I have to give big props to staff reporter Danyelle Khmara, who coordinated this issue's extensive package on the Tucson Hip Hop Festival, which takes place this weekend. Danyelle meets with Native American students who will be traveling from Sells to Tucson to photograph the festival, thanks to a determined teacher; staff reporter Jeff Gardner talks to Alex Nava, a UA professor of religious studies who teaches a course on hip hop; our unpaid interns, Melissa Vasquez and Brianna Lewis, catch up with young and aspiring hip hop artists and break dancers; and longtime contributor Eric Swedlund profiles Marco Oliva, better known as Marcoso, a Tucsonan who creates artwork for hip hop album covers, T-shirts, music videos and more.
Over in Tucson Salvage, Brian Smith brings us the story of Jack Martin, who runs Jack's Gov't Surplus Trucks out near where Drexel Road intersects with I-10. As usual, it's a compelling look at a side of Tucson that doesn't often get a spotlight. Brian, by the way, will be reading from his acclaimed collection of short stories, Spent Saints, on Saturday night at downtown's Galactic Center, 35 E. Toole Ave. He'll will be joined by Tucson songwriter Billy Sedlmayr, prominent poet Cal Freeman (in from Detroit), Pima College's own Maggie Go, and rising Tucson street poet Isaac Kirkman. You'll also get to see the short films based on Brian's book and hear his brother, Barry, play some wicked riffs on his electric violin. It's gonna be a fun night, so go get a little literary culture in your life, OK?
Elsewhere in the book: Calendar editor Emily Dieckman learns about how the Fiesta de los Vaqueros is fighting breast cancer through the Chicks n Chaps program; Jeff Gardner looks at how the UA is part of a team trying to snap the first photo of a black hole; movie critic Bob Grimm says Marvel has another hit on its hands with Black Panther; arts writer Margaret Regan says the latest show at downtown's Etherton Gallery is a must-see; food writer Mark Whittaker tastes what's up at a revamped sports bar on Tucson's east side; and there's a whole bunch more, including our many guides to fun this week: City Week, Quick Bites, Reel Indie, Nightcrawler and XOXO....
Thanks for reading and we'll see you next time!
The televised edition of Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel airs 6:30 p.m. Fridays on the Creative Tucson network, Cox Channel 20 and Xfinity Channel 74. The TV show repeats Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. The radio edition of Zona Politics airs at 5 p.m. Sundays on community radio KXCI, 91.3 FM. Nintzel also makes a weekly appearance on The Frank Show on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. on KLPX, 96.1 KLPX.