Exhibit traces journey of Teatro Libertad

It’s been almost 30 years since the folks behind Teatro Libertad got together to stage shows and bring Tucsonans exciting street theater that spoke to who we were, who we are, and where we were going.

A new exhibit at the University of Arizona Main Library is about to change that.

Teatro Libertad, which formed in 1975, employed music, satire and real life issues confronting the Chicano community to create electric theater. The bilingual group was heavily influenced by Luis Valdez’s El Teatro Campesino and the Chicano movement. The last curtain came down in 1989.

The exhibit chronicles Teatro Libertad’s journey in Tucson. And on Tuesday, it will bring many of the original members together for a discussion and a viewing of select scenes from some of the plays the group performed. Among those on hand will be Barclay Goldsmith, who went on to found Borderlands Theater; Bob Diaz, now a librarian at the UA library and the force behind the exhibit; and playwright Sylviana Wood.

The exhibit continues through Jan. 12. The panel discussion is 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the UA Library’s Special Collections, North Cherry Avenue and East University. Both are free.

Kathleen Allen

Brass band kicks off with outdoor concert

The Old Pueblo Brass Band is heading outdoors Sunday to inaugurate its 2013-14 season.

The ensemble will perform marching tunes and excerpts from Broadway plays including “Phantom of the Opera” and “Porgy and Bess.” 

The concert begins at 2 p.m. beside the lake at Swan Lake Estates, 4550 N. Flowing Wells Road.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Admission is free but you can make a donation that will help the volunteer group buy new music. Details oldpueblobrassband.com

Pops ends park season; see Winds on Saturday

Sunday is your last shot to see the Tucson Pops Orchestra in its fall Music Under the Stars series.

The group of professional musicians from the ranks of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and University of Arizona will share the stage with guests artists including violinists George Blum and Rose Todarao and trumpet player Jim Wilson. 

The performance, under the baton of music director László Veres, begins at 7 p.m. at Reid Park’s DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, East 22nd Street and South Country Club Road.

On Saturday, Veres will lead the volunteer Arizona Symphonic Winds in its penultimate concert beginning at 7 p.m. at Udall Park’s László Veres Amphitheater, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road. TSO principal flutist Alexander Lipay  is the guest artist.

Admission is free but donations are accepted.

Jazz concert benefits fire-damaged church

The Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band and the Jim Howell Band join a pair of international artists on Saturday for a benefit concert to help raise St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church from the ashes.

The church, home of Tucson’s popular annual Greek Festival, was destroyed by fire in May, leading to the cancellation of this year’s festival. The concert was originally scheduled for August, but organizers hoped by delaying it to this weekend they could attract a bigger audience.

Pianist/vocalist Bill Cantos, the brother of St. Demetrio’s priest Earl Cantos, shares the stage with his wife, pop-jazz composer Mari Falcone. Bill Cantos’s career includes recording and touring with Phil Collins, Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, Burt Bacharach and Dori Caymmi.

Falcone has worked with a wide range of stars including Donna Summer, Deniece Williams, Amy Grant, Vikki Carr and Debby Boone.

Saturday’s concert begins at 7 p.m. at Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Tickets are $20 to $65  at foxtucsontheatre.org or through the church office, 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Details: 547-3040.

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church hosted the Greek festival for more than 26 years. The church marks its 65th anniversary this year. To learn more or donate to rebuilding the the church, visit stdemtucson.org

Cathalena E. Burch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.