Also on this bill is Blank's tribute to the Afro-Cuban drummer Francisco Aguabella. Sworn to the Drum (1995) is an immersion (in a mere 35 minutes) into a peculiarly emotive kind of percussion with deep roots in African culture. The film features some exhilarating jams and explores Aguabella's devotion to his santeria religion, which provides the most lasting inspiration to the man who's worked with Mongo Santamaria, Dizzy Gillespie, Peggy Lee, and many other greats.
The Blank Family Tribute continues next Tuesday, with son Harrod's Wild Wheels, an endearing tribute to wildly modified "folk art" cars -- including one covered entirely in buttons and another in growing grass! -- that brighten up many a drab suburb and backwater across the country.
-- Gary Morris
The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists and Sworn to the Drum play together Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 3, 5, 7, and 9:15 p.m. Gerry Gaxiola will appear in person at 8:30 p.m. There's a special admission charge of $7.50 for that show. Wild Wheels screens Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 4:50 and 7:30 p.m. (with a program of "eccentric shorts" at 6:10 and 9 p.m.). All shows are at the UC Theater, University and Shattuck in Berkeley. Tickets are $6.50; call (510) 843-6267.