Three Summer Festivals

by | Jul 28, 2016 | News and Previews, Performing Arts

Around here, summer is definitely not a dead season when it comes to the arts. Something is always going on and this weekend is a good example. Not one but three different festivals are taking place, all featuring multiple events.

On the dance front, there’s the 19th annual Third Coast Rhythm Project Summer Tap Festival which offers a unique opportunity to see and learn from masters in the genre such as Sam Weber, Max Pollak, Martin “Tre” Dumas, Michela Marino Lerman, Jay Fagan, Nicole Hockenberry and others. Organized by the Third Coast Rhythm Project and San Antonio’s first lady of tap, Barbara Phillips, the fest is largely an opportunity for tap dancers to gather, take classes, engage in jam sessions, and learn from each other, but there’s a gala concert Friday night, called Jazzed on Tap at the Craver Community Cultural Center which features only the stars mentioned above. As in the past, the excellent Mark Rubinstein Jazz Trio will partner with the hoofers to make their art come truly alive on stage.

If you have never seen a professional, contemporary live tap show, you are going to be blown away by these guys, but even if you have, the show is a rare opportunity to see so many different performers of this deeply American dance style. For tickets, call Carver’s box office at 210-207-2234.

Music lovers who may feel deprived since the closing of the Cactus Pear Music Festival, should rejoice – here comes the Mozart Festival Texas with five concerts at the University of the Incarnate World Concert Hall (July 29 – Aug. 6). Despite the name, it’s not all Mozart. Bartok, Poulenc, Debussy, Haydn and Prokofiev are also represented but Mozart definitely dominates the programming. So if you are a fan, you are going to be in heaven. Starting with this fest, and continuing through the next four seasons, acclaimed pianist Rick Rowley will perform the complete repertoire of the composer’s piano sonatas, with four of them to be presented Saturday. Longtime festival director Terence Frazor will conduct the Mozart Festival Texas Orchestra, and Richard Kilmer will lead the Wind Ensemble. (For information call 210-829-3852 or go to

And there’s a film festival, too, already in progress. Under the direction of Adam Rocha, the San Antonio Film Festival has made strides slowly but steadily. Now in its 22 year, the current fest is showcasing 145 films created by filmmakers from all points of the globe. The big news this year is that a major Hollywood studio movie is having its premiere here. The screening of “Hell or High Water,” starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine, takes place Saturday, July 31 at 7 p.m. at the Tobin Center, where most of the action is. Directed by David Mackenzie, “Hell or High Water” is about two brothers who decide to save their family’s land by robbing the bank that wants to foreclose on their property. The press release describes it as an “epic Old West meets New West showdown.

But there’s a lot more: many sessions of short films in different categories, other features, panel discussion and a parallel Children’s Film Festival. View the lineup at

As I said, lots to choose from!

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