation myth, followed by a photo of Tucson's New Pascua Village.
These tightly-woven stories are told from both indigenous and Anglo perspectives, and Indian help was sought from the beginning. The deep level of participation by indigenous folks helps make Paths unique among permanent United States exhibits.
"We wanted their views on their religions, history and lives today," says curator Bruce Hilpert. "And we tried to break stereotypes."
A short orientation discusses this intent, and offers some background about the tribes. Well-lighted hallways then lead first to the Seris, whose homeland stretches along the arid eastern coast of Baja California. Pictures show tribal members fishing and preparing food, while religious objects note their complex blend of Catholic and pagan rituals.
Further along, you'll see life-size Yaqui deer dancers, fashioned by Yaquis themselves and modeled after authentic participants, many of whom donated their personal clothing and ornaments. An adjacent video shows the dance being taught to younger generations.
That's just the beginning, in a stunning display that takes you along cultural trails you've probably never traveled in such detail.
Paths of Life is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, in the museum, on the UA campus inside the main gate east of Park Avenue. Admission is free. For information, call 621-6302.
THE BIG CHILL. The Cold War affected generations of Americans, and the shape of global politics. Now the Arizona Historical Society takes a look at Tucson's role in that epic struggle with the Cold War and Hot Politics in the Old Pueblo lecture series, running every Wednesday evening through August 23.
Today, Dr. David Stumpf of the UA addresses the question Was Tucson Expendable During the Cold War? Stumph is an expert on the Titan II missile systems installed around the Tucson basin in the early 1960s. He'll explain their importance to the national defense and local economy, and discuss the reactions of Tucson residents to having the silos placed in their back yard.
The lecture runs from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Arizona Historical Society Museum, 949 E. Second St. Admission is $6, $5 for AHS members and $3 for students. For information, call 628-5774.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Fine art, tasty delectables and Tucson's savviest shoppers meet every week at the topnotch Downtown Farmer's Market.
Three-quarters art, one-quarter fine produce, sauces and other savories, the Old Pueblo's "original" market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday on the south lawn of the Tucson-Pima Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Call 326-7810 for details.