Zócalo Magazine - January 2020

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DogLix Designs Studio K

Father and Son Metal Custom Metalworking Phone: 520.204.6104 www.doglix.com Ev@doglix.com

3230 N. Dodge Boulevard • Tucson, Arizona In the Ft. Lowell Furniture and Arts District MetalArtsVillage.com

N Ft. Lowell


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• Jan • Feb • Mar • Apr

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inside January 2020

06. Business 09. Events 16. Arts 20. Sky Islands 23. Art Trails Open Studios 29. Drink 31. Books 35. Performances 37. Art Galleries & Exhibits 40. Tunes

ON THE COVER: Above The Lines, painting by Lisa Kanouse. See more of Lisa’s work at www.LisaKanouse.com

Zócalo Magazine is an independent, locally owned and locally printed publication that reflects the heart and soul of Tucson.

PUBLISHER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR David Olsen EDITOR Gregory McNamee, editor@zocalotucson.com CONTRIBUTORS Jim Lipson, Jamie Manser, Gregory McNamee, Janelle Montenegro, Jennifer Powers, Amanda Reed, Tom Zoellner. LISTINGS Amanda Reed, amanda@z´óocalomagazine.com

CONTACT US: frontdesk@zocalotucson.com P.O. Box 1171, Tucson, AZ 85702-1171

SUBSCRIBE to Zocalo at www.zocalomagazine.com/subscriptions. Zocalo is available free of charge at newsstands in Tucson, limited to one copy per reader. Zocalo may only be distributed by the magazine’s authorized independent contractors. No person may, without prior written permission of the publisher, take more than one copy of each issue. The entire contents of Zocalo Magazine are copyright © 2009-2020 by Media Zoócalo, LLC. Reproduction of any material in this or any other issue is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Zocalo is published 11 times per year.

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Z business

Kaelen Johnson Organic skin care expert turns passion into successful businesses by Jennifer Powers

IN THE LATE 1980s, Kaelen Harwell Johnson heard about an opening at Canyon Ranch from a friend. She landed the job and worked at the world-renowned spa for four years as an herbal therapist before deciding to make a change to accommodate her young son. “Once he started school, I wanted to have more flexibility in the evenings,” she says. “I contemplated massage therapy, but even in the early ’90s I was very interested in natural products, so I decided to go to school for aesthetics where I could learn about skin care.” After she graduated from cosmetology school, Kaelen’s passion for skin care continued to grow, ultimately inspiring her to fill a niche in the Tucson market. “I had been working in the industry for about 15 years when it dawned on me that Tucson needed a school that was less focused on cosmetology and geared more to aesthetics.” Kaelen embraced the idea of owning and operating a school, despite the fact she did not have a business background. Pure Aesthetics, dedicated to instructing students in basic skills and the latest methods in a spa-like setting, opened on East Fifth Street in 2006. “Accreditation is a lot of work but it was important for me to obtain it so my students would have the ability to be eligible for student loans,” she says. “It also holds you to high standards, which is important to me.” The natural world has always been a source of inspiration and fascination for Kaelen. Her mother, an ardent birder and outdoorswoman, imbued her daughter with an appreciation for flora and fauna early in life. Johnson aspired to provide her students with natural, effective skin care products using organic, sustainable ingredients whenever possible. In 2016, she launched her own line, Kaelen Harwell Organic Skin Care Products. “I started my own skin care line initially for the students to use at the school, but clients started asking if they could purchase them,” she says. “Such a large component of being an aesthetician is educating your clients and making product recommendations. When students get comfortable with selling products in school, they can make a tremendous difference in their bottom line once they’re out in the real world.” 6 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com|January 2020

The last three years have been particularly busy for this creative Tucson businesswoman. After her product launch, Kaelen moved Pure Aesthetics to a larger location at 2850 E. Speedway, near Country Club, then fulfilled her dream of opening her own spa, Kaelen Harwell Organic Day Spa, located at the lobby of the AC Hotel at 30 S. 5th Avenue in downtown Tucson. Johnson used a lot of local talent when she opened her spa. The floor plan was designed by HK Associates, with whom she had previously worked on the Speedway location of Pure Aesthetics. “They do beautiful work,” she says. “I picked out the color scheme and design for the interior myself. The windows are tinted so I thought a copper color would be a nice contrast. Also, since we’re the copper state it seemed apropos. I bought a lot of my materials from Natasha at Originate, and Cipriana Salazar of Lone Ant Design created my pieces. In fact, she’s currently building a custom pedicure station for us. Johanna Martinez beautifully hand-painted my logo as well as a different botanical on the wall of each of the treatment rooms. I also have a collection of fine art by Carrie Seid hanging on our lobby walls.” Her spa carries items for sale by several local makers. “Tucson is blessed to have so much wonderful talent,” she says. “We have handmade earrings by Tasha Bundy and Sofie Albertsen-Gelb from MAST, earrings by Lauren Valenzuela of Sigfus, and necklaces and bracelets by Alisa Lindberg. We also sell greeting cards in our gift shop all from local illustrators.” Kaelen’s role models include the founder of Bliss Spa, Marcia Kilgore, with whom she did an apprenticeship in New York City in 2001, and green beauty expert Kristen Arnett. She is especially moved by environmental activist Greta Thunberg. “Her bravery and insight are remarkable for someone of her age,” she says. Kaelen enjoys live music, local restaurants, and hiking in what little spare time she has. “It’s funny,” she says, “because once you have the entrepreneur bug, it’s hard to turn off.” n

photo: Stephen Thomas Yeakley

January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 7

events Z


Zoppe Family Circus returns to Mercado San Agustin Friday, January 10 through Sunday, January 26.


Launch the new year by playing a board game with friends or family! Tables will be stocked with board games and games will be available to purchase in the gift shop. 9am to 5pm. Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E University Blvd. 520-6214516. www.Flandrau.org

FRI 3 – SUN 5 ARIZONA STATE HOME SHOW See what’s new and exciting in home improvement, decorating, and design. General admission $8, kids 16 and under are free. Active military are free and seniors (62+) are free on Friday. Hours: Fri 10am-5pm; Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 10am4pm. Tucson Convention Center, 260 South Church Ave. 1-800-745-3000. www.TucsonConventionCenter.com

SUN 6 – SUN 20 TUCSON INTERNATIONAL JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL Promoting independent, international film that celebrates Jewish culture and cultural diversity at one of the longest running Jewish film festivals in the country! Tickets and passes: $9-$125. Multiple locations. 520-299-3000. For tickets and schedule visit: www. TIJFF.org

MON 6 THROUGH FEB 1 TUCSON SENIOR OLYMPIC FESTIVAL Events include archery, badminton, basketball, billiards, bocce, bowling, golf, powerlifting, swimming, track and field, and more throughout the month. Kickoff event is January 10 from 1pm to 3pm with raffle prizes, giveaways, and live entertainment. Morris K. Udall Regional Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd. 520-791-4931. www. TucsonAZ.gov


An unjuried, uncensored performing arts festival providing avantgarde non traditional performing arts at low ticket prices. Tickets starting at $10. Venues, schedules and tickets available at: www.TucsonFringe.org


Experience world class jazz musicians at this destination for jazz fans across the country! For performance schedules, tickets and more visit: www.TucsonJazzFestival.org

FRI 10 - SUN 26 ZOPPE FAMILY CIRCUS Enter the Big Top to experience the magic of this Italian circus, featuring acrobatic acts, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, friendly clowning and many acts with Old World charm. Tickets: $20-$40. Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento. 520-622-2002. www.Zoppe.net


TOGETHER WE MOVE A community wide event commemorating the anniversary of January 8 by encouraging Arizonans to come together with fun physical activities for every age group! Events range from “Walk with a Doc” to “Discover Petroglyphs in the Tortoitas” to “Stroll and Roll” to “Kindness Cook-Off” and many more. See all events and more information at www.Beyond-Tucson.org 2ND SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN

A free, family friendly urban block party! Winter hours: 2pm to 9pm. Performances, vendors, food trucks, and more. Free family friendly movie at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. Downtown Tucson. www.2ndSaturdaysDowntown.com


Held the second Sunday of each month, this open-air market features 35+ vendors selling antique, vintage, and all sorts of used and collectible items. 8 am to 2pm. Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento. 520-461-1107. www. MercadoDistrict.com


A multi-weekend blend of glorious singing celebrating the American voice, with a gathering of worldrenowned classical singers exploring the colors, rhythms, and melodies of America’s rich and complex musical character. 1-888-546-3305. www. TucsonDesertSongFestival.org

FRI 17 - SUN 19 WINGS OVER WILCOX Experience winged winter migrants along with other local wildlife in the Sky Islands with hikes, tours, seminars and keynote speakers. Willcox Community Center, 312 W. Stewart St. 520-384-2874. www.WingsOverWilcox.com


Experience the 1930s at the Dillinger Speakeasy, an exclusive night of whiskey tasting, appetizers wit ha carving station, a gun trick show and era related entertainment. Tickets $45 in advance. On Sunday witness the re-enactment of John Dillinger’s downfall at the hands of Tucson law enforcement, famously known for succeeding with Dillinger’s arrest when the FBI couldn’t. Reenactments at 11am, 1:15pm and 3:30pm, along with a vintage car show, historic lectures, walking tours of downtown and a Local First Arizona Roadshow featuring local vendors. 10am to 5pm. Hotel Congress, 311 East Congress Street. 520-6228848. www.HotelCongress.com

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Historic & Unusual Homes TIM HAGYARD (520) 241-3123 • tim@timhagyard.com • timhagyard.com

events Z

Left: And Then She Arrived, romantic comedy, narrative, plays Wednesday, January 15 at 5pm. Below: Who Will Write Our History, documentary, play Friday, January 17.

SUN 6 – SUN 20 TUCSON INTERNATIONAL JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL Promoting independent, international film that celebrates Jewish culture and cultural diversity at one of the longest running Jewish film festivals in the country! Tickets and passes: $9-$125. Multiple locations. 520-299-3000. For tickets and schedule visit: www.TIJFF.org

SAT 18 & SUN 19



MINERAL MADNESS Shop for mineral and fossil



treasures at rock bottom prices and enjoy fun hands on activities for families all around the museum! Bring in a rock from your own collection and the museum’s curator will examine it and tell you what it is, how it was formed and what makes it special. Rock readings from 1pm to 3pm. Mineral madness is 10am to 4pm. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Rd. 520-883-2702. www.DesertMuseum.org

SAT 25 CHINESE NEW YEAR Celebrate the year of the rat with authentic Chinese foods, arts, crafts for sale and games for kids. 11am to 3pm. $5 adults, kids 12 and under are free. Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd. 520-292-6900. www.TucsonChinese.org

FRI 31 – SUN 2 GEM & JAM FESTIVAL With workshops, visual artists painting live, and dancers, this festival brings art and music to life with prominent international and national touring electronic acts. See website for lineup and ticket information. Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Rd. www.GemandJamFestival.com

FEB 1 – FEB 16 TUCSON GEM, MINERAL & FOSSIL SHOWCASE A not to be missed experience of Earth’s gem and mineral wonders on display at various venues across the city. For maps and more information visit: TucsonGemShowapp.com


Southern Arizona Roadrunners’ Monday evening, non-competitive, social 3-mile run/walk, that begins and ends downtown at Hotel Congress, rain/shine/holidays included! Free. Check in suggested from 5:15pm to 6:00pm. Closing ceremony at 7:00pm. Maynards Market, 400 N. Toole. 520-991-0733. MeetMeAtMaynards.com


Stretch and sweat under the stars every Tuesday night on the rooftop of Playground. All levels welcome. Drink and food specials offered to attendees. $6. Bring your own mat. 7pm. Playground Bar & Lounge Rooftop, 278 E. Congress St. YogaOasis.com/Rooftop-Yoga

Every first Saturday kids can explore instruments and dance with their family. Oro Valley Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Canada Drive, Oro Valley. www.OroValleyAZ.gov

SUNDAYS 5 POINTS FARMERS MARKET Every Sunday at Cesar Chavez Park. 10am to 2pm. 756 S. Stone Ave.


Find veggies, citrus, fresh eggs, pasta, coffee, locally made soaps and a variety of goods at this open-air market. Open every Sunday from 9am to 1pm (Oct. – Mar.) and 8am to Noon (Apr. – Sep.) at the Rillito Park Race Track, 4502 N. 1st Ave. HeirloomFM.org

THURSDAYS SANTA CRUZ RIVER FARMERS MARKET Locally grown foods and goods with live music. 4-7pm. Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida Del Convento. MercadoSanAgustin.com

FREE FIRST THURSDAYS On the first Thursday


of every month the museum is open late with free admission from 5-8pm, featuring special performances, live music, lectures, cash bar, and food trucks. For more information see website. Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Avenue. 520-624-2333. TucsonMuseumofArt.org

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events Z


Raúl H. Castro

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 6:00-8:00 P.M.




Raúl H. Castro’s life is the stuff that Hollywood movies are made of. His story of persistence is one that should be told—and often. To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, The Life and Legacy of Raúl H. Castro, Special Collections presents a panel discussion about his life and career. Panelists include: Castro’s daughter, Beth Castro; nephew, Ignacio “Nacho” Castro; former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini, Castro’s chief of staff when he served as governor; James Garcia, a journalist and playwright who has written a play, American Dreamer, about Castro; and Derek Arnson, former Nogales, Arizona, police chief and friend of the Castro family. A reception sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences follows. Location: University of Arizona Campus, University of Arizona Main Library, Special Collections, 1510 E University Blvd, Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 6pm. Doors open at 5:30pm. Information: https://new.library.arizona.edu/events

District attorney. Judge. Governor. United States ambassador. The storied and welldocumented life of Raúl H. Castro (1916-2015), Arizona’s first and only Mexican American governor, unfolds throughout four decades of public service. Born in Mexico to an impoverished family, Castro worked tirelessly to rise above hurdles and cultural barriers. After graduating from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, he became a community leader and eventually an inspiration for a generation of Arizonans, including Mexican Americans and immigrant families. Castro’s advocacy for education, improving foreign relations in Latin America, immigration, equity in medical care, eliminating land fraud and ending sexual and racial discrimination in the workplace was ahead of its time. This exhibit about his life and impact showcases original photographs, documents and ephemera from The Raúl H. Castro Papers housed in the University Libraries Special Collections, the Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library, the Center for Latin American Studies at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the personal collection of Beth Castro. The painting, El Cuento de Raúl Castro (Raúl Castro’s Story), is also on loan to Special Collections from artist James Covarrubias for the exhibit. Information: https://new.library.arizona.edu/events

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Z arts

The Process Museum Documenting How Art Is Made by Gregory McNamee


ohn Wells grew up at a fishing and hunting resort his father owned in northwestern Ontario. It was, he remembers, big, lonesome country, accessible only by boat and train, and there wasn’t a lot there for a bookish, artistically inclined kid to do. But then a visiting American, sensing his interests, gave him some postage stamps. Other visitors followed suit, and soon Wells was a collector whose accidental hobby became a matter of serious curation. Wells learned the ways of finance and accounting. He founded companies that made things, including, lately, technologies used in surgery. All the while he collected things, fascinated by how they work. In time, that fascination would lead to an intense interest in how artists conceive of and make art, whether a Renaissance sculpture or a wooden mask sold in a rural marketplace. “I started collecting objects,” he says. “Then it was groups of objects. Then it became ideas about objects, and that’s where I am now.” Wells’s interest in the whats and hows of making art led him to found the Process Museum, housing a private collection that is available for public viewing by appointment. That collection is vast, once taking up a corner of a factory space that Wells owns on the southeast side of the city, now occupying about two-thirds of a 77,000-square-foot building—once the headquarters of the Anaconda mining concern—and a neighboring structure that serves as both studio and storage space. There’s no collection quite like it anywhere in the world, making it a place of pilgrimage for likeminded art enthusiasts from every continent. Containing mostly work with a clear Tucson connection, the Process Museum is overstuffed with art pieces in various drafts and iterations, one crammed room leading to another. The very lobby is a sign of things to come. One wall contains pieces made up of what appear to be a blend of Nerf balls in various geometric forms stuck onto Velcro-lined woks from a restaurant supply store. “You’re not supposed to touch art,” Wells says, “but these are meant to be touched—you can rearrange things however you like.” A table nearby contains small sculptures, some representational and some highly abstract, by a painter named Jenny Day, who, says Wells, has degrees in both engineering and art and along the way got interested in ceramics, with her work now appearing in dozens of exhibits and shows each year. “These pieces were what she used to apply for a major residency in New York,” he says, “and I’m fortunate to have been able to acquire them at the beginning of this new turn in her career. It’s almost unheard of in the world of collecting.” A hallway leading from the lobby contains work by former Tucson residents Anna Miller and Michael Fidel, who donated drafts and finished pieces to the Museum when they left town. One piece is a brace of wooden wheels fastened with steel plates and rods enclosing two chairs, one large and one small, facing each other upside-down. “For me,” says Wells, “the piece represents a mother and child having a serious conversation about something.” A side hall contains three pieces looking something like giant headless ghosts in Victorian dresses, the work of a Japanese artist who taught at the University for a year. They’re made not of clay, as they appear at first glance, but of cactus fibers, weighing 16 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com|January 2020

160 pounds apiece. “She tried to give them to the UA and the Tucson Museum of Art,” says Wells, “but I was the only one who had space for them.” Space is at a premium even so, with most of the rooms open to view full of boxes, cases, portfolios, canvases, and sculptures. That first big hallway, for example, is lined from floor to ceiling with paintings and wall sculptures, with big sculptural pieces running along the floor. One of them was made on-site, another piece by Miller and Fidel, this one an ovoid wooden frame encompassing two pairs of boots facing each other some ten feet apart. “This is the dry lake down by Willcox,” Wells says. “They built the frame, brought in pails of mud, and threw them down out in the courtyard. It took about a month and a half for it to cure.” The piece speaks to every Arizonan’s experience of the desert after a rain, and it’s a beguiling wonder that stands in contrast to the pieces surrounding it, tiny music boxes and intricate mechanical toys. The collection is punctuated by showrooms that wouldn’t be out of place in a more formal museum—MOMA, let’s say. One is devoted to “word blocks” by fourth-generation artist Tom Rossi, square and rectangular chocks of wood four by six inches or so and covered with painted images, most highly abstract, that speak to a penciled word on the side of the wood facing the wall. Again, it’s art that Wells encourages visitors to touch—inviting them, for instance, to guess behind which image lies a certain well-known naughty word and then look to see if they’re right. It’s an exercise that could take a long while, given that there are 1,080 blocks in the room, with a single chair to accommodate an exhausted searcher. Just so, one of the highlights of the collection is a sculptural series that speaks to the interstate highway that lies within view of a nearby window, this one made up of “road alligators”—shredded truck tires, that is, of the sort that adorn every high-speed road on the planet. The pieces of torn tire are odd enough, but especially given that they’re covered in gold paint that turns the ordinary discards of civilization into lost treasures. “I don’t collect many artists,” says Wells, “but the ones I do collect, I collect extensively.” On that score, one artist who is particularly well represented in the Process Museum is Michael Cajero, a Tucson artist who has been at work since the 1960s. “I have 3,700 pieces of his,” says Wells. Several large rooms are devoted to his sculptures, made of papier-mâché over metal frames and ceramic, many of which seem to have come from a carnival funhouse in a faraway land governed by some creation of Stephen King’s. To call them eccentric is to do disservice to the word, but they’re highly collectible—and indeed, one room offers pieces for sale, the proceeds of which go entirely to the artist. “As a ceramicist,” says Wells, “Michael probably knows more about glazes than anyone in the world,” and it’s here that the processual part of the Process Museum shines through, in experiments with materials and techniques that reveal plenty of surprises, albeit sometimes unsettling ones. Another room houses dozens of archival boxes containing thousands of Cajero’s paintings and drawings, sometimes dashed off and sometimes observed—and many with a feel that, as with his sculptures, is both distressed and distressing.

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photo: Gregory McNamee

Sculpture by Anna Miller and Michael Fidel. January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 17

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Open 7 days a week, 10 to 4 19 Tubac Rd. Suite 600 (520) 437-3988 Representing 45 Southwest Artists www.cactuswrenart.gallery facebook.com/CactusWrenArtGallery

photos: Gregory McNamee

arts Z

Photos: Left to right - Sculpture by Sean-Paul Pluguez; sculptures by Michael Cajero; paintings by Tom Rossi; paintings by Paul Sanasardo.

Chris Rush, perhaps the best-known painter at work in Tucson today, is well represented in the Process Museum, including many pieces that are several decades old and that document the evolution of his style. (One on display is the very first painting that Rush ever sold, about which Rush remarks, “I remember the work, but I don’t remember the person who made it.”) The same is true of paintings by David Vandenberg, scion of the political family for whom the California Air Force base is named, and portraits by Paul Sanasardo that blend fine-arts and graphical sensibilities. Now in his nineties, Sanasardo made his reputation as a choreographer, painting on the side, and Wells has assembled more than a hundred of his portraits—with another hundred or so en route from the artist’s studio in Chicago. Seven decades in the making, the Process Museum continues to grow, seemingly by the truckload. “There’s a lot here,” says Wells. “I’ve run out of space. It’s really quite embarrassing, but I like to get close to artists and their idiosyncrasies. The payoff is spectacular, if it works.” That is, viewers get a chance to see how art evolves from idea to physical object. A particular case in point comes at the end of the exhibits, with a small suite of rooms devoted to work by Sean-Paul Pluguez, who also made the tire-shard installation. The gold paint returns, this time to coat found objects such as taxidermic heads of deer and javelinas, with a centerpiece being what might be thought of as the midpoint between a genetically modified forest—that being the title of a large sculptural piece exhibited in 2018 at the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery at Pima College—and planetary extinction. The gold that covers Pluguez’s geometric representation of a clearcut forest speaks to all the treasures we are losing in this age of ecological catastrophe. It’s beautiful but cheerless, and it inspires thought—all part of the work of how art is made, even as the world is undone. The Process Museum is located at 8000 S. Kolb Road, just off I–10 exit 270. Free tours are offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:00 a.m. by appointment only. Call (520) 404–0596 for information and to make reservations. n

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Z skyislands

Crossing the Rincons by Tom Zoellner


he Rincon Mountains are the dull wallpaper of Tucson’s eastern flank, green and gray mounds that lack a strong visual focus or single point on which to fix the eye. Among our four cardinal ranges, they are the neglected stepchild. They lack the dramatic front wall and ski village of the Santa Catalinas; the desert starkness and glitzy real estate of the Tucson Mountains; the clean alpine lines and austerity of the Santa Ritas. The Rincons are just there: humdrum, quotidian, and reliably nondescript; always present and rarely visited. Their name, appropriately, is Spanish for “corner.” They aren’t even distinguished enough to be reviled or cursed, even though it is hard to go anywhere in Tucson where a view of them is not close at hand. But looking at them is like looking at the ground itself; they elude visual apprehension. Perhaps the most they are ever seen by Tucsonans is as a bottom frame for dramatic rises of a full moon, or from above on a certain westbound flight path into the airport which goes directly over the granite knob of Rincon Peak (elev. 8,664 feet) at an alarming clearance that seems near enough to scratch the underside of the fuselage. This is as close as most locals will ever get. “On a map or from the air, the Rincon Mountains are shaped like an L, but from the city, the three major ridges line up on the horizon like goods in a bakery display case, two lumpy loaves of French bread and a brioche, prosaic as toast, unromantic as an electric oven,” wrote the biologist Janice Emily Bowers in her memoir The Mountains Next Door, one of the only longform pieces of writing ever produced about this range outside of government documents. Bowers came to see the unheralded merits of these green ramps after spending two years roaming them on a cataloging project for nearby Saguaro National Monument. And truly, this kind of lengthy immersive commitment is what it takes to love the Rincons. They are not fashion models meant to be admired from afar. They are dumpy-looking relatives who, if you listen closely, have stories to tell. 20 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com|January 2020

I crossed them in the course of three days last autumn—not as a destination in themselves, but as a consequence of having done a thru-hike on the Arizona Trail, a 790-mile journey that strings together a series of trails through National Forests, BLM land, state trust land, and private property to connect the state with a continuous hiking path. The Rincons are a fuse box of that connection, one of four major ranges in Southern Arizona that must be surmounted. If you’re heading southbound, as I was, they come immediately after the Catalinas but before the Santa Ritas and the Huachucas. Anybody on the Arizona Trail has a good share of scars and some built-up leg power before hitting the Rincons—yet they still provide one of the primary challenges of the trail. Most call them among the hardest uphill climbs of the whole experience, even above that of the Grand Canyon. The trail into the Rincons follows the most common southbound portal: a snaky path down to a wash off Redington Pass Road, for which a highclearance vehicle and a sense of patience are essential. But I had walked here ten miles from Molino Basin over in the Catalinas, through hilly ranch country and desiccated knolls to arrive at the path toward the basin called Italian Trap, where the Tanque Verde wash meets the uplift of the Rincons. Here is where the mountains lose their indistinct blurry quality and start to take on real relief and texture. Before me is a rough tableau of oak forest and bloblike formations of disintegrating granite, the babushka ovals that make the landscape around Prescott so weird and distinctive. The trail tilts upward past this showcase of rocks, the oaks and manzanitas giving way to scrub pine and the National Forest yielding to the boundaries of Saguaro National Park, which was pushed out here in a 1994 expansion. And you can perceive the value of throwing a cordon sanitaire around a premier example of a Southern Arizona sky island, one of the proud mountain vessels that bears at least seven distinct floral zones in its exterior livery. Just as certain Pacific islands can be spotted from one another’s shores, the sky islands are usually visible to each other once the treeline parts a bit. From up here, you

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Rincon monsoons

photo: Tom Zoellner

photo: Tom Zoellner

Z skyislands

get an elevated view of the next-door Catalinas and, beyond them, all the way northeast to the Santa Teresa Mountains on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. I’m running low on water and make a grateful replenishment at Italian Spring, a verdant little gash in the soil that had been dry when I was last up here four years ago but is now brimming with reedy weeds and water so clean that I don’t bother to filter it. We’re almost to the summit, in any case, which lies about a mile up a gentle rise and through a crest of montane fir and spruce. The highest point of the Rincons amounts to a blind plateau in which the only view is of the twisted metal legs of a vanished fire tower and the encircling copse of trees. Mica Mountain (elev. 8,666 feet) takes its name from the flakes of silicate scattered all around the decomposing boulders on its slopes, but very few of those shiny fragments can be found up here. I sling off my pack and lean 22 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com|January 2020

up against a tree, sipping Italian Spring water and feeling a sense of exertion and peace after the 4,000-foot vertical gain. Mica Mountain is a rough synecdoche for the Rincons: hard to fall in love with, visually undistinguished, inherently undramatic, yet rewarding to the patient visitor. Those who want the scenic payoff of standing atop the tallest ramparts of eastern Tucson can always go to Spud Rock, the outcropping named by two engineers for the Southern Pacific Railroad, William H. Barnett and Jim Miller, who took a fancy to the plateau and grew cabbage and potatoes up here after the annual snowmelt. A modest scramble up to the top of a boulder roughly the size of a movie theater discloses what Mica Mountain had been hiding all along: a magnificent vista of Southern Arizona’s premier city, its cluster of downtown financial pinnacles barely visible in the autumn particulate. A hiker’s rest in this spot is less inward-looking and much more diluted: There is the banquet of the settled world to contemplate, with a vast bald space down below where the Helens 2 fire in 2003 swept away all the verdure, still struggling to recover. It is possible up here to feel attached to Tucson while profoundly disconnected from it. Perhaps that is because no asphalt road has ever been built within it, sealing it off from all but the determined. Not that there weren’t attempts to lash it in closer to the city’s bosom. An Arizona Daily Star reporter named Levi Manning bushwhacked his way up here in 1905 and, with the help of his family and a team of mules, built a six-room stone cabin as a summer retreat. He had to give it up to the Forest Service in 1907. He shrugged and went on to build Tucson’s trolley system, even as his plans for a more permanent Rincon outpost withered. A more serious threat emerged in 1933 when Tucson Citizen publisher Frank H. Hitchcock, a heavyweight Republican Party fixer, convinced his friend Herbert Hoover, then the outgoing president of the United States, to set aside a patch of pristine desert at the base Trail to Italian Trap of the mountains as the eastern unit of Saguaro National Monument. Hitchcock had succeeded in getting a highway built up to Mount Lemmon. There is every reason to think he would have similarly perforated the Rincons with tourist traffic had he not died in 1935. A diagram of a never-built road up to Mica Mountain was later found in the files of a park superintendent. Inertia rendered the verdict: The Rincons would remain remote and obscure. There are those who would not have it any other way. Fifth-generation Arizonan Tom Zoellner teaches at Chapman University, in Orange, California. He recently walked the entire length of the Arizona Trail. Visit him at www.tomzoellner.com. n

Carolyn Leigh: Studio B 4530 W Speedway Blvd, 85745 520-909-7874 From I-10, take W Speedway towards the Tucson Mtns, almost to Gates Pass. Before the Y with Camino de Oeste, turn right (north) between the yellow streamers to my adobe studio.

Saturday & Sunday February 8 - 9, 2020 10 am - 4 pm Dec 18, 2019 - Jan 30, 2020 Tucson Jewish Community Center 3800 E River Rd

Animal Essence 6202 W Ina Rd, 85743 520-240-8652 West Ina. Driveway is directly across from Bobcat Ridge. Head north until you come to purple gateway. Dirt, rocky driveway. WELCOME!

Pat Frederick steel & pastel acuvet43@gmail.com

Cactus Wren Artisans 2740 S Kinney Rd #1, 85735 520-437-3988 Over Gates Pass to Kinney Rd. Turn left. Cat Mt Station on right as you leave the park. - OR - Take Ajo west to Kinney Rd. take a right and go 4 miles. Cat Mt Station is on the left. Good restaurant too for breakfast or lunch.

Diane C. Taylor fused glass dianectaylor@netscape.net

Carolyn Leigh mixed media, paintings, artist’s books CarolynLeighStudios@gmail.com

Casa Tortuga Studio 341 E Burrows St, 85704 520-405-3657 From River and First Avenue: Go south on First. Drive one block to Bromley and turn right (west ) on Bromley. Drive through North Manor neighborhood to Fontana. Turn right (north) on Fontana. Casa Tortuga is where Fontana forms a "T" with Burrows St. We’re on the north side of the “T”.

Katie Iverson colored pencil, acrylic paints, clay, bronze, photography, cards katie@katieiverson.com

John Gentile photography bowrider41@yahoo.com

Circle of Iron Forge 1801 W Overton Rd, 85704 520-780-9076 Overton Rd. runs east to west from Thornydale Rd to Oracle Rd (where its named Hardy Rd). My studio is between La Cholla Rd and La Canada Rd. Turn south on Verch Way and take an immediate right into drive. You might notice the sculpture along Overton Rd and the boat in the tree.

Ira Wiesenfeld DVM forged metal treeira@hotmail.com

Gale Thomssen beads and metals cactuswrenartisans@gmail.com


Preview Gallery Show Dec 18, 2019 - Jan 30, 2020 Tucson Jewish Community Center 3800 E River Rd

Artist Reception

January 19, 2020 2pm - 4pm Farm2Art-Tiques 2961 W Goret Rd, 85745 520-743-5275 Turn west off of Silverbell Rd onto W Goret Rd at Silverbell/Goret traffic signal. Go 6/10ths of a mile to Art Trails Sign on the left hand side. Long, well maintained driveway, leads to home and gallery. Follow signs at entrance to driveway. Use turnout if necessary.

Richard Jones repurposed metal farm2art.tiques@yahoo.com

Flor de Mayo Studio 4709 W Placita de Suerte, 85745 520-907-9471 West on Ironwood Hill (Grant Road extended) to Camino de Oeste; left (south) on Camino de Oeste, 2 road dips then right turn (west) on Calle de Suerte; go 2 short blocks then right turn at Y on Placita de Suerte; last house on left at cul-de-sac.

Martha Burgess watercolor, handmade paper, photography marthaab@aol.com

Rod Mondt photography wilddesert@earthlink.net

H.L.S. Originals 6090 W Broom Tail Circle, 85743 913-529-9977 & 913-259-9743 Closest main intersection is Ina/Silverbell. Follow maps or GPS. Cul-de-sac /driveway /street parking.

Holly Swangstu fiber & mixed media hollylswangstu@gmail.com

Fine Fusions 410 E Silverado Place, 85737 520-219-8777

Troy Swangstu painting troyswangstuart@gmail.com

Across the road from the entrance to the Oro Valley Country Club, just west of the Hilton Conquistador.

Cynthia Miller

Jorge Vergeli Arts

glass on copper for the wall clmtucson@comcast.net

2011 N Jacamar Ln, 85745 520-499-4715

Mosaics by Andrea Edmundson 2748 W Begonia Place, 85745 520-245-5116 West on Speedway past Greasewood. Second subdivision/street on the right. Enter on Honey Rose, follow signs to studio. Please do not block any driveways.

West on Grant Rd. until it turns into Ironwood Hill Drive. After Greasewood turn left on Saddlewood Ranch Dr. Continue half a mile, then left again on Cuero de Vaca. Take a left on Jacamar Ln. and we’re the 2nd house on the left.

Jorge Vergeli mixed media jorge.vergeli@gmail.com

Andrea Edmundson mosaics and metal art mosaicsbyandrea@gmail.com


Saturday & Sunday February 8 - 9, 2020 10 am - 4 pm

Artist Reception

Saturday & Sunday February 8 - 9, 2020 10 am - 4 pm

January 19, 2020 2pm - 4pm Loma Prieta Pottery 6131 N Desert Willow Dr, 85743 520-437-7543 Located off Silverbell Rd between Camino Del Cerro and Ina. Turn west at the ‘Open Studio Pottery - Art Trails’ sign onto N Desert Foothills. Proceed approximately 1/2 mile to stop sign and ‘Open Studio Pottery’ sign at intersection with N Desert Willow. Turn left onto N Desert Willow. House/studio is first driveway on the right where there will be another ‘Open Studio Pottery’ sign.

Terry Parker pottery terry@lomaprietapottery.com

Preview Gallery Show Dec 18, 2019 - Jan 30, 2020

Tazouz Studio 4500 W Speedway #5, 85745 520-388-9913 Speedway Blvd west to 4500, on R (north) side. Colored ribbons on mailbox. Take driveway to 3rd set of houses on R signpost #5 with colored ribbons.

Chandika Tazouz

Sabino Stoneware Pottery 1019 N Jacobus Ave, 85705 520-624-5201 1/2 block south of Speedway & 1 1/2 blocks west of Euclid (west of the University of Arizona).

Janet K. Burner ceramics, drawing & pastels janet@sabinopottery.com

Toscana Studio and Gallery 9040 N Oracle Rd #A, 85704 520-575-1445 North on Oracle Rd, 4 driveways north of LA Fitness, mountain side. Studio just north of light at Hardy and just south of light at W Calle Concordia.

Linda Ahearn oil painting and clay sculpture linda@toscanastudioandgallery.com

oil paintings, charcoal drawings, stone lithos and woodcuts tazouz@gmail.com

Tucson Pastel Society Art Center 2447 N Los Altos Ave, 85705 520-237-6386 One block west of 1st Ave and 1/2 block north of Grant. Los Altos is the first street west of the Fry’s center at First Ave and Grant. The fifth building on the left.

Becky Neideffer pastel, colored pencil and scratchboard bneidefferart@gmail.com

Edlynne Sillman photography, canvas wrap e.sillman.photo@gmail.com

Anne Leonard watermedia anne@alartworks.com

Phyllis Rooker-Bradway oil painting and clay sculpture prookerbradway@q.com

Linda Friedman beaded jewelry Linda8316@gmail.com

Nina Grossman acrylics, pastels artslovers@aol.com

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drink Z

A Tucson Burns Night by Gregory McNamee

JOHN BARLEYCORN was already a very old figure in British folklore when the Scottish bard Robert Burns published a poem about him in 1782. An avatar of the old Celtic corn god, “corn” meaning grain and not maize, the “little Sir John” of the Traffic tune allows himself to be sacrificed in a spectacularly grisly way so that humans can have the alcohol that flows from him—for, as Burns puts it, “if you do but taste his blood, / ’T will make your courage rise.” Born on January 25, 1759, Rabbie Burns lived to be only 37—not because of an overfondness for the bottle, but because he had a bad ticker. Still, we tend to remember him on bibulous occasions. When the clock strikes twelve on the new year, for instance, all these years later we still sing his melancholic song “Auld Lang Syne,” and ruing the hangover the next day, we might summon up his fine words “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley,” which is to say, no matter how well you plan something out, as in “I’m only going to have three drinks tonight,” the chances are that they’re going to go all pearshaped and lead to ruination long before the evening is over. A Burns Night supper, a fixture of Scottish and Scottish-diaspora life for the last 219 years, traditionally opens with a little prayer of thanksgiving at the fact that there’s food on hand. But let Burns tell it: “Some hae meat an canna eat, / And some wad eat that want it; / But we hae meat, and we can eat, / And sae the Lord be thankit.” From there the evening goes on to a progression of soup, haggis—which, the sensitive may be glad to know, can be vegetarian— potatoes and rutabagas and cheese and puddings and, well, vast quantities of Good Sir John’s blessings in the form of uisge beatha, “the water of life,” which is to say, whisky. As a person of Irish descent, I may be betraying the cause, but no one makes whisky quite like the Scots. (The Irish come next, though everybody else.) It’s a matter of terroir: You’ve got to have clean water adulterated only by

Brexiters’ tears, sturdy grain, godly smoke, and ancient hardware, all blended and operated by people who know what they’re doing. There are many Scotch whiskies, as a connoisseur will tell you; go visit Plaza Liquors (2642 N. Campbell) for some pointers. Some, such as Laphroig, can taste like the inside of a peed-on campfire to an untrained palate; some have a sweetness in the place of that bitter scorch. Some are fantastically expensive, while others are quite reasonably priced. On that score, an economically minded whisky enthusiast could do far worse than buy a bottle or two of Trader Joe’s house-branded Speyside and Highland varieties, running between $15 and $25. Tucson turns in some distinguished entries in the whisky department with the offerings of the near-westside Del Bac distillery. The Classic is a righton Scots-style single-malt, the traditional oak flavor rendered by its storage vehicle in a way that would please a Highlander. The Old Pueblo, which packs a punch, takes on a flavor oddly reminiscent of peaty Islay whiskies thanks to the judicious application of mesquite smoke, and while it wouldn’t do dishonor to any Burns Night supper, it’s ideally suited to a campfire out somewhere in fourwheel-drive desert country. It’s Glenmorangie by way of bacanora, or maybe the other way around. In any case, Del Bac offers weekend tours of its facilities where you can learn much more about their way of doing things, which is just right. (Call 628–9244 or visit www.whiskeydelbac.com to book.) By the way, the spelling whiskey with an “e” is typically but not definitively associated with American and Irish versions of the stuff, while without it you’re in Scottish territory. You can call the substance “Scotch” if you wish, but in Tucson, not in Edinburgh. Whatever you call it, have a care—and raise your glass to dear Rabbie Burns along the way. n January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 29

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books Z

Migrant Trail Solidarity Walk – Sasabe to Tucson 2007.

Along the Migrant Trail Photographs by Michael Hyatt MOST OF US can scarcely comprehend the dangers and hardships that border crossers face in trying to make better lives for themselves and their families in this country. Michael Hyatt, a photographer well known to country music fans for his broadcasts on KXCI-FM, has been following that story with his camera for decades. Selections from his archive make up his new book Along the Migrant Trail (Fronteranueva Books, $40). The book is available for sale at Antigone Books (411 N. 4th Ave.), Photographic Works (3550 E. Grant Rd.), and Bon (760 S.Stone Ave.) and at www.michael-hyatt.com; some of the proceeds will benefit Humane Borders, Samaritans, and No More Deaths. The following text from the book is by Tucson-based borderlands activist Rebecca Fowler. Looking through the lens of history, those of us in the Tucson border movement draw parallels from the contemporary crisis of migrant exodus on our southern border to that which necessitated the Sanctuary Movement

during the U.S.-backed dirty wars of the eighties, when many Salvadorans and Guatemalans were deported back to their home countries to confront their deaths at the hands of U.S.-trained right-wing paramilitary death squads. Born in the barrio at Southside Presbyterian Church in 1982, Southside was the first of hundreds of churches across the nation to shelter Central American refugees. Twenty years later, Sanctuary veterans Reverend John Fife, Margo Cowan, Lupe Castillo, Rick Ufford-Chase, and many others would be instrumental in the establishment of desert aid. In fact, both the Sanctuary movement and Tucson desert aid were initiated in response to two eerily similar events involving the grisly fate of two groups of migrants crossing the Arizona/Sonoran Desert. In May of 2001, fourteen of twenty-six men, abandoned by their guide or coyote, would die after running out of water and wandering for days in the sweltering heat of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. It was the largest number of

continues on next page... January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 31

Z books


DOWNTOWN 711 South 6th Avenue 520-884-7404 philabaumglass.com

Top: Humanitarian Shrine for Fourteen-Year-Old Josseline Quinteros – Arivaca Hills 2017. Right: Beginning of a Migrant Trail – Sonora-Arizona Border 2004. Photos by Michael Hyatt.

deaths in a single incident on record since 1980, when fourteen of twenty-six Salvadorans fleeing civil war in their country died after their coyote left them without water in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Students of history also note the similarities in government actions taken to criminalize Sanctuary workers in the eighties with what the government is doing to destroy humanitarian aid in 2019. In 1982, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) infiltrated the Sanctuary Movement, sending undercover agents into the homes and churches of group members, bringing alien smuggling charges against Tucson Sanctuary workers, and eventually convicting eight members. In contrast to what the government had hoped, the Sanctuary movement did not dwindle but gained adherents, and several hundred churches, a few synagogues, and twenty-two city councils declared themselves public sanctuaries for El Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees. The arrest of NMD volunteers Daniel Strauss and Shanti Sellz in 2005 inspired a similar response with the formation of the “Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime” campaign. Fast forward to 2019, on July 2 the federal government announced that it will retry Dr. Scott Warren on charges of migrant harboring. A few weeks before, a jury refused to convict Warren for giving food and water to two undocumented immigrants crossing a remote expanse of desert where dozens of bodies are found each year—and where Warren himself has encountered human remains on sixteen separate occasions. At the conclusion of the trial, in a statement prepared for the press, Warren declared that the trial would effect “a raising of public consciousness, a greater awareness of the humanitarian crisis in the borderland, more volunteers who want to stand in solidarity with migrants, local residents stiffened in their resistance to border walls and the militarization of our communities, and a flood of water into the desert at a time when it is most needed.” For now, Warren’s fate hangs in the balance. [Note: Warren was acquitted in that second trial on November 20, 2019.] 32 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com|January 2020

Moonlite Creations Gallery & Studio 101 W. 6th Street

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The migrant diasporas that we are witnessing today are emblematic of a long, sordid history of western military, political, and economic intervention in “underdeveloped” countries that continues to accomplish the transfer of wealth from the Global South to the Global North. Today the violence of “free trade” “agreements,” foreign investment, and IMF austerity measures achieve the same objectives as war in advancing the political and economic interests of powerful Western countries. And so in 2019, dirty war on the poorest of countries continues unabated under the nexus of the United States’ and other Western countries’ economic stranglehold on the Global South. But come what may, humanitarians working in the Tucson border movement on behalf of the immigrant community are dedicated to advancing compassionate immigration reform over the long run. Because the Tucson Sanctuary Movement never ended. When Humane Borders volunteers refill blue tanks with water, and Samaritans and No More Deaths volunteers provision drops with water, food, socks, and blankets, they are engaging in “acts of sanctuary” in the making of place that challenges the immoral policies of the state. Out of the Tucson Sanctuary movement evolved multiple grassroots organizations that are around today and that remain committed to advancing compassionate comprehensive reform. Until that time comes, Humane Borders, Tucson Samaritans, and No More Deaths will assist desert migrants with the provision of life-saving water. n

• • • • • • • •

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January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 33

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performances Z

UA Presents Maceo Parker, January 10 at 8pm.

ARIZONA FRIENDS OF CHAMBER MUSIC St. Lawrence String Quartet, January 15 & 16, 7:30pm. New York Festival of Song, January 30, 7:30pm. Shanghai Quartet, February 12 & 13, 7:30pm. Lineage Percussion, February 23, 3:00pm. See website for locations. 520-577-3769. www.ArizonaChamberMusic.org

McBride and Inside Straight, January 18, 7:30pm; Mavis Staples, January 19, 7pm; Ballet Folclorico Nacional de Mexico de Silvia Lozano, January 21, 7:30pm; The Fab Four: The Ultimate Beatles Tribute, January 25, 8:00pm; Pavlo In Concert, January 31, 7:30pm. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. 520-547-3040. www.FoxTucson.com



Polenzani, January 31 at Holsclaw Hall, UA School of Music. La Boheme, February 1 & 2 and Riders of the Purple Sage, March 7 & 8. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. 520-293-4336. www.AZOpera.org


The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe, February 8 to 23. Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Rd. 520-621-1162. www.Theatre. Arizona.edu


“Master Harold”… and the Boys, January 18 through February 8. The Legend of Georgia McBride, March 7 through 28. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 520-8848210. www.ArizonaTheatre.org

BALLET TUCSON Winter Concert, January 31 to February 2. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. 520901-3194. www.BalletTucson.org


The Play That Goes Wrong, January 14 to 19. The Bachelor Live, February 26. The Book of Mormon, February 11 to 16. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 520-903-2929. www. BroadwayinTucson.com


Benefit Gala, February 8, 2pm. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Rd. 520-730-3371. www.COTMusic.org

FOX TUCSON David Sanborn Jazz Quintet, January 11, 7:30pm; Lapan College Club – Bill, January 14, 10am; Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, January 15, 7:30pm; Average White Band, January 16, 7:30pm; Christian

Showdown in Tucson, January 9 through March 29. 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. 520-886-9428. www.TheGaslightTheatre.com


Vivian’s Music, 1969, January 18 & 19. Becoming Dr. Ruth, February 11 to 23. 1400 N. First Ave. 520-882-9721. www.InvisibleTheatre. com


COMEDY CAFFE John Hastings, January 3 & 4; Tyler Boeh, January 10 & 11; John Roy, January 17, 18 & 19. 2900 E. Broadway. 520-32-Funny. www.LaffsTucson.com LIVE THEATRE WORKSHOP

Main Stage: The Norwegians, January 9 through February 15. Family Theatre: Mona Lisa on the Loose, January 26 to March 8. 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. 520-327-4242. www.LiveTheatreWorkshop.org

PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE THEATRE Singin’ in the Rain, February 20 to March 1. Proscenium Theatre, West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Rd. 520-2066986. www.Pima.Edu


Hindsight, January 9, doors at 6:30pm, show at 7pm, The Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, 330 E. 7th St. 520-730-4112. www. OdysseyStorytelling.com

ROGUE THEATRE Moby Dick, January 9 to 26. The Beauty Queen of Leenane, February 27 to March 15. 300 E. University Blvd. 520-551-2053. www.RogueTheatre.org

SCOUNDREL AND SCAMP THEATRE The Light Princess, February 6 to 23. 738 N. 5th Ave. 520448-3300. www.ScoundrelandScamp.org


Cry It Out, February 13 to March 1. City High School Center for Collaborative Learning, 37 E. Pennington. 520-4686111. www.SomethingSomethingTheatre.com

SOUTHERN ARIZONA PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY Hot Mikado, January 17 to 26 at Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre, 738 N. 5th Ave. 520-2610915. www.SAPACTucson.org

SOUTHERN ARIZONA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Die Fledermaus, January 18, 7pm and January 19 at 2pm at Rincon High School. Beethoven & Strauss, February 15, 7:30pm at SaddleBrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center and February 16, 3pm at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. 520-3086226. www.SASOMusic.org

TUCSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Rubato the Rattlesnake, TSO Just for Kids, January 4, 10am. Beethoven x 2, January 11, 2pm. Aretha Franklin and the Soul of America, January 18, 7:30pm. Windows Into Song, January 24, 7:30pm. See website for locations. 520-882-8585. www.TucsonSymphony.org


Maceo Parker, January 10, 8pm. The Play That Goes Wrong (Presented by Broadway in Tucson) January 14 to 19. Kronos Quartet, January 18, 8pm. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, January 22, 7:30pm. Cirque Mechanics, January 26, 3pm. Thomas Hampson, January 28, 7:30pm. Black Violin, January 30, 7:30pm. See website for locations. 520-621-3364. www. UAPresents.org


THEATER Family friendly shows every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30pm. 3244 E. Speedway Blvd. 520-289-8076. www. UnscrewedTheater.org January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 35

art galleries & exhibits Z

Etherton Gallery kicks off 2020 with a new exhibition, Land Re-Form, which brings together for the first time, the work of photographers Frank Gohlke, Mark Klett, and Michael Berman. These three photographers investigate the fluid and changing dynamics of the relationship between humans and the natural world by photographing the landscape. Photo: Contemplating the View at Muley Point, Utah, 5/13/94 from Revealing Territory, ©Mark Klett, Courtesy Etherton Gallery.



Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-3pm. 16701 N. Oracle Rd Suite 145, Catalina, AZ. 520-818-1242. AbsolutelyArtGallery.com

Legacies of LIGHT – a Three-Day Celebration is January 17 to 19. The Qualities of LIGHT: The Story of a Pioneering New York City Photography Gallery is on view through May 9. David Hume Kennerly: Witness to History is on view through March 11 in the UA Old Main Building. Hours: Tue-Fri 9am-4pm; Sat 1-4pm. 1030 N. Olive Rd. 520621-7968. CreativePhotography.org




Current exhibits include: Stories of Resilience: Overcoming Adversity in Arizona History. Permanent Exhibits include: History Lab, Mining Hall, and Treasures of the Arizona History Museum. Hours: Mon & Fri 9am-6pm; Tues-Thurs 9am-4pm; Sat & Sun 11am-4pm. 949 E. 2nd Street. 520628-5774. ArizonaHistoricalSociety.org


Milagros continues through January 31. Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-3:30pm. 110 E. 6th St. 520-398-6557. ContrerasHouseFineArt.com



Examining Racial Identity and Sterotypes in Thrift Store Donations is on view through February 29. The Resiliency of Hopi Agriculture: 2000 Years of Planting closes January 6. Pahko’ora / Pahko’ola: Mayo and Yaqui Masks from the James S. Griffith Collection is on view through January 23, 2021. Long term exhibitions include Woven Through Time; The Pottery Project; Paths of Life. Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. 520-621-6302. 1013 E. University Blvd. StateMuseum.Arizona.Edu

Artists is on view to January 4. Phenomenon opens January 10 and is on view through February 29. Hours: Tues-Fri 11am-5pm; Sat 11am-4pm. 154 E. 6th St. 520629-9759. DavisDominguez.com

DEGRAZIA GALLERY IN THE SUN Arizona Highways and Ted DeGrazia will be on display through January 29. In the Little Gallery, Lynn Sakellar-Gekas, Pencil and Ink Wash is on view until January 10; Robin Miller-Bookhout, Watercolor and Oil Pastel is on view

January 12 to 24; and Tana von Isser, Mixed Media is on view January 26 to February 7. Hours: Daily 10am-4pm. 6300 N. Swan Rd. 520-299-9191. DeGrazia.org

DESERT ARTISANS GALLERY Tucson, Gem of the Desert is on view in January. Hours: Mon-Sat 10am5pm; Sun 10am-1:30pm. 6536 E. Tanque Verde Rd. 520722-4412. DesertArtisansGallery.com


Expecting to Fly: Kate Breakey, Susan Burnstine, Keith Carter and Pentti Sammallahti is on view through January 11. Land ReForm: Michael Berman, Mark Klett, Frank Gohlke and Mike Mulno is on view January 14 to March 14 with an opening reception January 18 from 7pm to 10pm. Hours: Tues-Sat 11am-5pm or by appointment. 135 S. 6th Ave. 520-624-7370. EthertonGallery.com

IRONWOOD GALLERY Connecting Our Natural Worlds is on view through January 5. International Exhibit of Nature in Art is on view January 18 through March 29 with an opening reception January 25. Hours: MonSun 10am-4pm. 2021 N. Kinney Rd. 520-883-3024. DesertMuseum.org

January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 37



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art galleries & exhibits Z The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson (MOCA Tucson) presents three solo exhibitions - Amir H. Fallah: Scatter My Ashes On Foreign Lands; Diana Shpungin: Bright Light/Darkest Shadow; Gary Setzer: The Unique Title of this Museum Exhibition Differentiates It from Other Exhibitions Produced by the Artist While It Simultaneously Hints at the Substance of the Artwork It Contains. Opening reception for these exhibitions will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at MOCA Tucson, 265 S. Church Ave. A MOCA member’s preview will be held from 7-8pm with a free public opening reception from 8-9pm. All exhibitions will run through May 3, 2020.

Artwork: Amir H. Fallah, Now Be Here, 2019 acrylic on canvas, 96” x 72” Courtesy of the artist


Asylum / Asilo is currently on view in the Allen and Marianne Langer Contemporary Human Rights Gallery. Hours: Fri 12-3pm; Sat & Sun 1-5pm. 564 S. Stone Ave. 520-670-9073. JewishHistoryMuseum.org



continues through January 4. Hours: Fri & Sat 1-5pm and by appointment. 218 E. 6thStreet. 520-881-5335. RaicesTaller222.com

The Snake Eats Its Tail is on view through January 23 with a reception January 23 from 5pm to 6:30pm. Papay Soloman | African for the First Time is on view January 30 through March 11 with a reception January 30 from 5pm to 6:30pm. Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 520-626-4215. CFA.arizona.edu/galleries LIONEL ROMBACH GALLERY Talking Bodies: (de) Colonized Bodies - Eli Burke and Harrison Orr is on view January 7 to 16. Matriarchs: Erin Scott is on view January 21 to 30 with a reception January 29 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 520-624-4215. CFA.arizona.edu/galleries

Pearls of Eden – Wil Taylor is on view through January 5. Hours: Daily 8:30am-4:30pm. 2150 N. Alvernon Way. 520-326-9686. TucsonBotanical.org


SO AZ TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM Dinner in the Diner is currently on display featuring original china and silver service from the named first class Pullman trains. 414 N. Toole Ave. 520-623-2223. TucsonHistoricDepot.org


The Western Sublime: Majestic Landscapes of the American West and Harry Brorby: The Strength of a Cold Line are on view through February 9. Dwayne Manuel: Landslice is on view through June 30. Oazacan Folk Art from the Shepard Barbash and Vicki Ragan Collection is on view through August 9. I’m Every Woman: Representations of Women on Paper is on view through September 6. Ongoing exhibits include Ralph Gibson: Photographs; Art of the American West; Latin American Folk Art; J. Knox Corbett House, and the La Casa Cordova. Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. 140 N. Main Ave. 520-624-2333. TucsonMuseumofArt.org

UA MUSEUM OF ART American Art Gallery: 1925

through January 10. 6872 E. Sunrise Dr. Suite 130. 520722-7798. MedicineManGallery.com

Holiday Show is on view to January 5. Signature Members Show is on view January 7 to February 2 with a reception January 16 from 5pm to 7pm. Annual Show is on view February 4 to March 1 with a reception February 13 from 5pm to 7pm. Fiesta Sonora is on view March 3 to April 5 with a reception March 12 from 5pm to 7pm. Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-4pm. Williams Centre 5420 East Broadway Blvd #240. 520-299-7294. SouthernAZWatercolorGuild.com

to 1945 is on view through May 2020. Contemporary Art Gallery and Modern Art Gallery are on view through June. Crafting My Story: Experience of Loss, Grief and Spiritual Life is on view through January 12. The University of Arizona School of Art Faculty Exhibition is on display through January 5. Ongoing exhibitions include, Highlights of the Permanent Collection and The Altarpiece From Ciudad Rodrigo. Hours: Tues-Fri 9am-4pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 12-5pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 520-6217567. ArtMuseum.Arizona.Edu

MINI TIME MACHINE Paintings on Clayboard and



MARK SUBLETTE MEDICINE MAN GALLERY Francis Livingston – Sun Lands is on view

Coins: Lee Beach and Bryanna Marie is on view through April 26. Behold the Big Top: Jean LeRoy’s Circus Parade is on view February 4 through May 10. Miniature Silver: The Helen Goodman Luria Collection continues through May 21. Tues-Sat 9am-4pm and Sun 12-4pm. 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr. 520-881-0606. TheMiniTimeMachine.org

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART Three exhibitions open January 11 and are on view through May 3: Amir H. Fallah: Scatter My Ashes on Foreign Lands; Diane Shpungin: Bright Light / Darkest Shadow; and Gary Setzer: The Unique Title of This Museum Exhibition Differentiates it From Other Exhibitions Produced by the Artist While it Simultaneously Hints at the Substance of the Artwork it Contains. Hours: Weds-Sun 12-5pm. 265 S. Church Ave. 520-624-5019. MOCA-Tucson.org PHILABAUM GLASS GALLERY & STUDIO Fresh Views will be on display through January 25. Hours: Tues-Sat 11am-4pm. 711 S. 6th Ave. 520-8847404. PhilabaumGlass.com


In the Main Gallery, Rancho Linda Vista is on view through February 5. On the Desert / The Discovery and Invention of Color opens February 12 through April 15 in the Main Gallery, with a reception February 13 from 5:30 pm to 8pm. Jim Waid: The Rancho Linda Vista Drawings is on view through February 5 in the Welcome Gallery. Andrew Rush / Sonoran Desert Grasses is on view through February 2 in the Entry Gallery with an artist reception on January 9 from 5:30pm to 8pm. Hours: Daily 9am-5pm. 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. 520-742-6455. TohonoChulPark.org


Delilah Montoya, Sed, the Trail of Thirst is on view through February 2. Snap! Ongoing exhibitions include: Desert Hollywood, Sacred Walls: Native American Muralism. Hours: Weds-Sun 10am-4pm. 7000 E Tanque Verde Rd. 520-202-3888. TucsonDArt.org

A World on Paper: Broadsides opens December 3 and is on view through February 15. Hours: Mon & Thurs 9am-8pm; Tues, Weds, Fri 9am-5pm. 1508 E. Helen St. 520-626-3765. Poetry. Arizona.Edu


MEYER GALLERY Abstract Conversations – Color Line and Gesture is on view in January with an artist reception January 17 from 5pm to 7pm. Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm; Thurs 10am-7pm; Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 12-5pm. 2890 E. Skyline Dr. Suite 170. 520-615-5222. WildeMeyer.com WOMANKRAFT ART GALLERY

Getting Into Shapes is February 2 to March 30 with receptions February 2 and March 2 from 7pm to 9pm. Hours: Weds-Sat 1-5pm. 388 S. Stone Ave. 520-629-9976. WomanKraft.org

January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 39

photo: Brad Nichols

Z tunes

The Bennu

Tucson Rock Meets Outer Space by Gregory McNamee

THE BENNU don’t play many dates—less than a dozen a year, by guitarist Nick Szumowski’s count. That’s mostly for lack of venues in Tucson that can accommodate a band that fills a stage with arcane technology and a dance floor with spinning bodies, which explains why they’re often to be found at 191 Toole, a place that can hold the several hundred people the band easily draws. Just as often, however, they play small gigs at venues like the Hop Shop, whose beer garden holds a fifth that number and requires would-be dancers to stay pretty much in place, though there’s plenty of movement there, too, of heads and feet. The Bennu also aren’t easy to categorize. They’re not desert rock, the favored genre of old-timers here. They’re not a blues band, though they know their way around a blues progression. They’re not quite rock, not quite jazz. Instead, think of a mashup that might include bits of the Beastie Boys, Black Sabbath, Herbie Hancock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jamiroquai, and Kraftwerk. Throw in a lead singer who can range easily from opera and jazz to Janis Joplin and has a growl to do Ann Wilson proud, a rhythm section deeply schooled in music theory, and a guitarist who so esteems John McLaughlin and Shakti that he’s planning to hop aboard a plane and fly to India to see them, and you’ve got an eclectic mix that doesn’t lend itself to description with readymade labels. “We’ve got a vibe,” says Szumowski, who thinks of the band as working somewhere in that part of the Venn diagram where space rock meets the jam-bandy tendencies of Phish and the String Cheese Incident, albeit with a tendency to throw in thrashy breakdowns where they’re least expected. Those 40 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com|January 2020

tunes Z

photo: Peter Romano

shifts occur on the turn of a dime, thanks so some diabolically clever technology that eliminates the need for floor monitors while also allowing the band to talk to each other. It’s cool gear, neither commonly found nor inexpensive. It helps, Szumowski allows, that the band has day jobs. He works with a consortium of farmers’ markets. The singer and keyboard player are medical doctors. The bassist and drummer work at a popular tourist destination. And how they all fell together, Szumowski says, is a fitting piece of accident and synchronicity. Take the band’s name. It came from a book that Szumowski and a couple of his friends, all transplants to the desert from the North Woods, were reading. Not long after they put it on their list of possible band names, NASA-affiliated scientists at the University of Arizona held an informal contest to name a newly discovered asteroid, and a preteen kid from somewhere back east hit on Bennu, a bird of Egyptian mythology that’s kin to the phoenix. Bennu is what the UA-designed spacecraft OSIRIS-REx is now circling, waiting to land—but the band got to it first, and NASA ought to be paying them royalties.

Then there’s that origin story, with those transplants from Minnesota, a decade or so ago, starting out by jamming à la the Dead and Phish, stoner music par excellence. Some members came and went, and when they went new members came in, including singer Vasanta Weiss, who, Szumowski recalls, was deep into Hindu devotional music when they met. She brought some of that into the mix, while keyboardist Brad Nichols adds ELP and Keith Godchaux–ish flourishes and drummer Adam Ackermann and bassist Derek Norman provide an irresistible beat that can take the band from Zep and Heart to swirling, impeccably performed originals without a moment’s hesitation. To get a taste of their ever-changing music, visit the band’s webpage at www.thebennu.com, which has audio recordings and videos. Take your time— some of the tunes are more than 20 minutes long, and they’re full of twists and turns. Then find them next time they’re out and about. On that note, The Bennu will welcome in the next decade with a New Year’s Eve show at the Sky Bar (536 N. 4th Ave.). They’ll also play at the late-night Gem & Jam Festival, an all-ages show at the Pima County Fairgrounds (11300 S. Houghton Rd.) on the night of January 31–February 1. n January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 41


Tickets available at the Rewards Center or online at etix.com




FEB. 22

Sahuarita An Enterprise of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

tunes Z

Naïm Amor and Thøger Lund

“The Secret Weapon”

Secret Jazz A Three-Day Festival Bows into Tucson’s Musical Calendar by Gregory McNamee The “Secret Jazz Series” isn’t secret in the sense that the musicians will be shrouded in a cone of silence, the audience haunted by spies or masked harlequins—although, in Tucson, anything can happen. Instead, the inaugural run of the series is said to be secret because on each of its three mid-January nights, it will employ a so-called secret weapon at the keyboards, a Danish master of the genre whose identity will be known to—well, at least to Danish jazz fans, of whom series co-organizer Thøger Lund is one, as well as being a well-practiced hand at jazz, rock, and other musical styles. The brainchild of Mellow Dawn Lund, a founder and co-owner of MAST and noted leather worker, her husband Thøger, and Amy Smith, co-owner of Exo Coffee and the El Crisol Bar and herself a musician, the Secret Jazz Series will focus on a different style each night. The first night, a Thursday, will feature hard bop, the largely spontaneous and technically challenging jazz category exemplified by the 1950s work of John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Thelonious Monk. Thøger Lund will be playing double bass, joined by Casey Hadland on drums and Mike Moynihan on sax, while the aforementioned secret weapon will helm the piano. “We don’t really know what’s going to happen,” says Thøger. “It’s all going to be improvised.” The second night will feature Naïm Amor on guitar, a secret weapon of another kind. And on that note, the second set will highlight Howe Gelb, a Tucson rock veteran whose recent work has taken a turn toward jazz. “That’s going to be interesting,” says Thøger, “because Howe has been talking lately about wanting to do his ‘future standards’ as a singer alone, with someone else on piano.” The overall theme of the night is “crooning,” which has long been associated with soft-edged singers like Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallée, but, this being the desert, we might expect a little more grit in the bargain.

On closing night, Thøger will put down his upright bass and pick up an electric that’s fed through what he calls “a lo-fi sampling setup,” while Gus Woodrow will play guitar and our Danish pianist will move over to a Wurlitzer organ for a night of electric music, a theme in the realm of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Miles Davis, and other artists who joined rock sensibilities to jazz a decade after the heyday of hard bop. The walls are sure to shake, and, as the organizers put it, “You’ve heard jazz like this. You haven’t seen it yet.” Thøger promises that, though improvisation will come into the picture, the work will be recognizable—if with at least one unexpected choice of song, one that would easily fit into the second night’s proceedings. “We’ve been talking about this for a couple of years,” says Mellow, “where we’ll bring in players from Denmark and other countries and have them play sets with Tucson musicians.” As she points out, in Copenhagen, every bar offers live music pretty much around the clock, while in Tucson, even in a festival setting, there are few venues, and even there it’s only for a set or two. The Lunds and Amy Smith aim for the series to grow to include other stages in the future, spread out all over the city, Copenhagen-style. “Our place offers a unique kind of intimacy,” says Amy, “but that doesn’t mean it should be the only place where these musicians are playing.” Adds Mellow, “This is just a start, and next year anyone who wants to should join us.” If the Secret Jazz Series is a secret, in other words, let’s hope that it’s an open one, with many editions to come. The Secret Jazz Series runs from January 16 to 18 at El Crisol Bar, housed at the rear of Exo Coffee Shop and Roaster (403 N 6th Ave.). Showtimes are at 8:00 p.m., with a jam session running from 10:00 to 12:00 each night. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door for all three nights. Visit www.exocoffee.com/calendar for more information. n January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 43

Z tunes






What’s Live Mile Wide/Inch Deep by Jim Lipson















*All films at the Tucson J at 3800 E River Rd unless stated otherwise


44 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com|January 2020

INCH DEEP/MILE WIDE, or vice versa, refers to covering a lot of ground (mile wide) in a limited way (inch deep). Something, of course, is better than nothing. My initial hope for this month was to write in depth about several things, including the fabulous CD/EP release show from Gabrielle Pietrangelo late last month. I was at the second show that night, added because the first had sold out. With the voice of an angel, as promised, she took us on a journey deep and personal. And it was wonderful to see the Congress so well transformed into a true listening room experience. Later that same evening I set foot, for the first time ever, into 191 Toole. A drafty warehouse space on Toole Ave, behind the railroad tracks, it was everything I had hoped it would be, funky-deluxe and a perfect place to catch the Legion of Mario and The Bennu (see the feature in this issue). Finally, I’m finding I have a lot to say about the impeachment and was ready to devote several column inches to this and the politics of the day. Instead, I’m left with only a desperate plea for Nancy Pelosi and everyone else who would like to give Trump a change of venue to simply call off the trial and declare victory. Not one single person (save for Jeff Flake) believes there is a snowball’s chance in hell that the Senate will vote to remove. So why not just say, “We’ve made our point, they’re never going to let us call more witnesses, and we can (like the Republicans) reaffirm the notion that, yes, regime change does indeed start and end at the ballot box. See you in November.” January 4—The Wooden Ball, Club Congress: In the past, this annual fundraising gig (which isn’t always so annual) took a page from the old MTV Unplugged series, where rockers would play a stripped-down acoustic or mostly acoustic set. David Slutes, Robin Johnson, Joey Pena, Chris Holliman, and Billy Sed will offer plenty of that. The lineup also features Americana/bluegrass artist Rebekah Rolland, singer/songwriter Katie Haverly, and the multifaceted Sweet Ghosts, all of whom have expansive comfort zones when it comes to playing acoustic. The show runs from 6:30 to 10:30 and costs just $6.00. January 10—Maceo Parker and His Big Band, Centennial Hall: Because Parker embodies so much of the legacy of soul and funk, it’s sometimes forgotten what a killer sax player he is. He fronts a band that includes many

tunes Z January 31—Pieta Brown and David Huckfelt at Exo Bar

January 26—Railroad Earth at Rialto Theatre

former members of the Ray Charles Orchestra, including the Raelettes. Parker has also been a part the history of blending funk and soul, having collaborated with James Brown, George Clinton, and Prince. The show begins at 8:00, and tickets start at $30.00. January 10—Booker T. Jones, Rialto Theatre: Like virtually everyone else on the planet, I first became aware of Booker T. via the timeless instrumental “Green Onions.” This is a tune with a hook so good that, once heard, it becomes instantly ingrained into the memory receptors. He and his band were later featured as a part of Otis Redding’s sizzling backup at Monterey Pop. If you’re wondering, like me, how much money, if any, he made off “Green Onions,” there is probably a story or two in the new autobiography, Time is Tight, from which he will be reading (and later selling/signing) before he plays a long set after a limited Q&A. This should be a fascinating event that punctuated with tunes old and new, will also include selections from his newest recording, Note By Note, which also features his son Teddy on vocals and guitar. Tickets are going fast and run between $63.00 and $82.00 for the 8:00 pm show. January 11—John Coinman and Blair Forward, Exo Bar: This is an encore performance of their show as a duo a few months ago. Because Coinman usually fronts a band, this is a rare opportunity to see him in a way that will fully showcase the artfulness of his songwriting. Expect a full helping of tunes from his brilliant and most recent CD, Under the Sun. The show starts at 8:00, and there’s no cover charge. January 19—Mavis Staples, Fox Theatre: This show is perhaps the most featured event of this year’s Tucson Jazz Festival, which is going on all month. Turning 80 this year, Mavis can still belt it out, be it gospel, blues, or Dylan. “I am the messenger—that’s my job,” she was recently quoted as saying. If you can’t make the show and you still want to be inspired, check out the Staples Singers singing “The Weight,” in studio, toward the end of Martin Scorsese’s documentary/concert film The Last Waltz, celebrating The Band. Still gives me chills. The show starts at 7:00, and tickets run from $34.50 to $64.50. January 19—Coco Montoya, 191 Toole: Guitar ace Coco Montoya comes to Tucson almost every year, and good thing, since he’s dynamite. Too bad his

show isn’t a couple of weeks later, when his old boss and musical buddy John Mayall comes to town. Tickets are $17.00 for the 7:30 show. January 23—Bright & Childers, Monterey Court: Nancy Lynn Bright and Hank Childers don’t play out all that often, and when they do, this versatile fivepiece, offering up their take on folk and Americana, should be seen. The show starts at 6:30 and is free. January 25—Fab Four, Fox Theatre: Ever since having heard a Christmas parody of tunes that sound like Beatles songs but are really inventive covers of Christmas classics, I’ve developed a soft spot for these lads, who are, of course, no longer lads. The show starts at 8:00, and tickets go for $30.00–$55.00. January 26—Railroad Earth, Rialto Theatre: I’ve been a fan of this East Coast acoustic six-piece hippie-jam (but not jam-country or country-bluegrass or bluegrass) band ever since seeing them at Plush about 15 years ago. Really good and really fun. The show starts at 7:30 and costs $25.00. January 31—Pieta Brown and David Huckfelt, Exo Bar: An exceptional songwriter, Brown has shared writing credits with Iris Dement, Amos Lee, and Calexico and tour dates with John Prine, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, J.J. Cale, Neko Case, Richard Thompson, and Ani DiFranco. What more do you need to know? This KXCI-sponsored gig runs $18.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door and starts at 8:00. February 1—TKMA Presents Wood and Wire w/Ryanhood, El Casino Ballroom: Unlike previous El Casino benefits, which have all been big dance events, this year’s benefit showcases two different acoustic groups that feature superb musicianship to go along with great vocals and songwriting. This show will benefit the 35th annual Tucson Folk Festival. It begins at 7:30, with tickets $15.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door. February 1—John Mayall, Rialto Theatre: Another one north of 80 and still making great music. There’s so much to love about this man, his music, and how he has mentored so many great blues players over the years. Catch him at 8:00, with tickets running from $28.00 to $43.00. n

January 2020|ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 45

46 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com|January 2020

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