Z贸calo Tucson arts and culture / ZOCALOMAGAZINE.COM / May 2014 / no. 52
index May 2014 05. Tidbits 11. Business 14. History 17. Arts 35. Downtown 38. Food & Drink 43. Film 44. Events 45. Fashion 46. Garden 48. Tunes 58. Life in Tucson On the cover:
Tucson photographer Jade Beall releases her book, The Bodies of Mothers; A Beautiful Body Project. Pictured: Stephanie, mother of two. Read more about Jade on page 17.
Zócalo Magazine is locally owned, produced, and printed in Tucson.
PUBLISHER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR David Olsen EDITOR Jamie Manser CONTRIBUTORS Craig Baker, Marisa Bernal, Andrew Brown, Jon D’Auria, Jamie Manser, Brandon Merchant, Jade Nunes, Steve Renzi, Herb Stratford, Monica Surfaro Spigelman, Eric Swedlund, Elsa Watson. LISTINGS Marisa Bernal, email@example.com PRODUCTION ARTISTS Troy Martin, David Olsen CONTACT US:
firstname.lastname@example.org P.O. Box 1171, Tucson, AZ 85702-1171 520.955.ZMAG Zocalo Magazine is printed in Tucson at Sundance Press.
Subscribe to Zocalo at www.zocalomagazine.com/subscriptions. Zocalo is available free of charge 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 © 2009-2014 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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from the editor
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I recently pulled out the inaugural issue of Zócalo, published in May 2009, to see how the magazine has evolved over the last five years. We are definitely thicker and glossier, but our mission is still the same as it was when I wrote my first From the Editor: “to have a positive, intelligent tone that celebrates the creativity pulsating in this town.” It is easy to cover the great people and events, the difficult part is making the choices of what to specifically cover. We have a democratic process, we depend on our writers to come up with ideas and David and I supplement the rest. We welcome your feedback and ideas for Zócalo. We’d like to be as diverse as Tucson’s international community—a town that proves time and again to be an amazing incubator for visionaries. On the cover is a photo by Jade Beall, whose photography and message of celebrating self-love and body diversity has traveled the global with a fervor that speaks to the emotional need her work is filling. Within these pages are stories of other international artists and musicians (Daniel Martin Diaz, Paula Catherine Valencia, Linda Chorney, Mel Rivers, Albert Chamillard) creating and living in a place that gives the space and vibe for eclectic expression. We dig their stories and hope you do too. Here’s to the next five years! Thanks for making it a joy Tucson. – Jamie Manser
Tidbits Jell-O Throw-Down for SAAF
The 27th Annual Reno Gannon Memorial Jell-O Wrestling Extravaganza and Benefit Auction and its teams of wrestlers are combating HIV/AIDS by wrestling in a pit of Jell-O, often with extraordinary costumes and characters, on Saturday, May 3. Between wrestling matches, the Drag Diva Hostesses runs a live auction featuring a variety of unique items selected to please the crowd. Funds raised through the event assist Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and its mission to create and sustain a healthier community through a compassionate, comprehensive response to HIV/ AIDS. Advanced tickets are $20, $25 day of the event. It goes down at The Slaughterhouse, 1102 W. Grant Rd., just east of the I-10 access ramp. Doors open at 5 p.m. Find out more at Jello-Wrestling.saaf.org.
Score a Deal on City Surplus
Are you looking for a bus or a pickup? How about a digital camera or a treadmill? You can find these items and more on the City of Tucson's surplus auction website. View the items listed for bid: bit.ly/1br4W2N. Learn more about Tucson's Public Surplus auctions at bit.ly/1jEdrzB.
The Diagnostics Summit: Innovative Pathways to Better Health
This summit is a part of the inaugural season of the University of Arizona/Miraval Institute collaboration and brings together leading innovators in the field of diagnostics and personalized healthcare in an effort to explore new technologies, the latest advances in science and new frontiers in personalized diagnostics. The two-day meeting, May 4-6, will focus on innovations in diagnostics from point of care (necrosis sensing shoes and concussion sensing helmets) to unique biomarkers (including Alzheimerâ€™s) that will help guide the future of healthcare. Find more information at DXInsights.org/events.
Beading Divas to the Rescue
Since April 2009, Beading Divas to the Rescue has been handcrafting one-of-a-kind beaded bracelets made with donated beads. The bracelets are used to fund raise for 501c3 animal charities. In five years, the creatively industrious Divas have raised (as of April 9, 2014) $99,541 from $20 bracelets sold one at a time. Thirty pet charities in Arizona and greyhound charities in CA, MA, FL, IL and KS have also benefited from
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The new Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails at Plaza Centro on opening night.
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donations. The 5th anniversary celebration, A Cause for Applause, is on Tuesday, May 6 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at La Cocina Restaurant, 201 N. Court Ave. The public is invited for no-host food and drink plus live music and free raffle drawings which will give back to Southern Arizona’s non-profit organizations. Learn more at tinyurl.com/krs58dn.
Cinema La Placita’s 15th Season
The Cinema La Placita outdoor film series began with a grant from the City of Tucson and has since screened over 375 movies in Downtown Tucson, starting in April 2000. The showing of classic films outdoors on Thursdays in the lovely plaza setting of La Placita Village, 110 S. Church Ave. is at 7:30 p.m. weekly, May through August. $3/person admission includes popcorn and all proceeds contribute directly to the programming of the series. Cinema La Placita, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The May schedule is: May 8, “The Thin Man” (1934); May 15, “The Philadelphia Story” (1940); May 22, “Charade” (1963); May 29, “His Girl Friday” (1940). Organized by Erika O’Dowd, she said via email, “This was the lineup for the first month of Cinema La Placita, back in 2000 as demonstrated by the Cary Grant emphasis. We're celebrating our 15th season—drawing from the movies I showed when I first began this thing. We'll also be doing some audience voting as well.” Visit the website, CinemaLaPlacita.com or call the recorded info line, (520) 326-5282, for details.
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Found Footage Festival
The acclaimed touring showcase of odd and hilarious found videos celebrates its 10th anniversary with a brand-new show in Tucson. Hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, whose credits include The Onion and the Late Show with David Letterman, are excited to show off their new lineup of found video clips and live comedy in this one-night-only appearance on Saturday, May 10, 7 p.m., at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets to the Found Footage Festival are $12, $10 for Loft members and are available at the door or at FoundFootageFest.com.
New Downtown Businesses
Last month, The Coronet Café opened its doors at 402 E. 9th St. Situated in the Coronado Hotel with perfect people-watching outdoor seating, the bistro offers menus (covering herbivores, omnivores and carnivores) for morning, afternoon, evening, brunch and drinks. Hours are MondayWednesday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Call (520) 222-9889 or go to CafeCoronet.com with inquiries. The Scottsdale restaurant and bar, Hi Fi Kitchen and Cocktails, expanded to Tucson late last month. Residing in a custom-designed 8,000 square-foot space in the new Plaza Centro complex at 345 E. Congress St., the music-centric, retro haunt features a full menu that includes brunch and late-night dining options. It is open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Satisfy your curiosity at HiFiBars.com or ring (520) 268-9110. n
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photos: courtesy of Buffalo Exchange
Style Setting, The
Buffalo Exchange Celebrates 40 Years on the Range by Monica Surfaro Spigelman "Style isn't just about what you wear. It's about how you live." —designer Lily Pulitzer, 2004 Do you remember the 70s? No worries if you don’t, because a young anthropology student was there, embracing ethnic embroideries and the geometric fashion patterns of a unique era for all of us. Lucky for Tucson, that student was Kerstin Block–who transformed a longtime passion into a deceptively clever business niche called Buffalo Exchange, earning herself (and Tucson) a national reputation as a retailing hot spot in the process. As Buffalo Exchange celebrates its 40th anniversary, there’s recognition not only about how Block weathered fickle fashion cycles, but also about how she was the first to capture what’s now the zeitgeist formula of re-purposed style; one that combines selling hip, reused clothing with a wildly-successful swap-buy-shop merchandising technique. Fashion front-running came naturally to Kerstin, who co-founded Buffalo Exchange in 1974 with her husband, Spencer. (They met when Kerstin was in Tucson on a scholarship from Sweden). After an early married life that crisscrossed Sweden, Chicago and other cities, the two returned to Tucson for Spencer’s teaching job. Thrifting at the time was Kerstin’s hobby as well as a way to contain expenses for her young family. “There’s a beautiful tangible aspect to clothing that affects our experience of the world, and I saw that in the lovely ethnic things I found in Tucson,” remembers Kerstin, whose dress and decoration reveal more than just a love of vintage. “We were poor but that didn’t mean we couldn’t appreciate fashions inspired by global culture, the environment and the arts.”
Remix Redux Kerstin and Spencer may have been hippies, but they had a hard business sense. “I started reading government publications about swap shops, which were popular after World War II. I blended that knowledge with my thrifting perspective, and found a way to reconcile making a living with doing what I enjoyed,” Kerstin recalls. In 1974, she launched her first cubby-sized shop on Warren Avenue, paying $100 monthly rent, hoping to draw students from the nearby UA with merchandise mostly from her own closet. In those days, Buffalo Exchange (named so because Kerstin thought it conjured up the iconic west), displayed squaw dresses, antique kimonos and vintage slips opposite an array of mod designs, floras and Mexican tunics. The intense bohemian style statements of the era inspired locals to don Buffalo Exchange’s artistic garb with confidence, and an idea took hold.
The first year never made too much money, but within two years, serious fashion aficionados were taking their cue from Buffalo Exchange, which had captured a niche with its eclectic style eye and business sense. Spencer and Kerstin had grown a lifestyle brand. Today, the Buffalo Exchange enterprise has spun into 44 sister stores across the country, three Colorado franchises and two outlets (Nogales and San Antonio). The once mom-and-pop operation now reports over $82 million in national sales and employs 750. In Tucson alone, there are 70 employees who work out of the bungalow-style corporate complex at Helen Street and 6th Avenue, with 30 more employees in Buffalo Exchange’s three Tucson stores.
Close Knit Taking wardrobes from forgettable to affordable fab has always been a Block family affair. Spencer put aside teaching (he held two master’s degrees) to reignite salesmanship learned from his family’s fish-market background, and helped Kerstin build out the business through characteristic kibitzing and unusual ad campaigns that became a brand hallmark. Although Spencer died in 2009 after a long struggle with cancer, the strategies he and Kerstin cultivated live on in Buffalo Exchange’s culture. Rebecca, one of the two Block girls (Karen also lives in Tucson), joined the business more than 20 years ago. Now Rebecca and Kerstin share 60-plus years of experience as well as their passion for “The Way of the Buffalo” philosophy that’s reinforced in shop details, company training, the company’s fashion ‘zine and corporate planning. Along with a core group of long-service managers, Kerstin and Rebecca operate somewhat from trends and more so from an entrepreneurial biz reference that embraces promote-from-the-ranks open management and an unusual style slant. It’s all earned the company a strong client base nationwide.
The Buzz Now Every season, a new look becomes the attitude-of-the-moment, and fashion is more segmented than it once was, Rebecca and Kerstin concur. “Our buyers need to know their stuff in this ever-moving target,” Rebecca comments. “We have our training, but that love of clothing and style gene need to be there at the start…” Shoppers may float between categories, Rebecca and Kerstin explain. The two illustrate this in their personal fashion tastes: While Rebecca favors bohemian, there are days she’ll wear simple preppy. Kerstin most often pairs her classic J Crew or Banana Republic sweaters with embroidered skirts. continued on next page
photos: Inside the 2014 Buffalo Exchange 40th anniversary Airstream trailer. Also, Kerstin and Rebecca Block (2009) and below, Kerstin and Spencer (1977). May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 11
photo: courtesy of Buffalo Exchange
continued from previous page “Our buyers closely follow what’s vogue, but they also look for those quality styles that anchor any wardrobe. They’re trained to look for fine detail and forward design,” says Rebecca, who also notes that the world is cresting these days with hipster normcore and rockabilly styles. Thus, leather jackets, gingham blouses and pencil skirts mix on Buffalo Exchange racks with trunk sale couture and festival or bohemian wear. “Fashion is personal,” Kerstin continues. “Our pieces are about the details that will help the wearer capture his or her look and tell a story. “
Road Trip Perhaps fashion self-expression is nowhere more visual than in the Buffalo Exchange 40th anniversary Airstream trailer, now caravanning across the country and creating eclectic pop-ups alongside Buffalo Exchange stores through May 22. The company purchased the 1969 Airstream Land Yacht from a Tucsonan last year. After towing it back from the Tucson Mountains to the company warehouse nearby Helen Street, Buffalo Exchange maintenance crews gutted the interior and created an expressive boutique as cozy as a living room. Store Development Coordinator Dana Whitney explains how the crew outfitted the trailer interior with vintage suitcases, salvaged wood shelving and a Reader’s Digest cover-bedecked checkout counter. She says it was a team DIY project much like the process for each new store opening. “There’s a vision of an unconventional, quality bazaar in a crafty, creative atmosphere,” notes the 29-year Buffalo Exchange veteran, who often travels with Kerstin to identify new store locations. Once a city is selected, “we’ll need to have a gut reaction about the atmosphere of the location… kind of cool and artsy, possibly near a college,” she says. “We love old buildings and will play off the architectural character and the feel of the neighborhood.” Most of the knickknacks and odd items for display fabrication are purchased in Tucson by Whitney and staff associates, who comb Tucson thrift shops, estate sales and “not-to-be-revealed” hidden sources during weekly scouting trips. “Then we’ll load up a truck and set up a store in three and a half days,” she smiles.
Waste Not Hardly lurking in the background is the company’s focus on local sourcing and sustainability. For example, the unique western-themed imaging of tattoo artist Allyson Bennett (a former Tucsonan) was wrapped across the Airstream via decals produced by a Tucson signage firm; all Buffalo exchange marketing materials are printed locally using recyclable materials and Tucson talent. The mantra of arts and environment also translates into the company’s philanthropy and work ethic. Buffalo Exchange has donated millions to local 12 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
programs and charities, notably here in Tucson but also across the country in Buffalo Exchange shop neighborhoods, raising awareness around core issues. Since 1994, the company has implemented a token program for shoppers using their own bags, helping remove millions of plastic shopping bags from landfills and donating to shoppers’ choice charities. April Earth Day campaigns include Dollar Day Sales, raising funds for special causes. The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum was the 2014 Dollar Day fund recipient. To encourage creativity (and to acknowledge the important contribution of the local artistic community to Buffalo Exchange’s success), Kerstin and Spencer established an annual visual arts award, which is managed through the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. Bisbee metal artist Brenna Curry was awarded the 20th annual prize.
Pioneering “It’s all about encouraging an entrepreneurship that is from the heart,” says Kerstin, about the often intangible elements that spiral businesses and artists to success. Whether it’s in opening a new city or in building the team, “we make a commitment,” Kerstin explains. “Nothing is taken lightly. We make an investment in people and communities.” (Cities on the Buffalo Exchange horizon include Baltimore and Nashville.) Entrepreneurship is getting excited about an idea and figuring it out on a simple level, she continues. And it’s a never-ending process. For Kerstin, that’s meant opening the Buffalo Trading Post at 2740 S. Kinney Rd. in February, in the Cat Mountain B&B shopping complex she owns, as a shopping concept of Mexican blankets, bedspreads, vintage Mexican pottery and classical clothes. Kerstin and Rebecca believe Tucson is a fertile environment for innovation, and they’re quick to acknowledge other local entrepreneurs who hone creative enterprises. Ari Shapiro and Peter Wilke, Mast, Picánte and Bookmans are on their short list of Tucson pacesetters. Kerstin says it’s key to have a vision, a passion for the unusual. She pulls out “The Way of the Buffalo” business primer, written by Spencer, and points to a page about humility, honesty and intelligence, to underscore her point. “We like tough—tough love, tough work. We like fun,” she reads. In fashion’s relentless search for the next new thing, the Buffalo Exchange 40th anniversary serves as a reminder of how significant this Tucson-grown house has been to the fashion and business-conscious…and continues to be. n Keep up with Buffalo Exchange at BuffaloExchange.com.
photo courtesy Anna Laos
Anna & Roy Laos
Roy & Anna Laos circa April 1952.
by Steve Renzi
The year was 1950. Anna Laos was sitting at a table with a group of friends at Club Latino on South Stone Avenue at 16th Street, and a man with a white bandage wrapped around his head walks in the front door and up to the table. Who is this old man? “I didn’t know him,” Anna recalled. “He asked me to dance. The next night he came over to my house and serenaded me.” Anna married that “old man,” Roy E. Laos, two years later. They’ve been partners in marriage, family and business ever since. Anna Laos is sitting at her desk inside Roy’s Arizona Liquor & Food at 647 S. 6th Ave., and she has stories to tell: stories about the neighborhood, the people and the local history of Downtown. Behind her is a wall filled with framed photographs and personal mementos. She takes one down: a restaurant menu from the Shanghai Café. “When we bought this building in 1958, it was a Chinese/American restaurant and this is an original menu.” It lists: T-bone steak dinner - $1.85. Hamburger – 30 cents. Cup of coffee – 10 cents. “See that picture of Ronald Reagan on the wall? He sent that to Roy after the two of them went horseback riding together in Arivaca, while he
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was President.” A buzzer sounds. It’s after closing time, still Anna gets up and walks past the blue vinyl chairs, where customers can sit and talk, past the shelves filled with vintage Jim Beam decanter bottles, past the life-size cardboard figures of Elvira, Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne, and over to the sliding walk-up window. What does the customer want? Maybe a postcard, or a plastic comb, an alarm clock, a can of beans, a blackboard eraser, or a thermos bottle. How about a craft beer or an elegant bottle of wine? It’s all here. Impatient, the customer is gone by the time Anna arrives. She looks out the window. “That’s Blind John,” she says. She knows her customers by name. “He’ll be back tomorrow.” Anna walks back to her desk. She’s got more stories to tell: how about the time César Chavez and a group of protestors surrounded the store in the late '60s. “We used to sell Gallo wine and lots of it. César Chavez wanted Roy to take it off the shelves. My husband said he wouldn’t because his customers wanted it. Three weeks later, here comes a large group of protestors, led by Chavez, many of them waving red flags with what looked to me like chickens on them. They surrounded the store. I knew a lot of the protes-
Anna Laos outside of Roy’s Arizona Liquor & Food. photo: Steve Renzi
tors. Roy grabs an American flag, burst out of the store and starts waving it. Eventually, it went to court and the court ruled that we had the right to sell the wine.” When she met Roy, he was a WWII veteran, studying to be a licensed pharmacist and also helping his father’s transit company by driving a bus. That’s why, when they first met, he was wearing a bandage around his head. Earlier that day, he had been in a minor traffic accident. “Roy’s father started his own bus company in 1920, called the Old Pueblo Transit Company. It served the south and west sides of Tucson because the other bus company wouldn’t go south of the railroad tracks and pick up Mexicans, Blacks and Indians. He started with one Chevy truck; he attached wooden benches on the flatbed and stretched canvas over the top for shade. Sometimes, people would pay with tamales or chickens, anything they had,” said Laos. “Roy graduated from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in 1952 and became a licensed pharmacist. This neighborhood was full of single-family homes, filled with families with children. As a pharmacist, Roy helped to cure a lot of kids that were sick in this neighborhood. We also raised five boys together. They all worked in the store after school; stocking shelves, cleaning and sweeping, taking the garbage out. All of them have a good work ethic and they all graduated from the University of Arizona. “We've lived in Armory Park since 1960 and still live in the same house. It tore me up when I saw them tearing down the barrio to build the convention center. They wanted to do more (destruction), but we stopped them. Mayor Corbett wanted to build the Butterfield Freeway from the airport to the convention center. This would have torn down a large part of Armory Park and Safford and Carrillo schools. One freeway plan also called for elevating the wishing shrine, El Tiradito, up in the air on freeway pylons. “Rosendo Perez and I led the protest against these plans. Mayoral candidate Lew Murphy supported us. He won the election by 360 votes. It took an election and a miracle to stop the freeway plans. I believe it was the power of the castaway of El Tiradito. After that, we helped to place the wishing shrine on the National Register of Historic Places” (added in 1971). “We also got the Amory Park neighborhood designated as a historic neighborhood. The reason we were able to do this was because of the railroad. All the houses along South 3rd Avenue, which is right in the middle of Armory Park, were railroad houses, for the workers. The neighborhood was accepted on the national register in 1976.” Times change. The Spanish word for pharmacy, botica, is on the store signage out front, but the pharmacy has been closed for a few years. Roy is retired. Anna still works and she enjoys it. She welcomes the changes she sees happening in the surrounding neighborhood. “I see younger people moving back in, in fact, four new couples have moved in within eyesight of the store. They are bringing a vitality and new life and I’m absolutely glad to see it. “We have had 14 wine tastings at our store and each one has been a little more successful each time. More people are coming. That was the prime reason for them, to gather the neighbors together, so they will get to know one another.” Institutions come in all shapes and sizes; they evolve and change. Sadly, one of the best—the mom & pop neighborhood store—is disappearing. They are neighborhood anchors and communal gathering spots. Over time, you get to know the owners and they know you. If you’re a kid, they watch you grow up and you watch them grow older. A place of memories and stories. At Roy’s Arizona Liquor & Food, you can have a conversation with owner Anna Laos, buy a bottle of beer, pick up some school supplies and on your way out, step on the vintage scale to have your weight and fortune told. Appreciate it while you still can. n Roy’s Arizona Liquor & Food is located at 647 S. 6th Ave. Hours are Monday–Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone (520) 623–4824.
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Authentic Photography, Natural Bodies by Jamie Manser
There’s a hunger in the world for love, acceptance, compassion and understanding. There’s also a hunger in the women of this world—and definitely those imbued by the unrealistic dictates of Western culture and the media’s unrelenting notion of what “perfection” looks like—to find selflove in bodies that don’t match what is showcased on television screens, movie screens, billboards and in magazine ads. Tucson photographer Jade Beall fed that hunger when she posted a vulnerable, nude self-portrait with her newborn son in 2012. The image went viral and, as she writes in her newly released photography book The Bodies of Mothers: A Beautiful Body Project, “Not only was this self-portrait helping others, it was a self-love catalyst for me too!” Beall’s act of courage spoke to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women across the globe. Requests from women wanting to be photographed started pouring in, but how to pay for it? Her husband and business partner Alok Appadurai said they needed to launch a Kickstarter campaign and make a video. Sitting in her office on 9th Street, tucked on the west side of their clothing shop Fed by Threads, Jade says, “I didn't want to do the Kickstarter video because I didn't believe that anybody would possibly back some chick from Tucson who had no photo credibility. And Alok said, 'Let's just do it. It's just a video!' So, we made a video and it has had almost two million views now, through YouTube and Kickstarter combined! And it just boggles my mind because it is a video I was so hesitant to make, I was so afraid it was going to be so amateur.” That video ultimately raised $58,000 and sparked a worldwide media frenzy, starting with The Huffington Post, in early 2013. Beall's story has since garnered coverage in over 60 outlets, ranging from the BBC, Yahoo!,
Tucson Weekly and the Arizona Daily Star to The Guardian, Baby France, Mums & Tots to The Today Show. At first, the coverage was a bit overwhelming, she says, but “it's died down, it is mellow and perfect right now. But, it was also super exciting. I was not expecting it.” While the media has mostly been accurate in their reporting, Jade says there were some words they used that “I wish they hadn't, like, 'This is what real mothers' bodies look like,' those words I don't identify with and I don't use. But, I trust that was what they needed to do and that's their stuff, but overall, I feel really supported.” Jade has a sweet, open, energetic and fun goofiness that is undeniably engaging. Her work with the mothers, women physically and emotionally exposing themselves in ways they may not have done before, has had profound impacts on her subjects' lives. "Her photography seems to transcend mere film or digital image. She seems to be able to capture the spirit or soul of the person she is shooting. Through her lens, everyone is beautiful. It's a unique art that I have not seen in another photographer," says Tucsonan Paula Randall, whose story and pictures are in the book. "I have learned that love is not something that we can compartmentalize into what we think it should look like. Love is absolute acceptance and compassion. It's opening up your heart just a bit farther than you are comfortable with and stepping out of ego. Participating in the Beautiful Body Project has been amazing! I felt so empowered and still do. It has reshaped how I look at myself and how I look at the world." Amy Michel was drawn to the project because she was pregnant with a girl at the time, and Michel "wanted a better society for her; to teach her
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Z arts continued from previous page (that) beauty comes from inside. I just want people to stop thinking that the crap we see in magazines and on TV is normal or attainable." Jade’s tasteful, artistic, authentic photography is reminiscent of Peter Paul Rubens, the 17th century artist whose 1630s paintings depicted curvaceous women, with cellulite and rolls. Beall enthusiastically wants to capture the skin we're in, "blemishes" and all. "I'm not going to Photoshop out varicose veins! 'You had a breakout today? I'm photographing that!' Because, it's just part of the story and I think they are beautiful." Before starting A Beautiful Body Project, Jade's previous photographs were of women that were not pregnant or post pregnancy. Then, she was accused of "only photographing thin, white women. And, I didn't agree, and I don't agree that I only do it one way now. It's not one way or another, it's uniting. But it's also, for me, seeing imagery of all body shapes and skin types. Un-Photoshopped. I want to see blemishes, I want to see pores, I want to see wrinkles! Wrinkles are a part of our skin, to erase them means erasing part of our lives away, the grief and the smiles!" Beall says she had hit rock bottom when she took the self-portrait that cyber-spaced around the world. Her whole life she had lived with selfloathing for not having perfectly clear skin and a perfectly svelte figure. "Luckily I was really successful in school and I did get through it, but I feel I could have done so much more if I felt confident and worthy instead of all this insecurity. And then I go into my 20s, after some therapy, and getting to kind of a good place, but then getting pregnant, gaining like 70 pounds, not shedding it, so, yeah, it was dealing with almost a life long habit of feeling unworthy and then reaching an all time low when I knew I was so blessed. And here I am, feeling like I want to die and I'm the ugliest
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Beall's book, designed by Zócalo's publisher David Olsen, "The Bodies of Mothers: A Beautiful Body Project," celebrates a Mother's Day release on Sunday, May 11 at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., from 9 a.m.noon with a talk at 10 a.m. and music at 11 a.m. The 168 page book is $50 and is available online at ABeautifulBodyProject.com and at the event. Upcoming Beautiful Body Projects include "Wise Women," a collection of women over 50, and a photo project on couples.
photo: Jade Beall
Women of A Beautiful Body Project
person on the earth, wasting my precious time with those thoughts. And then took those photos and then, the truth is, for me, taking those photos, and working on my stuff with a life coach, all these different things, feeling better myself, but then connecting with each of these women and sharing each other's stories and crying and together, each time they would feel better, I would feel better." The amount of coverage Beall has received, along with Tucson's Body Love Conference organizer Jes Baker, seems to signal a paradigm shift to more acceptance of humanity's diversity. "This is a part of a global movement that is happening right now. I don't know how the stars aligned, when I had hit rock bottom, right at that time, that tons of body positive movement stuff was happening all over the planet. And especially here in Tucson—Jes Baker, The Militant Baker, and her huge campaign; our messages are different but very similar. My work went really big in Australia, because they are doing their thing too. And through social media, you can share ideas, and constantly growing from our own inspiration and wanting to empower one another. Sisterhood!" n
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Descending Whale 148, by Albert Chamillard
Albert Chamillard's Abstractions by Eric Swedlund
Albert Chamillard slowly builds his drawings, layering thousands of small precise marks until the form takes shape. His style–patient, reflective and emblematic–emerged over time. As an art student at the UA, Chamillard concentrated on larger works, fourfoot by five-foot, with bold charcoal drawings. After having kids, he says it became harder to get out of the house and go to his studio to do that kind of work, so he began working on a smaller scale, at night, at his kitchen table.
“These works sprang out of notebooks. They all start out small-scale and I slowly start building them,” he says. Chamillard’s drawings are of a range of subjects, often times geometric abstractions, speech bubbles or figurative drawings of whales. They’re heavily layered, heavily marked and very graphic, yet sparse. His work reads almost like text, with horizontal lines of markings built on top of one another. Often times, he will experiment with an image and its reverse. “Being a figurative artist and experimenting with abstraction, I’ve always liked the idea of people saying ‘My kid could do that.’ I want the drawings to look simple on first appearance and then draw you in further,” he says. Chamillard begins with a first layer, done in a herringbone pattern of back and forth slashes. For the second layer, he makes another pass, reversing each mark for an X pattern. For the third layer, he places horizontal and vertical lines on each. The left-handed artists rests his hand on an envelope to keep the ink from smudging as he slowly adds layers, building contrasts into his conceptual work. The detail in the finished product can be similar to the eye-trickery of optical illusions. “It does something with your eye where it looks a bit blurry and it gives it some movement,” he says. Chamillard, 42, moved to Tucson in 1994 and earned his BFA in 2003. Though Chamillard’s work is conceptual, there’s an idea behind each drawing. The whale motif is biographical, representing his upbringing in Massachusetts. The speech bubbles come from a fascination he has with how speech is depicted in art. As for abstractions, he’ll experiment with different forms to find what looks good on the page. Much of the meaning in his work derives from what Chamillard is thinking about while he’s at work on a piece, which takes about 30 to 50 hours for his current full-size drawings. For instance, one piece is about his relationship with his brother, though he doesn’t tend to make the meaning explicit. “I don’t want to put that idea into people’s heads. All of my stuff is deeply personal. I’m reflecting and thinking about stuff as I work. They carry a lot of emotional weight for me, but it’s not always that obvious,” he says. “It’s good to be in touch with your work and how it relates to you personally.” Art has been the focus of Chamillard’s life, something he always knew he could do. He knew also that a career as an artist would be a struggle, so he persisted in finding ways to make it happen. And while he’s had other jobs in galleries and frame shops most of his adult life, Chamillard’s latest work has connected with people to the point where he can pay all his bills through his art alone. “For whatever reason, people really respond to this work. This has launched a whole new part of my career,” he says. “You reach a point where you just let go and make stuff for yourself to enjoy and people really respond to it.” Chamillard’s work will be part of the Davis Dominguez Gallery’s Small Things Considered show, the small-works invitational running from May 8 to June 28 at 154 E. 6th St. “I try to make stuff that looks beautiful and is enjoyable for me to make. You start to question it too much and that just gets in the way,” Chamillard says. “There’s a human act called art, and I’m a part of it. I understand the compulsion to do it. It’s a way of responding to your world.” n Chamillard's work is also shown at the Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton, NY. Chamillard used to work for Firestone's Tucson gallery and after Firestone moved to New York, Chamillard opened Atlas Fine Arts Services with James Schaub in 2011, which recently closed. See related story on page 35. May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 21
photo: Jade Nunes
Participants paint “Red Wine” at a recent Brush & Bottle class.
BYOB Painting Classes
by Jade Nunes
Staring at a blank canvas can be intimidating to the inexperienced artist. Heck, it can be intimidating to a seasoned artist too. But with the help of instructors and assistants at Brush and Bottle, and maybe even a little liquid encouragement from a favorite wine, beautiful artwork can be achieved by anyone. "I think that it’s not as scary that it seems. After the first ten minutes, after they’ve had some wine, they realize that, 'Hey, I can do this'," said owner and native Tucsonan Olivia Ramirez. "I’ve had costumers come back and say, ‘When I took my painting home, my husband thought that I went out and bought it’.” The bring-your-own-bottle painting class concept is almost everywhere now, according to Ramirez who has a background in engineering, not art. After moving to Texas where she was introduced to painting by a friend, she fell in love. Upon her return to Tucson, she decided to bring painting with her; and Brush and Bottle was born eight months ago. "People buy art. They might go to galleries or fairs to buy it. The idea that they can do it themselves is so different," she said. "I think that art opens your mind, I really do. It broadens your mind. You get to unlock this creative part of you. That’s what art brings us." Located at 1785 E. Prince Rd., the art studio is conveniently situated next to a handful of restaurants and a grocery store where participants can stock up on their favorite wines, goodies and appetizers; they'll even chill wines for their costumers. “We allow our customers to bring in wine, beer and appetizers—anything and everything besides hard liquor," Ramirez said. However, the classes aren't just 21 and over. People of all ages are welcomed to attend and bring their favorite snack and drinks as well. Brush and Bottle definitely reserves the right to ID participants who are consuming alcoholic beverages. "The drink added a nice social element to the class also allowing you to relax and be more creative," said a customer, Samantha Gephart. "I would definitely recommend it whether for a fun and different date night, or getting together with a friend or group." Four artists teach at Brush and Bottle. The classes are scheduled by painting and can be found on the BrushAndBottle.com calendar. Essen22 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
tially, participants are replicating a local artist's original work, a work commissioned specifically for the classes. Step by step instructions allow participants to learn how to mix paint colors, create different kinds of brush strokes and create a one of a kind artwork. "I felt that the class was easy for someone like me who doesn't paint or have fine artistic ability," joked Gephart. "I think one of my favorite parts was seeing everyone's work at the end. Although we all painted the same thing, everyone used different colors, size strokes and shapes to make them look unique and beautiful." Customers are provided a 16x20 canvas, paint, brushes, an apron and guided instructions to create their own masterpiece. Two-hour classes are $35, and three-hour classes are $40, with discounts available for private parties. The studio also provides hairdryers to ensure that customers can leave with their artwork without fear of ruining the upholstery of their vehicle with wet paint. "The directions were simple to follow and went at a pace that everyone could keep up," Gephart said. Children's paintings are available as well. Though kids are welcomed to try to recreate the adult painting taught in the class, there are some simpler designs that they can recreate if desired. "If a family brings in a little one, we’ll actually pre-sketch it out on canvas for them," Ramirez said. "They can paint something that they like, like animals, and can still have a fun evening with mom while mom paints the adult painting." And speaking of moms, Brush and Bottle will be offering a Mother's Day special where customers who sign themselves up to paint can bring their mom to paint for free. Other examples events that are offered include non-alcoholic Family Day events, customer appreciations, birthday parties and even off-site events, or they'll even come to you. n Brush and Bottle is located at 1785 E. Prince Rd. For more information or to schedule group events or private parties, call (520) 881-0655. To access the calendar of classes visit BrushAndBottle.com or visit their Facebook page.
May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 23
"Untitled," by Karen deClouet, shows at The Drawing Studio.
art Galleries/exhibits ART HOUSE CENTRO A Stroll Through The Barrio opens Sat, May 10. Old Town Artisans Complex, 201 N. Court Ave. 620-1725, OldTownArtisans.com
ARTSEYE GALLERY 6th Annual Curious Camera Event continues through summer. Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 10am-5pm. 3550 E. Grant Rd. 327-7291. ArtsEye.com
CENTER FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY
Charles Harbutt, Departures and Arrivals continues through Sun, June 1. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 1pm-4pm. 1030 N. Olive Rd. 621-7968, CreativePhotography.org
CONTRERAS GALLERY Prints: Intaglio, Planographic and Relief show Sun, May 3-Sun, May 31 with a reception opening night, 6pm-9pm. Tues-Fri, 11am-5pm; Sat, 11am-4pm. 110 E. 6th St. 398-6557, ContrerasHouseFineArt.com
DAVIS DOMINGUEZ GALLERY Small Things Considered - 22nd Annual Small Works Invitational opens Thu, May 8. Tue-Fri, 11am-5pm; Sat, 11am-4pm. 154 E. 6th St. 629-9759, DavisDominguez.com
DECO Art for the Garden, featuring artwork by Katherine Hetzel and Monica Hay Cook, displays through Sat, May 31. Tue-Wed, Sat, 11am-4pm; Thu-Fri, 11am-5pm. 2612 E. Broadway Blvd. 319-0888, DecoArtTucson.com
DESERT ARTISANS GALLERY Dreaming In Color opens Tue, May 6. Reception is Fri, May 9, 5pm-7pm. Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, 10am-1:30pm. 6536 E. Tanque Verde Rd. 722-4412, DesertArtisansGallery.com
DRAGONFLY GALLERY Spring Fling opens Fri, May 2 with a reception from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Featuring watercolor artists, Barbara Amyx, Pam Cheeseman, Jennifer Clark, Judy Constantine, Deanna Thibault and Scarlett Taylor, interpretative photographs of nature by photographer, Don Knight. 146 E. Broadway. 628-3164, DragonFlyVillage.org
THE DRAWING STUDIO Resonant Soils and Revision Structures by Jenny Day and Karen deClouet shows Sun, May 3-Sun, May 31 with a reception opening night, 6pm-8pm. Mon-Thu, 10am-4pm; Sat, 1pm-4pm. 33 S. 6th Ave. 620-0947, TheDrawingStudio.org
Under The Violet Sky by Bill Lesch, Gail MarcusOrlen, and Lynn Taber continues through June. Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm. 135 S. 6th Ave. 624-7370, EthertonGallery.com
JOSEPH GROSS GALLERY. Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition continues through Fri, May 16. Art by Kristin Bauer and Emmett Potter opens Wed, May 28. Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 626-4215, CFA.arizona.edu/galleries
LOUIS CARLOS BERNAL GALLERY Annual Student Juried Art Exhibition continues through Fri, May 9. Mon-Thu,10am-5pm; Fri, 10am-3pm. 2202 W. Anklam Rd. 206-6942, Pima.Edu/cfa
MURPHEY GALLERY Luminous Watercolors, an exhibit of original watercolors by artists Shannon Russell, Euayne Glinski and Loisanne Keller, opens Sun, May 4 with a reception from 12:30pm-2:30pm. Sun, 12pm-5pm; Tue & Thu, 2pm-4pm or by appointment. St Philipâ€™s in the Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. 299-6421.
24 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
Image courtesy The Drawing Studio
Photo by A.T. Willett © 1983 A.T. Willett
“A.T. Willett, Photographs from the 1980s Archive” shows at the Wee Gallery in May.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART See website for details. $8, adults; free, children under 12, members, military; free to all last Sunday of the month. 265 S. Church Ave. 624-5019, MOCA-Tucson.org
PHILABAUM GLASS GALLERY & STUDIO See website for information. Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm. 711 S. 6th Ave. 884-7404, PhilabaumGlass.com
PORTER HALL GALLERY Two Artist Show featuring Troy Boswell and John Culp takes place Fri, May 2-Fri, May 30. Daily, 8:30am-4:30pm. $13, adults; $12, student/senior/military, $7.50, children 4-12; Free, children 3 and younger. 2150 N. Alvernon Way. 326-9686, TucsonBotanical.org
RAICES TALLER 222 ART GALLERY AND WORKSHOP Gente De La Tierra continues through Sat, May 17. Fri-Sat, 1pm-5pm & by appointment. 218 E. 6th St. 881-5335, RaicesTaller222.webs.com
Gallery closes May 31; a farewell celebration takes place May 10, 5pm-10pm. Wed-Fri, 5pm-8pm; Sat, 4pm-9pm. 245 E. Congress St. 7777403, SacredMachine.com
SOUTHERN ARIZONA WATERCOLOR GUILD Experimental Art Show continues through Sun, May 4. WOW: Watch Our Walls opens Tue, May 6. Reception is Fri, May 9, 5pm-7pm. Tue-Sun, 11am-4pm. SAWG Gallery, 5605 E. River Rd. 299-7294, SouthernAzWatercolorGuild.com
TRUST GALLERY Unhinged, featuring the art of Archie Sutton, opens Fri, May 2 with a reception from 4pm-8pm. Flying Leap Vineyards, St Philip’s Plaza, 4330 N. Cambell Ave. 602-481-8944, TrustArtAndDesign.com UA ART MUSEUM MFA Thesis Exhibition continues through Fri, May 16. TueFri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 12pm-4pm. $5 adults; children/students/faculty, free. 1031 N. Olive Rd. ArtMuseum.arizona.edu
A.T. Willett, Photographs from the 1980s Archive shows Sat, May 3-Sat, May 31. Thu-Sat, 11am-6pm. 439 N. 6th Ave Suite #171. 360-6024, GalleryWee.com
WILDE MEYER GALLERY
Views of the West opens Thu, May 8. Interpretations and Interpretations (Annex) open Thu, May 8. Mon-Fri, 10am-5:30pm. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 3001 E. Skyline Dr. WildeMeyer.com
WOMANKRAFT ART GALLERY
Drawing Down The Muse continues through Sat, May 24. Wed-Sat; 1pm-5pm. 388 S. Stone Ave. 629-9976, WomanKraft.org
YOU AND YOUR BIG IDEAS GALLERY
Rhythm and Harmony: New Works by Gavin Hugh Troy takes place Sat, May 3. 174 E. Toole Ave. 629-9230, Facebook.com/YouAndYourBigIdeas
May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 25
Blue print of “Eternal Universe,” by Daniel Martin Diaz, shows at Sacred Machine May 10-May 31.
Daniel Martin Diaz and Paula Catherine Valencia, in a photo for their band Crystal Radio.
photo: Danni Valdez
26 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
Creation, Evolution & Moving On by Jamie Manser
It's easy to get deep with Daniel Martin Diaz and Paula Catherine Valencia. Diaz's art and Valencia's writing—plus their music with Blind Divine and Crystal Radio—dig into the heart of the mysteries of existence. One cannot look at Diaz's work without feeling pulled into a rabbit hole of esoteric human histories; his pieces—especially in his recent book Soul of Science—are individual time machines of ancient knowledge and futuristic anomalies of biology and technology, amalgams of religion, science, mythology and psychology. The detail is exquisitely intricate, the edgy motifs are fascinating and possibly daunting to the unadventurous or religiously sensitive. For Diaz, creating is about letting the art and music “take me where it wants to take me. Really, you're just a vessel for the art or the music that you are creating, it's like you are sculpting something. It's manipulating you as opposed to you manipulating it. I think also, creating art or creating music and not really fully understanding what you're doing is part of the mystery. “I've always approached music and art (that way)—always trying to find the mystery that is hidden there, but then not truly understanding what it is. And I think that's what keeps me motivated enough to keep going and keep finding this mystery because, for myself, this is what's worked. If I understand what I'm doing, then the magic and the mystery is gone. And then it's like, what's the point of going on anymore creating?” Opening himself as a vessel for the music and art has proven very successful. Diaz, a 47-year-old native Tucsonan, has been extremely prolific during his career, which has included: national and international exhibits, album and book covers, four personal publications of his work, and a list of public art commissions. The most recognizable of Diaz's public art projects in Downtown are Club Congress' Proscenium Stage, Hotel Congress' terrazzo floor and the metal work on the Plaza Centro parking garage, 345 E. Congress St. at 4th Avenue. While the process of creating public art is different from his personal work, there are still similarities. Wife and creative/business partner Valencia explains: “We have to work within parameters, so, you're given this set of rules to work within, and then it becomes kind of free form. Half the things that we do are sitting somewhere in a restaurant, done on a napkin, especially with public art— 'Ok, here's the concept, this would be really cool.' And then maybe Daniel starts sketching stuff and I start writing the concepts and themes behind it. In our folders, we always have these napkins stuck behind the paperwork and the contracts. So, a lot of times it's a free form type of thing too and then it gets developed from there, then working with architects and all the intricacies, putting that into the large work.” “A lot of research goes into public art,” Diaz adds. “We research the area, research the community, research who's lived there–like in the 1880s, 1700s–and look at the wildlife and what has been here in this area that we can use as a resource for the art. I think that's a different approach than I do with my own work, but I really like it.” The couple explains that the work integrated into the Plaza Centro garage, called Desert Splendor, includes inspiration from the desert, the trains, the railroad tracks and artistic patterning from local Native cultures, all placed to incorporate the sun's movement for specific effect. "If you look at that design, one side of it has a tree with leaves and the other side has a tree without leaves, so it's this idea, because the sun
hits one side of it and it changes throughout the day, so it's this idea that 'Change is now occurring,'” Diaz explains, “with the seasons and even just the change within a day that we go through. Downtown changes from morning to sunset.” For Daniel and Paula, their own changes are occurring. At the end of May, after a four year run, the couple is closing their museum/gallery/curio shop Sacred Machine, 245 E. Congress St., and moving to Los Angeles in the fall. The decision to open the space in May 2010 wasn't premeditated, they explain. "It was one of those things he was talking about with his art,” Paula says. “It really chose us, this space. We were sitting in here for a meeting... and I'm like, 'We need this space.' It was really strange; he thought I was insane, and I said, 'Well maybe I am, but this space is calling out to me for whatever reason'.” At the time, their neighbors on the block included Xoom Juice, Yoga Oasis and Cricket Wireless. Businesses across the street (Tooley’s Cafe, 276 Works Gallery, Central Arts Gallery, Preen, Rocket Gallery, Dinnerware ArtSpace and Metropolis The Salon) had been displaced for what wouldn't become An Congress (now Playground, Pizzaria Bianco and HUB), though the night club Sharks (now Saint House) was still operating; The District Tavern was and is still pouring drinks. The couple has witnessed Downtown's evolution (see related story, page 35), and has had a great run with Sacred Machine—hosting compelling art exhibits and live music in addition to meeting interesting artists, musicians, getting to know other merchants and the public at large. "We've had one of the producers of The Simpsons come in here, and Paula became really good friends with her and," Diaz continues, “we became good friends with Alex Maas from The Black Angels, because of the gallery. In L.A., I think those opportunities are going to be intensified. We've been here our whole lives, so we're ready to move." "We've been creating (in Tucson) for 24 years now, since we're met, and raised our son," Paula says. “Damian is 21 (now), so, let's go explore! We're doing art, music, public art, we're doing all these things, and really, we can move any where and do those things. It's kind of–have art, will travel. Let's go do this there, and we'll do that, and maybe we'll end up in Paris one day.” "We'll give it a shot and see what happens,” Diaz adds. “We have no— like in everything we do—we don't have expectations. I just feel like when you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for some kind of failure. Just go over there, see what happens. And, if we're there for 10 years, if we're there for 20 years, great, if not, we could end up in Paris, with Sacred Machine over there, great. We just don't know. That's been our life. We wake up and we don't know what that day is going to bring, and that's good and how we want to live.” n Sacred Machine's May events include the 1st Saturday Art Walk on May 3, 4 p.m.-9 p.m. The farewell celebration is from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. during 2nd Saturdays on May 10; the “Blue Print for the Future” exhibit opens May 10 and runs through May 31. Closing day hours on May 31 are noon-9 p.m. Regular hours are 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. Keep abreast of their adventures at DanielMartinDiaz.com. Read a review of Soul of Science at ZocaloTucson.com May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 27
photo: Kathleen Dreier Photography
Children learning taiko during one of Odaiko Sonora's school programs.
28 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
photo: PJ McArdle
Odaiko Sonora in concert. Left to right: Nicole Levesque, Rome Hamner, Karen Falkenstrom.
Odaiko Sonora's Taiko Passion by Jamie Manser
In an unassuming, square industrial building on Downtown's southern edge is a place of creation. It is the Rhythm Industry Performance Factory and during a bright spring morning, Odaiko Sonora's community taiko group is at practice. Sweating to the beats. Taiko, or “big drum” in Japanese, is ensemble drumming and it is a physically demanding art form. Beating the drums to achieve the resonance that speaks to the very heart of us as human beings takes concentration and cooperative effort. Taking turns coaching the group is Nicole Levesque and co-founders Karen Falkenstrom and Rome Hamner. With good humor, excellent leadership and teaching skills, the three women engage and guide the drummers to achieve their best. Everyone is sweaty, tired, looking happy at the end of the practice. They move into a group circle as I slip out the door. Odaiko Sonora's story begins approximately 14 years ago when Rome Hamner began studying taiko with Stan Morgan; Falkenstrom picked up the bachi (taiko drumming sticks) in 2001. In 2002, their sensei Morgan fell ill and disbanded his group MoGan Daiko. The drummers, still fairly nascent in their taiko knowledge, hefted up the chutzpa and started Odaiko Sonora. Karen writes via email that, “Even in the U.S., taiko is still an art form with a strong emphasis on lineage and master teachers. It was highly unusual for anyone to found a group with as little experience as we had— actually it was crazy—but we really didn't have a choice. "I think both of us felt we had discovered something that embodied everything we wanted to be doing in the world: taiko is physical, empowering, expressive, fun. We both had been inspired to study taiko by seeing it performed live; there is something about the passion and power of taiko performance that speaks to the very core of many people. Once we had the experience of playing the drums—feeling that passion and power from playing, not just watching—it wasn't something either of us felt we could live happily without.” They didn't have drums, they lacked resources, didn't have a teacher and only knew a handful of songs. It didn't matter because, “more powerful than the doubts was a deeply passionate love of taiko,” Falkenstrom writes. “We just did what we had to to make it happen.” She states it simply, but the hard work and dedication that fueled their drive is evinced by the organization's evolution. The 501c3 grew quickly because of “our respective skills in nonprofit arts and public administra-
tion, and partly because Tucson has a strong arts community,” Falkenstrom explains. “But much of the credit for our rapid growth is the appeal of the art form itself. Taiko has amazing crossover potential; it's music, it's a martial art, it's a team sport, theater, and spiritual path. Almost everyone likes it. And it's easy to learn the basics and very fun to do. The two of us are the leadership/administrative team that run all of Odaiko Sonora—the performances, classes, educational programs, equipment, and Rhythm Industry.” This school year saw the nonprofit completing its first year as Opening Minds through the Arts teaching artists, reaching approximately 2,000 children. In November, Odaiko Sonora will be providing the music for the All Souls Procession grand finale, for which they are committed to “doing something really special. "So far, the vision involves guest artists from Sacramento, L.A. and Toronto, Canada. We also hope to purchase a 4 foot gekko, or frame drum, from the world's oldest family of taiko makers: Asano—think the Stradivarius of taiko." The big vision, fitting for the All Souls Procession finale, also means big bucks. The finale will feature about $70,000 in drums while the drum the group is looking to buy is comparatively reasonable, at $6,000. In order to fund it, a Kickstarter campaign is being launched this month—which also coincides with Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Besides keeping busy with elementary education, performances, and maintaining and coordinating Rhythm Industry Performance Factory, a building the organization purchased in 2006, Odaiko Sonora also offers classes. Rome said, “Our six-week all ages recreation class is a great intro to this art form. It introduces beginners to basic taiko form, beats, and simple drills and songs. Taiko is not like many other instruments. Most people don't go to see Wynton Marsalis play, for instance, and think, 'Wow, I'd really like to try playing trumpet!” But people do say that about taiko. “Some people come because they love Japanese culture, some because they just love drums, and some because they like the idea of a musical martial art. Almost all people who come to play saw us perform somewhere, and they want to try it because it looks like so much fun.” n The all ages class begins on May 17. Odaiko Sonoro performs at 2nd Saturdays, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. Visit TucsonTaiko.org for more details. May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 29
SILVER CITY, NEW MEXICO
SilverCityTourism.org • 575-538-555
Places of Elevation: 6,000+ feet!
YOU CAN BE HE
La Santa Cecilia – 2014 Grammy
Award-winning Latin rock urban alternative at WNMU Fine Arts Centre Theater.
Independence Day Celebration – All-
mimbresarts.org June 20
day event including fireworks & Silver’s largest parade in Historic Downtown.
Wild Wild West Pro Rodeo – Some of the toughest cowboys & cowgirls compete at a cool 6,000’ elevation.
silvercity.org July 4
silvercityprorodeo.com June 4-7
CLAY – Week-long festival celebrating all things clay: gala, workshops, lectures, tours, exhibitions, kids’ events.
Continental Divide Trail – 3,100 miles
long, Silver City is the first gateway community on this National Scenic Trail.
clayfestival.com July 30-Aug. 3
Gila Cliff Dwellings – 3.3 million acres of Gila National Forest & Wilderness... scenic drives, hiking, birding, dark skies.
Funded by Silver City Lodger’s Tax
ERE FOR LUNCH! - - - - -
Plan to stay.
Rolling Stones Gem & Mineral Show
Silver City Blues Festival – Hear the rising stars of blues music & savor local culture at this free event in Gough Park.
– A premier gathering of rock hounds, geology enthusiasts and the curious.
rollingstonesgms.blogspot.com Aug. 30-Sept. 1
mimbresarts.org May 23-25
10th Annual Gila River Festival – Field trips, kayaking, & workshops celebrating America’s first wilderness river. gilaconservation.org Sept. 18-21
Pickamania! – Bluegrass, Americana, Folk and acoustic sounds at this free music festival in Gough Park. mimbresarts.org Sept. 12-14
Run to Copper Country Car Show –
Cool cars, music, BBQ, raffles, winners’ parade, and family fun in the park.
coppercountrycruizers.com Aug. 22-23
Farmers’ Market – Come buy fresh
and local beginning in May. Live music, homemade food and natural products.
Photo: Dan Williams and Kalare Studio
Tucson Girls Chorus performs “Sound of Spring” on Sat, May 10.
Performances ARIZONA ONSTAGE PRODUCTIONS 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother shows Fri, May 9-Sun, May 25. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 2703332, ArizonaOnStage.org
ARIZONA REPERTORY SINGERS
Voices at an Exhibition Sun, May 4. $15. Christ Church United Methodist, 655 N. Craycroft Rd. 792-8141, ARSingers.org
ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY Cafe Bohemia is Sat, May 10. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 622-2823, ArizonaTheatre.org
Ballet Tucson II takes place Sat, May 17-Sun, May 18. Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, UA campus, 1737 E. Univeristy Blvd. 903-1445, BalletTucson.org
BERGER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Taiwan Benevolent Association of Arizona presents Mother’s Day Concert 2014 on Sat, May 10, 2:30pm. 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. BergerCenter.com
BLACK CHERRY BURLESQUE Tantalizing burlesque performance on Fri, May 2. Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. 4th Ave. 882-0009, TucsonBurlesque.com
CHRISTIAN YOUTH THEATRE Peter Pan shows Thu, May 15-Sun, May 18. Crowder Hall, 1017 N. Olive Rd. CYTTucson.org
ODYSSEY STORYTELLING SERIES Neighbors: Stories from the ‘Hood shows Thu, May 1. 7pm. Fluxx Studios and Gallery, 416 E. 9th St. 730-4112, OdysseyStoryTelling.com
PCC THEATRE ARTS Wind Ensemble performs Thu, May 1. Orchestra performs Sat, May 3. Chorale & College Singers perform Sun, May 3. Dance Fusion performs Fri, May 9-Sat, May 10. 2202 W. Anklam Rd. 206-6670, Pima.edu/cfa
PUPPETS AMONGUS Wild and Woolly takes place Sat, May 3 and Sun, May 4. The Playhouse, 657 W. St. Mary’s Rd. 444-5538, PuppetsAmongUs.com
THE RED BARN THEATRE Light up the Sky shows Fri, May 9-Sun, May 25. Fri & Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 2pm. $16 general admission, $13 students/seniors/military, $10 on Fridays. 948 N. Main Ave. 887-6239, RedBarnTheatreCompany.com
REVEILLE MENS CHORUS Simply Fabulous shows Sat, May 3-Sun, May 4. $25-$30. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 304-1758, ReveilleMensChorus.org
RHYTHM & ROOTS Roy Bookbinder performs Sun, May 24 at Club Congress. 311 E. Congress St. RhythmandRoots.org
THE ROGUE THEATRE Dante’s Purgatorio continues through Sun, May 11. 738 N. 5th Ave. 551-2053, TheRogueTheatre.org
DON’T BLINK BURLESQUE
TUCSON GIRLS CHORUS
FEMALE STORYTELLERS Mama Mia takes place Wed, May 14. 7pm. $7
TUCSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Really Big Just For Kids Grand
The Tuesday Night Tease takes place every Tuesday night throughout May. 9pm. The Hut, 305 N. 4th Ave. 245-0532, DontBlinkBurlesque.com
suggested donation. Plush, 360 E. 6th St. FStorytellers.com
THE GASLIGHT THEATRE
Beach Blanket Bee-Bop continues through June. 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. 886-9428, TheGaslightTheatre.com
LIVE THEATRE WORKSHOP Southern Comforts continues through Sun, May 4. Loot opens Thu, May 8. The Adventures of Rose Red continues through Sun, June 1. See website for prices and times. 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. 327-4242, LiveTheatreWorkshop.org
NOT BURNT OUT JUST UNSCREWED
Shows every Friday and Saturday throughout May. Unscrewed Theater, 3244 E. Speedway Blvd. 861-2986, UnscrewedComedy.com
32 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
Sound of Spring, choral concert, takes place Sat, May 10. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 577-6064, TucsonGirlsChorus.org
Finale Concert takes place Sun, May 4. Young Composers Project Reading Sessions takes place Fri, May 16-Sat, May 17. Celebrate the Future takes place Fri, May 9. See website for times, prices, and locations. 882-8585, TucsonSymphony.org
ARIZONA REPERTORY THEATRE A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues through Sun, May 4. 1025 N. Olive Rd. 621-1162, web.cfa.arizona.edu/theatre UA DANCE Spring Collection shows Fri, May 2-Sun, May 4. Adult: $27, Senior/ Military: $25, UA Employee: $25, Student: $12. Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1713 E. University Blvd. 621-1162, Dance.Arizona.Edu
May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 33
34 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
Directional sign at Maynards Market & Kitchen
Downtown’s Shifting Landscape by Jamie Manser
All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the mid-‘80s and through the ‘90s and early ‘00s, Downtown was considered a schlumpy locale eschewed by seemingly many Tucsonans. It was the artists, musicians, the writers and photographers, galleries, bars, a handful of entrepreneurs, restaurants, long-established families, some smart investors and renters who comfortably called it home. The cheap rent and authentic vibe drew those to the area. As progress happens, so does construction, such as the 4th Avenue underpass and the streetcar tracks. Congress Street, as was the revitalization goal, is a different place than it was five years ago. Only a handful of original, pre-2009, businesses along that strip remain. Today, Congress Street is certainly a destination for food and drink. It's not a destination for the arts, the galleries mostly ring the northern edge of Downtown in the Warehouse District. Three galleries that were in the Downtown core are leaving or have left: Sacred Machine, 245 E. Congress St., Atlas Fine Art Services, 41 S. 6th Ave., and Obsidian Gallery, 410 N. Toole Ave. For Sacred Machine's proprietors, Paula Catherine Valencia and Daniel Martin Diaz, closing shop isn't related to the Downtown economy or foot traffic. Theirs is a career move to L.A. However, Paula's observation
was this: “If you want to know what challenge might be happening with galleries down here, is that it's not necessarily a walking destination like 4th Avenue. You know, people go there, they walk, they're used to looking through shops and hanging out. Their main thing isn't to eat and drink there. When all that you have Downtown is restaurants and bars, people are here for lunch and dinner and to party later at night. Their agenda is to eat and drink, their agenda is not to shop and browse. So that becomes a different thing all together. I think that's what's happened with Congress Street.” With Atlas Fine Art Services, which opened in August 2011 when Downtown was gaining traction with new restaurants—which would presumably help with foot traffic, it was difficult to gain traction themselves and they closed earlier this year. Co-owner James Schaub wrote via email, “Foot traffic was something we hoped for and would have been helpful—but it never came. The foot traffic that happens Downtown is still much the way it used to be—people park as close as possible (increasingly harder to do) to where they want to go and go to that place and then drive to the next place. Our business, and others like it, is more of a destination. We usually knew when people were coming in—they called in advance. The students who now live Downtown are similar, most have cars and there is no real retail culture yet in the Downtown.” continued on next page May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 35
continued from previous page Valencia also commented on the public's parking habits: “I think another thing too is, we even have parking garages and people don't want to park, so not only do they not want to park, they don't want to walk. Something needs to change probably, and, possibly the streetcar will be the key. We're not sure, but it could possibly be a help, to get people and things moving a little bit more.” Diaz added that, “I think the most successful cities is where there's circulation. For instance, Prescott, it's a little town and they have the square, and you go in this circle and you can go in that circle all day and really not get bored because it's so beautiful, but there's no circle here in Tucson where you can walk and just go around and look at shops and come back around. You walk in a straight line. And who knows where you end up. “I think that's a really important thing,” Diaz continued. “I think that we have the potential to do it, with Congress and 6th and then come back around, but everything is on the outside. You need squares, and a park in the center.” Having a focal point, a zócalo if you will, would be a wonderful thing for Downtown, and the Ronstadt Transit Center would be the perfect place. Maybe one day. There is currently a Request for Proposals out for a joint development of the Ronstadt Transit Center. (See www4.tucsonaz.gov/integrated-planning/joint-development-ronstadt-transit-center-project-area.) At the end of April, Downtown Tucson Partnership CEO Michael Keith and I did a walking tour of the core, starting at the east end. I parked at Plaza Centro garage and met Keith outside of Gio Taco, 350 E. Congress St. Signs in the first floor of The Cadence, the student housing complex at 350 E. Congress St., promise the upcoming arrival of Planet Smoothie and Fed By Threads, a sustainable clothing store. (Fed By Threads co-owner Alok Appadurai says mid-May.) As we walk by the Rialto Theatre, Good Oak Bar, Diablo Burger, Proper, then Playground, and before peeking into the still under construction Pizzeria Bianco, I have a flashback to 2009. David Aguirre, Director of Dinnerware ArtSpace—a gallery that had been displaced, along with a couple others, from Congress Street in 2009 when there were initial plans to have Kwang C. An open a restaurant in the 200 block of East Congress Street— had placed several A frames along the sidewalk with the words “Bar Open” on both sides of the signs. It was funny in a prophetic, times are a'changin' sort of way. It's not all bars though, there's food—HUB and Saint House, though both are known for their cocktails. Across the street there's Yoga Oasis, Sacred Machine, FORS, Connect Beta, Xoom Juice and Sparkroot. On the next block there's the Olive Orchard Gourmet Pantry coming to 222 E. Congress St., Buffalo Exchange is there, Studio 220, Tierra Antigua Realty, Iguana Cafe and Crescent Smoke Shop. Around the corner and south on 6th Avenue is the forthcoming Johnny Gibson's Downtown Market in the old Beowulf Alley Theatre space at 11 S. 6th Ave., then there's The Drawing Studio, Flash in the Past Vintage Pinup Photography Studio, La Fashionista (sharing it's space with Wig-O-Rama), and Black Rose Tattooers. Swinging back down to Congress Street, we pass Chicago Music Store and pop into the forthcoming Saint Cecilia Studios—which looks beautifully awesome (see story in last month's issue). We pass MEB Management and Unplugged Wine Bar; Voodoo Jack's and Wig-O-Rama sit empty, awaiting restoration due to damaged caused by a fire that gutted Grill over
36 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
A look back at 2009 and the response then, to Downtown’s shifting landscape.
a year ago. We look across the street and see, from 6th Avenue to Scott Avenue: Hydra, Empire Pizza, Elliott's on Congress, The Screening Room, Zen Rock; then, from Scott Avenue to Stone Avenue, JunXion Bar, Jimmy John's, On a Roll, Sapphire and the upcoming H2O club. Further west, there's A Perfect Pantry, Lesco Optical, V Thai; from Stone to Church Avenue, the Fox Theatre, Subway, Caffe Milano, Rice House. Scott Stitler, owner/landlord of the buildings on both sides of the 200 East Congress Street block, said, “Today, I'm not interested in more food,” when talking about what kind of tenants he is looking for to occupy the spaces at 245 E. Congress St. that will become empty once Sacred Machine, and possibly Connect Beta, move out. Stitler, who also co-owns the Rialto Block with Don Martin, explained that he doesn't just take any tenant interested in one of his available spaces, he is thorough and selective. “I don’t advertise or put 'For Rent' signs in the windows, I’m hyper focused on all three blocks for a good mix, I'm constantly processing all these cities I visit, I travel a lot and take a lot of pictures. “It’s takes a lot of patience, Pizzaria Bianco, is a perfect example. We had 40 or 50 unsolicited offers, and it is tough to manage because you are dealing with nice people, but I was glad I said no on that space, because once Chris (Bianco) came along, and he’s had hundreds of offers to do another Pizzeria Bianco, and after 23 years of saying no, he searched his soul and his soul said yes to Tucson, and this space.” Stitler said he has had offers on the spaces already, some of them are food, but he'd rather allow the current restaurants to stabilize and he doesn't want “to add another two or three more. “It’s hard on everyone to make it in a month. The short answer is to let some of these projects get further along. Restaurants always lead an area that is getting revitalized, and then you get an office and then an apartment building and so on and so forth. I like where we are from five years ago, and we still have a ways to go, with more housing and more jobs Downtown.” He paused, and said what is on a lot of people's minds, “I hope the streetcar is a successful launch.” n
May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 37
photo: Andrew Brown
12 Essential Spots to Brunch It Up, and Then Some. by Elsa Watson
Whoever came up with the idea to combine breakfast, lunch and champagne into one meal is my hero. Brunch is the best of both worlds: sweet and savory, breakfast and lunch, mimosas and Bloody Marys. There’s something to please just about everyone. Brunch is the socially acceptable way to enjoy breakfast foods after 10 a.m. and alcohol before noon. The History of Brunch The word “brunch,” states its Wikipedia entry, “is a portmanteau of the words ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch.’ The term was coined in Britain in 1895” by writer Guy Beringer; the entry continues, “to describe a Sunday meal for ‘Saturday-night carousers’.” A 1998 New York Times article by William Grimes, sited in the Wikipedia entry, says, “Brunch eliminated the need to wake up early, leaving everyone in a much better mood.” According to this article, Beringer stated that brunch “is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” After weekend festivities or early morning hunts in the nineteenth century, the wealthy would gather for this late morning meal. The richer the British Empire grew, the more popular brunch became. The meal grew to eventually resemble the meal we are familiar with today, accompanied by more complicated dishes and everything placed on the table at once. Beginning in the 1920s, brunch began picking up speed in the U.S. as restaurants and customers alike realized the potential greatness of this midmorning meal. The popularity of brunch is now world-wide and available in almost any ethnic cuisine. Brunch is exceedingly popular in Tucson as well. Our beautiful climate affords us the luxury of dining al fresco almost all year ‘round which further enhances the leisurely enjoyment of good company and good food. We invite you to try one of the twelve delightful spots we’ve listed for you after you’ve slept in. Kick off the covers, bring your copy of Zócalo or the New York Times and linger over coffee and conversation at any one of these eateries, in no particular order: 38 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
photo: Andrew Brown
Left and right photos: 5 Points Market & Restaurant
1. Ghini's French Caffe
2. The Cup Café at Hotel Congress
1803 E. Prince Rd. (520) 326-9095 GhinisCafe.com La Baguette Bakery (520) 322-6297 Why We Love It: Ghini's serves breakfast all day and offers a gluten-free menu on Sundays. Ghini's celebrates its 18th year as a locally owned Tucson business this July. Why Tucson Loves It: Ghini's outdoor seating is dog-friendly and servers will bring water and a biscuit to Fido. Adjoining Ghini's is their La Baguette Bakery. La Baguette is a full service French bakery which has amazing bread and tempting pastries. Atmosphere? Ghini's has patio seating outdoors and smallish tables indoors. Can become crowded on Sundays and you may have a waiting list. To Try: Ghini's French cuisine includes their signature dish, Eggs Provençal, which is rich, buttery and laden with plenty of garlic. Of course, there are freshly prepared crepes, croissants and fresh-squeezed Mimosas to sip.
311 E. Congress St. (520) 798-1618 HotelCongress.com/food Insider Tip: The Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar. You can go crazy with capers, horseradish, cucumber, or bleu cheese with the house blend Bloody Mary mix. Not feeling Bloody? The Cup Café serves classic mimosas, Bellinis and yes, a breakfast margarita! Why Tucson Loves It: It's Downtown! Breakfast is served all day. The Cup has lovely outdoor patio seating that faces north so you don't roast if you choose to sit outside, and it is dogfriendly. The shared space with Hotel Congress makes The Cup popular for live music and people-watching. With its proximity to The Rialto Theatre, celebrities are often spotted at Hotel Congress and at The Cup. What to Try? Definitely try the Cast Iron Baked Eggs with leeks, Gruyere, cream and ham. Or if you're really famished after a night of revelry, try the Braveheart. With smoked beef brisket on sourdough toast, sauteed spinach, and Gruyere cheese topped with poached eggs and creamy sausage gravy, this creation is sure to satisfy a hearty appetite.
When To Go: The breakfast menu is served from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. When our weather is fine, the outdoor patio may be full, but there is comfortable seating indoors as well.
3. 47 Scott 47 N. Scott Ave. (520) 624-4747 47Scott.com Why We Love It: 47 Scott is a Downtown spot with one of the most intriguing bar menus in town. The master mixologists are celebrated for their unusual and creative concoctions like "3 Hours to Launch" and "The Dancehall Queen" as well as fanciful mimosas and Bellinis. You Must Try: Modern comfort food menu offering menu items like Frisee and Bacon Salad topped with a perfectly poached egg. The Mussels and Pomme Frites are made for sharing, with mussels and Andouille sausage steamed in white wine and Kennebec potato fries hot and crisped in peanut oil. The Vibe: Casual and sophisticated bistro atmosphere with a full bar and large outdoor brick patio. Menus are changed seasonally. Hit It Up: Reservations are suggested and brunch is served each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
continued on next page May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 39
The Cup Cafe at Hotel Congress
4. The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol 5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Rd. (520) 529-3500 Haciendadelsol.com What We Love: The Grill features locally and regionally sourced meats, vegetables and herbs grown in the restaurant's garden and house made cheeses. The Grill offers al fresco dining on their lovely patio and has an extensive wine list. The Ambiance: Quiet and elegant with topnotch service. The gorgeous, panoramic Santa Catalina Mountain vistas make The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol perfect place to brunch and impress out of town guests. Hit It Up: Brunch is served every Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentary champagne is served as you peruse the fresh and bountiful buffet and carving stations. Reservations are suggested.
5. Prep and Pastry 3073 N. Campbell Ave. (520) 326-9095 PrepandPastry.com Why We Love it: Locally sourced food and the delicious varieties of homemade hash. Sweet Potato Hash and Duck Confit Hash are brunch menu favorites. Why Tucson Loves It: PASTRIES! One of the most popular at Prep and Pastry is the maplebacon "cronut." A hybrid of a donut and croissant, this crispy/chewy/flaky pastry is topped with a delectable maple glaze and crumbled bacon. It's perfectly okay to lick your fingers afterward. The Atmosphere: Once the home of Amelia Grey's Tea Room, the quaint and charming indoor decor invites one to linger for a lazy week40 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
end brunch. The outdoor dog-friendly patio is a popular perch as well. Be prepared for a waiting list and a bit of a wait, but it will be worth it.
6. 5 Points Market & Restaurant 756 S. Stone Ave. (520) 623-3888 5PointsTucson.com The Vibe: 5 Points Market & Restaurant can be described as having a hipster and casual, yet familial atmosphere. The restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. What To Eat: The Salmon Eggs Benedict is very popular and rightly so with it's velvety hollandaise sauce. If you'd like to try a lighter entree, try the Breakfast Salad. The portions come large, so come hungry. Insider Tip: 5 Points Market is a gourmet delight if you love to cook. The market is similar to Whole Foods with fresh produce and meats and features vegan and raw food products as well as gluten free items.
7. Penca 50 E. Broadway Blvd. (520) 203-7681 PencaRestaurante.com Why Tucson Loves It: Penca is housed in a revitalized historic building in the heart of Downtown Tucson. The 1920s building has been lovingly restored with reclaimed building materials from other historic locations. The colorful earthenware dishes are from Tucson's own Santa Theresa Tile Works. Reservations can be made online. The Vibe: Urban cool blended with Southwestern simplicity. Warm and intimate in feel. The proprietors love to have a personal relationship with their patrons and are excited to have "regulars" who frequent the restaurant.
The Food: Mexico City style cuisine lovingly prepared with locally sourced produce and meats. Penca has a very innovative bar menu serving Pechuga Mezcal and other Southwestern inspired spirits, like top-shelf varieties of tequila. Sample the Chile en Nogado entree which succulent pork braised in chile poblano with apples, plantains, dried fruit and almonds. Saboroso!
8. Proper 300 E. Congress St. (520) 396-3357 ProperTucson.com Why We Like It: The mixologists at Proper mix a killer cosmopolitan and a perfectly dry martini. Most importantly is that Proper proudly serves locally sourced food featuring artisanal charcuterie, cheeses and bread. Proper is committed to the concept of "farm to table" eating and any of the menu items can be prepared gluten-free. The Atmosphere: Sophisticated indoor dining area with great views of Downtown traffic for people watching, as well as patio space for you to linger with cocktails. Must-Order: Proper puts their fresh and signature spin on steak and eggs. The eggs are hormone-free from free-range chickens, prepared to order with locally sourced tender steak, a cheesy gratin of leeks and a zesty chimichurri sauce.
photo: David Olsen
Not To Be Forgotten photo: Andrew Brown
The list of 12 is certainly not all-inclusive of great brunch spots as there is no shortage of fine eateries in Tucson for a great repast! Those not to be forgotten:
Brunch at the newly opened Coronet
9. Cafe a la C'art
11. Nox Kitchen & Cocktails
150 N. Main Ave. (520) 628-8533 CafeaLaCartTucson.com Why Tucson Loves It: Cafe a La C'art has been in business for 18 years and is ensconced in the courtyard of the Tucson Museum of Art in the historic Stephens/Duffield House. Pay A Visit: The cafe serves breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The pause that refreshes before or after your visit to the Tucson Museum of Art. What's Cooking? Try the satisfying Cafe Skillet with rosemary roasted potatoes, topped with eggs any style, bacon and cheddar and jack cheeses.
6370 N. Campbell Ave. (520) 529-5849 NoxTucson.com New! Upscale Hemingway-themed casual decor with patio seating and lots of TV screens. Opened two months ago and features a newly implemented Sunday brunch menu. Perfect place to catch your favorite weekend sporting event. The Ambiance: Patrons report that Nox plays fantastic music playlists from Spotify and Pandora enhancing the fun, hip atmosphere. The Food: Shareable Duck Confit Fries are a popular nosh at Nox. Equally delicious is the Nox French Toast encrusted with fruit and nuts. The brunch menu was recently implemented at Nox with "bottomless" mimosas to sip with your brunch choices. Hit It Up: Basically anytime! Seriously though, Nox is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
10. La Cocina 201 N. Court Ave. (520) 622-0351 LaCocinaTucson.com Why Tucson Loves It: La Cocina is popular with Downtown's denizens for the live music, theme parties, signature cocktails and an inexpensive menu. La Cocina offers lovely al fresco seating in the beautiful hacienda patio of Old Town Artisans with tables to accommodate two or ten. What's On The Menu? Mexican breakfast favorites like chilaquiles: fresh corn tortillas simmered in red or green sauce and a roasted pepper and onion mix. Topped with cheese and two eggs cooked to order. Served with a side of beans and a small garden salad. Another delectable brunch entree to savor is La Cocina Niçoise featuring house smoked salmon, arugula, hard boiled egg, red potato, roasted vegetables, Parmesan, and a tangy mustard vinaigrette.
12. The coronet 402 E. 9th St. (520) 222-9898 CafeCoronet.com Another Newbie: Freshly open at the north end of the Fourth Ave. underpass in the Coronado Hotel, The Coronet feels like a Parisian cafe, complete with a lively intersection of pedestrians and traffic. The Ambiance: It’s so new that everyone there is on their first visit. The 1906 Victorian bar is charming and the patio competes with some of Tucson’s best. Lots of shade and the Fourth Avenue passersby are sure to entertain. The Food: Homemade, brasserie style, oldworld rustic cuisine. Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday brunch starts at 8am. Since it’s new, there could be a wait.
Arizona Inn 2200 E. Elm St. (520) 325-1541 Beautiful, historic setting and elegant, sumptuous dining. Chaffin’s Family Restaurant 902 E. Broadway Blvd. (520) 882-7707 The best Monte Cristo Sandwich in town. The Blue Willow 2616 N. Campbell Ave. (520) 327-7577 Many vegetarian options and great pastries. Super fun gift shop. Maynard’s Market and Kitchen 400 N. Toole Ave. (520) 545-0577 Red Velvet Pancakes! Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery 266 E. Congress St. (520) 207-8201 We all scream for ice cream! Cafe Passe 415 N. 4th Ave. (520) 624-4411 Calming, shady patio and to-die-for Chia Pudding Brulee. Azul Restaurant and Lounge 3800 E. Sunrise Dr. (520) 742-6000 Mediterranean inspired brunch menu in the beautiful setting of the Westin La Paloma Resort and Hotel. Mother Hubbard’s 14 W. Grant Rd. (520) 623-7976 Gourmet traditional diner food, all made fresh and from scratch. The corn pancakes are scrumptious! Time Market 444 E. University Blvd. (520) 622-0761 Cooked to order breakfast and lunch entrees and fantastic shopping for gourmet treats. n May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 41
42 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
Image courtesy Alexis B. Preston
A still from "One Foot In" by Alexis B. Preston.
Crossing The Cinema Finish Line by Herb Stratford
The University of Arizona’s annual student film showcase, put on by the School of Theatre, Film and Television, is both a celebration and a mini film festival in one. Entitled “I Dream in Widescreen,” the event marks the completion of final student film projects that have been percolating for a long time, and is a chance to showcase the films in Tucson’s grandest movie palace for friends and family. Once again, the big event takes place at the Fox Tucson Theatre downtown, on Sunday, May 18 at 3 p.m. Doors will open at 2 p.m., and there is always a full house by the time this free show starts, so get there early to join the filmmakers, families and cast and crews of this year’s featured films. A total of 15 short films are in competition this year for the grand prize, which features some tech assistance along with other tools for the next chapter in the winner’s career, courtesy of several industry leaders like Fancy Film and Entertainment Partners. The esteemed panel of jurors from the film industry includes film festivals programmers from SXSW (South By Southwest) and the Napa Valley Film Festival (myself), and a director/production designer from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Not all of the finished films were ready at press time, but several that were made available were impressive on several fronts. The chilling La Graduación by writer/director Rafael Gomez depicts a south of the border stop that goes horribly wrong. Also of note is One Foot In by Alexis B. Preston, which follows a short ride to a cemetery by a hearse driver and
a mysterious passenger. The idea for Preston's film has been germinating since August, shot over a three-day period in Marana, with the finished script representing a leap from her original concept. But what does it mean to a filmmaker to reach this milestone, and to have made the trek through film school at the U of A? For Alexis Preston, the journey has been well worth it. The Sedona, Arizona born filmmaker considered several schools prior to deciding on the U of A, and will take both valuable skills and lasting relationships to the next level when she relocates to NYC or LA. Being part of a program that accepts just 20 students per year enables the school to focus on the best students and help to develop and nurture their skills. Perhaps the most fun part of the cinematic event is the sense of community that is present for the screenings. With the filmmakers, cast, crew, friends and family present, the event is like one big party. Once filmmakers graduate to the higher levels of their craft, screenings like this are fewer and far in between, so this screening promises to be a great send up for this year’s class. n The annual University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film and Television’s I Dream In Widescreen film event takes at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., on Sunday, May 18 at 3 p.m. The event is free, and doors open at 2 p.m. More information is available at tftv.arizona.edu. May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 43
Z events THU 1-SAT 3
may MON 5
TUCSON INTERNATIONAL MARIACHI CONFERENCE Celebrating 32 years of Mariachi
A CAUSE FOR APPLAUSE-BEADING DIVAS TO THE RESCUE 5th Anniversary Cel-
DINE OUT FUNDRAISER A benefit for No Kill
music and culture. See website for times and prices of public performances. AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W. Valencia Rd. CasinoDelSol.com, TucsonMariachi.org
ebration featuring music, raffle drawings, a fundraiser for La Cocina restaurant, and more. 6pm-9pm. La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave. 955-9061, TinyUrl.com/KRS58DN
FRI 9-SUN 11
6TH ANNUAL AGAVE FEST Features tastings
40TH ANNUAL RODDERS DAY
of over 50 agave-derived spirits including tequilas and mezcals; sotols and more. See website for prices. 7pm. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. HotelCongress.com
Tucson Street Rod Association showcases more than 250 hot rod cars. University of Arizona Mall, 1209 E. University Blvd. TucsonStreetRodAssociation.net
MEET THE AUTHOR A mystery double header
with Tucson authors Frances Washburn (The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band) and D.R. Ransdell (The Mariachi Murder). Free. 7pm. Antigone Books, 411 N. 4th Ave. 792-3715, AntigoneBooks.com
SAT 3 64TH ANNUAL SILVER AND TURQUOISE BALL A black tie affair featuring a gourmet dinner and dancing. $300 per person. 6pm. Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm St. 990-6119, SilverAndTurquoiseBall.org
3RD ANNUAL LIFE MOVES SHOWCASE Featuring community entertainers, BreakOut Youth Company, Artifact Dance Project, UofA Black and Blue, Fire and Gold Belly Dance, and more. $6. 7pm9pm. Flowing Wells High School, 3725 N. Flowing Wells Rd. 670-1301, BreakOutStudiosTucson.com
SAT 3-SUN 4 29th TUCSON FOLK FESTIVAL 20 hours of free, live acoustic music featuring The Sonoran Dogs and Run Boy Run. Free. Sat, May 3, noon-10pm; Sun, May 4, 11am-9pm. El Presidio Park, 160 W. Alameda St. TKMA.org
More than 30 vendors selling vintage items, food, art, wine, chocolate and more. Free. 10am-6pm. Mercado San Agustin, 100 Avenida del Convento. 461-1107, MercadoSanAgustin.com
LIGHTNING STRIKE: KEEYLOCKO
A music festival featuring Vox Urbana, Katterwaul, Burning Palms, Halcyonaire (Oakland), Algae & Tentacles, and OHIOAN with food and camping near the Coyote Mountain Wilderness. Cowtown Keeylocko, located 40 miles southwest of Tucson. $8. Saturday 4pm to Sunday noon. Infinitefront.com/keeylocko
SUN 4 34th ANNUAL CINCO DE MAYO 10K Dr. Gann’s Diet of Hope Run/Walk and 2 mile fun run/walk. Registration fees. 7am. Cholla High School, 2001 W. Starr Pass Blvd. AZRoadrunners.org/races/detail/cinco
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2nd SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN
Street performers, food & art vendors. Scott Avenue stage features: Odaiko Sonora, Mel Rivers (of The Drifters), Shrimp Chaperone. Free. 5pm-10:30pm. 2ndSaturdaysDowntown.com
JUSTICE ON TAP 8th annual local music benefit concert hosted by The American Friends Service Committee. Artists include: Cyril Barrett with Thöger Lund and Gabriel Sullivan, Carlos Arzate & The Kind Souls, Chicha Dust. $10. 6:30pm. Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. 623-9141, AFSC.org/Tucson
FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE DEPOT Look at operating model trains, climb on to a steam engine, view exhibits and more. Free. 10am-4pm. The Historic Tucson Train Depot, 414 N. Toole Ave. 623-2223, TucsonHistoricDepot.org
ICONS A one-night photography exhibit of 20+ Arizona photographers each showing a different theme; including Dominic Bonuccelli, Neil Peters, Ali Megan, Addie Mannan, Erin Durband, Lisa Foote, and more. Live music by The Cordials, Sahara Starr and Jake Garcia. Free. 8pm-midnight. Whistle Stop Depot, 127 W. Fifth St. AZFoto.com/icons.html
SUN 11 MUSIC AND MEMORIES CONCERT Concert to honor musicians with cancer. Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. Call for times/ prices. 722-4581, CancerHealth.org
MOTHER’S DAY ZOO BRUNCH
A special brunch at the Zoo with mom. $40. 8:30am-10am and 10:30am-12pm. Reid Park Zoo, 1100 S. Randolph Way. 791-4022, TucsonZoo.org
Blue Road Flamenco’s Mother’s Day Performance. Reception with artist and owner La Lea with Middle Eastern sweets and tea follows. $10/ donation. 3pm. Arabian Oasis Cultural Center, 2102 E. Broadway Blvd. 624-1699, TheArabianOasis.org
TOHONO CHUL MOTHERS DAY BRUNCH Specially prepared meal for Mother’s Day at the Garden Bistro. $44.95. 9am-2:30pm. 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte. 333-9209, TohonoChulPark.org
Pima County featuring food, drink and a silent auction. 6pm-8pm. La Cocina Restaurant, 201 N. Court Ave. 477-7401, NoKillPimaCounty.org
THU 15 PALF COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AWARDS Pima Area Labor Federation honors individuals and organizations who raise awareness in the community. Special guests include U.S. Congressman Raúl Grijalva, Arizona Daily Star Political Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons and local musical guest Vox Urbana. 6pm-10pm. $35. Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. 388-4139, AZ.Aflcio.org/PimaAlf
SAT 17 THE CENTURIONS FUNDRAISER
The Great Neanderthal Bash: A Stone Age Rampage fundraiser for the Carondelet Health Network. Featuring live bands, raffle, food, costume contest, more. $85. 6pm-midnight. Rillito Race Track, 4502 N. 1st Ave. TheCenturions.com
MINOR MUTINY SUMMER BASH Games, food trucks, art installations and activities, live music by Acorn Bcorn, Danie Enriquez, Jonica Buthcer and DJ Lingos. Free. 2pm-5pm. MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. 624-5019, MOCA-Tucson.org
3RD SATURDAY ART FAIR
On the theme “Animal Rescue: Kitties and Horses,” featuring work by visiting artists and the Courtyard artists. A game of chance benefits the Cat Hermitage and Escuela Equine Rescue and Rehab. Includes coffee, tea and snacks with food, beer and wine for sale. Free. 4pm8pm. Many Hands Artist Cooperative, 3054 N 1st Ave. 360-1880, MHArtistCoop@gmail.com
SUN 18 PLAYDATE IN THE PARK
Hosted by Integrative Touch for Kids. Play with animals and miniature horses. Free. 1pm-3pm. Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids, 3230 N. Craycroft Rd. IntegrativeTouch.org
SAT 24 DESERT DESSERT NIGHT
Hosted by the Desert Museum featuring original desserts using native Sonoran Desert ingredients. $38. 6pm-10pm. 2021 N. Kinney Rd. 883-2702, DesertMuseum.org
View a meteor shower at Kitt Peak Observatory. Learn about meteors, comets, meteor showers, and touch a piece of an asteroid. $25$45. 10pm-3am. 318-8726
Sun Sojourner by Puspa Lohmeyer
(Bisbee and Tucson Collaborators) Photographer: Puspa Lohmeyer puspaphoto.com Art Direction: Puspa Lohmeyer & Meggen Connolley Styling: Meggen Connolley Designer: Magnetic Threads magnetic-threads.com Jewelry: Robert Moondragon facebook.com/robert.moondragon?fref=ts Model: Savannah Impellizzeeri facebook.com/pages/Savanah-Impellizzeri/217248555046873 Hair: Elle-Ditta Sciarrone elleditta.foliohd.com Makeup: Anne Skubis anniebadass.com Photo Assistant: Leonie Breither Production Assistant: Jessi Jurek facebook.com/tartfoto
May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 45
photo: Brandon Merchant
An example of square foot gardening at The Garden Kitchen in South Tucson, where Brandon Merchant teaches classes once a month.
Plant a Square Foot Garden by Brandon Merchant Those of us who have been gardening in the Southwest for more than a few seasons have probably come to learn that the advice found in most gardening books and magazines just doesnâ€™t work in our climate. One of the first lessons learned comes from following generic planting recommendations printed on seed packets. The planting dates for our area are usually wrong and the recommendations often call for planting in long, mounded rows. In other parts of the country, where rain and space is plentiful, row planting makes sense. Here in Tucson however, planting this way can lead to thirsty plants. But even after converting to basin-style gardening, which is more appropriate for our area, many gardeners still continue to plant in row fashion by scattering large amounts of seeds along shallow trenches. Not only is this technique wasteful, but it leads to more work and crowded plants. Fortunately, there is an alternative to row planting that will not only save you time, but will also allow for increased yields while reducing the need for weeding and the amount of water required to keep your garden healthy. Iâ€™m speaking of the square foot gardening method; a system that was developed by civil engineer Mel Bartholomew in the 1980s. Unlike row planting, square foot gardening involves creating small but densely planted gardens with the goal of maximizing yields from smaller spaces. The technique borrows heavily from earlier sustainable agriculture methods such as French intensive planting and biointensive agriculture, but it is designed for the relatively small backyard vegetable garden. Any garden space can be converted into a square foot garden by following a few simple steps. First, in order for vegetables to be planted densely using the square foot method, your soil must be heavily amended or even replaced with a nutrient-dense growing medium. The most common medium is a mixture of compost, coco coir and vermiculite. This mixture of ingredients provides the perfect balance of nutrients, water holding capacity and soil aeration that densely planted gardens thrive in. The ratio at which these ingredients are mixed can be adjusted to fit your garden and your budget. In the bestselling book Square Foot Garden46 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
ing, Mel Bartholomew recommends an even mix of 33% of each ingredient; however these are only recommendations and need not be followed to a T. Although the soil mix is very important, what ultimately defines a square foot garden is the layout. Prior to planting, the garden is first divided into one foot by one foot squares. You can do this easily by using garden twine and tent stakes, or if youâ€™re feeling industrious you can make a more permanent grid using lumber. Within each square of the grid, crops are planted in a pre-defined pattern. For example, in one square foot you could either plant nine turnips, 16 carrots or one eggplant. Every square foot has a maximum number of each crop that can be planted in it. Although it is not necessary to plant the recommended maximum number of plants, you should never exceed the recommendation. When planting from seed, great care should be taken to not over plant; two or three seeds per hole are usually sufficient. What may seem like a meticulous task at first will save you time in the long run. Square foot gardening can also be combined with organic gardening techniques such as succession planting, intercropping, cover cropping, and companion planting. Crops with similar square foot growing requirements can be combined for more effectiveness. For example, one square foot could hold a mixed combination of 16 radish and carrots. There are many square foot garden planting guides available online for free or you can learn more by picking up a copy of Square Foot Gardening at your local book store or library. Another great way to learn how to properly plan your square foot garden is to subscribe to an online garden planner service such as GrowVeg.com or the Mother Earth News online garden planner. Each of these programs offers a free 30 day trial and both allow users to create their own unique garden plans using the square foot gardening method. n Brandon Merchant is the proprietor of Southwest Victory Gardens. Visit his website at SouthwestVictoryGardens.com.
A SILVER CITY ARTS & CULTURAL DISTRICT SIGNATURE EVENT
May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 47
photo courtesy of La Frontera/Tucson Mariachi Conference/Kevin Van Rensselaer
Dance and music converge at the Tucson International Mariachi Conference.
48 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
photo courtesy of La Frontera/Tucson Mariachi Conference/Kevin Van Rensselaer
The Tucson International Mariachi Conference features youth showcases on May 1.
Tucson: The Heart of American Mariachi Music by Craig Baker
It’s a tradition veiled in mystery. We know it came from Mexico. We know that it started when the Spanish introduced stringed instruments to the indigenous people of Mexico, and we know that around the turn of the 20th century, it was a music that employed stringed instruments alone. The trumpet—largely considered a staple in any mariachi group—didn’t find its place in mariachi music until the 1930s. But beyond that, it gets a little cloudy. Ask any mariachi musician to define the music in a sentence or two and you will likely be met with silence. There is the Son Jaliscience school, the musical form from Guadalajara, Mexico from which modern mariachi music arose, the Bolero style, which incorporates Afro-Cuban and Caribbean rhythms, and the Ranchera style, which Pueblo High School’s Mariachi Director John Contreras describes as “pretty much like the Mexican version of country western music.” And then there are more styles, as well. Many more. Too many to list here, in fact. Contreras lives and breathes mariachi. Not only is he the director of Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School, he also plays in a group on the weekends and serves on the board of directors for the Tucson International Mariachi Conference, which is largely considered the foremost conference for the genre in the world. Appropriately, he also acts as the Workshop Coordinator for the conference, taking the reins on the educational side of the event he has attended since he was just nine years old. Though Contreras explains he was not there for the first Tucson conference in 1983, he showed up within the first few years, guitar in hand, to learn from the best in the business as Mariachi Vargas and Tucson’s own Mariachi Cobre conducted workshops on the traditional form. Mariachi Vargas, Contreras says, is now widely regarded as the foremost mariachi group in the world, and Mariachi Cobre went on to become the house mariachi band at Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida, where they have been for more than thirty years. Contreras says that he didn’t realize how lucky he was to have such quality musicians as teachers year after year. “It’s like having a little league team and saying, ‘OK, we’re gonna have the Yankees and the Red Sox come and teach you guys how to play ball,’” says Contreras. And that tradition continues today, though with a rotating lineup of professional mariachis.
The Tucson International Mariachi Conference, now in its 32nd year, is primarily an educational endeavor, offering workshops from beginning to master levels to approximately 550 mariachi and about 150 folklórico (traditional Mexican dancing) students annually from across the U.S. and Mexico, but the public is also invited to take part in the most festive of all the festivities. The student groups attending the conference will perform in the showcase concert at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, where the groups are able to raise a little bit of money for themselves through ticket sales. The following night—Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m.—is the big show, known as the Espectacular Concert, which will feature the world-renown talents of Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara and the two-time Grammy-winning all-female group known as the Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea. Saturday, May 3 offers a free mariachi mass at 10 a.m. followed by the pool-party-style Festival Garibaldi, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For the Mariachi Divas, this marks the second trip to perform at the Tucson conference, and this time Shea promises to “bring the energy” along with a pair of local Tucson violinists, Alissa Gonzales and Catherine Baeza. An Irish-Italian American from California, Shea does not look like your typical mariachi. But having trained and performed in a number of styles including orchestra, jazz, and ska, she says there’s a special place for Mariachi amongst other mundial (or world) genres. Shea says that the prestige of the Tucson conference has a very strong global appeal to all mariachis, and that it gives serious credibility to the local scene. With regard to the music itself, Shea says that there is a “beautiful tradition” and “elegance” in the mariachi style unequaled in other genres. “You really have an attentive audience when it’s a mariachi show. You can get people of all ages to laugh, dance and cry within the same hour,” says Shea. “That’s pretty affective music.” n The Tucson Mariachi Conference's public performances take place at Casino Del Sol Resort, 5655 W. Valencia Rd., May 1-May 3. More information, as well as concert and Festival Garibaldi tickets, can be obtained at TucsonMariachi.org. May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 49
Mel Rivers, formally of The Drifters, performs at 2nd Saturdays May 10.
photo courtesy The Picture People
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How Sweet It Is by Jon D Auria
Before the days of hip-hop, dubstep, disco, punk rock, metal, electropop, alternative and all modern genres, there was a simpler kind of music where the voice was the main focus and the soul was emoted through passionate, honest lyrics that spoke of love, life and struggle. Duos, trios and quartets would line street corners, subway stations and any acoustically welcoming space they could find to belt their voices without the assistance of auto-tune or the audio enhancing devices of today. It was all about melody, harmony, rhythm and soul. This is the era that singer Mel Rivers belongs to and those were his cherished days that live on through his deep vocals that he still belts today. “The songs back then were all about love–all kinds of love. It was about the love that made you feel good, the kind of love that made you want to hold each other and even the sad ones made you glad that you had love. The lyrics were close and personal. Even the fast stuff like the jitterbug made you put your hands on somebody,” says Rivers. “There was a lot of slow stuff too, so you got a chance to whisper in her ear and hold her tight. The music nowadays doesn’t have that feel or that message. The spirit of it seems gone from today’s music.” Rivers grew up in Brooklyn, New York in the 1950s when the decade of '40s doo-wop was still the dominant music of the time. Rivers sang all throughout his childhood and in his teen years he developed a voice that was rich and low in timbre, which made him perfect for the foundational role of bass singer in a capella groups. He quickly found that music was a good way to stay out of trouble from the local gangs that surrounded his neighborhood blocks, so he dedicated most of his time to harnessing his craft and learning a catalogue of tunes that he would perform any chance he could. “I got into music when I was around 13 years old. It was during the explosion of music coming over from the '40s into the '50s period. People were singing in hallways, in subways, anywhere they could get a good sound really,” says Rivers. “That was a period where there were a lot of gangs in the streets of New York and in the area I was living in, music was salvation for a lot of gang members. I found a home in music and I felt comfortable there. No matter what I did and how far away from music I went, it always came back to me. It always felt like it was what I was sup-
posed to be doing.” After performing on local street corners for some time, Rivers went on to join a group called Seville that quickly gained the praise of becoming the second coming of The Temptations. After spending two years holed up in small studio apartment while rehearsing and preparing, Seville went on to record tracks for some of the biggest record labels at the time including RCA and Millennium among others. But as Rivers began to be introduced to the glitz and glamour of the business, the long hours, tireless work and obstacles of the industry began to wear on him. And just when Rivers gave up on his dream, opportunity knocked unexpectedly. “I got a little frustrated and I decided I couldn’t keep going through that stuff any longer so I started on as a law enforcement officer in New York and I worked my way up to sergeant. I was still singing at the time through a few outlets and I would set up local shows here and there. So one night I was setting up for a show in an auditorium and I had a disc of original stuff that I had worked on and I started playing the music and singing. Two people came up to me when I stopped and they told me that one was the lead singer of The Drifters and the other was their manager and they were looking for a voice like mine. They said they wanted to audition me and I thought they were playing a joke. So I went and auditioned and 90 seconds later they told me that I was in the band.” Rivers went on to perform with the legendary act The Drifters, starting in 1990, for seven years; he toured all over with the band and shared concert bills with big names including the likes of Tina Turner. In 1997, Rivers got the news that his mother and brother were both battling cancer, so he moved to Tucson to be with them. Rivers has resided here ever since and still performs at Grace Temple Church, at local venues and even on the road with The Drifters on occasion. Rivers will be performing Downtown for the 4th anniversary of 2nd Saturdays on May 10, starting at 8 p.m. “I’ll be performing material from The Drifters and some old classic tunes. Hopefully it’ll bring up some warm memories for some folks. And for the younger people, they’ll see how music used to be when it told a story from beginning to the end and was full of heart and soul.” n For more information on the show visit 2ndSaturdays.com. May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 51
Viva Los Guapos!
by Eric Johns
Justin Valdez Y Los Guapos is ready to rock your world with its CD release this month. Gonna Have a Party! is a sprawling multi-genre, Latin-heavy hip-shakin’ good time. The album begins with the band theme song “Aye Vienen Los Guapos,” full of fantastic energy and tremendous guitar. Lots of influences are converging on the super catchy tracks, and singer/songwriter Valdez said via email that he thinks that is what makes the band’s sound. “I am channeling my guitar influences like Link Wray and Jimi Hendrix, while the rest of the band is channeling their influences like Santana and WAR. Vocally, I channel Hasil Adkins and Lux Interior, again that makes the sound ’cause the other guys have no clue who those guys even are! Two worlds collide to make one sound. I think if there was one act that we would compare to it would be Eric Burdon era WAR.” In the rockin’ title cut, the listener is invited to “lose your mind for a time.” Valdez trades tasty guitar riffs with great keyboard work from Richard Verdugo. Valdez’s lead guitar work is strong throughout the whole 15-track offering. Several tracks are instrumental. “Tortilla Maker Twist,” “The Flyin’ Mayan” and “Plethora of Piñatas” particularly stand out. Western swing guitar meets Sonoran meets Tex-Mex. Song 10, “In the Van” is silly fun with almost a surfer rock feel prevailing, featuring more hot licks from Valdez and the band cooking away. Keys and smoking percussion stand out. On “You Got to Try, Girl,” a person of the female persuasion is urged to “try really hard if you want me to be your man.” Some sweet saxophone and a bit 52 ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com | May 2014
of a horn section make a fevered appearance. The album concludes with “El Cucuy,” a bit of a devilish scary number with organ, sound effects, Valdez’s evil laughter and killer guitar. The different styles come together seamlessly, which Valdez attributes to setting out to make a concept album, “the kind you put on and listen to from start to finish,” he wrote via email. “I think people have gone astray from that. I don’t want someone to buy one MP3 for 99 cents, I want them to buy 15 songs for $10. It’s not just about one song, it’s about an album, it’s about an experience, it’s about a musical journey through many genres and feelings. The songs were arranged on this album to take you on a magic carpet ride, without the hangover and crash the next morning. The album is exactly one full hour, which with all the other ‘seamless’ planning, was coincidence.” Other musicians in the band and on the album include: Adam Block, bass; Joe Cruz, congas; Philbert Mackowiak, timbales; Manny Moralez, drums; The Deacon David Clark, backup vocals; Joel Dunst, additional percussion; Marty Muerto and Eric Eulogy, additional backup vocals. Gonna Have a Party! was recorded, mixed and mastered locally by Petie Ronstadt at LandMark Sound Recorders. n Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. 4th Ave., hosts Justin Valdez Y Los Guapos on Friday, May 30 at 10 p.m., with special guests San Crudelio. $5 gets you in. For more info, visit Facebook.com/JustinValdezyLosGuapos. See ZocaloMagazine.com for a full Q&A with Valdez.
May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 53
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photo: Scott Fadynich
Linda Chorney with Mariachi Sol Azteca
Who Is Linda Chorney? by Jon D Auria
Singer-songwriter Linda Chorney’s tale is one of unbending perseverance and extreme dedication to her dream, as her music career has endured ups and downs that would break most people in her position along the way. After releasing six albums on her own during her 34-year career and embarking on endless stretches of touring, it appeared that the Massachusetts native’s passion had finally paid off when it was announced in 2012 that she was nominated for the Best Americana Album for the 54th Grammy Awards. If getting recognized by the highest honor in music for her album Emotional Jukebox wasn’t monumental enough, it was made even more historic by the fact that she was the first entirely independent artist to receive a Grammy nomination. Chorney was on top of the world in the weeks leading up to the event, until she was exposed to the hurtful politics of an industry that shuns those it can’t profit from. “Honestly the Grammy nomination was in some ways a curse. The politics behind the industry slandered me and almost blacklisted me. The industry doesn’t like to lose control and because nobody profited off of my nomination, they saw me as a threat,” explains Chorney. “Record labels thought that it was my fault that their artists weren’t nominated. When people’s money and power is threatened, they go to great lengths to discredit whoever are in their way, so they buried me. But they didn’t know who they were dealing with because I had come too far to be buried.” In the months after the Grammy Awards, Chorney went through an emotional roller coaster due to the backlash of the incident. Where one
moment she thought she had reached the pinnacle of her career, the next she felt like an outcast. But if there’s one thing the 54-year-old knows, it’s how to move forward. So she decided to take a stand and chronicle her alleged scandal and expose the truth by writing her first book, Who The F$%# Is Linda Chorney. The often humorous and uniquely insightful book outlines Linda’s life in music and all of her ups and downs leading up to her Grammy nomination and all of the turbulence she experienced in the aftermath of that process. “It was something I just had to do. The industry gatekeepers were very upset that somebody else got in and snuck past them. As a result they made up stories and tried to accuse me of cheating and so they lobbied the Grammy organization to change the rules so that an indie couldn’t get in again,” says Chorney. “This was explained to me from the inside from people who were happy to secretly fill me in on the corruption of the organization. It was so fascinating, so I had to expose it by writing a book about it all. It was hard putting it all down on paper because I had to relive memories from that time period. But like everything, I got through it all with humor.” Linda’s Grammy recognition is far from the only impressive achievement of her long career in music. In 1991, she was invited to join Paul Simon and Jackson Browne to play in front of the late, great Nelson Mandela and a crowd of 250,000 people in Boston. And in what she claims to be her greatest achievement, Chorney was invited to Boston's famous Fenway Park to sing the National Anthem for the 100-year anniversary of
continued on page 57 May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 55
Photo courtesy of KnittingFactoryRecords.com
Photo courtesy of GlideMagazine.com
The Gipsy Kings perform at Fox Tucson Theatre on Sat, May 24.
The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger is at Hotel Congress on Wed, May 14.
LIVE MUSIC Shows listed were available as of press time. See the web sites for current info.
2ND SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN Congress Street, 2ndSaturdays. com Sat 10: Odaiko Sonora, Mel Rivers (of The Drifters), Shrimp Chaperone on Scott Avenue Stage.
ARMITAGE WINE LOUNGE AND CAFE 2905 E. Skyline Dr #168. 6829740, ArmitageWine.com Tue 6: Tommy Tucker
AVA AMPHITHEATER at Casino Del Sol 5655 W. Valencia Rd. CasinoDelSol.com May 1-3: Tucson International Mariachi Conference Sat 10: Noche de Las Estrellas Thu 15: Alan Jackson Sat 24: Battle of the Badges
BORDERLANDS BREWING 119 E. Toole Ave. 261-8773, BorderlandsBrewing.com Thu 1: The Swigs Fri 2: Tommy Tucker Sat 3: Mustang Corners Thu 8: Shrimp Chaperone Fri 9: The Determined Luddites Sat 10: Tortolita Gutpluckers Thu 15: Widow’s Hill
Fri 16: 8 Squared Sat 17: Stefan George Thu 22: Hank Topless Fri 23: Buffelgrass Band Sat 24: The Introverts Thu 29: Andy See & His Swingin’ Jamboree Fri 30: Joe Peña Sat 31: Dutch Holly
BOONDOCKS LOUNGE 3306 N. 1st Ave. 690-0991, BoondocksLounge.com Sundays/ Tuesdays: Lonny’s Lucky Poker Mondays: The Bryan Dean Trio Wednesdays: Titan Valley Warheads Thursdays: Ed Delucia Trio Fri 2: Angel Diamond & The Blues Disciples Sat 3: Equinox Sun 4: Heather Hardy & Lil Mama Band Fri 9: Trade Secrets Sat 10: Heather Hardy & Lil Mama Show Sun 11: Zo Carroll & The Soul Breakers Fri 16: Jacques Taylor & The Real Deal Sun 18: Last Call Girls Sat 24: Cowbop, Ned Sutton and Last Dance Fri 30: The Amazing Anna Warr & The Giant Blue Band Sat 31: Atmosphere
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CAFE PASSE 415 N. 4th Ave. 624-4411, CafePasse.com See the website.
CLUB CONGRESS 311 E. Congress St. 622-8848, HotelCongress.com/club Thu 1: Red Recalibrated Tour Fri 2: The Electric Blankets Mon 5: Grieves Tue 6: Tycho Wed 7: Pink Mountaintops Thu 8: Brian Posehn Fri 9: Prom Body Wed 14: The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger Mon 19: Red Fang 2014 Tour Wed 21: Devin The Dude
LA COCINA 201 N. Court Ave. 622-0351, LaCocinaTucson.com Saturdays: DJ Herm, Harpist Wednesdays: Miss Lana Rebel and Kevin Michael Mayfield Thursdays: Stefan George Fridays: The Greg Morton Band Sun 11: Mik and the Funky Brunch Sun 25: Mik and the Funky Brunch
CUSHING STREET BAR & RESTAURANT 198 W. Cushing St. 622-7984, CushingStreet.com Saturdays: Jazz
DELECTABLES RESTAURANT & CATERING 533 N. 4th Ave. 884-9289, Delectables.com Fridays and Saturdays: Live music
FOX TUCSON THEATRE 17 W. Congress St. 624-1515, FoxTucsonTheatre.org Wed 7: Johnny Clegg Fri 9: Loudon Wainwright III Sat 24: Gipsy Kings Fri 30: Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood Sat 31: Justin Hayward
HACIENDA DEL SOL 5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol. 2991501, HaciendaDelSol.com Sun 4: Johnny Strasser & Friends Sun 11: Michael P’s Blue Star Revue featuring Katherine Byrnes Sun 18: Bad News Blues Band Sun 25: George Howard & The Roadhouse Hounds
THE FLYCATCHER (formally Plush) 340 E. 6th St. 798-1298 Tue 6: Kikagaku Moyo and The Myrrors Fri 9: The Upbeats Sat 10: People Under The Stairs
MONTEREY COURT 505 W. Miracle Mile, MontereyCourtAZ.com Thu 1: Therianthope Fri 2: Giant Blue Sat 3: gHosTcOw Sun 4: Chillie Willie Groove
photo: Chadwick D. Fowler
continued from page 55 the baseball stadium during a Red Sox game in April 2012. When Chorney started playing piano at the age of four and guitar at the age of ten, she couldn’t possibly have dreamed that she would achieve the things that she has now. “Music is my greatest passion. If I couldn’t express myself through my music and my art and my writing I would go nuts. I don’t really have a choice in that. My career started when I was 20 and I’ve made a living the whole time since I began and I haven’t been starving,” says Chorney. “I write lyrics that people can relate to. Mainly things people think but don’t have the courage to say and I put it to music to give it another dimension. People enjoy knowing they’re not alone in their thoughts and perspective.” After living all over the East Coast and being on the road most of her life performing on all seven continents, Chorney recently moved to Tucson to be closer to her parents and to enjoy the sunny weather of the west. This month marks her first two official concerts as a Tucsonan on Saturday, May 3 at La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave., from 5-5:30 p.m. and on Saturday, May 10 at Hacienda Del Sol, 5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol, from 7-10 p.m. Chorney will be premiering her new song “The Cantina” at these shows, which pairs her with local mariachi group Mariachi Sol Azteca. A music video for her new Tucson-inspired single will be completed this summer. n
The Sugar Thieves play at Sea of Glass on May 10.
Tue 6: Robert Encila Wed 7: Peter McLaughlin & Alvin Blaine Thu 8: Borderland Fri 9: Carnivaleros Sat 10: Neil McCallion & The Mighty Maxwells Sun 11: Rafael Moreno Quartet Tue 13: Jacob Paul Allen Thu 15: The Tucsonics Sat 17: Heather Lil Mama Hardy and Her Band Sun 18: Reverie Tue 20: Eric Shaffer Fri 30: Heartbeat Sat 31: Tony Furtado Band
Fri 16: Keb Mo Sun 18: Bill Frisell Mon 19: Greg Brown Fri 23: Calle 13 Sat 24: Peter Murphy Mon 26: Lindsey Stirling Tue 27: The Great Gig in the Sky
RHYTHM & ROOTS Plaza Palamino, 2970 N. Swan Rd. 319-9966, RhythmandRoots. org Sat 24: Roy Book Binder
RIALTO THEATRE 318 E. Congress St. 740-1000, RialtoTheatre.com Thu 1: Marchfourth Marching Band Sat 3: Anthony Jeselnik Thu 6: Old 97’s Wed 7: Tom Jones Thu 8: Skid Row & Black Star Riders Fri 9: Felipe Esparza Sat 10: Justice on Tap Local Music Extravaganza
330 E. 7th St. 398-2542, TheSeaofGlass.org Sat 3: DiVoM Sat 10: The Sugar Thieves Sat 24: Aztral Folk and Friends Sat 31: The Change Agents, Israfel Awakened 31 E. Toole Ave. 884-0874, SolarCulture.org Mon 5: Acid Mothers Temple Wed 7: Yoni Wolf
For more information about Linda Chorney, her upcoming shows and to purchase her albums and book, visit LindaChorney.com photo: Scott Fadynich
278 E. Congress. 396-3691, PlaygroundTucson.com See the website
SEA OF GLASS CENTER FOR THE ARTS
SURLY WENCH PUB 424 N. 4th Ave., 882-0009, SurlyWenchPub.com Fri 2: Black Cherry Burlesque Sat 3: Club Sanctuary Tue 6: Artphag Sat 10: Fineline Revisited Fri 16: The Cordials, Leila Lopez Fri 23: Black Irish Texas, Psygoat Sat 24: Tribulators, Sons of Providens, The Strikers Fri 30: Justin Valdez y los Guapos Sat 31: Fineline Revisited
Linda Chorney with Mariachi Sol Azteca
May 2014 | ZOCALOMAGAZINE.com 57
by Andrew Brown / @aemerybrown
Left to right top to bottom: Con-Nichiwa Tucson attendee; Con-Nichiwa Tucson attendee; Last race of the year at Rillito Downs; South Tucson Street Fair; Con-Nichiwa Tucson attendee; Accordion Club of Tucson at Cyclovia.
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