Little Rock Film Festival comes to end of reel

LRFF EndThe “Fin” screen has appeared for the Little Rock Film Festival. The mark it has made to boost filmmaking and the artform of cinema will last for years to come!

Statement from the Little Rock Film Festival:

After 9 great years, each one bigger and arguably better than the last, The Little Rock Film Festival is retiring.

We are proud of the Arkansas filmmaking community that we have helped to inspire and promote, and pleased to have brought hundreds of the top independent filmmakers from around the World to Central Arkansas each year to share their work directly with audiences.

Along the way, we were able to show off our beautiful city and state, and provide the kind of cultural entertainment we believe is essential for a city like Little Rock, to attract and retain the young people it needs to prosper and compete.

Thank you to the sponsors, festivalgoers, filmmakers and volunteers who have been a part of this fantastic ride. We love you all.

Tonight at 7, Oxford American’s Local Live at South on Main features Off the Cuff

llsom offthecuffTonight at 7:30 PM, the Oxford American magazine presents this week’s Local Live concert at South on Main, featuring Off The Cuff!

As always, Local Live is free and open to the public. To guarantee a table/seat for this popular series, call ahead at (501) 244-9660.

Off the Cuff is a Jazz/Neo-Soul band comprised of passionate musicians from Arkansas. Originally founded in 2013, they have performed across the Central Arkansas area throughout the past few years. The band plays covers of everything from Roy Hargrove to Jill Scott and prides themselves on the composition of original music.

Off the Cuff debuted their first EP on July 25th, and are continuing to compose in preparation for a second album release. The band is comprised of vocalist Keke Collier, trumpeter Jose Holloway, keyboardist Camryn Stillman, drummer Darius Blanton, bassist Kaleb Ritchie, and saxophonist Rafael Powell. Their music is organic and interactive; audiences will be taken on a musical journey and will have fun along the way.

Vintage Military Vehicles at MacArthur Park this afternoon

macmusMore than 60 vintage military vehicles on a cross-country convoy will be stopping in Little Rock on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association is retracing the route of the 1920 Transcontinental Motor Convoy, which also stopped in Little Rock during its 3,300-mile journey from Washington, D.C., to San Diego.

While the convoy is in Little Rock, vintage vehicles will be on display at the south end of MacArthur Park, along with vehicles from the Arkansas Military Vehicle Preservation Association.

The convoy is expected to arrive around noon.

THE COLOR PURPLE shown and explored tonight as part of Banned Books Week

cals bbweek purpleThe Arkansas Literary Festival will celebrate Banned Books Week with an interview reenactment, a film, and a writing contest. A program based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award-winning novel, The Color Purple, will be presented on Wednesday, September 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave. After the presentation, the 1985 film will be shown. The event is free and open to the public.

Actresses Verda Davenport Booher and Vivian Norman will reenact part of an interview with Alice Walker. The interview touches on Walker’s inspiration for the book and on the success it has had, as well as the film and the musical.

Written as a series of letters, the 1982 novel been challenged repeatedly because of language, sexuality, and violence. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and nominated for eleven Academy Awards. A successful musical based upon the book opened on Broadway in 2005, and was nominated for ten Tony awards. Oprah Winfrey, nominated for an Oscar as best supporting actress in the film, was one of the producers of the musical. A pared-down revival of the musical is slated to open on Broadway in December, 2015.

Banned Books Week (September 27−October 3, 2015) is an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association celebrating the freedom to read. It highlights the value of free and open access to information and the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship and books that have been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

The Festival’s celebration of Banned Books Week is sponsored by the Fred K. Darragh Foundation. This is the Festival’s fifth annual Banned Books Week presentation. Other titles that have been featured include The Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, A Clockwork Orange, A Doll’s House, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a program of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS). For more information about the 2016 Arkansas Literary Festival, visit, or contact Brad Mooy at 918-3098. For information on volunteering at the Festival, contact Angela Delaney at 918-3095.

Twice Sax wraps up 2015 Jazz in the Park tonight at 6pm in Riverfront Park

twicesaxThis fall sessions of Jazz in the Park end tonight with Twice Sax. 

The concert will take place from 6pm to 8pm in the History Pavilion in Riverfront Park.  In case of rain, it will be in the River Market pavilions.

Instrumental jazz/funk/blues project Twicesax came together in 2009 when sax-playing brothers-in-law Dave Williams II and Brandon Dorris solidified a group of musicians who had been regulars at a local jam.

The group performs a mix of originals and artfully arranged covers. Each musician plays professionally in many other bands and draws from their own influences of jazz, rock, bluegrass, funk and blues, creating a lively and complex sound that listeners have called “music that gets into your head, gets into your bones and moves you.”

Members include:

  • Dave Williams on sax
  • Brandon Dorris on sax and flute
  • Jason McHughes on drums
  • Matthew Stone on guitar and mandolin
  • Daniel Schoultz on bass

jazzinparkThe concert series is brought to you by the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Lost Forty Brewing beers, select wines, soft drinks & water are available for sale. Proceeds benefit Art Porter Music Education, Inc. So please, NO Coolers. Picnic blankets and chairs are welcome. As are children and pets (please leash your pets)

Art Porter Music Education, Inc. (APME) continues its mission of keeping the musical legacies of local jazz statesman Art Porter, Sr. and his son, renowned saxophonist Art Porter, Jr. alive with community enrichment opportunities, volunteerism, and the awarding of scholarships. Through music, APME works to enhance education by helping students improve reading, language and mathematical skills. The partnership with the River Market to support Jazz in the Park, a free, family-friendly event featuring jazz in downtown Little Rock, is a natural fit for both organizations.


Upcoming US Supreme Court session topic of Clinton School & UALR Bowen Law talk at noon today

us supreme courtIn partnership with UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, the Clinton School Speaker Series presents “Landmark Decisions: What’s on the Docket Next” today at noon.

Every year on the first Monday in October the United States Supreme Court begins its new term. Last term’s same sex marriage and Obamacare decisions are the latest examples of how the Court’s decisions change the way we live. Associate Dean Theresa Beiner and Dean Emeritus John DiPippa at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law will discuss last year’s United States Supreme Court term and its blockbuster cases. They will also highlight the important cases on the Court’s docket and their significance.

It will take place at Sturgis Hall.

*Reserve your seats by emailing or calling (501) 683-5239.

Tonight at 7 – AR Symphony River Rhapsodies series starts with Jon Kimura Parker

ASO lowres-jkp-321The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the opening concert of the 2015-2016 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series: Artist of Distinction: Jon Kimura Parker on September 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM.

ASO musicians including the Rockefeller Quartet are joined by the 2015-2016 Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction, pianist Jon Kimura Parker, for music from Borodin, Hirtz, and Beethoven in the beautiful Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center. A cash bar is open at 6 PM and at intermission, and patrons are invited to carry drinks into the hall. Media sponsor for the River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series is KUAR/KLRE.

Tickets are $23; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at; at the Clinton Presidential Center box office beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100.


Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Rockefeller Quartet:

  • Katherine Williamson, violin
  • Trisha McGovern, violin
  • Katherine Reynolds, viola
  • Aaron Ludwig, cello

Leanna Booze, oboe

Kelly Johnson, clarinet

Susan Bell León, bassoon

David Renfro, horn


BORODIN                            String Quartet No. 2 in D Major

HIRTZ                                    Wizard of Oz Fantasy

BEETHOVEN                       Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 16

Program Notes:

Mr. Parker on Hirtz’s Fantasy, from

My friend and colleague, the composer William Hirtz, can work pianistic miracles out of harmony, rhythm and texture. Several years ago he showed me a piano duet Fantasy that he had composed using several of Harold Arlen’s iconic themes from the “Wizard of Oz” soundtrack. It was joyous, technically raucous, and seemingly featured dozens of notes all at once. I jokingly commented that I if he could arrange this Fantasy for one piano two hands, I would happily play it. I thought nothing more about it.

Fast forward several months: one day my fax machine started up and several insanely dotted pages spewed forth. I recognized the music – it was indeed the Fantasy arranged for two hands – but couldn’t imagine how it might be played. I called Bill and complained, “Hey, didn’t you know that when you rearrange a four hand work for two hands, that you’re supposed to leave out some of the notes!!

Here is the Wizard of Oz music in all its glory. It’s one of the most difficult works I’ve played, period. If you’re a pianist and would like to order a copy of either the two handed or (more reasonably playable) four handed version, feel free to contact William Hirtz directly at

About Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 50th season in 2015-2016, under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than sixty concerts each year for more than 165,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series, River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series, and numerous concerts performed around the state of Arkansas, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 26,000 school children and over 200 schools.

For more information about the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra call 501-666-1761 or visit