The Ted Ludwig Trio tonight on the South on Main stage

Ted Ludwig TrioThe Wednesday night Sessions Series at South on Main continues tonight with the acclaimed and very popular Ted Ludwig Trio.

Acclaimed saxophonist, MarQuis Hunt, is curating and hosting the month-long “Jazz in July All-Stars” Sessions series at South on Main each Wednesday in July.

Hailing from New Orleans, acclaimed seven-string jazz guitarist, Ted Ludwig, has been a part of the jazz scene for over two decades. Throughout that time period, he has dazzled audiences with countless club performances, festivals, and recordings. He has released four albums with the Infrared Record Label as a leader and many more as a versatile sideman and co leader. Ted consistently receives accolades from critics and musicians alike for his astonishing virtuosity, technique and prolific originality.

Ted has performed with notable contemporaries such as; Ellis Marsalis, Peter Bernstein, Bob Dorough, Larry Coryell, Nathan East, Nicholas Payton, Howard Alden, Mundell Lowe, Rick Margitza, Julian Labro, Steve Masakowski, John Ellis, Tony Dagradi, Mike Pellera, Jason Marsalis, Ron Eschete’, Johnny Vidacovich, Herlin Riley, and many more.

Ted has been the recipient of an ASCAP award, the Louis Armstrong award, and the Overture to the Cultural Season award. In 2016, Ted was the youngest inductee into The Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.

Ted’s brand of jazz is unique. He possesses a lyrical style and his guitar sings with clarity and emotion. His rhythm and timing are exquisite and his fingering technique is second to none.

Ted’s Trio:

Ted Ludwig – Guitar

Joe Vick – Upright Bass (An impressive jazz and classical career spanning four decades)

Brian Brown – Percussion (A stellar touring and performing career spanning five decades)

The shows begin at 8 PM. Tickets are $10 at the door. Dinner and cocktails are available before and during the show. Call 501-244-9660 to reserve a table. These shows are expected to sell out; call today to avoid disappointment.

Release Party for new Frank Thurmond book this afternoon

Thurmond photo1This afternoon from 2 to 4, Arkansan Frank H. Thurmond, local author, filmmaker and musician, celebrates the release of his second book, Ring of Five: A Novella and Four Stories, published by Et Alia Press.
 
In this historically grounded thriller, Ring of Five recounts the Cold War intrigue of real-life British master spy Kim Philby, the inspiration behind Ian Fleming’s James Bond.  When the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) discovers a mole is betraying deadly secrets to the enemy, it assigns its best agent to investigate.  But what if this spy hides a shocking secret of his own and the investigator becomes the investigated? This riveting story is a thrilling and timely adventure blending espionage, politics, and love and betrayal.
 
Of Thurmond’s book, celebrity actor Michael York, whose films include Cabaret and Austin Powers, and author of Accidentally on Purpose, states, “I’m enormously impressed with Ring of Five. It is a beautifully constructed story that holds the attention—and the tension—to the end. This is all the more laudable as it’s a known story, but Thurmond makes the historical facts come dramatically alive. Ring of Five is a most engrossing and enjoyable read. ” 
 
Thurmond learned of the story while living and studying in Oxford, England where he was intrigued to hear of the so called “Cambridge Spies,” known as the most notorious double agents of the Cold War era.
 
A Little Rock release party with the author will be held Saturday, May 2 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at By the Glass wine bar in the Heights.  Entertainment will be provided by the Ted Ludwig Trio, a local jazz ensemble. The event is free and open to the public.
 
Thurmond was born in Paragould and grew up in Crossett and Little Rock, where he attended Hall High School.  He studied English and music as a Donaghey Scholar at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and pursued graduate degrees at Southern Methodist University and Oxford University. Thurmond is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is a visiting writer in residence at Lyon College in Batesville.
 
Thurmond’s first book was a memoir entitled Before I Sleep: A Memoir of Travel and Reconciliation, which recounts his adult experience of meeting his previously unknown birth father.  It was featured in the 2014 KUAR’s Arts & Letters Father’s Day special, which is available on KUAR.org.
           
Previously, Thurmond’s work has appeared in various publications, including the International Herald Tribune; The Best of Tales from the South, Volume 6; Toad Suck Review; and in William Safire’s language book, No Uncertain Terms.
 
Thurmond writes for both stage and screen as well. As a filmmaker, his first film, “The Spymaster,” was adapted from the Philby story in Ring of Five and premiered at the Little Rock Film Festival last year.  Based on the success of this short film, a feature film of the story is now in development with a Los Angeles production company. He hopes to premiere his new short film “The Dealer’s Tale”—also adapted from a story in his new collection—at this year’s Little Rock Film Festival in May, directed by Little Rock filmmaker Justin Nickels.  
 

ASO Happy Holidays Concerts

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs their annual, audience favorite holiday concert this weekend.  The first concert was last night but it repeats tonight, Saturday, December 15 at 8pm and Sunday, December 16 at 3pm. at Robinson Center Music Hall. This is the second concert of the Acxiom Pops Live! Series. This concert is sponsored in part by Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The audience will enjoy traditional Christmas carols, Arkansas stars, and special surprises that are sure to entertain the whole family. Everyone is invited to get cozy with the ASO as we celebrate the most wonderful time of year.

Bring the kids to the Holiday Children’s Fair at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Robinson Center Music Hall main lobby. Touch and play string, woodwind and brass instruments at the Instrument Petting Zoo, visit with Santa and join in on arts and crafts.

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 through 12th grade are free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information, visit http://www.ArkansasSymphony.org.

Under the direction of Maestro Philip Mann, the concert will featured the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra joined by Ballet Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir (under the direction of Dr. Michael Bates), the Ted Ludwig Trio, mezzo-soprano Diane Kesling, the Central Arkansas Children’s Choir (under the direction of Dr. Ryan Fisher), Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians and the Two Jewish Guys (the redoubtable Phil Kaplan and Leslie Singer).