When he's not gigging at renowned venues such as CBGB or the Bowery Ballroom, Pancho Garza preps others to do the same at Alamo Rock School. Likewise, Pancho's fellow instructors channel years of teaching and performing experience to help students aged 8–17 improve their guitar, bass-guitar, drums, piano, or singing skills.
Weekly one-on-one lessons are the bedrock of Alamo's rock club, whose weekend jam sessions give students the opportunity to play with fellow musicians. Private lessons pair with group rehearsals at the school's summer camp and rock performance sessions, which culminate in a live show at a local venue. Designed for musicians 18 and older, the adult rock program similarly whisks students out of their grownup forts made of utility bills to the stage.
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center began weaving itself into the fabric of San Antonio’s arts and theater scene more than three decades ago to share the richness of Chicano, Latino, and Native American art forms. Now a cornerstone of the community, the nonprofit touches the lives of more than 100,000 people each year with theater and dance performances, cultural festivals, and creative classes. The center passes down traditional forms of expression, such as Mexican Folklórico dance and cactus juggling while also embracing contemporary art forms such as photography.
Each year, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s festivals welcome large crowds of adults, kids, and multiple Waldos. Foremost among them are CineFestival, the Tejano Conjunto music festival, and Hecho A Mano, a holiday crafts and arts festival. For its members, the center organizes a wealth of educational programming, teaching everything from oil painting and guitar to karate.
As the Spanish translation of Raices de Arte Espanol attests, owners Carmen and Jose Linares each have strong roots in the arts. Born in Spain, Jose began playing guitar professionally at 12 years old, traveling the world to perform for icons such as President John F. Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco. Dancing by age 3, Puerto Rican–born Carmen trained in New York with the American Ballet Theatre, toured with the ballet companies of Philadelphia and San Juan, and began teaching flamenco in San Antonio in the 1970s. Today, the couple shares the art of flamenco with others at their studio, where students apply their own expressive twists to footwork and even wield castanets to clack out rhythms or Morse-code messages to one another as they dance.
Together, Redbone's instructors have more than 6,435 years of instruction experience; that's more than six lifetimes rocking, jamming, making splendid sounds, and busting blistering solos. Cliff Wright teaches guitar along with Greg Norris, who played on the Grammy-nominated album World Jazz by Lara & Reyes and conducts jazz clinics and master classes at many San Antonio–area high schools. Brazilian-born piano savant Nayara Megarity teaches scales, octaves, and chords, specializing in music's empathic intensity.
On March 29, 2011, legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman preceded his concert at the Lila Cockrell Theater with a Q&A session at Antonio Strad Violin. One of many other classical music stars to visit the store, Perlman's appearance reinforced Antonio Strad's status as one of Texas's preeminent stringed-instrument retailers.
The store stocks violins, violas, cellos, and basses, many hand-made. Alongside those instruments, Antonio Strad showcases essential accessories, such as shoulder rests, music stands, strings, and Vivaldi's powdered wig. Besides selling and renting their collection, Antonio Strad has an in-house team who are experts at repairing malfunctioning instruments and restoring older pieces, and a team of professional instructors, some of whom are professional symphony musicians, who help players refine their skills during private lessons.