Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.
HOT SPRINGS JAZZ FEST
The 20th annual Hot Springs Jazz Fest, which kicked off on Tuesday, continues on Wednesday with Piano-Rama in the Arlington Hotel's Crystal Ballroom (7 p.m., $25 adv., $30 at the door), where local pianists John Puckett, Tony Nardi, Chuck Dodson, Phyllis Emery, Ron Hall and Clyde Pound all perform. Thursday, Shirly Chauvin sings, with support by Clyde Pound on keyboard, Joe Vick on Bass and Paul Shaw on drums, at Quapaw Baths & Spa (6 p.m., $10). The Air Force Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble performs at Oaklawn Magnet School (7 p.m., free) on Friday evening. Saturday is the big ticket event, "Jazz in the Streets," where the Hot Springs Jazz Society's Scholarship Jazz Ensemble, the University of Arkansas at Monticello Jazz Band, the Latin band Calle Soul, Henderson State's Nufusion, local ensemble Anything That Moves, the Fayetteville Jazz Collective and the Air Force Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble all perform under the Sky Bridge on Broadway Street in downtown Hot Springs (11 a.m.-6 p.m., free). Sunday, St. Luke's Episcopal Church hosts a "Jazz Mass" (10:45 a.m., free) and the Stardust Big Band closes out the festival at Arlington Hotel's Crystal Ballroom (3 p.m., $8). LM.
'RING OF FIRE'
8 p.m. Arkansas Repertory Theatre.
We've plugged the opening of the jukebox musical "Ring of Fire" in the newly renovated Rep elsewhere in the issue (more on page 14 and 20). But it bears mentioning that before the musical officially opens at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, the theater will stage two preview performances. On Wednesday, there's a Gala Preview, which kicks off with a red carpet reception at 6 p.m.; tickets, which were nearly sold out at press time, are $100. Alternately, those on a budget should consider the preview performance on pay-what-you-can night on Thursday, Sept. 15. Tickets must be purchased in person at the Rep's box office the day of the performance. Before that performance, at 6:15 p.m., the Times' Lindsey Millar will serve as a moderator in a discussion about Johnny Cash's legacy in Arkansas with "Arkansongs" host Stephen Koch and Beth Wiedower of the Arkansas Delta Rural Heritage Development Initiative. On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Millar again serves as a moderator for a panel on Cash in Arkansas that includes Christy Valentine with Arkansas State University and Sonny Burgess and Bobby Crafford of The Legendary Pacers. LM.
8 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $7.
Back in nineteen eighty-whatever, when St. Vitus was confusing punk rockers and Bobby Liebling was still freebasing in his mom's basement, hearing a new doom metal band usually meant shelling out some considerable dough for a Witchfinder General import. But over the last couple of decades, the seeds of Black Sabbath have blossomed into thousands of ugly, fetid weeds – sub-genres and sub-sub-genres. Doom metal is now fully its own thing, so much so that it can be difficult to stand out. But Richmond, Va., band Cough is one that does. The group traffics in oppressive sludge doom, like a less bluesy Eyehategod, or maybe a scarier Corrupted, but with some classic doom riffage throughout. The band's 2010 album, "Ritual Abuse," was produced by Sanford Parker (who also recorded Rwake's "Voices of Omens" and "Rest") and it sounds incredible – the punishingly slow riffs shot through with wave after wave of crashing cymbals and pounding drums and swirling vocals that are split between singing and inhuman black metal shrieking. This band should be sick live. Opening acts are Black Orchid and Sol Inertia. RB.