Mexico’s Natalia Lafourcade is one of the most talented singer-songwriters in the Latin alternative music world, and she comes to San Antonio days after winning two Latin Grammy awards (making it a career total of three, though technically one goes to the director of the long-form video of Mujer Bonita, her superb tribute to the music of Agustín Lara). She started as Natalia and La Forquetina (the name of her band), and then continued reinventing herself as a solo artist and producer of Carla Morrison, a two-time Latin Grammy winner herself. Lafourcade is a versatile performer who embodies the best of Latin alternative music: its ability to organically fuse regional sounds with rock and pop to achieve near-mainstream status without sacrificing integrity.
The annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is a weeklong celebration of everything mariachi throughout the city. Its workshops started on December 1, but the juiciest part happens this week, leading up to Sunday’s not-to-be-missed concert by the world’s greatest mariachi (visit mariachimusic.com for more information). Yes, there will be vocal competitions, student mariachi jams and more workshops, but the really big party starts when Mariachi Vargas takes the stage at night during an event emceed by Mexican TV, film and music star Laura Flores. Founded by Gaspar Vargas in 1897 in Tecalitlán, state of Jalisco, what all five generations of this amazing ranchera orchestra have in common is a rare ability to keep things pure and popular while pushing the envelope and kicking ass with above-average arrangements. Completely independent from the dog-eat-dog music industry, they travel and record on their own, leaving in their path whole new generations of young mariachi stars, some of whom you’ll become familiar with at this concert. And it’s a good thing the extravaganza takes place in SA: it was here that they performed in the U.S. for the first time in 1979 and, at this point, they’re the Alamo City’s house mariachi.
This venue is one of many studios participating in the East Austin Studio Tour. Visit eastaustinstudiotour.com for a complete list.
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In collaboration with Jeff Keithline, Elizabeth Keithline exhibits an installation of full-scale woven wire trees and human figures.
Based on travels along the length of the U.S./Mexico border and encounters with residents, fence contractors, border patrol officers and journalists, New York artist Blane De St. Croix’s “Broken Landscape III” reconstructs a selection of the border as a “monumental miniaturized section” that divides the gallery space.
Part of a multi-site project devoted to the exploration of the relationships between science and religion, local artist Chris Sauter’s “Faith and Reason” consists of photographs of words written on airplane windows during flight.
Presenting the bracelet as “a symbol of encircling beauty,” Kathleen Sommers’ 5th Annual Bracelet Show features more than 100 original designs created by 60 artists, with 10 percent of proceeds benefiting the Scholarship Fund at the Southwest School of Art.
First opened on Repeal Day (December 5, 1933), the Esquire Tavern will celebrate its 80th birthday and "the reinstatement of booze back into our culture" with a "Riverwalk Empire"-themed party. Bar Manager Houston Eaves will be serving up Repeal Day Punch throughout the evening (along with an 80th birthday cocktail menu and a Champagne toast at 8pm), Chef Brooke Smith will supply guests with complimentary passed appetizers, local jazz favorite Brent Watkins will perform from 7-11pm and those who dress in '20s and '30s attire "will be kindly rewarded by the barstaff."
Local art scenesters are perhaps more likely to recognize Ed Saavedra as the “senior creative co-conspirator” at Fl!ght Gallery than for his own artwork—which spans from drawings and assemblages to “occasional performance outbursts.” In a review of his exhibition “Things Have Gone to Pieces,” Art Lies noted Saavedra’s “mastery for creating levels of meaning beyond immediately appealing craftsmanship.” The Houston native’s first local solo show since “Requiem for an English Major” (which referenced both Thomas Gainsborough’s painting The Blue Boy and Harlan McVea’s suicide in Bexar County Jail), “Paintings for a Razed Hotel” comprises works created over the past few weeks. According to Saavedra, the project isn’t about a specific property but “the proverbial razed hotel.”
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