If only he could have arrived by inner tube, Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdés could have kept his date in San Antonio. But due to visa problems, Valdés' and his band — whose performance was anticipated to be the highlight of JazzS'Alive — won't perform as scheduled at the annual festival. Although Cuban septuagenarian jazz pianists hardly fit the terrorist profile, the U.S. State Department, which says it is scrutinizing visa applications more closely, cannot process Valdés' or his bandmates' entry papers in time for their San Antonio concert on Sunday, September 22. Visa applications are often part of a concert organizer's bureaucratic headache, but since last September, several world music festivals have had to cancel performances by international artists — especially those from the Middle East or other "Axis of Evil" nations — because of visa hitches or other travel-related issues. While the Office of Homeland Security (suggested slogan: "America: We're working fuhrer you") tries to reduce ethnic diversity in flight schools, its wholesale tightening of the U.S. border prohibits genuine cultural interchange. And in the case of Valdés, Americans lose twice: We can't legally travel to Cuba to see him perform.

Travis Park
Saturday, September 21
Noon-12:45pm Border Palace
1-1:45 Melaza
2-2:45 Beverly Houston & Breezin'
3-3:45 Zarabande
4-5 Bett Butler
5:20-6:15 Ron Wilkins
6:30-7:15 Paul Elizondo Orchestra
7:15-7:45 Urban 15
7:45-9 Toni Tennille w/Dimensions in blue
9:30-11 Nicholas Payton's Tribute to Louis Armstrong

Sunday, September 22
Noon-1pm Alamo City Jazz Band
1:15-2:10 La Bella
2:30-3:25 Breakthrough
3:35-4:25 Planet Soul
4:45-5:35 First Light
5:55-6:45 The Frustrated Orchestra
7-8:15 Los Hombres Calientes
8:15-8:45 Urban 15
8:45-10 Hiroshima



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