A big night of jazz is set for the Afterthought on Monday, June 6, when Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation plays host to the much lauded New York jazz trio Stevens, Siegel and Ferguson.
Much can be said about each of the trio’s members individually. Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, for example, is known for his tasteful exploration of the avant-garde style. Percussionist Jeff “Siege” Siegel has been called everything from “inspiring” and “brilliant” to “inventive and dazzling.” Tim Ferguson uses a well-executed bass technique to perfectly balance the group’s sound. They all have recorded numerous albums with some of the biggest names in modern jazz. All three are composers, and all three are band leaders in other projects, but in this one they share the role. They’ve played 12 years as a trio, recording four albums.
The Monday Jazz Project show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the Afterthought or at Capitol Keyboards (228-9999) and are $10.
Vino’s Brewpub will serve up an indie pop-rock treat on Tuesday, June 7, with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.
Leo takes a humorous approach with his music, adding elements of punk (he was formerly in punk outfit Chisel), art-rock and politics. Two of his latest, critically acclaimed albums are 2003’s “Heart of Oak,” and 2004’s “Shakes the Sheets,” the latter produced by Chris Shaw (Dashboard Confessional, Public Enemy).
Special guest is the Oranges Band, and local act il libertina will start the show at 7 p.m. Admission for all ages is $10.
The Cornerstone Deli and Pub on Main Street in North Little Rock has been a welcome addition to the club scene. And, with the advent of the River Rail trolley, River Market fans now have an easier way to check out the spot. Cornerstone will be celebrating two years in business Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, with a trio of good local acts. Bluegrass group Runaway Planet and raucous rock ’n’ rollers Go Fast are teamed with veteran band Ho Hum on Friday starting a 4 p.m. outside the club, as part of Buzz-B-Q. Jam rock group Free Verse takes the stage at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Free on Friday, $5 on Saturday.
Sean Rock and Jeff Clanton, big local names in the acoustic scene both as collaborators in bands (lately the Lookback Marys) and individually, will be the featured solo performers for the Advent Arts and Acoustics Cafe monthly show in Conway on Friday, June 3.
Headliner Rock is a respected folk/rock musician and composer who has been a finalist at the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. Clanton, a multi-instrumentalist and two-time finalist at the Arkansas Acoustic Festival Showcase, will open at 7:45 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for students, and free for children 12 and under. The no-smoking, no-alcohol venue is at 900 Farris Road.
Here’s a great opportunity for aspiring artists to “make it.” Disc Makers (it claims to be the nation’s leading independent CD manufacturer) is holding its annual Independent Music World Series this summer. Independent bands and artists (the acts must not be signed) can log on to www.discmakers.com/imws to register. A prize package worth $35,000 includes CD manufacturing, promotional posters and professional equipment from big-name companies. A grand prize winner from the top six selected acts in the country will be named at the showcase finals at Atlanta’s Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday, Aug. 18. For more information, call 866-251-7850.
? And, it just goes to show that some of us should stick to what we know about: In last week’s “In the Clubs” report, we incorrectly reported that Rod Bryan would be the Green Party candidate for governor. He’s actually announced his independent candidacy.
What we did get right, and what we’ll report again is that Bryan is kicking off his run for governor with a party at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom on Thursday, June 2, with indie-punk outfit Tel Aviv and local pop “super group” the Easys providing the entertainment. Little Rock-born legendary keyboardist and producer Jim Dickinson is also scheduled to make an appearance. The party gets started at 6 p.m. Suggested admission is $10.
Some may call them bluegrass, newgrass or “Lone Star beatnik country,” but South Austin Jug Band’s upright bassist Will Dupuy describes his band simply as “beer-drinking Americana.” Whatever description is used, the band is unquestionably a big draw at Sticky Fingerz and is set to appear at the venue on Saturday, June 4.
Following its self-titled album, the South Austin Jug Band has another forthcoming that was recently recorded at Austin’s famous Cedar Creek Studios. The tentative title is “Dark and Weary World” — a song from the album. Although the band’s lineup has no regular banjo or steel guitar player, the CD contains a little of both instruments and gives it a different vibe than the band’s self-titled effort, according to Dupuy. “It has a Gram Parsons feel to it,” he said. In addition to the original songs, there is a field holler and a Bruce Robison cover.
The quintet has opened for Todd Snider, but currently is touring solo through the end of July, when SAJB will start a European tour. Then, it’s back to the states in August with the new album in tow. Dupuy says plans in the near future call for a live album.
An act not announced as of press time will open at 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $7.