Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:14 am
Gina Chavez's voice stops you in your tracks the first time you hear it. At least that's how it worked for me when I came upon her performance during South by Southwest a few years ago. She was playing a semi-acoustic set on a sunlit patio above a busy sports bar — a setting not exactly conducive to her intimate songwriting.
Musical Offerings has its own take on presenting chamber music, specializing in presenting concerts at several cultural locations in town, rather than one home base, according to Artistic Director and violinist Joan Christenson.
“Many of the different museums in town, some of the churches, Trinity University, UTSA," she said.
They’re playing Monday night and at a place that really lends itself to their music, the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Thao Nguyen began playing guitar at the age of 12. She practiced songs in her mothers Laundromat. She started bands in high school, a high school dedicated to science and technology. In college she played weekend shows, while earning a double major in women’s studies and psychology.
It’s a music and arts event which has ties to something that happened long ago and far away. Chile’s Salvador Allende was overthrown in coup forty years ago. The Allende period, and its aftermath, has been marked with an unusual metric.
"There was a real soundtrack that went along with the rise of the Allende government," said Trinity University’s David Spener. "And its fall due to the military overthrow, and the long dictatorship that followed it. And that soundtrack was known as la nueva canción, the Chilean new song.”
If you follow the Tower of the Americas to its base, and look just to its southeast you’ll see a huge square building of odd design. It’s the Institute of Texan Cultures. It’s one of downtown’s most distinctive buildings, yet many San Antonians have never been there. In case you’ve never been, maybe it’s time.
"There are all kinds of wonderful, hidden stories here at the Institute," said James Benavides, the ITC’s senior communications specialist, and his job is to make those stories less hidden.
The United San Antonio Pow Wow is February 1-2 and the once-a-year gathering is unlike any other in San Antonio. The event is presented by the group American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions.
"People who come out will be able to enjoy traditional Native American dancing, be able to taste traditional American Indian food," said Executive Director Ramon Vasquez.
The San Antonio Pow Wow is held at the Alzafar Shrine Temple on Loop 1604 in the Stone Oak area and is free to all who come.
Conspirare is a choral group that works out of Austin and a few times a year they make it to San Antonio. But calling them an Austin choral group though isn’t entirely accurate..
"Actually only a small number of the singers are here in Austin," said Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson. "This is an ensemble of singers from around the country, really. Each of them is a soloist in their own right. They may be performing art songs, or operatically, or on Broadway, or in faculty positions, and yet come together and form a choir of soloists, in a sense."