WELL ADORNED. Tohono Chul Park ushers in the holidays with its seventh annual Southwest Celebrations ornament exhibit and sale.
Artists previously displaying their work in the park's cheery galleries are invited each year to create unique ornaments for the show and place them on the block for public sale. Proceeds help protect this lush remnant of Sonoran Desert on Tucson's blade-and-grade northwest side. Among others, works come from artists who contributed to this year's Creepy Crawly, Essential Elements and Please Touch! exhibits. The sale will include a silent auction for particularly valued pieces.
The show runs through December 13 in Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 742-6455 for details.
CELTIC CROSSROADS. Hailing from the far-off borderland between Scotland and England, Tarras arrives in town for a night of powerful Celtic melody.
Despite their tender ages -- they average only 21 -- the members of Tarras display a masterful expertise, with a repertoire ranging from traditional Celtic and gypsy to old folk, pop, African rhythms, and blues. The band features Rod Armstrong on cittern and guitar; Ben Murray on accordion; Emma Hancock on violin; Joss Clapp on bass; and Jon Redfern on percussion. Together, the result is rich and earthy. "Such a pure sound," says Folks Roots magazine, "such deftly intricate arrangements, such surety of touch...they play flowing traditional music strongly rooted in the North East with a rare, instantly distinctive soul."
And suds-lovers take note: accouterments for tonight's performance include a beer garden.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 602 N. Wilmot Road. Tickets are $11, and available at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, or by calling 881-3947.
GYPSY SOULS. Hear the "world's most famous gypsy musicians" when Déki Lakatos Sándor Jr. and Sr. bring their deeply rooted European sound to town.
Direct from Budapest, the dueling violinists and their spirited ensemble will be joined by Enikö Fábián, the "prima donna of Transylvania," for an evening of Viennese waltzes, operetta and gypsymusik.
Sixth generation in a renowned family of violinists, by age 14 Lakatos Sr. had already played second fiddle in his father's band. For the past 30 years, he's twirled across the globe with his own group, making music in elegant night spots and eateries, concert halls, radio stations and TV studios.
Today, he carries on a gypsy musical tradition noted by Bartók Béla in 1931: "It makes me very happy that here in Hungary most of the light music is our own specialty," Béla said, "Magyar folksy tunes. Far be it from me to cry 'perish' to those who serve up this mass product. On the contrary, I hope that they will hold their own for years to come against every assault by Schrammel music or jazz, that they will stick to their old repertoire, keeping the hues as old-fashioned as possible."
The Lakatos and their band achieve that goal, in spades.
Concert is 6 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Church Hall, 4831 E. 22nd St. Tickets are $30 at the door, and include dinner. For information, call 742-4400.
TOMB TREK. Hear the serene resonance of Tucson's final resting places when the Old Pueblo Archaeology Center hosts tours of the Holy Hope and Evergreen cemeteries.
This is a rare opportunity to learn about Southern Arizona's history and recent developments in archaeology. Fred McAninch, curator of the Arizona Historical Society's downtown Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House Museum, will narrate the past of each burial ground, highlighting their timeless elements including Civil War monuments, and the historic Jewish plot containing some of the oldest graves in Evergreen.
The tour will also visit the section of Holy Hope Cemetery where some of the original Tucson presidio inhabitants were reburied after being exposed during downtown archaeological investigations in 1991.
Tour begins at 10 a.m. at the Evergreen Cemetery, just inside the Fort Lowell Road entrance west of Oracle Road. Cost is $10. Call 798-1201 for details.
CLASSIC HIGH-STEPPERS. Two masterpieces hit the boards when Arizona Dance Collective performs Petrushka and Nutcracker Fantasy.
Pestrushka features Igor Stravinki's beautiful musical score, authentic costumes, gorgeous scenery and plenty of great dancing. The Nutcracker Fantasy features Tchaikovsky's classic arrangement, along with "a little girl's dream, whirling candy canes, and life-size snowflakes."
Performances are 2 and 7 p.m. today, 2 p.m. tomorrow, in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and students, and available by calling 887-2085.
FLURRY DE FEMME. Put the finger on fine art at the WomanKraft gallery's Holiday Bazaar Exhibit.
The annual creative celebration features Robin White's fiber art, displayed in 40 baskets, containers and weavings. The show also features glass by Vicky Strome; clay pieces by Gerrie Young and Gay Miller; handmade paper collage by Gayle Swanbeck; and wooden animals and goddesses by Turtle Woman. That's just the beginning, in a wide-ranging exhibit that includes beaded ornaments, paintings, drawings, cards, tiles, sculptures, "and an array of imaginative creations."
Exhibit runs through December 22, with a special reception from 7 to 10 p.m. December 4, in the WomanKraft gallery, 388 S. Stone Ave. Regular gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. For details, call 629-9976.
HIGH STRUNG. Taut strings meet fine ivory when Arizona Friends of Chamber Music present a concert by Jennifer Frautschi and Pedja Muzijevic.
Violinist Frautschi has been praised by The Boston Globe as "boasting full-fledged virtuoso technique, a wonderful head on her shoulders and a marvelous sensitivity to whatever the musical matter is at hand." She's won numerous prestigious competitions, and was the only American laureate of the 1997 Queen Elizabeth International Violin Competition in Belgium. This year, she landed the coveted 1999 Avery Fisher Career Grant.
For his part, pianist Pedja Muzijevic has performed across the globe, most recently appearing with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague. He also participated in the Tanglewood, Mostly Mozart and Newport Festivals, and was honored with a prize from the Juilliard School of Music.
Among other selections, the pair will perform Strauss' "Sonata for Violin and Piano"; a world premiere of Daniel Coleman's "Sad and Ancient Praises"; Stravinsky's "Duo Concertante for Violin and Piano"; and Maurice Ravel's "Tzigane, Rapsodie de Concert."
Performance is 3 p.m. in the TCC Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $10, $5 for students, and available by calling 577-3769.
LIFE AND LEGACY. Loved ones passed and present are celebrated at The Jerôme Beillard Festival for Life.
Now in its 11th year, this fund raiser for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation offers a banquet of holiday gifts, from art pieces and fine baskets to celebrity items, jewelry and holiday decorations. It's your chance to help fight a deadly scourge, one that continues to ravage our communities, devasting families and those they love.
The silent auction starts at 4 p.m., with a live auction at 5 p.m., in the Marriott University Park Hotel, 880 E. Second St. Advance tickets are $25, and available by calling 628-7223. Tickets are $30 at the door.
LOCAL BRASS. Hear a hometown favorite when the UA Faculty Artist Series presents a concert by trombonist Tom Ervin.
A world-class player, Ervin is joined on piano by Jeffrey Haskell for a melodic evening of American music and jazz.
Performance is 7:30 p.m. in UA Crowder Hall, on the southwest corner of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue. Tickets are $10, $8 for UA employees, $6 for seniors, $5 for students, and available by calling 621-1162.
PERUVIAN NOCTURNE. The exotic soul of South America flows into Tucson with a performance by Susana Baca.
Hailing from Peru, Baca and her four-piece band dish up unique world music led by her cool, distinctive voice with "bassanova-like harmonies and gentle flamenco," according to the London Guardian.
Given her Afro-Peruvian heritage, Baca is perfectly suited to such kudos. She's also devoted to unearthing songs of her roots, combining them with current music of Peru, and spicing the mix with Spanish and Native influences. Since 1971, she's also brought to the world stage music with vocal leads from contemporary poets, backed by varied percussion, including hand drums, cajon and gourds, Latin guitar and Andean pan-pipes.
She arrives in the Old Pueblo hot on the heels of her second album, released on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label. See this week's Music section for details.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $16 and $18, and available at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, or by calling 327-4809.
POP A PLOT. Literature leaps right off the page at the UA Library's 12th annual Pop-Up and Moveable Book Exhibit.
This year's unfolding extravaganza features more than 40 interactive pieces, including the Formula One Pack, which contains race track plans, driver profile cards and an hour-long compact disc of racing sounds. Curator James Sinski calls it "the most comprehensive interactive three-dimensional study on motor racing" he's seen.
Also included is a New York City pop-up with a number of well-known authors contributing to the text, and an 18-inch tall Empire State Building.
Exhibit runs through January 28 in the UA Main Library, south of the main mall and west of Cherry Street. Admission is free. Call 621-6441 for hours and other information.