Jack Morgan

Arts and Culture Reporter

Jack Morgan has spent 35 years in electronic media doing both television and radio.

In his mid 20s he was known as Robbin Banks at two San Angelo FM stations but the bulk of his career has been spent at PBS stations -- from Austin's KLRU, Orlando's WMFE, Burlington's Vermont Public Television, and San Antonio's KLRN.

At KLRN he spent 5 years as director of production where he was responsible for three hour-long programs with the San Antonio Symphony. Jack was also responsible for KLRN's ARTS program during its startup, and co-produced Texas Week With Rick Casey.

Ways To Connect

Kristian Jaime Photography

San Antonio’s Opera Piccola is mounting its next production, and the three year-old company goes way back in time for this one. I spoke to Opera Piccola’s Music Director Kristin Roach.

“It’s a wonderful, charming story about, a love story but also the intervention of the Gods.”

Those Gods are the Greek ones and the opera is Dido and Aeneas, based on Virgil’s Aeneid.

Rick Frires

There’s a musical group performing in San Antonio soon but I found out it’s anything but your run-of-the-mill music. From the first few notes you can hear the difference (see video below).

“This group, Shantala, is from Portland, Oregon, but they are an internationally-known group that’s traveled all over the world.”

Rick Henderson has brought them here, and will play his Indian instrument, the Sarod alongside them.

“Benjy Wertheimer is a multi-instrumentalist. Drums, guitars, vocals, Esraj, all kinds of things.”

Wife Heather is also multi-talented.

Internationally renowned musician Branford Marsalis will be playing with Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. I caught up with him by phone for a conversation that surprised me, question after question, beginning with the first. I asked if he was one of those musicians who knew right off what his calling was. Not at all. He thought his path led elsewhere.

“I was going to teach history and play music in like a funk band, and play on the side. I didn’t entertain the idea of leaving Louisiana ‘til I was nineteen.”

Deborah Conner

The Symphony of the Hills has a performance coming up in Kerrville. I spoke to Associate Conductor Gene Dowdy who says there’s a good reason that True Romance is the theme for their next performance.

“Music just seems to be a beautiful place to represent our deepest feelings of Love and emotion and romance.“

Dowdy has assembled a program he says is packed full of love.

A noteworthy local film festival will soon kick into high gear. I spoke to its director, San Antonian Jim Mendiola.

“This is the 37th Annual Latino Film Festival—it’s the longest running one in the United States. We’re going to be running for eight days."

Several films are screened each night of CineFestival.

"We’ve got about 35 films this year from the US and Mexico. Documentaries, narrative films and short films.”

I asked  "Are there any nights you’d describe as just must-come nights?"