Arts and Culture | Arts Preview

Jewish Family & Children’s Services to present sizzling ¡FlaMÉXico! at the Fox

Jacome Flamenco performs ¡FlaMÉXico! at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. (Ani Collie)

¡FlaMÉXico!, a multicultural evening of music and dance created by Tucsonan Chris B. Jácome, will come to the Fox Tucson Theatre next month as a fundraiser for Jewish Family & Children’s Services.

The Sunday, Sept. 8 extravaganza will highlight Spanish-influenced music, with a classical prelude. JFCS is dedicating the evening to the memory of Fred Fruchthendler, past JFCS chair, who died in June.

“My shows and my music are a celebration of culture,” says Jácome, ¡FlaMÉXico’!s award-winning composer, creator, artistic director, and flamenco guitarist.  “My inspiration comes from my Mexican heritage, combined with the richness of flamenco. Through ¡FlaMÉXico! we capture the grace and passion of charro and gypsy music, creating a one-of-a-kind tapestry of music and dance.”

Jácome mastered Spanish guitar under world-renowned masters in Seville, Spain. The recipient of the Grand Prize and the John Lennon Award in the World Category for his song “Ritmo-Canix” from his album “Levanto,” his compositions appear in films and the Emmy Award-winning PBS television special, “Flamenco.”

Often described as the “blues” of Southern Spain, and dating as far back as the 15th-century, flamenco evolved from the traditions of cultures including Gypsies, Moorish Arabs, Sephardi Jews, and other indigenous people of Spain. The performance will combine flamenco, gypsy rhythms, and the mariachi sounds of Mexico.

Violinist Anna Gendler and pianist Alexander Tentser will perform classical music during a reception before ¡FlaMÉXico! For the past 28 years, the Jewish Russian-born husband and wife team have made Tucson their home. “Music is our lives,” says Tenster, “from morning to the evening, that’s what we do.”

Gendler trained at the Moscow Conservatory while Tentser studied piano at the Russian Music Academy and later completed doctoral studies at the University of Arizona. Both are music faculty members at Pima Community College in Tucson where Gendler also directs the Pima Community College Orchestra. They regularly collaborate in violin and piano duets locally with Daystar Chamber Ensemble, Tucson Chamber Artists and the St. Michael’s Chamber Players.

For over 75 years, JFCS has served thousands of children, families, adults, and seniors regardless of faith, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, age, or ability to pay. “In keeping with our commitment to reducing health inequities and fostering cultural awareness, JFCS is proud to host this wonderful multi-cultural event in memory of Fred Fruchthendler,” says Carlos Hernandez, JFCS’s president and CEO. Proceeds from ticket sales and donations will go toward the agency’s direct mental health and community services.

On Sept. 8, the classical reception at the Fox Tucson Theater, 17 W. Congress St., will be from 2:30-3 p.m. ¡FlaMÉXico! takes the stage until 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $25-60 at or by calling the Fox box office
at 547-3040.