Music Noche de Lara 

For people who came of age in Mexico in the 1930s and '40s, Agustin Lara was Cole Porter multiplied by Irving Berlin: a towering figure who provided a soundtrack for an era. Beyond his staggering body of work, what makes Lara an enduring source of fascination is the enigmatic complexity of the man. A romantic with an instinctive feel for popular tastes, he was also a prolific song machine who composed an estimated 700 tunes, and a bohemian artist who brought an element of sophistication and grace to everything he touched.

Simplemente Lara:
José Rubén De León

8pm Sat, Sep 3
3pm Sun, Sep 4
$12; $9 (students and seniors)

Jump-Start Performance Co.
108 Blue Star Complex
(S. Alamo and Probandt)
Though he died 35 years ago, and his heyday ended a good two decades before that, Lara remains a major part of this region's musical DNA, as proven by José Rubén De León's current show, Simplemente Lara. An intimate musical tribute linked by between-songs narrative, Simplemente Lara marks a return engagement for a concept De León introduced in May to an enthusiastic response. It finds the multi-talented De León - backed only by pianist Aaron Prado and bassist George Prado - tackling a songbook that includes the likes of "Granada," "Maria Bonita," "Solamente Una Vez," "Farolito," and "Noche de Ronda." If members of the audience find themselves involuntarily singing along, it shouldn't be a big surprise. Lara has had that effect on people for four generations.

- Gilbert Garcia



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