The Explorer: Listen


  • St. Mark’s presents ‘Harmonies under the stars’

    St Mark’s United Methodist Church presents “Harmonies under the stars,” a benefit concert, on Saturday evening, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m.Imagine No Malaria, the denomination’s campaign to eradicate the disease worldwide, is the recipient of the concert proceeds. 

“Harmonies Under the Stars” features a number of local talents, including:
Jean-Marie Mutore, an asylee from Burundi who is new to the Tucson music scene, performing his original music, as well as old favorites.Robert Encila, a well-known local and national performing artist and founding Artistic Director at Studio Connections. Robert’s national credits include musical performances in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and most recently, at the historic Players’ Club and Birdland Jazz Club in New York City.  Diane Van Deurzen and Lisa Otey, a dynamic duo, a perfect blend of hot jazz, sultry blues and cabaret.They take their act to festivals, clubs and theatres around the world. Recent performances include the Thredbo Blues Festival in Australia; Yardbird Suite in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Yoshi’s in Oakland, California; and the Lucerne Festival, Switzerland.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to enjoy wonderful musical talents. Outdoor seating (“under the stars”) is limited.Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Reservations can be made by calling the church office at 297-2062. Cash, check or credit card payment is required with your reservation. 

  • Organ concert by Dennis Grannan

    Dennis Grannan, Associate Director of Music at Catalina United Methodist Church in Tucson, will present a special concert on Friday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd.  The concert is part of the Catalina Organ Festival, a year-long series of concerts, recitals, and other events.A reception with the organist will follow the concert.The program, “Kaleidoscope, A Spectrum of Color and Sound”, will feature a variety of music to illustrate the large range of sounds available on the organ.  Catalina’s instrument is the newest pipe organ in Tucson.  It has fifty-seven ranks (sets of pipes) on four keyboards and pedal.Dennis Grannan, a Juilliard-trained organist, is also Dean of the Southern Arizona Chapter, AGO (American Guild of Organists).A $15.00 donation is requested for the Kaleidoscope concert.  For more information go to   Or call 327-4296.

  • Armchair-style interview set with Linda Ronstadt

    After a successful re-launching of the Sunday Evening Forum in early 2014, the Sunday Evening Forum announces an armchair-style interview with Linda Ronstadt on Oct. 5, at the Fox Theatre.  The Forum kicked off their resurrection of this community event with an “armchair” style interview of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner on March 30.Tucson’s own Linda Ronstadt will be interviewed by longtime friend, Jeff Haskell. Haskell is the musical director of the Tucson Jazz Orchestra and former conductor of the “Linda Ronstadt sings the Great American Songbook” show with arrangements by Nelson Riddle. “I look forward to this event as I’m not sure that everyone has heard the story of one of the hardest working and one of the most artistically successful woman this country has ever seen. Most of the time she made it appear easy. It wasn’t” said  Haskell.The event is free at the Fox Theatre Downtown.  The box office opens at 4:30 p.m.The doors open at 7 p.m.Residents can purchase tickets online for the Post Champagne Reception at $125 each. Each Post Reception ticket includes: preferred seating during the interview, champagne and dessert.

  • Review: Casualties of Cool

    Devin Townsend earned the moniker as the “Mad Scientist of Metal” but more and more he should just be considered a musical mad scientist. The prolific artist, who has dabbled in heavy metal, industrial, punk, world music and even Euro pop, takes a stab at a few new genres, Americana and country.Anyone familiar with Townsend, and most in this country are not, know that he is not going to write a straight forward record. After all, this is a guy who wrote a series of albums for various elements, wrote a concept album about a coffee crazed alien bent on Earth’s destruction and retired his popular heavy metal outfit Strapping Young Lad because he was no longer angry enough to need it as an outlet.His newest record is the first to be recorded as Casualties of Cool and teams Townsend with vocalist Ché Aimee Dorval and the two create a haunting, ethereal record that has its roots in Americana and country, but strays from them rather quickly.The record, which was funded by fans, is the soundtrack for a lonely night on the plains where a lone cowboy is haunted by the ghosts of his past. It is quiet, pretty in most places, but not sparse. This is not a few voices and acoustic instruments, though they appear, this is a layered, ambient soundscape.

  • Help out at Musical Magic for Kids

    Join the Oro Valley Music and Dance Academy string ensemble in an engaging experience for kids. Clap along, play percussion instruments and even help conduct it on Saturday, Sept. 6.The International Adventures of Aunt Rhody and Uncle Bob will visit Musical Magic for Kids at 10 a.m. in the Town of Oro Valley’s Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive.Children and families are invited to join in this magical concert where a string trio will take you on a journey around the world to learn about these diverse instruments. Help Aunt Rhody and Uncle Bob discover the different musical ideas. Transport to Brazil, China and Egypt, among other countries, while learning the different musical elements and compositional techniques that make these instruments so wonderful.Presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, the Musical Magic for Kids program is funded by support from Irma and Keve Sankman, Bill Adler, the Oro Valley Community Foundation and the Town of Oro Valley.

  • Celebrating 15 years of Jazz

    “Last year, we had something undeniably remarkable happen in the crowd,” said Al Cook, host of the Jazz Legends Live benefit concert. “The music reached inside the hearts of the audience - there was laughter, tears. They were just mesmerized by the power of the performance.”On Friday, Sept. 26, the Jazz Legends will bring musicians to the Tucson Country Club’s garden grove, 2950 N. Camino Principal.This is the 15th annual concert hosted by Al and Marilyn Cook and the third annual concert hosted by country club members Don and Paula Redman.Al and Marilyn Cook began Jazz Legends in their backyard as a fundraiser for the Arts Council in 2000. The first party took place in their home with famous Hollywood jazz clarinetist, Abe Most.With a range of ticket prices, this unique experience is available for all to attend. Front row seats include a three-course dinner before the show for $125, preferred seating tickets are $55 and general admission is $45. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 7 p.m.   Proceeds from the event will help support SAACA’s Creative Arts Therapy Program for veterans, assisted care facilities and retirement co

  • Friday Night Live! At Main Gate Square

    Jazz Saxophonist Kelland Thomas stages an exciting Spring Concert Series performance in the Geronimo Plaza Courtyard at Main Gate Square. Presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, the free Friday Night Live! performances, coupled with delicious food from nearby local restaurants, provide a cool way to spend the summer evenings on alternating Fridays, from April 4 through August 22, 2014.August 22, 2014Event Location: 814 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85719 Venue: Main Gate Square Time: From: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM Admission: Free admission. Free parking in the Tyndall Garage after 5 p.m., with merchant validation. 

  • Dwight Yoakam in Concert

    Fox Tucson Theatre presents country music icon Dwight Yoakam, who has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, placing him in an elite cadre of global superstars.August 27, 2014Event Location: 17 W. Congress St., Tucson, AZ 85701 Venue: The Fox Tucson Theatre Time: Starting: 7:30 PM Admission: $47 - $199 (VIP meet & greet with artist) 

  • The Fox Tucson Theatre has a variety of upcoming shows

    The Fox Tucson Theatre announces the starting lineup for the 2014 Fall Season. The Fox, downtown’s crown jewel, consistently seeks to present high quality entertainment that will appeal to Southern Arizona’s diverse community. Guests should visit    to view the daily updated schedule of shows, speakers, and special events. Tickets for all events may be purchased online at, at the theatre box office or by calling 547-3040.  Box Office Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 1 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends open two hours prior to each performance.Fox Tucson Theatre is located at 17 W. Congress in Tucson.AUGUST:Randy Newman—Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.Randy Newman has used his many talents to create musical masterpieces widely recognized by generations of audiences. His original songs run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and include a host of unforgettable film scores. Newman launched into recording as a singer and pianist in 1968 with his self-titled album-- Randy Newman. Newman’s many career honors include six Grammys, three Emmys, and two Academy Awards, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Tickets are between $49 and $83.

  • Pianist Nick Stanley to perform Aug. 8 in Geronimo Plaza

    Nick Stanley jazz pianist will perform on Aug. 8 in Geronimo Plaza at 7 p.m. as part of Friday Night Live Main Gate Square's dynamic Summer Jazz Concert Series.Nick Stanley began playing piano at age 8. Born in Tucson, Stanley was always listening to the greats from a very early age. Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr., Hank Jones and Nat Cole are among the many influences on his music today.Presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance at Main Gate Square, the free performances alternate Fridays at 7 p.m. Coupled with delicious food from nearby local restaurants, the evenings provide a great way to begin the weekend.“People come to Geronimo Plaza and discover Main Gate is a great place in a lively atmosphere,” said Jane McCollum, Main Gate Square general manager.Main Gate Square, between Park and Euclid Avenues on University Boulevard, features more than 20 retailers and 30 restaurants near the University of Arizona. Main Gate merchants validate parking for the Tyndall Garage Monday through Friday after 5 p.m. to midnight (all parking fees incurred prior to 5 p.m. are the customer’s responsibility).“Prior to the concert people should experience all the different flavors of food we have here,” McCollum said, either dining in the restaurants before or after the shows or grabbing food to go and eating during the performance.

  • Prime Time Review: Indie rock princess poised to hit mainstream

    When child actress Jenny Lewis first appeared on television in the mid 1980s, she seemed to have a knack for the entertainment business. The youngster would go on to appear in fan favorite television shows such as “The Golden Girls”, “Growing Pains”, and “Roseanne”, but in the end it was the airwaves rather than the camera that would capture the entertainer’s interest. Presented with a mix-tape as a gift from fellow child actor Corey Haim, Lewis began to fall in love with music, and would eventually credit this moment as the spark that ignited the wildfire of her current musical career. In 1998 Lewis formed the cult favorite band Rilo Kiley. The band released four albums in 13 years, toured with Coldplay, and gained notoriety across indie music circles. For Lewis, Rilo Kiley’s success, complimented by an invitation to collaborate with Ben Gibbard as the female vocalist for The Postal Service, catapulted the former child star onto the throne of indie-rock royalty. Long before Zooey Deschanel made the transition from Hollywood actress to rock star, Lewis had paved the way.Toward Rilo Kiley’s waning years, Lewis began to write music under her own name as part of her solo project. Now 38 years old, Lewis has released her third, and most promising solo album yet. “The Voyager” solidifies prior notions that Lewis may just be one of the best singer-songwriter’s the music scene has to offer. The indie-rock icon has struck gold with her new album, and has truly found her sound with a fusion between pop, rock, indie, and country elements that creates a perfect amalgamation of musical methods. What makes the album all the more special is the poignant nature of the lyrics, which serve as a looking glass into the mindset of Lewis as a woman. The songs discuss past loves, romance, the death of Lewis’ father, the breakup of her first band, and the frustrations of being a woman on the doorstep of 40 years old without a husband and children. But do not let the fragile nature of the lyrics fool you, “The Voyager” is stuffed with some extremely melodic, and downright fun songs. Since dropping last week, the album has been receiving rave reviews, so positive in fact that “The Voyager” just may tip the scale in the direction of mainstream stardom for Lewis. The record has created quite the splash already. On its first day of release, “The Voyager” was on the top 10 list for most downloaded albums on iTunes. Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart stared in the filming of the music video for the single “Just One of the Guys”. Perhaps most impressive, however, is that Jenny Lewis was even given the opportunity to create her own wine in anticipation of the release of the new album. The Voyager Wine is $29.99 (which includes a free link to download the album). The buzz is not unwarranted, “The Voyager” is Jenny Lewis’ magnum opus.For those Tucsonans who wish to see Lewis perform “The Voyager” live in concert, the musician will be playing tonight (Aug. 6) at The Rialto Theater.

  • Prime Time Review: Two upcoming shows hip-hop heads should not miss

    The summer has fully engulfed our city, bringing with it sweltering heat and burning winds. As the days get hotter and hotter, many are looking for a way to have fun without melting outdoors.  Whether it is going to a movie at the theatre, a local trampoline—world, or finding some nighttime entertainment, the cool route is always the better route.  For those with an inclination for hip-hop music and a good concert, there are two events coming up in the next few months that you won’t want to miss.On Aug. 31st Atmosphere is coming to The Rialto Theatre with guests Prof, Dem Atlas, and DJ Fundo. While not everyone may be familiar with the prolific Atmosphere, they are a group well worth knowing about.Formed in 1989, Atmosphere has been called the group that has, “…transformed the city [Minneapolis] into something else entirely: a nexus from which underground rap spiraled-out to the masses.” The group was originally composed primarily of rapper Sean Daley, better known as Slug, and Anthony “Ant” Davis, as well as other artists who toured with the group and worked on their early albums. The duo, joined with other local Minnesota artists and formed the record label Rhymesayers Entertainment.  Now more of a family than a simple record label, Rhymesayers is composed primarily of local Minnesota artists but has also expanded to representing nationally recognized hip-hop and rap artists.Atmosphere sits at the head of what many consider to be the most well-composed collection of artists in the underground hip-hop industry.  The label hosts its own Soundset Festival, a multi-day concert that draws well over 20,000 attendees. And now, the group, currently composed of Slug, Ant, Nate Collis playing guitar, and Erick Anderson on the keyboard, is bringing their perfected sound to the Old Pueblo.  Only one month after Atmosphere comes to town, Club Congress will be hosting another Rhymesayers artist, Brother Ali.  The blind, Islamic emcee has earned a reputation that goes well beyond such simple classifications.  Ali could be called more of a musical activist than a simple artist.  “In an age of hip-hop where the paradigm of swag over substance reigns supreme, few emcees are willing to use their platform to tackle the hot-button topics and pressing social maladies of our time - but it’s apparent that Minneapolis-based hip-hop artist Brother Ali is one of those few.”Ali released his fourth full-length album under the guidance of platinum selling producer, Jake One. Jake One has worked with big name rap artists the likes of 50 Cent, T.I., and Wiz Khalifa. Ali’s newest album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, “presents a scathing yet honest critique of America and its many flaws while simultaneously presenting a hopeful outlook of its possibilities.” Brother Ali’s music taps deep into the beating heart of hip-hop and attempts to shine the light on the real problems in the world, not just the fancy clothes and big parties found in many different artists’ repertoire.  Ali’s show will be at Congress on Oct. 8.

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