BUTTERCUP, POETRY and CHE MALAMBO!
By JASMINA WELLINGHOFF
With Good Friday and the Easter holiday taking center stage this weekend, the arts scene is a bit less busy than last week. It’s a good time to remind everyone that April is National Poetry Month and readings as well as mixed poetry-music events are taking place all over our fair city.
San Antonio is lucky to have quite a few outstanding poets and an official poet laureate who is chosen by a panel of out-of-town peers and appointed by the mayor for a period of two tears. The current one is Jenny Browne. A good opportunity to hear Browne as well as Texas poets laureate Rosemary Catacalos and Carmen Tafolla – both San Antonio residents – is to view URBAN 15’s “Mega Corazon,” an event that took place a few days ago but is scheduled to be re-streamed April 17, starting at 5 p.m. In addition to the names already mentioned, participants include John Philip Santos, Natalia Trevino, Andrea Sanderson, known as Vocab (slam poetry), and Naomi Shihab Nye, probably the best-known San Antonio poet with a national and international reputation. (www.urban15.org)
If you prefer to see a live performance, Gemini Ink is sponsoring one Friday night, April 14, at Tacoland, 103 W. Grayson St., at 6:30 p.m. The featured poets are Viktoria Valenzuela, Anthony the Poet, and Edward Vidaurre. They will be followed by an open mic session. Also, San Antonio’s literary magazine Voices De La Luna is inviting everyone to come to the Tobin Library at Oakwell, 4134 Harry Wurzbach Rd., April 18 at 6 p.m., to take part in poetry workshops and hear the guest speakers. On the 20th you can visit Carmen De La Calle, 720 E. Mistletoe, to enjoy Jazz & Poetry with a Purpose, with food and a few drinks. (for more choices check out the Poetry Month Calendar at www.npmsa.com
Another event I would like to draw your attention to is a show by the wonderful local band Buttercup, which takes place Friday at the Charline McCombs Empire Theater. They call their style art-rock and that’s probably an apt description. This is not a group that deafens you with excessively amplified noise and not much else. The three musicians – guitarist/producer Joe Reyes, vocalist Erik Sanden and bassist Odie – are subtler, more entertaining and more original than most. (www.majesticempire.com)
And here’s one you may not want to miss! ARTS San Antonio is bringing to town the Argentinian “roaring men” who will dazzle you with the percussive dance and music of the gaucho tradition. Called “Che Malambo” the show roars into the Empire Theater on the 20th. These very masculine dancers enhance the already robust stage action with traditional baleadoras – entwined ropes with stones attached at one end – that the men swirl around and hit the ground with, adding an additional percussive and visual element to the spectacle. I have had the opportunity to see these props used on stage and it seems to me that they require expert handling lest someone get hurt. The show sounds like another winner for ARTS San Antonio. (www.majesticempire.com)
Photos: Buttercup; Che Malambo