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Eating for Better Health

"Everything You Wanted to Know About Tofu but Were Afraid to Ask"
9:30 to 11 a.m., Saturday, July 28
Bookmans, 1930 E. Grant Road
743-0818

Once upon a time, Steve Liu was an electrical engineer. One day, the pressure and stress of the 60-hour-a-week job simply became too much--so he decided to change his life.

He quit his job, moved to San Francisco and began studying acupuncture. He said he was inspired to learn acupuncture from watching his mother, who was a physician, pediatrician and acupuncturist.

"I didn't know how acupuncture worked, but I knew it did work," Liu said. "For years, I watched my mother's patients come out of her sessions feeling great."

He studied under his mother for several years and then moved to Tucson in 2001 to start his own practice--the HanLing Acupuncture Healing Center.

However, he quickly realized few people in Tucson know about acupuncture, so he began giving lectures and seminars on acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

This Saturday, Liu is kicking off a new series of lectures with his seminar "Everything You Wanted to Know About Tofu but Were Afraid to Ask."

Liu said acupuncture is just a modality of Chinese medicine. It is great for healing pain, but for optimal results, it needs to be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes, such as proper eating.

Liu said the seminar is intended to answer questions about tofu he has been hearing for years.

"Tofu is one of the most misunderstood types of foods," Liu said. "People seem to be shy about ordering it, or trying to cook it. But it is a great food; it does need to be cooked properly, though."

During the seminar, Liu said he intends to discuss the history of soybeans, the origins of tofu and various ways to cook it.

The seminar is free of charge. To learn more about the HanLing Acupuncture Healing Center, visit hlahc.com. --S.S.


Opening the Door of Imagination

Magician Rodney Housley
6 p.m., Tuesday, July 31
Desert Diamond Casino, Interstate 19 and Pima Mine Road
(866) 332-9467; www.rodneyhousley.com

Magician Rodney Housley is an entertainer. Through a fusion of magic, suggestion, psychology and misdirection, he says, he baffles his audiences with captivating performances rife with mind-boggling illusions.

A coin that disappears before your eyes, a card in his hand that suddenly becomes the card in your hand, fire out of thin air--these are the tools of his trade.

And he loves it. But for Housley, magic is more than garnering the "ooos" and "ahhs" of the crowd.

"It is my task in life to leave people in a state of wonderment," Housley said. "Because without it, there is no knowledge, no gain, no growth."

Housley said he believes wonderment opens the door to imagination, and that imagination is what makes all other things possible--it is what inspires hope.

Calling magic the oldest true profession, Housley said it was magic that shamans used to dispel hopelessness among their people.

"For example," Housley said, "When a kid would go missing from a village, the people would become distraught and afraid. The shaman would use magic to create a sense of wonder and inspire hope that the child could return."

While Housley concedes that magic these days is viewed as a form of entertainment more than anything else, he contends it still has the ability to function the same way. It is that belief that has motivated Housley to continue learning about, and performing, the art of magic over the years, he said.

"I try to get inside of people's heads and find out what hope they need, and then I cater my illusions to their needs," Housley said.

You can watch him perform free of charge Tuesday at Desert Diamond Casino. --S.S.


Honoring Tucson's Heritage

Second Annual Viva Arizona! Workshops and Concert
Workshops: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday-Friday, Aug. 1-3
UA Music Building, 1017 N. Olive Road
Concert: 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4
UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.
vivaazworkshops.com

The dancers and musicians of Viva Performing Arts Center are celebrating the history of Tucson a little early this year, with a concert honoring Hispanic culture and music.

"We're presenting the history of Tucson with a twist--we're adding Hispanic music," said Julie Gallego, director of the Viva Arizona! concert and conference.

The concert, "Viva Arizona! 100 years of Hispanic Music Memories," will feature performances by Trio Los Hermanos Perez, Olga Flores, the Viva Arizona! Dancers, Mariachi Plata de Las Vegas and Sangre Caliente.

Gallego said the concert will present the history of Tucson since the 1700s and will pay special tribute to the last 100 years, highlighting music and performers from each decade.

"They'll be in their zoot suits, swinging and ready to rock 'n' roll," Gallego said of the big-band era portion of the concert. "Each year, we try to make the show a little different, with different numbers and different costumes," she said. "It's kind of like a Vegas show."

Gallego said the show will also pay tribute to Hispanic musicians who've made it big, such as Richie Valens and Carlos Santana.

The concert is part of a conference that begins Aug. 1 with workshops and classes held at the UA's School of Music. The workshops will include dance instruction in flamenco, salsa, folklorico and hip hop, as well as music lessons in mariachi, Tejano and marimba, plus voice lessons.

For more information about the Viva Arizona! workshops, contact Gallego at 544-9543, or visit www.vivaazworkshops.com.

Tickets to the concert are $15 to $25 and are available through UApresents at 621-3341. --T.M


A Night of Jazz

Free Outdoor Concert with Crystal Stark
7 p.m., Saturday, July 28
Dove of Peace Lutheran Church, 665 W. Roller Coaster Road
887-5127

Most everyone likes to sit outside and listen to the sounds of the desert in the summertime.

But this Saturday, the sounds are going to be a little different around the Dove of Peace Lutheran Church--a little more jazzy, you might say.

That's because the church is hosting Jazz Under the Stars, a yearly outdoor concert that the church holds in the summertime.

A church probably isn't the place you'd expect to find a free summertime jazz concert each year. Though the concert isn't a church event, the music and arts program is a part of its ministry, said Eric Holton, music director for Dove of Peace.

"We're committed to the arts," Holton said, "certainly in our own services, but also as a service to the community."

This year's show features former American Idol contestant and UA graduate Crystal Stark.

Since appearing on American Idol in the show's fifth season, Stark has performed local gigs and is now the music director of Real Life Christian Fellowship Church.

She said she's learned a lot since her American Idol days and since going on the road with fellow American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee.

"It was definitely an experience," Stark said. "There's lots of hard work and drama. I learned a lot about how cutthroat the business is, and that American Idol is a TV show first and a competition second."

The church also holds four wintertime concerts featuring classical music, and the church opened an art gallery last year. Holton said the reason the church showcases jazz during the summer instead of classical music is that jazz casts "a wider net" and is more likely to be enjoyed by the entire family.

If it looks like rain, the show will be moved indoors, and refreshments will be provided. The show is free, but donations will be accepted. --T.M.

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