WHO DONE IT. In 1978, convicted murderer Gary Tyson flew the coop. Once he escaped from the oh-so-confining walls of his prison cell, he led a cold-blooded killing spree across Arizona that left six people dead. As if the murders weren't chilling enough, the corruption uncovered in the state's prison system was almost as unbelievable as the crimes themselves.
A decade later in 1988, Jim Clarke penned Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tyson. Clarke teaches in UA's Political Science Department. His book offers an account of the crimes committed by Tyson and his three sons (what a lovely family unit), along with the astounding investigation that followed.
Come hear what he has to say at the Mysteries in History series. It's a benefit to raise funds for undergraduate students at UA's Department of History. It starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 4, with a reception at Clues Unlimited, located at 123 S. Eastbourne Ave. near Broadway Boulevard and Country Club Road. Then head off to the DoubleTree Hotel at Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way, for dinner and Clarke's lecture at 7 p.m. Tickets are a hefty $50 per person, but half of that is tax-deductible, and it's for a good cause. (Hey, I majored in history many moons ago as an undergrad--and look how far I got!)
Make your reservations or get more information at 621-9359.
SOME REALLY OLD STUFF. As the Arizona State Museum celebrates its 110th birthday this week, visitors may not realize that it's not only the oldest anthropology museum in the Southwest, but it's also the largest. Its voluminous collections tell the story of 13,000 years of humans stomping in and around this region.
Signature SOUTHWEST celebrates with a silent auction on Friday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m. It features Indian arts ranging from old-style kachina carvings to baskets and pottery from across the Southwest. Artists offer Navajo textiles, Pendleton blankets, jewelry and paintings. Some of the nation's foremost Indian artists have donated their work, including Mata Ortiz, Micheal Chiago, Shonto Begay and Emmi Whitehorse.
More than 80 items are offered for bidding. Proceeds benefit the museum's efforts to preserve and protect its Southwest Indian pottery collection, now threatened by damage and destruction from lack of environmental controls. The museum's preservation efforts are part of a national Save America's Treasures project. They've still got to raise $2 million to match an NEA Challenge Grant. But the auction is also a vehicle to make the public aware of this critical and time-sensitive preservation project.
The silent auction takes place at the museum located east of Main Gate at Park Avenue and University Boulevard. Museum members get in for $35 and general admission costs $40.
Questions? Call 626-8381.
SQUEAKY CLEAN. Have you noticed the trend towards soaps that smell absolutely divine thanks to ingredients not likely to be found in your generic bar of soap--like mint and patchouli and even chocolate?
The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild is an international trade association that does what guilds have always done--it serves its members in the industry. The Guild hosts its annual conference for soap makers this week, but for the aroma-imbibing and suds-hungry fans like you and me, there's a public reception held on Friday, April 4, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Learn about the art and science behind handcrafted soap. Mingle with the makers of your favorite bars. Nibble on appetizers. Take a peek at an adobe hut--yes, made out of 200 bars of handcrafted soap. (Gosh, I hope it doesn't rain.) After the conference, those bars will be donated to Casa de los Niños, the Tucson-based group that helps abused and neglected kids.
Catherine Failor, author of two soap-making books and designer of soap molds, will be there, as will Mandy Aftel, author and celebrated fragrance consultant. A tub-load of soap authorities can answer any of your questions.
The reception takes place at the Westward Look Resort located at 245 E. Ina Road. It's free and open to all. Leave the yellow rubber duckie at home, though.
Call 1-800-2MOSAIC for details.
TRAVEL A BIT. I'm not talking geographically, but musically.
Return to One is an improvisational group that flits between free jazz and contemporary music where improv and composition entwine. The group had its genesis in 1998 in the student ensembles at San Diego State University. Their music has been lauded as appealing to listeners who want to be taken to new places.
Percussionist Nathan Hubbard is the founding member of the group and its main composer. He's as comfortable writing for solo and duo pieces, conventionally notated chamber works for the quartet as well as electronic tape work and multi-ensemble pieces.
Lee Elderton on sax is a founding member of the classical saxophone quartet, Spectrum. He's equally at home playing improv jazz, performing with the likes of Bobby Caldwell's Orchestra and the Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine.
The group's other saxophonist is Ward Baxter, who's been heavily involved in the classical repertoire for tenor sax. He's also arranged and composed in a myriad of genres.
And bassist Justin Grinell's film background landed him his role as the group's principal timekeeper--someone's got to know where they're all going on those instruments.
Return to One performs on Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m., as part of the Zeitgeist Jazz at the Institute series at Mat Bevel Institute, located at 530 N. Stone Ave. Tickets cost $8 in advance at Antigone Books or $10 at the door.
Questions? Call 622-0192.
FANCY FOOTWORK. Major Knucklehead Productions, in collaboration with the Bohemian Barefoot Boogie, hosts its all-too infrequent Club Rhythm Dance Jam.
You might be familiar with the regular Friday night boogies that take place at Ortspace. This one is a little different as Mister Knucklehead (excuse me, that's "Major" Knucklehead) puts in his two cents. Don't ask me what that means. You'll have to see for yourself on Friday, April 4, starting at 9 p.m.
It's an all-ages, free-form dance jam whose history goes all the way back to 1994, when it was held at the old Southwest Center for Music. It later moved to Mat Bevel Institute and then to Muse Center for the Arts before it landed back at Ortspace, located at 121 E. Seventh St.
Hosted by longtime KXCI programmers Jeff Rogers and Jim Lipson, Club Rhythm Dance Jam offers a variety of dance grooves moving from tribal to African to funk and soul to reggae, Caribbean, Latin and even some occasional trance, psychedelic and jazz. If you can't find something in that mix to dance to, you'd better stay home.
Like the Bohemian Barefoot Boogie, admission is a scant $5 at the door. Dancing goes until midnight. It's smoke-free. Bring the kids.
For details, call 721-1710.
LET'S HAVE A LITTLE UNITY. In the midst of global strife this week, take a breather and enjoy a lineup of free music and dance concerts, and taste bits of American culture--flavored by Afro, Latino and Anglo influences.
The Afro-Latino-Americas Festival features an array of talent. Grupo Olorun focuses on Afro-Cuban folkloric traditions--both music and dance--and boasts four artists including dancer/choreographer Susana Arenas, Jose Baroso, Sandy Perez and Rogelio Kindelan. They're part of a growing movement of new-generation Cuban artists dedicated to preserving their cultural heritage.
The Lost Boys of Sudan share their story and cultural traditions through drumming, song and dance. The group was named by an aid worker in an Ethiopian refugee camp where the boys formed their ensemble. Eventually, they found their way out of their war-torn country to the United States and are here to share information and cultural traditions.
Native American (Dine') jazz vocalist Mary Redhouse performs traditional songs along with New York City guitarist Dom Minasi. Redhouse's five-octave vocal range combines with bird calls, Native microtonal techniques and scat--definitely a unique sound.
Latino Solido is back and re-formed since 2000 to explore the musical styles of the Afro-Cuban-Caribbean and Latino-Americano-Urbano. (Enough hypens for you?) Joey Ahumada belts it out on vocals and trombone; Lamont Arthur plays keyboards; Michael Carbajal and Carlos Lugo play trumpet and sing; Bubba Fass hits the congas; and a gaggle of other musicians play sax, guitars and bass.
Jazz saxophonist Oliver Lake and his Steel Quartet return to Tucson with Lyndon Achee on steel pan, Billy Grant on bass and Damon DueWhite on drums to perform standards with room for improvisation.
A carnival procession--a Cuban Comparsa--opens the festivities at Armory Park, 220 S. Fifth Ave., on Saturday, April 5, at 11 a.m. Performances continue throughout the day along with vendors hawking tasty delicacies and traditional wares until 6 p.m.
Catch Oliver Lake and his Steel Quartet for a full concert at 8 p.m. at Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant, 198 W. Cushing St. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
For more information about the Afro-Latino-Americas Festival, call 327-3663. For questions about the Oliver Lake performance, call 297-9133.
DOUBLE-FEATURE, PALESTINIAN STYLE. The folks organizing the film series Palestine: Life and Struggle are doing so in order to create a space to learn more about the controversial geo-political events in that region. They encourage you to watch the films and stay after for debate and discussion.
The UA's Alliance for Peace and Justice in the Middle East hosts the series. On Tuesday, April 8, screening begins at 6 p.m. with Gaza Strip. It's a documentary by James Longley filmed during the 2001 intifada and gives voice to a population largely ignored by the mainstream media. Shot almost entirely in a cinema vérité style without narration, the film focuses on ordinary Palestinians rather than politicians and pundits. These are the folks who struggle daily with Israeli occupation.
At 7:30 p.m., Jenin Jenin screens. Directed by Palestinian actor Mohammed Bakri, it includes testimony from Jenin residents after the Israeli army's Defensive Wall operation in 2002, during which the city and camp were the scenes of fierce fighting. This film also offers testimonies from Palestinian victims who struggle with the consequences of Israeli actions. It's not surprising that Jenin Jenin is officially banned from screening in Israel.
The films are free, as is the discussion afterwards at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Auditorium located at Speedway Boulevard and Mountain Avenue. Parking is free on the Zone 1 lot directly north of the building. For details, call 730-9045.