Saturday, November 27, 2021
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Austin folk singer performing in McAllen

20191211 tish hinojosaLegendary musician, Tish Hinojosa will be performing live in McAllen, Texas on Thursday, December 12th from 6 to 7 p.m. at Quinta Mazatlán for a Holiday Concert in the Park. Tish dazzles with her one-of-a-kind blend of Folk, Country, Latino, Pop; and will be accompanied by her longtime musicians Marvin Dykhuis on guitar and mandolin and by Chip Dolan on piano and accordion.

Tish has been a featured artist on Austin City Limits, performed at the White House, and teamed up with artists such as Joan Baez, Booker T. Jones, Flaco Jimenez, Pete Seeger, and Dwight Yoakam. She has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe and continues to draw a loyal and growing audience.

For her Holiday Concert in the Park at Quinta Mazatlan, Tish will be performing songs from her Christmas CD "From Texas For A Christmas Night.” These songs cover themes from lively Western Swing to Tex-Mex storytelling and Christmas standards. She will also sing hits from the seventeen albums she has produced since 1987.

Tickets for the Holiday Concert in the Park are $5 per person at the gate. Quinta Mazatlán is located at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen, one block south of La Plaza Mall on 10th Street. For more information, contact Quinta Mazatlan at (956) 681-3370 or visit or the Facebook events page

Ralph Kuster, not just a vocal talent

20191211 ralph kuster 01Ralph Kuster was born to perform. Not just to perform, but to also create relationships through his music with his audience.

Why else would he know more than 600 songs (631 to be exact at last count).

The former Branson, Missouri performer, and current Winter Texan entertainer (also known as Wintertainer), has returned to the Rio Grande Valley with a variety of shows - including Christmas, a Tribute to Broadway and the Movies, Gospel Show, Country Classics, Sinatra, Martin and Friends, Elvis, Neil and Friends, a Valentine’s Show and a St. Patrick’s Show. He also has a show called Timeless Treasures that incorporates a little piece of all the other shows.

Kuster is a walking library of music, a virtual human radio station. His variety of shows is as wide reaching as the range of his voice.

“I’m motivated to touch the hearts of the audience,” said Kuster, who opened his Valley season with a Welcome Back Winter Texans Performance at Paradise Resort in Pharr. “A lot of the songs I perform bring back fond memories and portray a positive outlook to the coming days and upcoming season.”

But Kuster does more than just perform. He interacts with his audience in every show. For example, at his Christmas shows, everyone uses cheery holiday bells. He also puts together a video for all of his songs, touching the audience’s senses and bringing back even more fond memories.

He said that he hopes the work he has put into his videos will touch people’s hearts. That, he adds, is what he truly enjoys the most about entertaining.

“I’ve had such great audience responses,” Kuster said. “The response at the Welcome Back show was outstanding. It was a marvelous way to start.”

Currently highlighting his Christmas shows, Kuster said that he wants to bring out both the spiritual side of the holiday as well as the fun side. This year’s all new Christmas Show is a combination of country and traditional Christmas including many songs by Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, John Denver and many more.

“The audience loves the videos for each song,” Kuster said. “It adds to the warmth and joy of Christmas.”

Kuster said he’s also available for a New Year’s Eve show, yet another set of songs in his ever-growing singing library.

Shows this coming week include Winter Green Estates, December 13 at 6:30 p.m.; Lakewood Resort, December 14 at 7 p.m.; Trophy Gardens Resort, December 15 at 7 p.m.; W and I Resort, December 16 at 7 p.m.; Paradise Resort Estates, December 18 at 7 p.m.; Ell Valle Del Sol Resort, December 19 at 7 p.m.; and Tropic Star Resort, December 20 at 7 p.m. His full schedule can be found online by visiting his profile in our Wintertainers section at

For more information on Ralph Kuster or to book a show, call (417) 230-8198 or email

Razz Ma Tazz: developing bonds; producing music

20191211 razz ma tazz 01What happens when wishes are granted; when people’s fantasies become fiction?

In the upcoming Razz Ma Tazz performance entitled “Into the Woods,” several scenarios will be explored. But before the McAllen Nikki Rowe sing and dance group flies off to fantasy land, they still have some Christmas cheer to spread. And very few high school groups in the Valley can do it as cheerfully as Razz, a group made up this season of 20 incredibly talented high school students.

The group is well known for taking their Christmas show on the road to Winter Texan parks and resorts all along the Valley. As one group of seniors graduate, another group of first-year participants, many of them a little shy after reaching such heights, step into place.

As with other extracurricular groups from sports to academic groups, the bonds within these groups are what keeps them going.

“The Christmas show is a high energy show with 20 students involved,” said director Joshua Watkins, who started with the program in August and the group immediately began rehearsing. “They are very polished for this part of the season.”

Songs such as “Merry Christmas Darling,” “Baby it’s Cold Outside” and “Come Home for Christmas,” are just a taste of the fun holiday tunes the group, which has been performing for 29 years, brings onstage.

“There’s quite a bite of harmony that sounds excellent,” Watkins said.

The group also has pieced together some medleys that are quite entertaining. “Swing Into Christmas” is a three-song piece that includes parts of “Silver Bells” among other songs.

Everything builds up to an energetic and exciting grand finale, a medley of a dozen or so songs in an arrangement called “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.”

“It’s a very long medley, about eight minutes,” Watkins said. “It’s a big finish.”

Right after the big finish that marks the end of the season, Razz will dance their way onto “Into the Woods.” Unlike the Christmas show that goes on the road, these performances will take place at Nikki Rowe High School Jan. 18-21 and Jan. 24-25.

“It’s a mishmash of several different fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk,” Watkins said. “It interweaves all the different story lines in a unique way where each character has a wish they want. That’s the first act.

“In the second act we see what happens after they get their wish. It goes from a Fairy Tale to reality. It’s very unique.”

Tickets are still available for “Into the Woods.” Call (956) 632-5152 for more information or visit RoweTheatre on Facebook.

Following are the remaining Christmas Shows for Razz Ma Tazz:
Dec. 14 Tip O Texas, 7 p.m.; Dec. 15 Pleasant Valley, 2 p.m.; Dec. 15 Valley View Estates, 7 p.m.; Dec. 16 Aladdin Villa, 7 p.m.; and Dec. 17 Trophy Gardens, 7 p.m.

Evening of holiday fun with the McAllen Wind Ensemble

20191211 wind ensemble vocal 03The McAllen Wind Ensemble continues their 45th anniversary celebration with an evening of magical holiday fun. The December 20th event entitled “Tinsel and Tutus” will feature another of McAllen’s artistic institutions, the Deborah Case Dance Academy.

Dancers from the Deborah Case Academy will be featured in the holiday concert performing selections from Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker Ballet to the McAllen Wind Ensemble’s live performance of the suite. The Wind Ensemble will also feature the unforgettable voice of Alberto Escobedo, the Singing Barber of Rio Grande City. Alberto Escobedo will lend his stirring vocal abilities to Schubert’s “Ave Maria” on Friday evening’s concert.

Alberto Escobedo has earned the reputation as the Singing Barber of Rio Grande City. He has not received formal vocal training after his high school experience, but his talent is a true testament to the strength and quality of the Rio Grande City Fine Arts Department. Alberto is also an active member in the community. He is the driving force behind Casa de Esperanza. Casa de Esperanza serves as a soup kitchen, and the building serves as a shelter for the homeless when needed.

No McAllen Wind Ensemble holiday concert would be complete without a Christmas carol sing-along. Alberto and the McAllen Wind Ensemble’s own Annabelle Zapata will lead the audience in a medley of favorite Christmas carols.

The McAllen Wind Ensemble is excited to host the Ballet’s encore performance of several of the dances from the world’s favorite Christmas ballet and vocalist Alberto Escobedo.

“Tinsel and Tutus” will be held December 20 at the McAllen Performing Arts Center. Tickets, starting at just $10, are available at the McAllen Performing Arts Center Box Office, through Ticketmaster, or at the door. Visit their website at for more information.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with music starting at 7:30 p.m. Pictures with Santa and ballerinas will be available before the concert.

Come share the wonder and traditions of Christmas joining family and friends at the South Pole of Texas. Celebrate the 24th day of the City of McAllen’s Winterfest with the magic of holiday music!

Memorial High Students Are “Letting It Go” in Frozen, Jr.

McAllen Memorial High School is excited to present the musical Frozen, Jr.! The show is based on the animated Disney film Frozen and is sure to warm the hearts of everyone young and old. Join Elsa, Anna, Olaf and your other favorite characters as they journey through life and find what is really important – family and love. You will hear your favorite songs – Do You Want to Build a Snowman, Love is An Open Door, Let It Go – plus some new ones – Dangerous to Dream, Colder by the Minute, Let the Sun Shine On.

Performances will be at the William Hetrick Auditorium at Memorial High School on Thursday, December 5 and Friday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 at 2 p.m.

Memorial High School is located at 101 E. Hackberry in McAllen. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at: or at the door.

A Tejano Christmas Carol plays at Pharr Community Theater

20191117 tejano christmas carol 03Have you ever stopped to consider, what would happen in the RGV if the Rio Grande (river) dried up? Would it be a catastrophe? Would we be a thirsty region?

“In reality most people take the river for granted when it comes to acknowledging it’s most important resource,” says Pharr Community Theater Artistic Director Pedro Garcia.

“I happen to be a large fan of el Rio Grande and it’s nearly 1,900 miles of trajectory starting in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, running south through the entire length of New Mexico, down to El Paso, where it bends southeastward on its way to the Gulf of Mexico via Boca Chica in Brownsville. In our play the river has a lead role, so to speak.”

A Tejano Christmas Carol is a comedic and dramatic play where Mr. Ezequiel Codos (a scrooge equivalent) is a powerful, avarice RGV attorney and water broker. For some time now Mr. Codos has been brewing up plans to sell large amounts of water rights from his vast property along both sides of the river.

“This deal is gonna make me a multi-millionaire”, he says to his nephew and water rights activist, Beto, played by Danilo Zepeda, from Edinburg, who invites him to Christmas dinner in spite of his rudeness.

Of course, many of us know the Charles Dickens story from which the play is adapted including visits by ghosts. In this tale the ghost of Christmas past is La Rielera de la Revolución Mexicana played by veteran stage actress, Armandina Sesin, from Mission.

“I’ve performed the role of La Rielera for the last four years and I always have a good time as my character tries to instill some good sense into the tight-fisted Mr. Codos.”

Even the late, great conductor/composer Laurence Welk makes a youthful appearance as a ghost played by 16-year-old Frankie Sharp Hooton from Weslaco.

“He’s a popularized 1950’s-1970’s TV entertainer, he performed lots of music and interviews but mostly he was a big band conductor, an orchestra person. From the research I did, he seemed like a fun guy although a mono-tonal person which I’m not, but I had to learn how to dial it down while racking it up at the same time. For me it’s a difficult role to play but ultimately the part is doable with practice and a whole lot of fun.”

The two-act family play, in English, is set in 2007 when the RGV had a big snowfall on Christmas eve. The play returns to Pharr by popular demand with a local cast of nearly 20 adults and children combined and is directed by Seres Jaime Magaña. Claudia Jimenez is stage manager and longtime Screen Actor Guild member Pedro Garcia, co-produces and plays Codos for the 4th year in a row.

“Next time I’ll be glad to give up the fun role to someone else and see another local actor take a turn at it,” said Garcia with a chuckle.

“It’s a family play for the holiday with a grand message and something fun to watch for this season, plus we have a versatile, creative and disciplined cast,” added director Magaña.

A Tejano Christmas Carol plays December 4-8, at Pharr Community Theater, 213 W. Newcombe Ave., Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are only $5 students, seniors and military or $8 general admission. Seating is limited to 55 persons per show and tickets will be sold at the door starting one hour before curtain upon availability. You may also reserve your advance tickets by texting or calling (956) 239-0412 or (956) 655-9308

A final show will be held on Thursday, December 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the spacious Pharr Events Center at 3000 N Cage Blvd. Tickets will remain the same price.

UTRGV to Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad Veracruzana

20191127 utrgv folkloricoRIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The UTRGV Center for Latin American Arts will present an evening with the Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad Veracruzana, 7 p.m. December 7 in the Performing Arts Complex on the Edinburg Campus and Dec. 8 at the TSC Performing Arts Center in Brownsville.

The world-renowned ballet folklórico will present its show, “Raices de mi pueblo,” a performance that honors Mexico’s beautiful cultural traditions through dance and music.

Dr. Steven Block, dean of the College of Fine Arts; Dr. Katherine Moore McAllen, director of the center; and Miguel Peña, director of the UTRGV Ballet Folklórico program, have invited the celebrated ballet folklórico dance company from Veracruz, Mexico, to present performances at UTRGV.

Guest performers will offer two shows open to the public and will team with UTRGV university students and dance professors to host ballet folklórico dance clinics for students at various public schools throughout the Valley.

The clinics will be held at different studios in several high schools, including PSJA Southwest, La Joya High School, Dancentre of Edinburg, Edinburg North, Economedes, Hidalgo Early College, Edinburg, Valley View High School, PSJA North Early College, Juarez Lincoln, and PSJA Memorial.

The dance company also will give three large clinics at the UTRGV dance studios at both campuses.

The Center for Latin American Arts hopes this event will engage the community and create a greater awareness and appreciation for Mexican culture and traditions. All proceeds from the ticket sales support future programming projects at the Center and enable the CLAA to fund faculty and student research initiatives and provide salaries of graduate student staff members.

Tickets, available at, are $20 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors.

Event contacts are McAllen at or and Peña at

For more information, visit, or

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