Saturday To-Dos: American Classics Festival, Mosiac Templars grand opening and more | Rock Candy

Friday, September 19, 2008

Saturday To-Dos: American Classics Festival, Mosiac Templars grand opening and more

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 2:12 PM

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 AMERICAN CLASSICS FESTIVAL
10 a.m., Clinton Presidential Library. Free-$25.

In the inaugural edition of a festival devoted to Americana, the Clinton Library skips over apple pie and baseball for an icon borne out of the “Easy Rider” '60s, the quintessence of American badassery — the chopper. Or if you're not up on the lingo: a highly customized motorcycle, altered less for performance than for looks. The centerpiece of this year's festival is the opening of “Art of the Chopper,” an exhibit at the Clinton Library featuring 30 custom-made motorcycles from around the world. On the grounds, in keeping with the theme, the Rib Rally on the River is a barbecue competition open to teams or individuals smoking ribs or chicken or making sauce. Professional barbecue consumers aren't forgotten: $5 buys a tasting pass. Meanwhile, the Chicks that Grill competition features women grilling and decorating chicken and is judged solely on artistic merit, which sounds like you should probably steer clear of samples. There'll also be a display of local artists' depictions of barbecue, motorcycles, pigs and hogs whose sale benefits the March of Dimes. Later in the afternoon, beginning at 5 p.m., the festival turns into a ticketed concert, with classic Southern rock act Little Feat performing along with local cover band Crisis!

MOSIAC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER GRAND OPENING

11 a.m., Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Free.

 Almost 100 years after the African-American fraternal organization the Mosaic Templars first opened their doors on Ninth and Broadway and more than three years after a fire destroyed the original building, a new museum celebrates its grand opening in the footprint of what was once the center of African-American business and culture in Little Rock. Fittingly, the new Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is the first state-funded museum dedicated to that legacy and the broader history of African-American life in Arkansas. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. will officially open the museum, with entertainment on Ninth Street to follow. The line-up includes the Hope Drum Ballet, an after-school program in Hempstead County that uses drumming and storytelling to build children's self-confidence; Afrodesia, a local reggae/worldbeat act; the UAPB Vesper Choir and the rhythm section of the 17-time Grammy award-winning Count Basie Orchestra.

 ‘OPENING NIGHT WITH FIREBIRD'
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall.

 The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra launches its season with works by Ravel, Stravinsky and Dvorak and a guest appearance by renowned cellist Zuill Bailey accompanying the ASO in Dvorak's “Cello Concerto.” Astute TV watchers might remember Bailey from his appearances in HBO's “Oz,” in which he played a cellist imprisoned for murdering a rival with his cello spike. The symphony opens with Ravel's brisk “Bolero,” before moving to Stravinsky's “Firebird,” a suite familiar to fans of ballet and Disney's “Fantasia” alike. The ASO reprises the performance on Sunday at 3 p.m.

POP! IN THE PARK
6 p.m., History Pavilion, Riverfront Park. Free.

Just a few days before summer officially draws to a close, the summer concert series Pop! in the Park finishes its run with another family friendly, BYOB concert featuring a diverse local line-up. Originally from Heber Springs, the indie-rock quartet Grand Serenade has carved out a devoted local following on the strength of its studied guitar rock. After a major label deal didn't pan out, Wynne native Chase Pagan is currently enjoying smaller scale success on the indie label Militia Group. With a Jeff Buckley-ish falsetto, the indie rocker has spent much of the last year touring nationally in support of his debut, “Oh, Musica!” As the head of the local hip-hop label Conduit Entertainment, Chane “Epiphany” Morrow is often out front working the crowd, PRing for his crew. But he's hardly just a face man. Either with his live band One Night Stand or solo, Epiphany's shown himself to be one our most dexterous MCs. Likely in the headlining spot, 607 is Arkansas's most compelling rapper. There's never any telling what might spring from his fecund imagination.

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