Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Sculpture Vulture: Bryan Massey Sr.’s “The Jazz Player”

In recognition of the first annual Arkansas Sounds music festival taking place in Riverfront Park this weekend, today the Sculpture Vulture features Bryan Massey Sr.’s “The Jazz Player.”  It is located in the Vogelman-Schwarz Sculpture Garden.

The sculpture, cast in bronze, depicts a saxophone player jubilantly playing jazz.  It was donated to the Sculpture Garden by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the 5th anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Center and Park.  Massey was inspired to create this piece because of President Clinton’s sax playing.

Bryan Winfred Massey, Sr. is currently a Professor of Art/Sculptor at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway. He is primarily a stone carver working with a variation of stone from alabaster, soapstone, limestone, marble and granite. He also casts in iron, bronze, and aluminum as well as fabrication of steel sculptures. He was selected for the Governor’s Award for the Individual Artist of the Year, 2006.


ASO Kicks Off 2012-2013 with violinist Augustin Hadelich

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The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra kicks off the 2012/2013 concert season with the return of ASO and audience favorite, violinist Augustin Hadelich, performing Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole on Saturday, September 29 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 30 at 3:00 p.m.

Music Director Philip Mann begins his third season with the ASO at the Robinson Center Music Hall – the first of the Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series. The program kicks off with Strauss’s Don Juan and continues with Dohnányi’s Suite in F-sharp minor before Augustin takes the stage for the second half of the concert. Concert-goers can hear more about Augustin Hadelich and the performance at the American Airlines Concert Conversation. Informances are free and are located in Robinson Room 102 one hour prior to each Masterworks concert. This concert is sponsored in part by American Airlines.

Tickets range from $14-$52 and can be purchased online at http://www.ArkansasSymphony.org or over the phone at (501) 666-1761. Thanks to the Entergy Kids Ticket, all kids are free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information, visit http://www.ArkansasSymphony.org.

Consistently cited in the press for his “gorgeous tone,” “poetic communication” and “fast-fingered brilliance,” Augustin Hadelich has confirmed his place in the top echelon of young violinists. After a stellar debut with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert at the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival in 2010, he was immediately re-engaged to play in Vail in 2011. He will return to Vail again in 2013. Mr. Hadelich just played a sensational debut with the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Music Festival, and will make his New York Philharmonic subscription debut in October.

Among his 2012/13 season highlights are debuts with the symphonies of Dallas, National/Washington, D.C., New Jersey, St. Louis, Buffalo, Milwaukee, Toronto, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Augustin Hadelich has also appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as the symphonies of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Houston, to name a few. He has also performed extensively in Europe, South America and the Far East.


First Annual Arkansas Sounds

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Headliners for the Arkansas Sounds Music Festival will be Lucero, a country-punk rock band fronted by Little Rock native Ben Nichols; southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas; and rock and roll pioneers Sleepy LaBeef and Sonny Burgess (appearing with his band the Legendary Pacers). Arkansas Sounds is hosted by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), and will be held September 28-29, 2012, in the Riverfest Amphitheatre and the River Market Pavilions. Admission is free.

The Festival will feature a tribute to two Arkansas artists who died this year, Levon Helm and Michael Burks-featuring and hosted by Amy Garland Angel. Additional acts include the Cate Brothers Band, Runaway Planet, Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers, Tyrannosaurus Chicken, the Salty Dogs, and Velvet Kente.

Focusing on Arkansas music and musicians both past and present, the Festival will also work to get musicians and songwriters involved in local schools, create songwriting workshops for kids and adults, and host related performances and events throughout the state.


Accademia dell’ Arte presents “Art for Sale”

COMMEDIA DELL’ ARTE TROUPE TO PERFORM IN LITTLE ROCK

The Tut’Zanni Ensemble will perform its commedia dell’ arte show Art for Sale at an event Friday, September 28 at Argenta Community Theatre. The event is hosted by Amici dell’Arte (“Friends of the Arts”), an auxiliary group for Accademia dell’ Arte, a study-abroad performing arts school in Arezzo, Italy, founded by Little Rock native Dr. Scott McGehee.

Tut’Zanni’s primary inspiration is traditional Italian street theatre called Commedia dell’Arte. This “people’s theatre” is combined with other forms of physical theatre such as clown, mask, music, puppetry, storytelling and visual arts. “We strive to expand the views of not only what theatre can be but also what people can be,” says Tut’Zanni co-founder and Fayetteville, Arkansas native Dory Ford Sibley. “Also, it’s just plain fun for us and the audience.”

Art for Sale premiered at the CrisisArt Festival in Tuscany this summer and most recently was part of the New York International Fringe Festival.

Tut’Zanni is made up of six artists who met in 2006 while studying physical theatre at Accademia dell’Arte. “We are thrilled to bring our show to Little Rock where so many supporters of the Accademia live,” says Sibley. Other members of the ensemble include co-founder Ali Landvatter, Patrick Berger, Allegra Libonati, Liam Mulshine and Molly Tomhave.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception featuring Italian food and wines; the performance is at 7:30 p.m., followed by Italian desserts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $50 per person and may be purchased by phone at (501) 663-7836 or by email at susan@themurphygroupar.com


Science After Dark: Beer

Each month, the Museum of Discovery hosts “Science After Dark.” This monthly event is for the grown-ups. Why? Because, science is fun…at any age!

Science After Dark provides visitors the opportunity to have fun and learn about science in a unique setting. Museum educators pick a science-related topic and build an entertaining, interactive evening around it. You never know what will sprout, pop, fizzle, or glow.

Tonight from 6pm to 8pm at the Museum, the focus is on Beer.  The cost if $5 per person or free to Museum members.  (Just one of the many benefits of museum membership, even if you don’t have kids.)

 Come learn about the science of making beer. Why wait till Octoberfest? Here’s what’s in store for you:

 Beer and Pretzels

How is Beer Made?

What makes those designer beers taste the way they do?

Pub Quiz: All Things Beer

Culture of Beer: Social Science and History

Beer Chemistry: Homestyle 


Harry Belafonte and the Little Rock Nine

For the past several years, the Civil Rights Film Festival has presented a film series in conjunction with the commemoration of the September 25, 1957, integration of Little Rock Central High School by the Little Rock Nine.  One of the highlights of this year’s festival will be an appearance by Tony Award winning actor and humanitarian Harry Belafonte tonight.

Though the event is sold out, it is an important event and deserves mention.

Those with tickets will be able to see a screening of Harry Belafonte’s documentary, Sing Your Song: The Music, Hope and Vision of a Man and an Era, guest remarks by Mr. Belafonte; and an awards ceremony to honor both the Little Rock Nine and Belafonte.

Mr. Belafonte was a trailblazer as a theatre and film actor and recording artist.  He broke the color barrier in almost everything he did.  He became the first African American male actor to win a Tony Award for his performance in John Murray Anderson’s Almanac.

Here is more about the movie, which is being presented in conjunction with the Little Rock Film Festival.

Sing Your Song (2011) (105 min). Directed by Susanne Rostock. An up close look at a great American, Harry Belafonte. A patriot to the last and a champion for worldwide human rights, Belafonte is one of the truly heroic cultural and political figures of the past 60 years. Told from Harry’s point of view, the film charts his life from a boy born in New York and raised in Jamaica, who returns to Harlem in his early teens where he discovers the American Negro Theater and the magic of performing. From there the film follows Belafonte’s rise from the jazz and folk clubs of Greenwich Village and Harlem to his emergence as a star. However, even as a superstar, the life of a black man in 1960s America was far from easy and Belafonte was confronted with the same Jim Crow laws and prejudices that every other black man, woman and child in America was facing.


Greil Marcus discusses The Doors Tuesday the 25th

greil marcusAs part of Arkansas Sounds Music Festival, nationally-recognized music critic Greil Marcus will discuss his book, The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years, in the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Darragh Center at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street, on Tuesday, September 25, at 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Arkansas Literary Festival and ProSmart Printing, the program is free and open to the public.

In a book mostly about listening to the music of The Doors, Marcus revisits a parade of great performances-L.A. Woman, Roadhouse Blues, Light My Fire, When the Music’s Over, End of the Night and more-and explores why and how The Doors have endured. The program will be presented in an interview format, with Tom Wood, local radio personality from TOM-FM, asking questions of Marcus. A book signing and reception will follow. Seating is open and reservations are requested, but not required, at lblackwell@cals.org or 918-3029.

Marcus is the co-editor of A New Literary History of America. His other books include Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces, and Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives. He has taught at Princeton University; University of California, Berkley; New York University; and the New School in New York. His column “Real Life Rock Top 10” appears regularly in The Believer.

Arkansas Sounds is hosted by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a CALS department, and will be held September 28-29, 2012, in the Riverfest Amphitheatre and the River Market Pavilions. Admission is free. Focusing on Arkansas music and musicians both past and present, the Festival will also work to get musicians and songwriters involved in local schools, create songwriting workshops for kids and adults, and host related performances and events throughout the state. For more information, visit www.arkansassounds.org.

The Arkansas Literary Festival’s mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace, and is the premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas. Visit www.ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org for information on the 2012 Festival.

For more information contact 918-3098.