Kick off the month of the John Willis curated Sessions at South on Main with a Repeal Day Bash with Dizzy 7 tonight

Join the folks at South on Main in celebrating the most joyous of holidays – REPEAL DAY – the end of Prohibition!

This is the perfect event to kick off their December Sessions at South on Main, curated by John Willis.

Celebrate the  right to imbibe by sipping on a classic cocktail and jitterbugging to music from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s from Dizzy 7! Come dressed in 20’s/30’s/40’s garb and they will grant you a “Happy Hour Hall Pass” which gets you happy hour prices any time of the day or night for the entire month of December.

The concert starts at 8 pm. Purchase advance tickets for $8 or pay $10 at the door. Tickets do not guarantee you a seat. Please call (501) 244-9660 to reserve a table.

ABOUT DIZZY 7
The Dizzy 7, founded in 2008, plays music that ranges from Motown to Big Band, Latin to Dixie. It features a full rhythm section, a three-man horn section, and Craig Wilson on lead vocals. Dizzy 7 is composed of accomplished musicians who love what they do.

ABOUT JOHN WILLIS
John Willis is a singer, songwriter, pianist, composer, arranger, and musical director based in Little Rock. He currently performs on his own and as one-sixth of the multi-vocalist synth-pop group Silver Anchors. His most recent original release, “Try Again,” can be found on all online music outlets. In addition to performing, writing, and arranging, Willis spends a lot of time in the theatre, both playing and directing for musical theatre. Recent credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, both at The Studio Theatre in Little Rock.

Willis is thrilled to celebrate his birthday month as well as the holiday season with great shows each Wednesday in December at South on Main. Catch Willis himself fronting a veritable Little Rock all-star tribute to the music of Radiohead to close out this month’s Sessions on Wednesday, December 26.

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LR Culture Vulture turns 7

The Little Rock Culture Vulture debuted on Saturday, October 1, 2011, to kick off Arts & Humanities Month.

The first feature was on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which was kicking off its 2011-2012 season that evening.  The program consisted of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, Rossini’s, Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers, Puccini’s Chrysanthemums and Respighi’s Pines of Rome.  In addition to the orchestra musicians, there was an organ on stage for this concert.

Since then, there have been 10,107 persons/places/things “tagged” in the blog.  This is the 3,773rd entry. (The symmetry to the number is purely coincidental–or is it?)  It has been viewed over 288,600 times, and over 400 readers have made comments.  It is apparently also a reference on Wikipedia.

The most popular pieces have been about Little Rock history and about people in Little Rock.

Rock the Oscars: Mary Steenburgen

It is Oscar month, so it is fitting to highlight at Arkansas’ own Academy Award winning actress, Mary Steenburgen on her birthday.  She was born on February 8, 1953, in Newport, Arkansas.  After moving to North Little Rock as a schoolgirl, she had her first starring role as Emily in the 1971 Northeast High School production of Our Town, which was the new school’s first play.

Her big break in the movies came when Oscar winner Jack Nicholson picked her to star opposite of him in Goin’ South.  This was followed by Time after Time before she appeared in Melvin and Howard.  For that film, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  It also marked the first of three times she starred with Jason Robards (the other two being Parenthood and Philadelphia).  Over the years, her films have run the gamut from period piece (Ragtime, Cross Creek) to sophisticated comedy (Romantic Comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy) to fantasy (Back to the Future III) to holiday comedy (Elf).  She has been hard to pigeonhole into a specific “type” of actor because she has played so many different types of roles.

Her upcoming projects include Book Club with fellow Oscar winners Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Richard Dreyfuss, as well as Oscar nominees Candice Bergen and Andy Garcia; and also Antiquities — filmed in Arkansas and featuring many members of the growing Arkansas film community.

Throughout her career, Mary Steenburgen has been a champion of the arts in Central Arkansas.  In 1986, she starred in and was executive producer of End of the Line, filmed in Central Arkansas, directed and co-written by Arkansan Jay Russell, and also starring Kevin Bacon, Wilfred Brimley, Levon Helm, Barbara Barrie and Holly Hunter.  More recently, Steenburgen has also been an active supporter of the Oxford American magazine as well as South on Main restaurant and performance venue.

1st ever winners of 12th Ever Nog-Off

thnogoff_tstHistoric Arkansas Museum’s 12th Ever Nog Off was Friday, December 9.
The winners have been announced.
The Judges were: Alexia Elichiryof Vive la Vieradio and De Nux Distributors, LLC, Becky Falkowski of Downtown Little Rock Partnership and Amy Kelley Bell of South on Main. Their favorite nog was the Capital Hotel Eggnog by Matthew Dunn and Ben Edwards, The Capital Hotel
The nog that got the most votes from the public was also Capital Hotel Eggnog by Matthew Dunn and Ben Edwards, The Capital Hotel.

The Not Your Great, Great, Great Grandfather’s Eggnog Award (a nod to Nicholas Peay’s place in the family of longtime museum director Bill Worthen, who makes Peay’s recipe each year) is given to the best unconventional nog.  The public voted for St. Elizabeth’s Spiked Nog by Elizabeth Strandberg of Loblolly Creamery and Seth Barlow of O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor

John Plays Joni tonight at South on Main featuring John Willis and friends

johnplaysjoniToday is John Willis’ birthday – and we get the present!
“John Plays Joni” is his birthday gift to Little Rock.
Little Rock-based singer/songwriter and founder of Late Romantics band John Willis performs a tribute concert to the music of singer/songwriter legend Joni Mitchell. The program will feature selections from the iconic songwriter’s over 5-decade career in music and give tribute to Mitchell’s genius as a poet and word-painter, a lover, an activist, and as a modern day mystic. Willis will be at the piano and the mic as usual with help from some of Little Rock’s finest musical talents.

Show begins at 8:30 PM with a $10 cover. Call (501) 244-9660 to reserve a table for the show.

John Willis is a singer/songwriter based in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. He writes and performs on piano with insightful lyrics, sensitive arrangements, and lush harmonies that derive from in part from the gospel music of his minister father, Motown groups that were his mother’s favorites, and his classical training at the piano.

Willis has been a featured songwriter in the UALR Songwriter’s Showcase (2011) and on local PBS affiliate AETN’s “On the Front Row” television series (2013). He was a finalist in the 2014 Arkansas Times Musician’s Showcase and has released two EPs, “King of the Cocktail Party” in 2013 and “Bad Boyfriend” with his band Late Romantics in 2015. Willis is an Artist, Inc. Fellow with the Mid-America Arts Alliance and has taught on faculty at the Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts teaching yoga for young musicians.

Sessions at South on Main is a series of concerts featuring Arkansas artists, curated by one of their own. He is curating the December Sessions. His birthday show will kick off the month; watch the South on Main website and social media for updates on the rest of December.

Creative Class 2016: Ryan Harris

cc16-harrisRyan Harris serves as the Executive Director for the Oxford American Literary Project, having been named to that new position in January of 2016.

He joined the Oxford American Literary Project in February 2013 as Program Director, and has helped establish regular programs at South on Main (the restaurant and cultural venue owned and operated by Matthew and Amy Bell ) and in the Oxford American’s annex space. Along with free outreach programming to support local and regional musicians, writers, and visual artists, Harris has brought both renowned and emerging artists to Little Rock through the ticketed Oxford American Concert Series. The experiences created through this series have helped enhance the cultural offerings in the region and established South on Main as a desirable stop for touring artists.

In addition to continuing to bring outstanding programming to Little Rock, Ryan is currently focusing on plans for the 25th anniversary of the OA in 2017.  He is also leading efforts for the OA to partner with additional cultural and educational institutions in Central Arkansas.

Prior to joining the Oxford American Literary Project, Ryan served as Director of Facilities and Event Operations at The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries, a nonprofit arts presenter in St. Louis, Missouri. He holds a BSBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

Sessions at South on Main continues tonight with Bijoux

BijouxThis is the second month of Sessions at South on Main! This month the series is curated by DGold. Daniel Gold, aka DGold, is a radio personality, a podcaster, a music documentarian and former publisher of a music magazine – Honest Tunes. He’s traveled the US following music, and has always made it his priority to share good tunes with others.

For his second show, DGold has invited Bijoux. Well-known to Rock City, Bijoux has graced the South on Main stage more than a few times. Gold says, “Her nickname is the Royal Dopeness, and she’s smashing, a smashing singer that has had numerous packed houses before.”

The show begins at 8:30 PM, and there is a $10 cover charge. Please call (501) 244-9660 to reserve your table for this show.

ABOUT BIJOUX
Bijoux—a native of Little Rock – is a sultry soul singer adept in various styles. The daughter of West African parents, Bijoux grew up in a household exposed to differing genres of music including folk, classic rock and roll, makossa, country, and R&B. Her jovial spirit, endearing vocals, vibrant entertaining, and musical versatility make her concerts engaging and fun.