April 4, 2014 |

Jazz Performances @ Main Gate Square

Whether you are a jazz buff or someone interested in live entertainment, the concerts Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance are hosting this month are sure to inspire. The shows take place at Main Gate Square on April 4 and April 18 at 7 p.m. in Geronimo Plaza, 814 E. University Blvd.

The UA Studio Jazz Ensemble—comprised of the most prestigious student musicians from the university— perform on April 4. The ensemble earned the UA Global Excellence Award in 2013 after showing off their talents in two tours through China. The April 18 concert features soul, jazz and R&B vocalist Crystal Stark. A graduate from the University of Arizona, Stark later made it into the top 44 contestants in the fifth season of American Idol. Parking is free after 5 p.m. in the Tyndall Garage, 880 E. 4th St.

For more information about the concerts, visit SAACA.org, MainGateSquare.com or call (520) 797-3959.

Ethan Bortnick, 13-year-old protégé, Performs in Tucson

World-known musician and humanitarian Ethan Bortnick is performing at Pima Community College’s Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Rd., on Saturday, April 5 at 7 p.m. At only 13-years-old, Bortnick has performed with stars like Elton John and Santana, holds the Guinness World Record for youngest musician to tour solo, and has raised more than $30 million for charity.

During the concert, Bortnick will cover classic pop tunes from artists like Michael Jackson, The Beatles, and Elton John. His performance will also feature songs he composed that are in his newly released movie, Anything is Possible. Bortnick will also engage audience participation with a Q&A and improvisational segments.

Tickets cost $39 each, and may be purchased at EthanBortnick.com/PowerOfMusicTV.

Sam Hughes Garden Tour

Seven private Sam Hughes homes are opening up their gardens for the public to admire on Sunday, April 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.     photo courtesy Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association

Seven private Sam Hughes homes are opening up their gardens to the public on Sunday, April 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
photo courtesy Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association

Seven private Sam Hughes homeowners and two public properties are opening up their gardens for the public to admire on Sunday, April 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The two-mile, self-guided tour through the historical neighborhood offers attendees a chance to check out outdoor architectural decorations, sculptures, a certified wildlife habitat garden, a backyard chicken coop, and a hummingbird garden. The neighborhood’s phenology trail, which shows the progression and changes of plant and animal life over time, will also be open to onlookers.

Tickets are $10 for adults, and entry is free for children. Tickets may be purchased between 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. the day of the tour at the Inner Courtyard of Sam Hughes Elementary School, 700 N. Wilson Ave. Parking for the tour is free, and can be found around the neighborhood.

Visit SamHughes.org for more information.

Pennington Street Block Party

From April 11-13, Tucson Service Learning Group is hosting the 26th Global Youth Service Days: an international community service event held in over 100 countries that celebrates youth’s contributions to society.

The Pennington Street Block Party, coordinated by City High School and the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, will kick off the international campaign for community change from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, April 11. The event happens along Downtown’s Pennington Street, between Stone and Scott Avenues.

At 4 p.m., the block party will hold a ceremony where the Ray Davies Student Service Award will be presented to an all-around honorable student. To receive the award, mentors nominate students who have a finely tuned sense of community, while demonstrating leadership and compassion for others. The award was named after the reputable Human Relations Commission member, Ray Davies. Other activities include:  musical performances, teaching demos, interactive booths, street theater, art exhibits, carnival games, and more.

For more information about the event, visit CityHighSchool.org, TucsonSLG.org and GYSD.org.

Sink Your Roots into Sonoran X

Sonoran_X_LOGO-2Plant lovers unite for the Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society’s Sonoran X Conference! This year’s theme is “Plants for the Sonoran Desert Hobbyists,” a showcase of unique cacti and hybrid plants from around the world. The plant conference is on Saturday, April 19 from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 20 from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at 475 N. Granada Ave.

Registered attendees will get a glimpse of grandeur member collections, participate in workshops, listen to five guest speakers, and enjoy two lunches and a dinner. The $50 registration takes place in the lobby from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, and from 8 a.m. until noon on Sunday. Attendants who do not wish to register will still have access to the plant showings, a silent auction and the pottery, book, art and plant sales.

For more information about the conference and how to register, visit TucsonCactus.org or call (520) 256-2447.

Earth Day $1 Sale

Another segment of Buffalo Exchange’s 40th anniversary celebrations include its Earth Day Dollar Sale on Saturday, April 19. All 49 Buffalo Exchanges nationwide will raise proceeds from $1 ticket items and donate the funds directly to Tucson’s Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Last year, the event raised a total of $43,000, which was donated to the Humane Society. This year’s funds will go to supporting and preserving the outdoor living museum’s “Pollination Hotspots” program. The program works to conserve, sustain and analyze the variation of seed production levels across the Sonoran Desert.

For more information about the museum and Buffalo Exchange, visit DesertMuseum.org and BuffaloExchange.com.

Tucson’s First Open Water Swim Triathlon

5430 Sports has coordinated Tucson’s first open water triathlon: Welcome, the 5430 TriZona Triathlon, happening on Sunday, April 27. Participants will face a 3.5 mile run, a 14.5 mile bike ride and 750 meter swim in the 10-acre Kennedy Lake. (Turner Labs discovered the water flowing into Kennedy Lake to be safe for not only swimming, but also drinking, according to 5430Sports.com.) Swimmers will begin the initial “wave,” or one lap swim, at the southeast corner of the lake. They will then head clockwise and finish at the southwest corner, where they will strip their wetsuits and start the run.

The first, second and third place winners from each age group will be awarded hand-made trophies. Registration for the triathlon is $90 if purchased by April 25.

For more information about the triathlon and how to enter, visit 5430Sports.com/TriZona.

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