Percussionst Homero Ceron brings the Tucson Latin Jazz Nonet to the ASA for a preview of their program for the 2023 Tucson Jazz Festival. The nine instrumentalists take turns at improvised solos as they play Afro-Cuban, Puerto Rican, Central and South American tunes.
“The Old Pueblo Bluegrass Band” – posted 10/26/2022
In their first appearance at the Arizona Senior Academy, bandleader-guitarist Reid Griffin, fiddler Bob Frankot, and upright bass player Steve Reed entertained with traditional bluegrass tunes and old favorites set in bluegrass style.
“Music for String Quartet: Bach, Haydn, Schubert” – posted 8/30/2022
Violinists Toru Tagawa and Laura Tagawa, violist Emily Chao, and cellist Marguerite Salajko perform a concert at the Arizona Senior Academy to celebrate the life of Roger Newland Shepard (1929-2022) with music by composers loved by this remarkable man.
“Homero Ceron’s Latin Jazz Quartet” – posted 7/27/2022
Featuring Homero Ceron on vibraphone, Amilcar Guevara on piano, Mike Levy on bass, and Danny Brito on drums, Homero Ceron’s Latin Jazz Quartet plays traditional Latin Jazz – mambo, cha cha, tango, samba – plus original tunes, performed at the Arizona Senior Academy for a live audience.
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Nancy McCallion, guitarist Danny Krieger, bassist Neal McCallion, and drummer Les Merrihew are The McCallion Band, playing their style of folk/rock, traditional country, and rock and roll.
Flatpicking singer-songwriter Peter McLaughlin is joined by Nick Coventry (fiddle), Chris Brashear (fiddle, guitar, mandolin), Alvin Blaine (banjo, dobro) and Evan Dain (upright bass) to play lonesome old songs, new originals, bluegrass, country and swing.
Diane Van Deurzen and Lisa Otey bring a new collection of songs and stories behind the songs to a live audience, featuring songs by Van Morrison, Otis Redding, Elton John, Patty Griffin, Roy Orbison, Sara Bareilles, the Beatles, and a love ballad made universally famous by Elvis Presley.
“Nancy McCallion’s Irish Trio at ASA” – posted 4/8/2022
Singer/songwriter guitarist Nancy McCallion revisits her Irish roots with husband, guitarist Danny Krieger, and good friend, violinist Heather Hardy, offering up “roots music with a twist of soul and a dram of blarney.” McCallion’s Irish Trio performs original tunes and Celtic melodies ranging from ballads and foot stomping reels and jigs to high energy pub songs.
“Paul Green & Midnight Blue Return to ASA” – posted 4/8/2022
Paul Green & Midnight Blue get the audience tapping their feet and dancing to rock-oriented blues, jazzy R&B and soulful ballads. Award-winning blues artist, jazz vocalist and virtuoso harmonica player Paul Green performs with Frank Filipo and Lex Browning (guitars, vocals), Jack Wood (bass), and Les Merrihew (drums).
“Martin Van Klompenberg – The Last Two Years” – posted 3/11/2022
Bassoonist Martin Van Klompenberg and pianist Jan Corrothers present little-known gems of music for bassoon by contemporary composers. Van Klompenberg became acquainted with these pieces during the past two years of pandemic isolation, and in one case was inspired to create his own composition as well. The intriguing music varies from introspective, sorrowful or angry to romantically lyrical, playful and animated. This video will be available for 30 days.
Canyon Currents brings their 4-piece band to the ASA stage: Peter McLaughlin (flat-picking guitar), Lex Browning (fiddle, guitar), Alvin Blaine (banjo, dobro) and Brian Davies (upright bass) play and sing original and traditional songs with roots in Americana, folk and bluegrass. Peter and Lex trade licks on their 1937 Martin guitars, and Alvin’s dog Roadie completes the ambiance. The band has recorded a CD, available from their website: www.canyoncurrents.com.
“Nota Bene – Around the World in 60 Minutes ” – posted 3/9/2022
“Nota Bene,” the trio of soprano Elena Galbraith, flutist Sandy Schwoebel and pianist Marie Sierra, take us on a trip around the world with songs from France, Hungary (by way of Italy), Germany-Austria, Britain and the U.S. American songs include a favorite by Rogers & Hart, and one written for Nota Bene by Tucson composer Richard White. For more about Nota Bene, see their website: www.notabenetucson.com.
“Don Armstrong with Liz & Pete” – posted 2/14/2022
Tucson folk legend Don Armstrong is a consummate songwriter who joins forces with Liz Cerepanya and Peter Dalton Ronstadt, singing some of Don’s original songs from his latest CD “Mother Don’t Give Up on Me Now” and Petie’s original songs from Liz & Pete’s latest CD “Beautiful Stranger” along with traditional songs and other favorites. Don says that Liz & Pete remind him of Ian & Sylvia, only 60 years newer! As a trio, they trade solos and complement each other with exquisite harmonies accompanied by Don’s guitar and banjo and Petie’s guitar and stomp box.
“Pianist/Vocalist Cynthia Hilts Fuses Classical and Jazz Influences” – posted 2/14/2022
Cynthia Hilts is a prolific composer as well as pianist and vocalist, whose love for Beethoven and Chopin exists in parallel with her love for Bill Evans’ jazz waltzes, Duke Ellington’s Rhythm Changes, stride piano, and Latin Jazz (consider “Beethoven’s Für Elise meets Tito Puente!” – not Cynthia’s title). Her performance invites us to join her as she shifts from straight classical pieces, turning some into swinging jazz, and then veering solidly into jazz improvisation. Her original songs are sometimes reminiscent of Nina Simone’s creative delivery as sung from the piano. And for a bit of fun, there’s a Covid lockdown song inspired by Cynthia’s cat!
“Grams & Krieger – Blues Returns to the ASA” – posted 2/3/2022
The Grams & Krieger Blues Duo are finally back on the ASA stage after the pandemic began interfering with their live performances in March 2020. Though Omicron prevented a live audience in the auditorium, fear not – these two Arizona Blues Hall of Fame members deliver a powerful blues show that’s sure to rock your living room, or wherever you view the video. Bassist Steve Grams and guitarist Danny Krieger give their guitars a workout and trade harmonies in their signature songs. They reprise some tunes from earlier 2021 video concerts and add new ones that will be featured on their forthcoming CD. Click link to watch video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxN6Dl8Fu-Y
“Homero Ceron & James Karrer play Vibraphone & Double Bass ” – posted 2/3/2022
The duo of Homero Cerón and James Karrer record a program from the ASA stage that mixes original tunes by each of them with arrangements of French-themed selections by Gabriel Fauré, Astor Piazzolla, Jules Massenet, and a tango-styled reminiscence of Django Reinhardt. Homero Cerón and James Karrer are veterans of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Cerón the former principal percussionist and Karrer the continuing principal double bassist. Both have performed as soloists with various orchestras and with ensembles playing a repertoire of varied styles.
“Daniel Linder plays Debussy, Beethoven & Copland” – posted 1/21/2022
University of Arizona faculty artist, pianist Daniel Linder, returns to the ASA stage in times of Omicron surge, to record a thrilling virtual recital featuring Debussy’s “Hommage à Rameau” from Images, Book I, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 101, and Copland’s Piano Sonata. Daniel Linder is a versatile pianist, chamber musician, and teaching artist who has performed solo and collaborative recitals to high acclaim across the U.S. and internationally, and his performances have been heard on KUAT Classical Radio. For more information, contact Dr. Linder at[email protected].
“Sly Slipetsky plays Jazz Piano Heroes” – posted 1/21/2022
Daniel “Sly” Slipetsky Jr returns to the Arizona Senior Academy, paying tribute to the jazz pianists who have inspired him, and showcasing his love for improvisation – which translates to audience satisfaction at every performance! This time Sly records a virtual concert, mixing well-known favorites with lesser known gems from the styles of Erroll Garner, George Gershwin, Harry Connick Jr, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond.
Singer-songwriter Lex Browning (guitar) introduces his new band “The Tirebiters” to the ASA. Lex is joined by singer-songwriter Steve Grams (bass), Matt Mitchell (guitar), and Les Merrihew (drums), playing original material with roots in folk, blues and country and a slice of sly humor. If you are wondering about the origin of the band’s name, you may remember the surreal comedy troupe The Firesign Theatre, whose cast of characters included a family called the Tire Biters…
The Tucsonics western swing band brings their special brand of traditional Texas and West Coast swing music to the ASA stage. These seasoned musicians share tidbits about themselves and the origins of this uniquely American music: Nick Coventry (fiddle), Lex Browning (fiddle, guitar), Matt Mitchell (guitar), Alvin Blaine (console steel, guitar), Evan Dain (upright bass) and Fred Hayes (drums).
The Arizona Banjo Blasters bring some old-fashioned fun and old-timey music to the ASA. Fearless leader of the band is Doug O’Brien AKA “Banjo Doug,” joined by Marj Scooros AKA “Washboard Marj,” and Daniel “Sly” Slipetsky Jr on tuba – yes, jazz piano man Sly also plays tuba – piccolo players, watch out for Stars and Stripes Forever!
Duo Chinoiserie is a world-culture-inspired duo featuring classical guitar, a western instrument, and the guzheng, a harp-like ancient Chinese instrument. Embracing musical traditions from across Eurasia, married couple Bin Hu and Jing Xia promote an intercultural artistic exchange between east and west, playing music of Debussy, De Falla, Sergio Assad and solo pieces showcasing the unique styles of each instrument. Though both are originally from China, the couple met here in Tucson where Bin Hu was a doctoral student in classical guitar and Jing Xia was a visiting scholar with the UA Confucius Institute who was seeking musicians interested in combining Western repertoire with the guzheng. Click link to watch video:https://youtu.be/fatn21UeN14
“Freya Creech Solo Violin” – posted 12/21/2021
British violinist Freya Creech performs solo violin music by American composer Virgil Thomson, Baroque composers Georg Philipp Telemann and Johann Sebastian Bach, and the adventurous 20th century female Russian composer/virtuoso Sonia Eckhardt-Gramatté. Freya’s life has been filled with international pursuits, eventually leading her to Tucson in 2019, where she joined True Concord Voices & Orchestra. During the pandemic, she relocated to Washington, D.C., but thanks to True Concord, she returned to Tucson to perform with that ensemble, and appeared at the ASA before a limited audience as well. Click link to watch video: https://youtu.be/VUBv0ez5cz8
“El SurCo – Folk Music from South America” – posted 12/21/2021
El SurCo (The Southern Collective) is a musical trio that blends guitars, violin, charango, bombo, and vocal harmonies to perform popular and folk music traditions from Argentina, Chile and surrounding regions. Maxi Larrea (guitar, vocals, bombo) is a tango and folk guitarist, arranger, composer and music educator from Rosario, Argentina, who has been touring internationally for over 15 years. Andrés Pantoja (charango, guitar, bombo, vocals) is a versatile Chilean musician, who plays classical, flamenco and Latin American music and has also toured internationally. Jennie Gubner (violin, vocals, bombo) is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Chair of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Applied Intercultural Arts Research at the University of Arizona. This video will be available for 30 days Click link to watch video:https://youtu.be/DmLn8PUf3UY
“Mr. Boogie Woogie” – posted 11/24/2021
Eric-Jan Overbeek, AKA Mr. Boogie Woogie, is known as the fastest, flashiest, piano-thumping boogie man from the Netherlands. He splits his time each year between his homes in the Netherlands and in Tucson. This internationally known pianist, singer and recording artist was voted Best European Blues Pianist in 2005 by the Trophees France Blues, was awarded Best Dutch Blues Pianist 2010 by the Dutch Blues Foundation, and won the Dutch Blues Challenge 2017. This rollicking video was recorded live for a limited ASA audience. For more Mr. Boogie Woogie, check out and subscribe to his You Tube channel: www.youtube.com/boogarace. Click link to watch video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LAyL2wFMkM
“Ray Templin & Rob Boone – New Orleans Jazz” – posted 11/24/2021
Pianist Ray Templin and trombonist Rob Boone, members of Tucson’s Wildcat Jazz Band, take us on a lively journey to the traditional songs and instrumentals of New Orleans jazz. Ray Templin made his mark on the musical world as a pianist at Disneyland and had a recurring role on Matlock as the owner of Ray Templin’s Piano Bar. He is known internationally as a top traditional jazz pianist, drummer and entertainer. Rob Boone has performed with Sammy Davis Jr, Frankie Valli, Ray Charles, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, Kristin Chenowith, and has played in the touring shows of Wicked, Lion King, The Producers, Book of Mormon, Chicago, Music Man and countless other shows. Click link to watch video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek8MuO1auwQ
“Chamber Music for Violin, Viola & Piano” – posted 11/24/2021
Good friends Toru Tagawa and the husband-wife team of Raphael Lizama and Woan Ching Lim present music for violin, viola and piano. The program begins with a Sonatina for Violin and Piano by Dvorak, then Canciones Populares Españolasfor Viola and Piano by De Falla, and finally all three play together in a Mozart Sinfonia Concertante. A native of Hiroshima, Japan, violinist Toru Tagawa is Music Director of the Tucson Repertory Orchestra and is also president of the American String Teachers Association of Arizona. Hailing from California, violist Raphael Lizama and Malaysian-born pianist Woan Ching Lim met as graduate students at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music, and have often performed at the ASA, introducing us to other Tucson musicians as well. Click link to watch video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKBe9uInkYA
“Cool Breeze Trio” – posted 10/26/2021
The sound of steel drums creates the colors of the Caribbean when percussionist Homero Cerón’s Cool Breeze Trio performs an eclectic program that mixes melodies from Bach, Mozart and Schubert with authentic Caribbean tunes and Beatles’ songs arranged in calypso and reggae styles. Cerón’s background playing marimba, vibraphone and steel drums, and as principal percussionist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, has made it possible for him to bring a variety of musical ensembles to the ASA over the years. For this concert, his Cool Breeze Trio features Matt Mitchell on nylon string guitar, and Mike Levy on fretless electric bass, along with Cerón on steel pans.
“Solar Storytellers – Musical Vignettes for All Ages” – posted 10/14/2021
**Update 12/15/21: these videos are being re-broadcast on the AARP Arizona Facebook page.
In partnership with the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, Technicians for Sustainability and the Tucson Botanical Gardens, the ASA presents the Solar Storytellers: Michael Fan (violin), Ian Jones (cello), Paula Fan (keyboard) and Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone). Written and composed by Michael Fan, three musical vignettes with cleverly engaging words and music are targeted to young and old alike. “Dr. Solara & the Fossil Fools – A Bright New Day” was first performed at the Solar House Competition in Washington DC in 2009, at that time amplified by a solar-powered golf cart designed by engineering students at the University of Arizona. “The Cat with a Fiddle” is a delightful reimagining of the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat & the Fiddle,” whereby young Fiddle Cat becomes Jazz Cat, learning how to play jazz and save the day for all. “The Ugly Duckling” is a retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale that concludes, as the duckling is transformed into a swan, with the famous melody from Camille Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals.” View each 20 minute video separately or in succession for an hour of entertainment!
Award-winning blues artist, harmonica virtuoso, and jazz vocalist Paul Green was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington State Blues Society in 2017, the same year he relocated to Tucson. For this ASA concert, “Paul Green & Midnight Blue” entertain us with a variety of blues and rock-oriented music by such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Jon Cleary, Robert Cray and many others. Band members include Frank Filipo and Gene Holmes (guitars/vocals), Duncan Stitt (keyboard), Jack Wood (bass) and Les Merrihew (drums).
“Skyline Flutes – Traveling with Flutes” – posted 9/28/2021
Flutists Christine Harper, Fran Moskovitz and Sandy Schwoebel take the audience on a musical traveling tour combined with visual effects. The musicians play concert flutes, alto flutes and piccolos, plus piano added to some pieces, played by multi-instrumentalist Christine Harper. Composer/arranger Ricky Lombardo, well-known to flutists who delight in his arrangements, joins the concert via Zoom from his home in New Jersey to explain some of his featured works. The program also includes classics by Haydn, Donizetti and Kuhlau, some folk song arrangements, and cleverly whimsical curiosities.
Tucson-based Cadillac Mountain brings their high-energy bluegrass sound and low-key stylings to the Arizona Senior Academy. Band leader Joel Leland hails from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and took the name for the band from the highest point on the eastern seaboard, Cadillac Mountain, which is the first place the sun touches the continental U.S. Heather Hardy, an Arizona Blues Hall of Fame inductee, brings her acoustic violin for some honest bluegrass fiddling. Alvin Blaine, whose talents on most any instrument are well-known, adds banjo and dobro to the mix. Katy Carr’s upright bass keeps the whole band on time and smiling.
Kevin Larkin, aka “Pineross” in solo performance, brings his unique blend of “collage folk” to the ASA. “Pineross” channels the musical ghosts of “old, weird America” into hypnotic lyrics, and the result is a collage of traditional music of the American West, Irish fiddle tunes, and Spanish-influenced rhythms. His neck rack harmonica, added to guitar or mandolin while he sings, hearkens back to the folk style of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Acknowledging additional influences of John Prine as well as Delta Blues roots picked up during years in Mississippi, Pineross mixes these influences to create a style all his own.
Gabriel Ayala brings his unique fusion of Jazz, flamenco and classical styles to the guitar. A member of the Yaqui people of Southern Arizona, he brings a personal message with his performances: “Love Your Children, Honor Your Elders, Respect Your Women.” His career has taken him across the nation and the world, with performances at the National Museum for the American Indian, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and internationally in Canada, South America and Europe. In this video, Gabriel shares how pandemic lockdown shaped new musical compositions, and shares his joy in being able to bring the healing power of music to his audiences.
Canyon Currents – Peter McLaughlin (guitar, mandolin), Lex Browning (guitar, fiddle), Alvin Blaine (banjo, dobro) and Brian Davies (upright bass) – takes its name from themes of Southwest history, rivers and canyons along with a variety of other places across the U.S. They perform original tunes and covers of Americana roots, folk and bluegrass songs. The band members coalesced from a variety of other Tucson and regional bands – Sonoran Dogs, Tucsonics, Nick McBlaine & Log Train, to name a few.
“Baritone Jeremy Huw Williams & Pianist Paula Fan – a Shakespearean Scenario” – posted 8/2/2021
Using the words of William Shakespeare, Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams and pianist Paula Fan create a theatrical scene entitled “The Bawdy Bard Meets a Dark Lady,” in which Shakespeare shows up unannounced at the home of an old flame, some four centuries later! Musical settings of Shakespeare’s texts by Gerald Finzi, Henry Purcell, Anthony Burgess, John Dankworth, Edward German, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Erich Korngold guide the musical and dramatic entertainment.
Hot Club of Tucson – Nick Coventry (violin), Matt Mitchell (guitar) and Evan Dain (upright bass) – takes its name from the gyspy jazz style of famed Roma guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli, whose Parisian quintette started the craze for “Le Jazz Hot” after being introduced to Louis Armstrong and American Jazz in the 1930s and ‘40s. Hot Club of Tucson’s repertoire goes beyond gypsy jazz to create a rollicking fun time that makes you want to dance!
She’s Liz, he’s Pete, they are Liz & Pete. Established musicians from the Tucson music scene, Liz Cerepanya and Peter Dalton Ronstadt, clicked as a duo at Monterey Court in 2019 and joined musical forces to explore material old and new. Liz’s heartfelt voice with Pete’s haunting harmonies and rich guitar arrangements captivate the mind and tug and the heart. They sing songs by Petie Ronstadt, the late Papa Mike Ronstadt, Southwest Americana, Ronstadt family favorites from Mexico, and other collected favorites.
“Alexander Tentser & Anna Gendler Play Prokofiev & Beethoven” – posted 6/22/2021
Pianist Alexander Tentser and Violinist Anna Gendler have returned to the Arizona Senior Academy stage to record a program of two very different violin sonatas with Russian connections: Prokofiev’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 and Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin and Piano Op. 30 No. 1. The Prokofiev Sonata echoes the turbulent times of Stalinist repression in the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War Against Germany (WW II), while the Beethoven Sonata, dedicated to the Russian Tzar Alexander I, is one of the composer’s most peaceful and lyrical works. Alex’s discussion of the historical context for each sonata begins at 46:45. You may wish to begin by advancing to that discussion before going back and viewing the full performance, or, you may listen to the music first, from the beginning of the video, and continue viewing at 46:45 for the fascinating historical discussion.
The string players of the Tucson Repertory Orchestra (TRO) perform “Summer” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with different soloists for each movement: I-Emily Chao, II-Laura Tagawa, III-Jose Leonardi Moore, and also the 4-movement “Serenade for Strings” by Tchaikovsky. This ASA-sponsored live concert was recorded at SAACA’s Catalyst Arts & Maker Space at Tucson Mall on June 5, 2021. Directed by Toru Tagawa, the TRO has presented string performances with mask-wearing and distancing during the pandemic and is looking forward to returning to live performances with their full ensemble!
“Yi-Qing Tang plays 24 Preludes for Piano by Joshua Nichols” – posted 5-7-2021
Pianist Yi-Qing Tang treats the Arizona Senior Academy to a virtual recital, performing 24 Preludes for Piano by contemporary composer and doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, Joshua Nichols. The Preludes are a set of delightful character pieces in all 24 major and minor keys, featuring a colorful musical language that both reflects and departs from the influences of many of the composer’s favorite composers. Yi-Qing Tang began her conservatory studies in her native Tianjin, China, then in Singapore and Canada before coming to the U of A as a doctoral student in piano performance. A winner of many competitions and scholarships, Yi-Qing has performed internationally in Asia, Europe and North America.
“Heather Hardy & Alvin Blaine, Americana & Jazzy Blues” – posted 4/28/2021 Heather Hardy and Alvin Blaine have been playing together in Tucson for the past 10 years, usually as members of bands of varying sizes and styles. Heather is known for her acoustic and electric violin playing, and Alvin can be found playing just about any instrument you can think of – from dobro to pedal steel, accordion to acoustic and electric guitar – sometimes all in the same show. These two musicians are equally entertaining as a duo, and their newly recorded video for the ASA has them singing and harmonizing while playing together. Their set list includes originals and covers, with genres mixing Americana-folk with jazzy blues and a bit of bluegrass. Click link to watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E–ACeMQqkg
“Toru Tagawa & Friends Trio” – posted 4/20/2021
The Arizona Senior Academy presents a concert by violinist Toru Tagawa, cellist Helena Pedersen, and pianist Kyungsun Choi, recorded at SAACA’s Catalyst Maker Space in the Tucson Mall before a limited live audience. The program includes the Rondo from “Haffner” Serenade K.250 by Mozart, arranged by Fritz Kreisler; J.S. Bach’s Sonata for Viola da Gamba No. 2 BWV 1028; the Romance for Violin and Piano by Amy Beach; and Beethoven’s Piano Trio in G Major Op. 70 No. 1, “The Ghost.” Toru Tagawa is music director and conductor of the Tucson Repertory Orchestra; Helena Pedersen is cello principal for the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra; and Dr. Kyungsun Choi is an active teacher, collaborative and solo pianist, performing throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona
“Between Us – a Musical Offering by Duo Entre-Nous” – posted 4/13/21
University of Arizona clarinet professor Jackie Glazier and Belgium-based saxophonist Don-Paul Kahl present a musical journey from the Baroque period of Georg Philipp Telemann to the contemporary world of living composers. Max Grafe’s “Anemoi Dances,” based on the Greek gods of wind, uses extended wind techniques. Yunfei Li’s “Circling” is a fast-paced duo with two instruments chasing and circling each other musically. Yuanyuan (Kay) He’s “On the Arch of a Monochrome Rainbow” is a multi-media work combining live and recorded solo clarinet with manipulated visual imagery. Kenichi Ikuno Sekiguchi’s “Esbozas Fugaces” for solo saxophone combines furious technical fire with expressions of melancholy. David Biendenbender’s newly commissioned “Between Us,” completed during Covid restrictions, reflects the experiences of isolation, separation, division, and finally, joyfully coming together again.
“Nancy McCallion’s Irish Trio for St. Patrick’s Day” – posted 3/17/2021
Every March, singer-songwriter Nancy McCallion revisits her Irish roots together with her husband, guitarist Danny Krieger, and good friend, violinist Heather Hardy, playing “roots music with a twist of soul and a dram of blarney.” This year, they’ve recorded a video concert to get us into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day with a set of Celtic melodies and original tunes ranging from ballads and foot stomping reels and gigs, to high energy pub songs. So put on some green and imagine a Sonoran windy setting transformed into an Irish pub as you enjoy St. Patrick Day spirit virtually with Nancy, Danny and Heather.
The Arizona Senior Academy is pleased to present a concert by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO), recorded at Catalyst Arts & Maker Space before a live audience on March 7th. The program features a Concerto by Antonio Vivaldi, a Suite by Georg Philipp Telemann, the Canon & Gigue by Johann Pachelbel, J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos nos. 3 and 6, Tomaso Albinoni’s “Adagio” and a Concerto Grosso by Archangelo Corelli. Under the leadership of music director Dr. Linus Lerner, this concert is part of SASO’s Small Ensemble Series, initiated during the pandemic to allow for live performance while following Covid-19 restrictions. This video was produced for the ASA by the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA).
“Grams & Krieger – Blues Gets Better!” – posted 3/5/2021
Bassist Steve Grams and guitarist Danny Krieger deliver another installment of blues for the Arizona Senior Academy in a video concert recorded by Duncan Stitt at A Writer’s Room Studios in Tucson. Their playlist features something old, something new, a purely instrumental number, and an oldie by legendary bluesman Sam Taylor. Danny treats us to some fleet-fingered guitar playing on both acoustic guitar and dobro with slide work as well. Steve’s electric bass propels the songs forward as the two sing alternately with touches of harmony. More blues in times of coronavirus!
“Homero Cerón & James Karrer Duo” – posted 2/11/2021
Percussionist Homero Cerón and double bassist James Karrer present an eclectic program for vibraphone and string bass, taking us on a journey across the worlds of classical music, jazz, musical theater, movie themes and more. Their concert is framed by opening and closing Inventions by Johann Sebastian Bach, with music of Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein and Astor Piazzolla interspersed with selections in a more popular vein. Cerón and Karrer are veterans of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra who have also performed as soloists with various ensembles. This video concert is made possible by the Arizona Senior Academy’s partnership with the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, and was recorded at SAACA’s CATALYST Arts & Maker Space.
Blues fans rejoice – Grams & Krieger are back! These Arizona Blues Hall of Famers are mainstays of the Tucson music scene and always guarantee a good time with their style of blues. Steve Grams has built a reputation as one of Tucson’s most reliable acoustic and electric bassists. Danny Krieger is one of the Southwest’s most respected guitarists/slide guitarists. Steve and Danny have been making music together for some 20 years, but like to say that their combined professional musical experience spans over 100 years – their music is timeless. Their video concert for the Arizona Senior Academy gets us into the spirit of a better world in 2021! (Be patient with the first 10-20 seconds of the video before they get under way…)
Enjoy choral music for the holidays with the Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus (SAWC). SAWC’s clever combination of past recordings and photos brings audio and video images of how this ensemble has celebrated the holidays over its 20-year history. An audience singalong on “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” appears at about 32:00 minutes into the video, and then at around 60:00 minutes, the concert proper concludes, followed by a bonus singalong featuring socially-distanced, mask-wearing singers recorded outdoors, singing “Joy to the World,” “ Silent Night,” “Deck the Hall” and “Let it Snow.”
SAWC sends this message to the Arizona Senior Academy audience:We especially want to thank the ASA sponsorship of this virtual concert in lieu of a live performance on your stage while your auditorium remains closed.
The Tucson-based trio known as “Nota Bene” presents a heartwarming virtual concert of familiar and not-so-familiar Christmas carols and songs from ‘round the world. Soprano Elena Galbraith, flutist Sandy Schwoebel, and pianist Marie Sierra return to the Arizona Senior Academy via video, with selections including Sussex Carol, Sing Lullaby, Cantique de Noel, A La Nanita Nana, Carol of the Bells, and a handful of pop favorites:Let It Snow, Jingle Bells, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, We Need a Little Christmas, and Sleigh Ride.Learn more about Nota Bene at their website:www.notabenetucson.com
“Russell Ronnebaum – “Winter Scenes for Solo Piano” – posted 12/15/20
To get us into the spirit of the season, pianist Russell Ronnebaum presents an intimate performance of music from his CD “Winter Scenes,” a collection of unique arrangements of Christmas carols plus original compositions that round out his narrative storytelling of the season of Winter. Strains of O Holy Night, Coventry Carol, The First Noel, Away in a Manger, Little Drummer Boy, and Joy to the World are heard, but delightful flights of fancy take the tunes into unknown realms. Russell is currently music director and composer-in-residence for The Rogue Theatre, staff accompanist for the Tucson Masterworks Chorale, and assistant director of music at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Oro Valley.
“Welsh Song”:Jeremy Huw Williams & Paula Fan – posted 12/3/20
Internationally acclaimed Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams and pianist Paula Fan, who typically grace the Arizona Senior Academy stage in person each year, come to us digitally this time with a beautiful program of Welsh folk song arrangements. Singing in the original Welsh, Jeremy describes each song in English, and offers fascinating histories and personal experiences performing the songs, which were arranged by non-Welsh composers Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Joseph Haydn and Benjamin Britten, and by Welsh composers Grace Williams, Alun Hoddinott, and Paul Mealor. This concert is presented by the ASA in partnership with SAACA (Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance).
Tenor Humberto Borboa and pianist Elena Miraztchiyska present a travelogue in song by composers from Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Mexico in this new ASA-sponsored video-concert. Mexicali, Baja California native Humberto Borboa has returned to Tucson after stints as Apprentice Artist for Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera and San Diego Opera, as well as performing as soloist across the U.S., Mexico and internationally. Award-winning Bulgarian-born pianist Elena Miraztchiyska, well-known as an active collaborative pianist in Tucson, joins Humberto to present this Latin American program. Click herefor an annotated program, in lieu of translations.
The Arizona Senior Academy presents a virtual concert by Steel del Sol, the trio of Dave and Tina Walton on steel pans and Jeff Rodenkirch on upright bass. Enjoy the rhythms of Samba, Calypso and Reggae tunes from Jamaica, Cuba and Trinidad, with some Bossa Nova and Tango for added spice. Band leader Dave Walton’s steel pan arrangements also include standards and pop tunes such as All of Me, Autumn Leaves, (Sting’s) Fragile, and Tenderly. The historic Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson, otherwise closed to the public during coronavirus lockdown, made their stage available for this Steel del Sol video recording.
Jazz pianist Daniel “Sly” Slipetsky delights the Arizona Senior Academy audience with a concert featuring selections from jazz greats, such as Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” and Billy Strayhorn/Duke Ellington’s “Take the ‘A’ Train,” along with some surprises, like Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” arranged by George Winston, and Fred Rogers’ “What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?” This video-concert was recorded from the ASA stage (in our otherwise locked-down auditorium), with production courtesy of the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA).
“TURN UP Festival – Multimedia Concert” – posted 10/23/20
Pianist/composer/video artist Kay He introduces the ASA audience to a virtual multimedia concert, presenting selections from this year’s online TURN UP Festival. Director of the Festival, Dr. He is a University of Arizona faculty artist who teaches composition and electro-acoustic music, specializing in combining cutting-edge technology with music and art. Set aside your usual expectations for a traditional musical experience, and instead allow yourself to be open to a multimedia world where traditional sounds and images contrast with the novel and abstract. The Prelude, “HEAT it UP!” – performed by Kay He and fellow faculty artist, clarinetist Jackie Glazier – was recorded before a live audience prior to Covid-19, opening the program with enthusiastic audience response.
The 2020 University of Arizona Vocal Arts Showcase — posted 10/17/20
The 2020 University of Arizona Vocal Arts Showcase, sponsored in part by the Arizona Senior Academy, features the winners of the Dr. Larry Day and Marguerite Ough Memorial Voice Competitions, as well as finalist performances from the UA Wildcat Competition for High School Singers.Fred Fox School of Music Voice and Opera faculty host the Showcase video, which breaks from the traditional concert format and instead presents a montage of excerpts from competition entries and master classes. The video provides a window into how the training and competition judging of voice students is being carried out in these unprecedented times of distance learning and performance.
“Diane & Lisa – Broadway Tony Winners & More” – posted 9/19/20 Diane Van Deurzen & Lisa Otey bring the ASA audience a different side of their vast and varied repertoire. This time it’s a special collection of contemporary Broadway and Off-Broadway tunes from shows including Hamilton, Fun Home, Kinky Boots, Wicked, Disenchanted, Waitress, and The Color Purple. Combining iconic photos from the shows with stories behind the songs, Diane & Lisa will make you laugh, sigh, cheer, cry, and reflect on the times we are living in. Click link to view concert:https://youtu.be/uQ1IO0INYvU
Violist Raphael Lizama and pianist Woan Ching Lim return to the Arizona Senior Academy to perform an inspired and varied program, including a viola transcription of a lyrical art-song by Gabriel Faure, a Divertimento in bel canto style by Alessandro Rolla, the brilliant Viola Sonata by British-American composer Rebecca Clarke, and a devilish Tango by Efrem Zimbalist, Sr. This video-concert was recorded from the ASA stage (in our otherwise locked-down auditorium), courtesy of the ASA’s partnership with the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA), with additional support from AARP Arizona.
“Diane & Lisa — Singers and Songwriters” — Posted 8/10/20
Diane Van Deurzen & Lisa Otey return to the Arizona Senior Academy video-concert series, this time performing from their sequestered location in Michigan, to bring us a tribute to beloved singer/songwriters whose music significantly touched our lives in the 1960s and 70s. The concert features songs of James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, and Jim Croce, along with a couple of original tunes by Diane & Lisa.
“Christine Vivona – Harp Recital for ASA” – posted 8/11/20
A favorite performer at the Arizona Senior Academy for many years, harpist Christine Vivona performs a virtual concert of her favorite selections, mixing styles from classical and jazz to Broadway and pop tunes. The program includes music of Prokofiev, Gershwin, Pachelbel and Debussy, along with Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Scott Joplin. Dr. Vivona trained at Juilliard and the University of Arizona, plays with True Concord Voices & Orchestra, and maintains a private studio in Tucson.
The Arizona Senior Academy once again partners with the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) to present this video concert. Matt and Rebekah Rolland perform together as the acoustic folk duo RISO. Their music features exciting fiddling, original songs that often draw from history and literature, and fresh takes on traditional and familiar folks songs. For more about RISO, see their website:https://www.risoband.com
“Spencer Myer – Piano Recital for ASA” – posted 7/24/20
Steinway Artist Spencer Myer makes a virtual visit to the Arizona Senior Academy from his living room in New York City, presenting a special at-home recital. His program of beloved works includes Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, three Debussy selections, Gershwin’s Three Preludes, an Etude on Embraceable You, and three Chopin selections. For more about Spencer Myer, see his website: www.spencermyer.com. For this video, please raise the volume for spoken intro and commentary, then lower volume for the music – this will enhance your listening pleasure.
“Heather Hardy & The Lil’ Mama Band” – posted 7/16/20
Violinist Heather Hardy was given the nickname “Lil’ Mama” by legendary bluesman Sam Taylor when she joined his band in Tucson in the 1990s. Heather had switched from classical violin and piano to blues and rock while busking in the NYC subways before relocating to Tucson. She has remained a mainstay in Tucson’s music scene, playing in a variety of bands including her own Lil’ Mama Band. Band members include Heather Hardy violin/vocals, Alvin Blaine guitar/vocals, Larry Lee Lerma bass/vocals, and filling in on drums for this ASA video-concert, Heather’s son Jacob Hardy.
“Alexander Tentser Plays Mozart & Schubert” – posted 7/14/20
This video concert is presented by the Arizona Senior Academy in partnership with the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA). Alexander Tentser returns with a solo piano recital and sends the following message:
Dear Arizona Senior Academy audience – My new program includes early sonatas by Mozart and Schubert. Mozart’s Sonata in Bb Major features virtuosic displays, a lyrical aria-like slow movement, and a concerto grosso-like finale full of humor and inventiveness comparable to Mozart’s writing for opera. Schubert’s Sonata in Eb Major shows his absorption of the Viennese classical tradition of Haydn and Mozart, but also shows the influence of Beethoven’s explorations beyond the traditional classical approach. As a composer of many songs, Schubert creates song-like melodies that vary from lyrically simple to profound and introspective, to virtuosic and dramatic. I hope these two pieces bring you joy and a smile.
The Tucson Guitar Quartet – University of Arizona faculty artist Jose Luis Puerta and fellow classical guitarist colleagues Michael Nigro, George Ramirez and Alfredo Vasquez – have created a “mash-up” video of sequestered and pre-Covid-19 solos, duets and quartets, featuring selections from their new CD “Latin American Soundscapes.”
Alexander Tentser & Anna Gendler Concert” – posted 6/16/20
In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birth year, pianist Alexander Tentser and violinist Anna Gendler perform the composer’s monumental “Kreutzer Sonata” – his longest and most demanding work for violin and piano. Also on the program are two Impromptus for piano by Schubert. Alex and Anna send the following message:
Dear Arizona Senior Academy audience – We miss you, you became an important part of our professional life here in Tucson. It has been a very unusual time for everyone, but we wanted to use the time to learn new programs and make new connections through the technology available now. Fortunately, the internet provides lots of opportunities for musicians and we are really grateful to Arizona Senior Academy for sponsoring our concert. Please be well and we hope to see you soon. — Alex and Anna
The Tucsonics are a group of seasoned Tucson musicians whose monthly gig at Monterey Court, interrupted by Covid-19, usually brings them together to play traditional Texas swing, West Coast swing and jazz. All six members – Nick Coventry (fiddle), Lex Browning (fiddle, guitar), Matt Mitchell (guitar), Alvin Blaine (pedal steel, accordian), Evan Dain (upright bass) and Fred Hayes (drums) – converged on Lex’s scenic back patio to create this special ASA concert.
Award-winning seasoned singer-songwriters/instrumentalists, with Lex Browning (guitar, violin), Peter McLaughlin (guitar), and Brian Davies (upright bass), performing original and cover Americana, folk and bluegrass-based songs and instrumentals. The trio’s name comes from themes of Southwest history, rivers and canyons, and stories of Americana, and their performance reaches out to your heart in these times of Covid-19 sequestering.
“Diane & Lisa: Early Jazz & Blues” – posted 5/19/2020
Diane Van Deurzen & Lisa Otey explore early Jazz & Blues from the 1920s-1940s, including songs by and stories about George & Ira Gershwin, Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Cole Porter, Billie Holiday, Harold Arlen, and Julia Lee.