Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
SOUNDS IN THE STACKS: MICHAEL HEAVNER
Esther D. Nixon Library, Jacksonville. 6:30 p.m., free.
Four of Central Arkansas's libraries will be home to Arkansas Sounds' "Sounds in the Stacks," a fall concert series in which Pianokraft plops down a 7-foot Yamaha Semi-Concert Grand Piano in the middle of a library and invites a local ivory tickler to play a free show. This month, it's Michael Heavner, a Hendrix graduate who currently works as an instructor, dance accompanist, musical director and social media manager for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's theater and dance department, at the Esther D. Nixon Library in Jacksonville. Heavner is as comfortable playing an impressionistic improvisation (check out on YouTube "Improvisation with Michael Heavner and A Thunderstorm" he made with a UALR dance student) as he is playing a boogie-woogie on keyboards at Jimmy Doyle's Country Club. He's performed with Charley Pride and Percy Sledge, is a composer, audio editor and sound engineer, and he created "Country Loops," a drum loop software collection to accompany homemade waltzes and shuffles. If you're in the Jacksonville area, stop by for a concert from this eclectic talent.
THURSDAY 9/1-SUNDAY 9/4
HOT SPRINGS JAZZ FESTIVAL
7 p.m. Wed.-Fri., noon Sat., 10:45 a.m. Sun. Downtown Hot Springs. Free-$35.
The 25th annual Hot Springs Jazz Festival is piping the distinctly American art form into every nook and cranny in Spa City this weekend, from the church house to the old gangster hangout — that is, every nook and cranny not already occupied by the concurrent Hot Springs Blues Festival. Following Wednesday night's kickoff, the Clyde Pound Trio takes the cozy second-floor stage at notorious gangster hideaway the Ohio Club, home of reliable burgers, strong cocktails and a towering mahogany bar back that the original owners had shipped in by barge down the Mississippi. The trio (Clyde Pound on piano, David Higginbotham on bass, Paul Stivitts on drums) accompanies "The Diva Chicks" (Fedette "Lady J" Johnson, Shirley Chauvin and Dona Petty). Friday night at the Five-Star Theater, there's a "Classical and Jazz Blowout" featuring the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, saxophonist Earl Hesse with the Anything That Moves combo, emceed by Don Gooch and powerhouse mezzo-soprano Diane Kesling. Saturday, Bill Solleder, special events manager for Visit Hot Springs, emcees "Jazz In the Streets" under the Broadway Street Sky-Bridge starting at noon. It will feature sets from trombone sextet Great American Slide Show (GASS), the Subiaco Academy High School Jazz Band, Henderson State University's NuFusion, the University of Arkansas at Monticello Jazz Band and the Brass-A-Holics of New Orleans. If you stay out too late and need to repent, you can do so at the Jazz Mass at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, with Chris Parker on piano, Bill Huntington on bass, Jay Payette on drums, Shelley Martin on flute, alto and soprano saxophone, and Matt Dickson on tenor saxophone, followed by "Jazz After Church" at Grand Avenue United Methodist, with performances from saxophonist Gary Meggs, keyboardist Ron Hall, bassist Bill Hickman, percussionist Paul Stivitts and vocalists Ron Hall and Gary Meggs. The 17-piece Stardust Big Band caps off the weekend with a "tea dance" in the Arlington Hotel's Crystal Ballroom, with free admission for students 18 and under. For tickets, visit hsjazzsociety.org.
KABF-FM, 88.3, KARAOKE BIRTHDAY BASH
9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.
Little Rock's 100,000-watt KABF-FM, 88.3, turns 32 this year, and the program "Girls!" is hosting a karaoke night fundraiser for the station. "Girls!" is the "radio show about girls, for girls and by girls" broadcast at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, when host Alex Flanders helps us all to be ever-so-slightly more hip by elevating our knowledge of kickass music made by women. The shindig kicks off with a set from Correne Spero's Daughters of Triton, and is followed by karaoke from Jeremy Brasher's collection. If you've been listening to Flanders' karaoke recommendations on "Girls!" the last couple of weeks, you should already have a girl group tune or six to belt out with reckless abandon.
KUHS-FM, 97.9, FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY FUNDRAISER
5 p.m. KUHS Studios, 240 Ouachita Ave., Hot Springs. Donations.
Did you know Hot Springs has a volunteer-run, solar-powered community radio station? It's called KUHS-FM, 97.9, and it's spearheaded by Zac Smith, whom you may have caught playing tuba in polka-inspired duo Itinerant Locals. This week marks the one-year anniversary of the station's airwave presence and, to celebrate, the crew is holding a party to raise funds to help sustain its broadcasts and cover costs for a soundboard that had to be replaced after overheating. Visitors can tour the station, record a promotional station ID, learn about the Grassroots Radio Conference (an annual gathering of community radio types from all over the U.S., led by Marty Durlin of KGNU-FM, 88.5, in Boulder, Colo., and Cathy Melio of WERU-FM, 89.9, in Blue Hill, Maine) to be held in Hot Springs in October, eat birthday cake and preview the location of the station's future "pizza palace" and microbrewery, to be called SQZBX ("Squeezebox"). Cheryl Roorda, KUHS crew member and the accordion half of Itinerant Locals, says the spot was home to the Royal Lions Club in the 1970s. "There are all sorts of relics that I found in the building as we were unpacking it. There was a sign on the bathroom door (which was hot pink and black) that said, "Yield, it's more fun." Emergent Arts (341 Whittington) is holding a Gallery Walk reception from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for "More Than Just a Pretty Face," an exhibit of narrative portrait photography. Prohibition Press (761 Park Ave.) and the Red Light Roastery (1003 Park Ave.) will also be open.
1 p.m. The Joint. $10.
Main Street Argenta has become home to all manner of fall music gatherings, including Jointstock, which the comedy/coffee club The Joint added to the mix. The 3rd annual Jointstock will feature craft beer specials all day and music from The Big Dam Horns; R&B crooner SeanFresh; the guitar-forward rock group DeFrance; psychedelica from Space Mother; Slade Wright; Anna Jordan (Moonshine Mafia); mentalist and magician Paul Prater; the comedian-fronted Jay Jackson Band; as well as improv comedy from The Joint Venture and stand-up comedy from Jason Thompson, Aldrich Teruel, Ashley Wright Ihler, Geoffrey Eggleston, Jared Lowry and Josh Ogle. Jointstock benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Doors open at noon.
SATURDAY 9/3-SUNDAY 9/4
HOT SPRINGS BLUES FESTIVAL
4 p.m. Hill Wheatley Plaza. $20-$25.
Should the bebop and big band of the concurrent jazz festival leave you needing a respite, historic Hot Springs is also the backdrop to the 21st annual Hot Springs Blues Fest, the Spa City Blues Society's concert series. If you can get there for the kickoff at 4 p.m. Saturday, you'll hear the Spa City Youngbloods, the ambassadors of the Society's BITS ("Blues in the Schools") program. The group is open to any young aspiring blues musicians in grades 7-12 and has played sets at Memphis' International Blues Challenge Youth Showcase, Oklahoma's Dusk til Dawn Blues Festival and the Hot Water Hills Music and Arts Festival. Keyboard-drum duo Stuart Baer and Lance Womack and jam musicians The Chiller Blues Band follow, and performances by the seasoned blues guru CeDell Davis, his formidable band Brethren and California's The Delgado Brothers cap off the night. Sunday's lineup includes Trey Johnson and Jason Willmon, who lie on the Woody Guthrie side of the blues spectrum; Morrilton's Akeem Kemp Band; Unseen Eye; Ohio's Noah Wotherspoon Band; and longtime Beale Street performer Barbara Blue. A pass to the festival is good for both days.
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