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Ramblin' at Waterside

 

with Bob Zentz

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Santa Cruz River Band

Hosted by Bob Zentz

August 12, 2009

The Listening Room at Dockmaster's inside Waterside

7:00 PM -- Admission free!

 

The Santa Cruz River Band is comprised of Teodoro “Ted” Ramirez and Michael J. Ronstadt, two celebrated Southwestern troubadours, and their Southwestern folk music backing-band.

The Santa Cruz River Band was formed in the latter part of the 1980's in Tucson, Arizona by musician Teodoro "Ted" Ramirez. Ted started the band to help celebrate and present an authentic view of the Southwest. Ted is an eighth-generation Arizonan, and observed that many important contributions made by Indigenous people, Mexicans, Asians and some European people were rarely celebrated in historical or present-day publications. He sought to make the Santa Cruz River Band a cultural bridge that would span the obvious gaps using authentic music, poetry, oral history, stories and legends from the American Southwest.

Ted, founder of the Santa Cruz River Band, was twelve years old when he first performed in a Tucson event. During his high school years, he performed as a solo folk musician in local coffeehouses, churches and music venues. His family, on his father's side, arrived in Arizona in 1752 during the Spanish period of Tucson's history. His ancestors are celebrated historical figures who believed in preserving family history and passing it down to each new generation. Ted included family stories and history in his musical endeavors very early on. The success of this performance technique inspired many Southwestern musicians and poets to do the same. Ted made sure the Santa Cruz River Band had a solid presentation framework in place to ensure the celebration of the authentic Southwestern culture. Ted performs as a solo folksinger, but mostly you find him touring with the Santa Cruz River Band. He was named Tucson's Official Troubadour in 2001 in recognition of his significant Southwestern culture preservation efforts.

Michael J. Ronstadt is a member of a prestigious Southwestern musical family that most notably includes his sister Linda Ronstadt. Michael has over the years performed in a variety of Ronstadt family bands. In his early years he learned about music with his father, uncles, brother, and sisters. Later on he played with extended family members including his first cousins Bill and John Ronstadt. Together they formed the celebrated "Ronstadt Cousins". Michael appeared on Linda Ronstadt's "Canciones De Mi Padre" and more recently performed in Tucson coffeehouses with sons Michael G. Ronstadt and Peter "Petie" Ronstadt as the "Mike Ronstadt Trio". The Ronstadt family arrived in Tucson in the late 1800's. They contributed greatly to the business development, music and culture of the area. Around 1899 Michael's Grandfather Federico "Fred" Ronstadt, with a group of his close friends, formed the Club Filarmónico de Tucson. Michael joined the Santa Cruz River Band in 2002 and currently performs with his sons and with the Santa Cruz River Band.

Currently, Ted Ramirez and Michael J. Ronstadt form the core of the Santa Cruz River Band. Together they tour year-round advancing the message of the Santa Cruz River Band offering an authentic representation of Southwestern music and culture, presenting their stories in a positive way to audiences of all ages. Ted and Michael are available to perform in solo, duo, trio and quartet configurations. They often tour with very special Southwestern side musicians. They are available to perform in concert halls, theaters, festivals and music venues around the world.

Santa Cruz River Band Official Website:  http://www.santacruzriverband.com/

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