OLD-TIME TUNES. Lucky for us Wade and Julia Mainer found out how nice Southwestern winters are compared to those frigid Michigan days this time of year. Jim Griffith of the Southwest Folklore Center says you're in for a real exciting event, with a chance to hear the best "of a world that doesn't really exist anymore." Wade is an old-time "Carolina two-finger style banjo picker and ballad singer" who first played mountain music professionally in the 1930s and recorded extensively until he moved to Michigan to work for General Motors in the '50s, about the same time Julia took time off from her mountain and gospel singing to raise their family.
They were nudged back into recording and performing in the '60s and still give a few concerts. Wade, who was born in North Carolina in 1907, is also a recipient of the NEA's National Heritage Award, and many of his early recordings have been reissued.
The Mainers present their free concert at 8 tonight at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. The Stellar J's will open the show. For more information call 621-3392.
AUDIO BENEFIT BLAST. The Center for the Audio Arts got up and running in January, and Executive Director David Barber says with the way things are changing in audio these days, there's mucho opportunity out there. The Center, currently operating out of a big, old ranch house near the Mission, is a support group for independent radio producers. Barber says they're particularly interested in getting "at-risk kids excited about audio," which they do with a variety of workshops and presentations.
Tonight's benefit performance and auction will feature Jim Easterbrook, a singer, storyteller and poet you may know from KXCI, performing a one-man play, and cowboy poet Jon Richens, who might just sing you a song. The auction is filled with good stuff like signed copies of Larry McMurtry's Texasville, some framed western maps and art work.
Tonight's benefit is at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., and a $7 donation at the door gets you in. For advance reservations or information on the Center call 620-6774.
DANCE, DANCE, DANCE. Look to the UA's dance faculty at 8 tonight and tomorrow night for this week's good-time dance event. The annual concert at Centennial Hall will feature the exciting "Steeplechase," choreographed by Jory Hancock, in which dancers take on the athletic stance of both the rider and the animals in a steeplechase racing event, named, by the way, because church steeples were originally what the riders were heading for. Hancock's piece was a favorite at the 1990 American College Dance Festival Competition.
Award-winning Chicago choreographer Randy Duncan presents his African-influenced "Women's Work," about the roles of women in society; it features six women and an original score by Tommy Mother. Melissa Lowe's "Mountain Songs" and Nina Janik's "Jaguar Heart" are all on tonight's program, which includes John Wilson's, "La Noche," a work inspired by the rhythms of medieval Spain.
Centennial Hall is just inside the Main Gate at Park Avenue and University Boulevard. Tickets are $10, $7 for students and seniors and are available at Dillard's or by calling the box office at 621-3341.
ARIZONA ON PAPER. Here's an exhibit of art work by local artists who spent a good deal of last year in the Slovak Republic in Central Europe, thanks to a cultural exchange program between the University of Arizona Museum of Art and the Galéria mesta Bratislavy in Bratislava.
Arizona On Paper, on display through March 23 at the UAMA, includes work by such well-known local artists as Jim Waid, Nancy Tokar Miller and David Andres. Waid has some black-and-white acrylic work that draws on the desert environment, while Tokar Miller's paintings were inspired by trips to Japan and the Yucatan.
An opening reception with the artists will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today at the museum located at Speedway and Park Avenue. Regular museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 621-7567.
NO WAYS TIRED. Gobbling up gospel music is what we're doing, according to music charts we've scouted; looks like either we like the inspiration, the camaraderie or the out-thereness of it all.
Celebrating Black History Month, the local chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America will pay tribute to influential gospel composer Reverend James Cleveland tonight at 7:30 in the Proscenium Theatre at Pima Community College's Center for the Arts. GMWA is a national group promoting talented gospel singers while spreading the history of this early form of spiritual music. Tonight's "No Ways Tired Memorial Concert" will feature songs from Cleveland's legendary music.
Tickets are $8, $5 for students and seniors, and are available at the door, through Dillard's and by calling 884-6458. The Center for the Arts is at 2202 W. Anklam Road.
NAVAJO DANCE AND LECTURES. At the Arizona State Museum, just inside the UA Main Gate entrance at Park Avenue and University Boulevard, you will find the Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest exhibit with new Apache, Navajo and Hopi sections now open.
Using both the arts and the humanities, the museum, along with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Arizona Humanities Council, want to let you in on Understanding Cultures Through Art: Those Who Pass On the Traditions, a series of lectures and dances to explore the American Indians represented in the new exhibit.
At 1 p.m. today the Tse-Ho-Tso Dancers from Fort Defiance, a group of about 24 children, will perform on the front lawn of the museum. Navajos Clarenda Begay and David Yazzie will address the historical and cultural value of dance for the Navajo.
See the exhibit and dancers and hear the lectures all for free. Good outing. If it rains, head next door to the Center for English as a Second Language. Call 621-6302 for more information.
PROJECT CHOKI BIRTHDAY. Musicians and composers R. Carlos Nakai and Chuck Koesters help celebrate Project Choki's 14th birthday today with a benefit concert for the arts-education project working to preserve the indigenous art of Old Pascua Yaqui Village. This is another benefit performance by the generous Nakai, who is a well-known cedar flute player.
Get up to St. Philip's in the Hills, River Road and Campbell Avenue, early if you want good seats for this one. The concert begins at 2:45 p.m. The Murphey Gallery will open at 2 p.m. and will feature exhibits by Project Choki as well as art work for sale by the Old Pasqua Youth Artists. Signed tapes and CDs will be available for purchase after the concert. Non-reserved tickets are $12 and are available at Bahti Indian Arts, Rainbow Moods Bookstore and Huntington Trading Company, or they're $15 at the door. Children can attend by donation. $35 reserved tickets with $15 companion ticket are available by calling 323-0185.
IMMIGRATION LECTURE. In case you haven't noticed, the feds are trying to shut our borders down in a big way; and as semi-surprised as we all were that Proposition 187 passed in California, you can see the movement in our state with the new border strength and hype for border crossing fees.
Beginning at 6:30 tonight, Chicano rights activist Roberto Martinez will discuss Immigration Issues in California: Before and After Proposition 187 at the Pima Friends Meeting House, 931 N. Fifth Ave. Betsy Self, of the American Friends Service Committee, says Martinez, director of the U.S./Mexico border program for the AFSC in San Diego, is well-versed in horror stories concerning undocumented people since the passage of Prop. 187. Self says his talk will be guided by questions from the audience. The event is free and refreshments will be served. For more information call 623-9141.
FLUSH LIMBAUGH. Although rabid radio raw jaw Rush Limbaugh proclaims himself to be "the most dangerous man in America," we're hard-pressed to term him much more than the true beginning of the "Dumbing of America." But we can't ignore that he's got Wild Bill Clinton all worked up and actually sees himself as the man who brought health care reform to a screeching halt.
In tonight's Frontline documentary on KUAT Channel 6 at 9 p.m., hear a Republican Party honcho call him an "important figure in the party and more broadly in the movement." And if that's not enough to make you puke, get this--his mother (Limbaugh has a mother?) will feed you homespun wisdom like "he gets sense from his father and his nonsense from me." Sweet, ain't it? This show may rival the Addam's Family if we're lucky. Rush Limbaugh's America is actually airing at a strategic time--if tonight's PBS documentary sucks up enough to the conservative flap jock, it might keep the Corporation for Public Broadcasting alive another year. One can always hope.
HOAGLAND READS. Sweet Ruin, Tony Hoagland's award-winning book of poetry, is a travelogue around the human backbone, usually grazing the heart--but the uncalm trip is strangely inviting, with words you want to deliver and repeat:
A chair that scrapes.
The cricket, like a small appliance
singing. The air of every room
so ponderously still. I can tell
that it is not too late.
And then I think this ordinariness
will crush me in its fist.
And then I wish it would.
Hoagland, who has been published widely and was included in the anthology New American Poets of the '90s, received his MFA from the UA's Creative Writing Department. He's a great reader, as you'll find out when you hear him read from his work at 8 tonight in the Modern Languages Auditorium on the UA campus. The reading is free and easy. For more information call 321-7760.
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