PRIZE-WINNING PERFORMER. Violist Hong-Mei Xiao, winner of the Geneva International Music Competition, returns to the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
Xiao, a UA music professor, debuted with the TSO last year in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Mark Rush.
Tonight, she rejoins the orchestra to share her appealing interpretation of Béla Bartók's Viola Concerto, which she recorded with the Budapest Philharmonic.
Bartók's final work, written in the United States after he had left Hungary, was incomplete at the time of his death in 1945. Reconstructed from the composer's notes by Tibor Serly, the piece premiered in December 1949.
Also slated for the TSO's third concert of the season are Alexander Borodin's paean to Russian history, On the Steppes of Central Asia, and Tchaikovsky's first major symphonic success, Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36.
Concerts begin at 8 tonight and Friday night at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets cost $11 to $35. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 882-8585, or by visiting the box office at 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Also, tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 321-1000.
COMING INTO HER OWN. Among the featured artists for this year's Tucson Harvest Festival is a woman who has been around art all her life.
The late Ted DeGrazia provided her earliest exposure to the creative spirit.
"I was one of those little Indian kids he used to paint," says Sandy Whitefeather, a third-generation Tucsonan and an artisan of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona who now has an international following of her own.
Over the years, Whitefeather has created more than 1,100 individual designs in sculpture and jewelry. Most of her work reflects her Yaqui ancestry, but she also produces contemporary pieces.
"I feel that I am preserving traditions," Whitefeather said.
Her festival display will include figures, tribal lights, nativities, angels, tribal storytellers, Christmas ornaments, pots and Native American-styled costume jewelry.
Whitefeather has exhibited in Fountain Hills and the World Contemporary Art Expo in Los Angeles, where she was one of the few Americans and only Native American to share her work.
At the fourth annual Harvest Festival, Whitefeather will join nearly 200 other artisans showing off their handcrafted items.
In addition to these goods, which range from fudge to soap and clothing to paintings, a stage show featuring local and national entertainment promises to delight shoppers.
The event will be held at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $6.50 adults, $5.50 seniors and $4 children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are free.
MALI TO MADAGASCAR. For the past eight years, vocalists from all over the world have gathered in Lörrach, Germany, for the Stimmen World Voices Festival.
Tonight, the performers just happen to be in the Old Pueblo--part of the festival's first-ever tour of the United States, complete with an international lineup of artists from Mali to Madagascar.
Representing a range of diverse musical cultures and backgrounds, the performers compose and premiere works designed especially for the festival, uniting in one common ground of musical expression.
Featured in the festival are Sudha Ragunathan of India, "Mitsou" Juhacz Miczura of Hungary, Corin Curschellas of Switzerland, Rinde Eckert of the United States, Abdoulaye Diabaté of Mali and Senge of Madagascar. The performers offer a program of their own compositions, accompanied by a range of instruments including talking drums, accordion, guitar and violin.
The festival takes place at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., just east of Park Avenue, at 8 tonight. Tickets cost $16 to $28, with discounts available for children under 18, all students and UA employees. A free "Arts Encounter" will be held 45 minutes before the performance in the lobby of the Arizona State Museum, directly across from the hall. For more information, or for tickets, call 621-3341
MORE, MORE, MORE. Flamenco fans are in for Flamenco y Más--and a whole lot more this weekend.
Local flamenco artist Olivia Rojo and her dance company, Flamenco y Más, are set to rattle the floorboards of the Pima Community College Center for the Arts with their Lluvia Flamenca 2001 music and dance festival.
This concert kicks off the dance company's 10th anniversary season and features an array of international flamenco talents including renowned guitarist-composer Pedro Cortés, singers Julio Gabarre Barrul and El Yiyi, musician Mark Krumich and dancer-choreographer Martín Gaxiola.
Five new dance works are scheduled to premiere as well, including three by Gaxiola.
"I'm very excited that Pedro Cortés is joining us again for our latest Lluvia concerts," said Rojo. "His experience and knowledge about flamenco is invaluable to the show and to the development of the company."
Cortés comes from a family of Spanish gypsy guitarists and began his studies with his father and the esteemed flamenco guitarist Sabicas. Having toured professionally since the age of 17, he is gaining international recognition as a soloist and composer. He has performed and toured with such artists as Jose Greco, Maria Benitez, Estrella Moreno, La Tati, Merche Esmeralda, Manolete and late Lola Flores. He has also been a guest artist with the St. Louis Opera and the New York Grand Opera.
Performances will be held in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road, at 7:30 tonight and Saturday. A 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled for Saturday. Tickets cost $22 adults, $18 seniors and students, and are available at 206-6988; at Hear's Music, 2508 N. Campbell Ave.; or at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. For more information, call 327-2006 and be sure to visit www.baileflamenco.com.
SOUL SHAKIN'. The time has come for the annual All Souls' Procession, a community celebration of life and death.
For 13 years now the parade has been open to the public. Costumed deities, ornate floats, fire-weilding acrobats, life-size puppets and global drums sweep through the streets, gathering hundreds.
This year's parade begins at MUSE (formerly the International Arts Center), 516 N. Fifth Ave., at 8 p.m. The route proceeds south on Fourth Avenue to Congress Street, with a short interlude at the Ronstadt Transit Center, turning north on Church Avenue with another stop at the main library's south lawn and finishing up at the Mat Bevel Institute, 530 N. Stone Ave. The finale includes performances by the nationally acclaimed, locally grown Flam Chen and musical extraordinaires the Molehill Orkestra and Crawdaddy-O.
The parade is open to each and every one of us, so don a mask or costume, climb onto a float or merely tote a picture of someone worthy of honoring in this celebration of life and death. Participation in the procession is free, but there is a suggested donation of $3 for the after-party at Mat Bevel.
For more information call 770-1533 or 622-0192.
BRING THE WHOLE CLAN. Celtic music, Scottish and Irish dancing and singing, swordplay and bagpipers make for an unusual Saturday outing.
The 15th annual Celtic Festival and Scottish Highland Games also offer demonstrations of age-old contests of strength and athletic ability. You can even order your own kilt during this weekend's event at Rillito Downs.
The festival is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the raceway, 4502 N. First Ave. Tickets cost $10 at the gate; children 12 and under get in free with a paid adult. For more information, call 888-1058 or visit www.tucson.com/tcfa.
BENEFIT BLOWOUT. Mike Landwehr, former program director for KXCI, will get by with a little help from his friends.
A concert that includes performances by the Mollys, Teddy Morgan, Tony and the Torpedoes and the Wayback Machine will benefit Landwehr, who has extensive medical bills following recent surgery.
Turn out and show your support during the event from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Donations will be accepted at the door. For more information, call 623-1000, ext. 20, or 690-0991.
STAR FROM AFAR. Although she's performed extensively around the world and taken the stage with Sting and Michael Jackson and even performed at the White House, you may not know who she is.
Find out today as Noa, one of Israel's most famous and beloved contemporary singers, makes her first visit to Tucson. Noa, known in Israel by her given name, Achinoam Nini, is a gifted singer who blends Eastern and Western sounds with her mesmerizing voice.
The event is the first in The Heartbeat of Israel, the 2001-2002 Israeli Cultural Arts Series.
The show begins at 7:30 tonight at UA's Centennial Hall. Tickets are available at the Centennial Hall box office and cost $22 to $34. For tickets and more information, call 621-3341. Tickets and season passes for the 2001-2002 Israeli Cultural Arts Series are available by calling the Israel Center at 299-3000, ext. 191.
NAUGHTY, NICE AND FUN. A jealous wife has a friend write a love letter to her husband from an "unknown lady" and arrange a rendezvous with him at the ill-famed Pussycat Hotel.
A Flea in Her Ear is a zany romp that begins with a woman trying to trap her blamelessly square husband in a nonexistent infidelity. When the wrong people run into each other in the wrong places at the wrong time, the fun begins.
The frantic efforts of characters caught in a seemingly scandalous situation, and attempting to extricate themselves, turns ludicrously funny as everyone tries desperately to maintain a virtuous stance. It's a maze of uproarious misunderstandings over appearances of deplorable naughtiness that are innocent (or nearly so).
Arizona Repertory Theatre's latest work previews at 7:30 tonight. Performances also are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. November 7-10 and 13-17, November 29-December 1 and at 1:30 p.m. November 11, 17-18, and December 2. The shows are at the University of Arizona's Marroney Theatre, at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway Boulevard east of Park Avenue. Tickets cost $11 to $19 and are available through the UA fine arts box office, 621-1162. For more information, call 621-1162 or visit www.arts.arizona.edu/theatre.
BEST OF BRAZIL. The New York Times called Virgínia Rodrigues, a 35-year-old former manicurist, "the new voice of Brazilian music."
Discovered in a local theatrical production in her Brazilian hometown of Bahia, Rodrigues has captivated the world with her celestial alto voice and her chamber-samba style. Her velvet, almost operatic sound has graced concert halls throughout Europe and the United States.
The singer became known in the Brazilian musical world in 1997 through Caetano Veloso, who fell in love with her voice in a production of the Olodum Theater in her hometown. The result of that meeting was her debut album, Sol Negro, which was glowingly received, especially in the United States.
With a voice tailored as much to sophisticated concert halls as to the streets of Bahia, Rodrigues has invited comparisons with such diverse names as Jessie Norman, Cesaria Evora and Clementina de Jesus. Her singing holds the power of someone who has overcome great obstacles on the road to being heard.
In Tucson, Rodrigues' program will feature songs from her latest album, Nós, a tribute to the carnival music of northern Brazil.
Tonight's performance starts at 7:30 at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., just east of Park Avenue. Tickets cost $16 to $28, with discounts available for children under 18, all students and UA employees. A free "Arts Encounter" will be held 45 minutes before the performance in the lobby of the Arizona State Museum, directly across from the hall. For more information, or for tickets, call 621-3341 or visit www.uapresents.arizona.edu.
HAVE A VISION. A five-day horseback journey resulted in Visions of Canyon de Chelley, a collection of paintings of Spider Rock, the White House ruins and sleeping under the stars.
The works of plein-air painters Glenn Dean, Tom Fagan, Joan Marron LaRue, Sparky LeBold, Chuck Mardosz and Darcie Peet are among those on display at El Presidio Gallery.
The artists, under the watchful eye of a Navajo guide, renowned watercolorist Justin Tso, traded city life for a few days of roughing it, enjoying a unique glimpse of the lives and lore of Diné, the Navajo people, who continue to make the spectacular canyon their home.
See what the artists came away with in the exhibition that starts today and runs through November 21 at El Presidio, 3001 E. Skyline Drive. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 733-0388.