Adult Sounds

By Andrew Gilhooley / 411

This Friday and Saturday, Salinas Adult School will be holding its annual Country Fair.  This is an event for all the family, aimed at raising funds for the school’s Creative Living Programs for older adults and disabled adults.  The Country Fair will feature exhibitions of quilts and paintings as well as demonstrations of painting, pottery and digital art.  There will also be performances by several local musicians and dance groups.

Guitarist Gene Rezentes has been playing for over 50 years.  A completely self-taught musician, he began playing ukulele as a young boy in his native Hawaii.  After switching to guitar, he studied the traditional Hawaiian “slack-key” style before moving on to classical and jazz.  These days, he plays guitar in just about every style and has played at events as diverse as corporate banquets and cruise ships.  With a repertoire ranging from “Girl from Ipanema” to the Doors’ “Light My Fire,” Rezentes will be sure to dish up some musical surprises.

As you browse the exhibition of quilts you can listen to the music of singer, songwriter and musician Jana Heller.   In addition to performing her Celtic-tinged original songs on guitar, dulcimer and vocals, she will also be presenting a selection of holiday-themed music played on an antique Celestaphone.  You may also have seen Heller in a different role recently – she has just completed a nine-week run playing Fraulein Schneider in the popular musical “Cabaret” at the Bruce Ariss Wharf Theater in Monterey. 

Darryl and Dallas Cornell can be seen individually playing in a number of local bands.  They are also the organizers of the annual “Trackstock” music festival. This weekend they come together as father-and-son duo The Cornells to perform their own variety of Americana music.  With their unique instrumentation of acoustic guitar and drum kit, the Cornells’ takes on classic songs such as Leadbelly’s “Take This Hammer” have to be heard to be believed.

There’ll be music with a Middle-Eastern flavor when Lisa “Bibi” Diaz’s dance troupe presents its demonstration of belly dancing.  Diaz began belly dancing in the early 1990s to help with a back injury.  Nowadays, she teaches belly dance classes at the Adult School, so if what you see inspires you to join in you can sign up right there and then.

If all that music and dancing isn’t enough entertainment for you, or you just feel in the mood for something quieter, there will also be a reading and book signing by local poet Elizabeth McBride Smith. She will be reading from her book “Adult ABCs Plus Sins,” a collection of irreverent, humorous poems on aging and the Seven Deadly Sins.  As well as being a poet, Smith is also an accomplished sculptor, photographer and even cheese maker.

Admission to the event is free, and there will be prize drawings throughout the weekend as well as games to keep the kids amused.  Home baked snacks will also be available for purchase.

First published in "411", The Salinas Californian, November 17, 2005

Back to Articles List