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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Corridos y Cantares II

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By Patricia Pérez   (click on image to enlarge picture)

Alianza Latino Americana is back in full force and reading to present “Corridos y Cantares II.”

Its first and most-successful presentation took place in 2012 and now this much-awaited follow-up song-and-dance musical production with a Mexican flavor is almost here.

Among the many performers will be Monterrey-native Héctor Hernández, who from an early age demonstrated an aptitude for music and singing. Although he studied to be an Aeronautical technician, his passion is music. Hence, that is why, as a teenager, he participated as a vocalist with the Harlandale High School’s mariachi group.

The local established artist’s resume includes performances with the Horwath Production Company and the Luminaria Festival. Hernández also alternated with Rodrigo de la Cadena in his presentation at the Mexican Cultural Institute and as a special guest of maestro Alejandro Ramírez at the Folk Life Festival.

To hone his vocal skills, he studied with famed soprano singer Cristina Ortega where he learned the mission and objectives of the Hispanic Heritage Society. Since then he has participated in several of their annual events to educate the San Antonio community by promoting the Hispanic musical culture. Hence, he has been a featured soloist in Voces de San Antonio since 2009.

Another Hispanic Heritage Society alumnus is Rachell Rivas, who has been involved in all that is related to the arts since he was merely four-years-old. Now thirteen and in the sixth grade at Bradley Middle School, where she plays second violin in the school orchestra, the Los Angeles-native takes great pride in her culture by singing at school festivals and events.

Then there are the Ladies of the Chorus for Voces of San Antonio. They are Irma Longoria and Silvia Goodman.

Longoria has been with Voces since it was established in 1993 thus making the professional nurse a founding member. A sales executive and instructor in Lanmark Education, Goodman moved here from Salamanca, Guanajuato, México in 1993 and has been an enthusiastic member of Voces since 2001.

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Another featured performer will be the beautiful, vivacious Valerie Pérez-Arrieta plus our gorgeous producer, moi.

This year’s “Corridos y Cantares” featuring many more of San Antonio most talented singers and dancers is sponsored by StreetTalk Magazine, La Prensa, SA Arts, La Gloria, Our Lady of the Lake University, Club Monterrey, Instituto de Los Mexicanos En El Exterior, the San Antonio Charro Association and Ramiro Mojarro Comunidades.

The curtain for this magical night of entertainment will go up at 7 p.m. and the production will come to live on Saturday, May 4 at Our Lady of the Lake’s Thiry Auditorium.

Advance tickets are $7 and for more information, call (210) 431-3922 or 385-3877. See you there.

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Tejano Legends Cruise 2014

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Photos by Ramón Hernández  (Click on pictures to enlarge image)

Tejano music lovers take heed.

March 20 just marked the first day of spring for this year and December 21 will mark the first day of winter with January of next year expected to be a brutally cold winter.

According to www.accuweather.com, the average January temperatures in the northeast and northwest United States where pockets of Americans of Mexican descent have settled range from a minus four (-5) degrees in North Dakota, four degrees in Minneapolis, nine degrees in Milwaukee, 11 degrees in Denver, 12 degrees in Chicago, 16 degrees in Indianapolis and 17 degrees in Boise, Idaho to perhaps one or two days up in the low to middle fifties.

However, thanks to the brainchild of Alejandro “Al” Duarte, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in the way of a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico where the daily high and low temperature in January averages a steady 81 degrees.

For those who book a sailing date of Monday, January 13 to Saturday, January 18, that means a welcomed relief from snow blizzards, icy roads, shoveling snow and dressing in several layers of clothing to keep warm.

And instead of having to wait until next March to get a dose of Tejano music at the fan fair, the Tejano Music Awards in June or the 10th Annual Tejano Music Convention in August, five-time Grammy award winning Flaco Jiménez, Grammy and Latin Grammy award winning Michael Salgado, Grammy Award winner Max Baca, Grammy nominee David Marez, four-time Grammy nominee Hugo Guerrero, Grammy nominated Jonny Martínez and Gary Hobbs. Also Tejano music living legends Anselmo Martínez, Grammy Award winner Rubén Ramos, Grammy Award nominees Jimmy Edward and Joe Bravo plus two of the hottest bands, Grammy nominated Aviso and Calle Seis, which is made up of several Grammy nominated musicians have already committed to perform.

It is also being emceed by two-time Grammy winner Raulito Navaira. No wonder this cruise has been billed the Tejano Legends Cruise, but this line-up of la crème de la créme could also easily have been labeled as the Tejano Grammy Artists Cruise.

The weather may be dismal, depressing and gloomy or it may be snowing when you leave home, but you’ll feel a tad warmer when you get to Galveston will you will board the Cadillac of all cruise companies, Carnaval Cruise Lines. And forget all that negative publicity over one measly unfortunate isolated incident. After all, comedians have to make a living too, enough said. Once onboard the floating city, there’s plenty to do.

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While you may have started out Friday morning with “brrr,” once out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the next morning and the warm sun hits your face and you trade your snow boots for sandals or flip flops, you will go “aaah.” And don’t be surprised if you wind up having breakfast next to one of your favorite Tejano stars.

Speaking of food, there will be an abundance of gourmet meals with everything from escargot (snails) to frog legs and alligator being served in the dining rooms – not to mention scrumptious mouth-watering steak, seafood and desert choices. As Rocky Hernández would say, “no ombre, shut up.”

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Those that chose comfort food will have the option of the 24-hour buffet which features various ethnic food choices, so there’s no way for anyone to be on an empty stomach; and it’s all included in the price of the cruise.

To pass the time away at sea, there’s an onboard casino, ship’s store, miniature golf, water rides, a swimming pool, hot tubs and water rides plus a theater that feature Las Vegas-type shows.

The first port call will be in Progress, Yucatan which women will find to be a shopper’s delight since sun dresses, blouses, bathing suits and sandals can be purchased for as little as two to five dollars. As for souvenirs, one can buy eight high-quality cotton tee shirts at the rate of eight tees for $20 at the local flea market. With prices like these, there’s no reason to stock up on clothes, souvenirs and novelty gifts.

As for the local food, there’s burritacos, salbutes or cachetadas plus exotic fruits such as ataulfo, manila and manililla, which are all in the mango family.

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Spending the day in this port city is one option since tours to Merida and the Mayan ruins are also available at half the rate offered by the cruise line. But don’t get too tired. Save some energy to dance the night away to the music of your favorite onboard Tejano artist/band; and it’s going to be a short night. As you sleep you will segue from the Gulf of Mexico into the Caribbean Sea. Early risers will be treated to a beautiful sunrise as the ship arrives in Cozumel that morning. Again, there are more options as to what to do with your time on this luscious and still fairly raw Caribbean island.

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By the end of the day, one will have turned into a red-neck Chicano, have a red sunburnt face or a red nose from all the booze they drank and most will get some last minute shopping in the many stores in the portside terminal.

Putting this photographer’s normal humble personality aside, I can honestly say that I took hundreds of awesome travel photographs during my previous cruise to Progresso, Yucatan and Cozumel, but how can you take a bad picture when the sea and skies are blue and everything is so bright and vivid that the colors just seemed to burst out as fireworks.

For more information go to www.cruiseconnectionlive.com, or call (214)383-0122.  Everyone should also be aware that there are no ties between the 2014 Tejano Legends Cruise and the 2012 Tejano Cruise.  This Cruise is focused on giving our clients an honest and exciting show. CCL is also offering Allianz Insurance to insure the safety and happiness of all their customers.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This article is not ‘hype,’ but based on actual experience with the photos to proof it; and don’t forget that besides credibility, a picture is worth a thousand words

San Antonio Luminaria 2013

San Antonio Luminaria 2013

Story and photos by Joseph Martinez

Rain ,Rain stay away and it did. For the folks who braved the cool night they were treated to an amazing evening loaded with the sight, sound and the aroma of food lingering in the air. Walking the park grounds I came to a opinion wishing there were  two of me so I can see and enjoy twice as much. There were 6 stages and over 600 artist.

The LANGTON DRIVE band caught my attention they were playing by the Tower of the America’s. With the look and the flavor of Joan Jett , this rock-punk like band had the crowd hopping.  With matching pink ties and black shirts these young rockers have a bright future in music. More info? http://www.facebook.com/XLangtonDriveX

The next band I ran across was the HARES, a well season- 6 member band that play a wide range of music. Like rock and Latino with a jazzy feel. (Wish I had more time to listen to them) more info? http://www.facebook.com/TheHares/info#!/TheHares

The Jazz POETS of San Antonio with the jazz poetry band backing them up helps to keep  them on track. Performing at U.N.A.M. building; at times there was only standing room. The Talent was not short in demand, spoken in English and in Spanish it was just right for the night. More info? www.facebook.com/pages/San-Antonio-Jazz-Poet-Society/183635105014965

Walking and enjoying the sites I came across “Saint Apophenia” it was shining on the wall. What the heck is that?  Check it out on line www.saintapophenia.com

Proxy Theatre Group did some short and powerful acting using limited props. It felt like being in theatre in the round. Need to know more? http://proxytheatreonline.com/    or  http://www.facebook.com/proxytheatrecompany

At the Valero stage,The Invincible Czars, an  Austin  rock band was on tap to please  everyone. The group  did their modernized arrangements of classical composers and some original songs as well. Beautiful, sometime haunting sounds. Playing to the back drop of an old black and white  movie. Do you want to see more about them?    www.invincibleczars.com or http://www.facebook.com/invincibleczars

 

The Tower of the Americas was flooded in lights looking as if it was freshly painted. Tents illuminated from the inside out giving the illusion of a ghost like people looking out windows (A little creepy)

All around, you would see family, couples and groups of friends roaming the different venues and enjoying the sights.  At times I would accidently bump in to someone and what I mainly heard was “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me.” This  friendliness in general is just part of what makes San Antonio a large town with a small town feeling.

This review of “Luminaria 2013” shows only a small amount. Truly, it is something that one must experience in person  http://www.luminariasa.org/

With so many sites to see, Do yourself a favor for “Luminaria 2014”. Grab a map and a list of events ,mark the MUST SEE artist and prepare yourself for a night of excitement.

See ya next year!

Joseph Martinez

River City Attractions

Rudy’s Seafood Rules

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Photos by Ramón Hernández

We’ve all heard about the “Seven wonders of the world,” and the seven wonders of the ancient world. And if they were to rate seven seafood restaurants among the eatery wonders of San Antonio, Rudy’s Seafood would be at the top of the list because that’s how good it is.

Even the very reasonably priced appetizing daily specials are a force to be reckoned with. Take the special that includes two choice large fish fillets, three nice sized shrimp, Cole slaw, zesty French fries and a Serrano pepper to make the dish even more enjoyable. Even the presentation looks exquisite.

The Serrano pepper is something the establishment’s founder Yndalecio Rudy Ramírez tried years ago and it became a popular mainstay. And as is evident, his middle name became the eponym for the popular seafood eatery.

Rudy, who loved to fish, got a secret recipe from a fellow fisherman and in 1964 opened his first location as Rudy’s Fried Fish on Nogalitos Street. He later operated seafood branches on Guadalupe Street and Fredericksburg Road in the North side, but found that the demographics that best worked for him were in the Southside.

“The customers are very loyal in the Southside and if you treat the people right, they will keep on coming forever,” said Roland Ramírez, who has been working at Rudy’s since he was eight and took over the restaurant after his father passed on October 16, 2004.

“The fathers you can deal with, but when the mothers go, that’s a totally different thing because they’re the ones that keep the family going,” Roland continued.

Gratifying, titillating, well prepared seafood became the family specialty and Roland’s brother Jerry Antonio followed in their father’s footsteps when he opened Neptune’s followed by J. Anthony’s, which he later sold.

Roland’s mother, Elva Gloria Garza Ramírez, has been keeping the books since day one; and his two sons, Roland Jr. and Johnny are following their grandfather’s example by working along their father and will hopefully continue the family seafood legacy.

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Getting back to the star of the restaurant – the food — entire families can enjoy the luscious mouthwatering six and six (6 & 6) special, which consists of six fish fillets and six shrimp. Another popular combo is the flavorful two fish fillets, two piquant shrimp, two savory oysters with French fries and tasty Cole slaw.

Then there’re side dishes such as mouthwatering fried mushrooms, delicious onion rings and fried delectable sweet potatoes.

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All dishes are stacked with generous portions that make one wonder how Roland stays in business, but one bite answers that question, taste.

During the time this writer were there, everyone that walked through the door made a beeline for Roland, whose personal touch has endeared him to his thousands of customers, now lifelong friends that keep coming back to eat in a pleasant family oriented atmosphere where everybody knows him.

“A lot of our customers grew up before our eyes as we saw them coming in with their parents; and now that they have grown up, they come in with their children; and in some cases a family may span three generations from grandparents to their children and grandchildren.”

“And it is not strange or out of the ordinary to see a stream of celebrities and VIPs from actors, comedians, Tejano singers and musicians, basketball players plus car dealership owners, prominent attorneys on up to county judges come in for a bite.

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During Cuaresma (Lent) lines have been seen to extend through the middle of the parking lot from late morning to 8 p.m. and cars are parked up to two blocks in all four directions.

Asked for the secret of their success besides their top secret recipes, Roland said, we have been at this present location twenty years and everyone raves about the taste, which we attribute to cooking only all-original fresh seafood and giving a pilon (freebie portion) of extra fish or shrimp.

So perhaps the freshest is what makes their seafood tempting, stimulating and succulent, all which a children could summarized with one simple word, yummy.

Rudy’s is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and it is always packed, but do not fear because there’s plenty of booths and tables. Another plus is that men can watch their favorite sport on a big screen television and women can watch their favorite telenovela on a different big screen.

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SAN ANTONIO PRESENTS 6TH ANNUAL LUMINARIA

RAIN OR SHINE: SAN ANTONIO PRESENTS 6TH ANNUAL LUMINARIA 

 

SAN ANTONIO (March 8, 2013) – The Sixth Annual Luminaria will take place Saturday, March 9, 2013 in HemisFair Park and downtown San Antonio from 7 p.m. to midnight.  Luminaria will take place, rain or shine.  However, in the event of rain, music and art installations will be moved inside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the indoor venues in HemisFair Park will also be open.

 “We are confident that, rain or shine, San Antonio’s Sixth Annual Luminaria will be a night to remember,” says Richard Rosen, Artistic Director of Luminaria.  

 Luminaria is San Antonio’s annual celebration of art and artists, and this year marks the sixth anniversary of the arts event. Luminaria is a free event that showcases all art forms in both indoor and outdoor settings in downtown San Antonio. Over 600 artists will showcase original works of art and performances specifically created for Luminaria.

 “This annual celebration of the arts has become a hallmark event, showcasing San Antonio as a creative and contemporary art and music hub,” says San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.  “I  want to invite everyone to come and experience an extraordinary Luminaria event that takes place in HemisFair Park and areas throughout  our vibrant downtown.”

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Richard Rosen, Associate Directors Kathy Armstrong and Mellissa Marlowe and the Luminaria Steering Committee selected 90 artists and groups with the best original installations and performances within six artistic disciplines (Dance, Literary, Media, Music, Theatre and Performance, and Visual).

Through one night of arts, we seek to re-imagine downtown San Antonio as a canvas for enlightened, innovative, edgy, surprising, and interactive contemporary artwork from all artistic disciplines.

 About Luminaria

Luminaria is San Antonio’s annual celebration of art and artists.  Held annually in March and overseen by San Antonio’s creative leaders, Luminaria is a free event that showcases all art forms in an outdoor setting in downtown San Antonio. Luminaria spotlights the region’s cultural assets for local citizens and visitors alike and is made possible through the generosity of artists, arts organizations, volunteers, and public and private donations. Launched in 2008, the event drew 315,000 people to downtown San Antonio last year alone.

 Luminaria’s name is San Antonio’s adaptation of “White Nights”, originally conceived in Paris, France in 2002, in an attempt to bring contemporary art to the masses in public spaces, while inspiring dialogue and engaging the public to examine its significance and impact on public space. For more information, please visit www.luminariasa.org. Like Luminaria on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LuminariaSA or follow Luminaria on Twitter @LuminariaSA.