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Persons, Places, and Thing by Gwen DeRu

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Gwen DeRu

Share in the Spirit of the Season!

After giving thanks this week, let’s continue and start the season with great music….  SMILE!  BE  HAPPY!

THANKSGIVING SOUL AND BLUES SUPERFEST, this Friday, 7 p.m. at the Bill Harris Arena at the Crossplex featuring CALVIN RICHARDSON, LENNY WILLIAMS, SIR CHARLES JONES, BIG POKEY, NELLIE “TIGER’ TRAVIS.

TRIBUTE TO JOHNNY TAYLOR – “Mr. Showout” T.J. HOOKER TAYLOR (Johnny Taylor’s son) and TONY PAIGE will perform December 5, at the Tide and Tiger, 409 Graymont Avenue. Doors open at 7 p.m.  Call (205) 503-3880 for more.

SOUNDS OF THE SEASON – Opera Birmingham will bring in the holiday season with the Sounds of the Season on December 10 and December 12, 7:30 p.m. at Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall.  Selections will include “Snow” from White Christmas, “Santa Baby,” “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway, “Christmas Time is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, “O Holy Night,” “A Five Pound Box of Money” by Pearl Bailey, and more!  The rising star performers are soprano Alicia Gianni, mezzo-soprano Grace Newberry, tenor Jack Swanson, and baritone Shea Owens as Opera Birmingham celebrates the holiday season.  They will be accompanied by music director and pianist Joseph Li.

2015 ALABAMA JAZZ HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY featuring jazz piano prodigy JOEY ALEXANDER in Concert, December 12, 5:30 p.m., Cocktail Reception and 7 p.m. Inductee Ceremony and Joey Alexander Concert at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, 1631 Fourth Avenue North, Birmingham 35203.

This is Alexander’s first visit to Alabama and only performance in the Southeast this year.  For more call (205) 327-9424 Ext. 21.

DON’T MISS….

Just a few things to do this …and in the coming weeks….

CURTISS GLENN NEW RELEASE – Many of you know him as Birmingham’s own son, Curtiss Glenn! Most people don’t know, Curtiss also has a group titled, Curtiss Glenn & Freedom Movement!  They released their first single titled, “Come Through”.  Stop what you are doing right now and check out the music video: http://youtu.be/XzYPyK4cAvo.

GOING ON STILL AT APPLEBEE’S (IN FIVE POINTS WEST) – This is the last week to support our veterans with the Applebee’s Special.  With Veterans Day comes a specific time to celebrate and reward our veterans in any way that we ‘all ‘can.  Applebee’s hopes to reach a goal set of $100,000 for veterans.  Every Brownie or Blondie Bite purchased for $2, all proceeds will be donated to help purchase a Trackchair for some disabled Veteran during November.   Head to Apple Bee’s purchase the brownie or the bite and support our veterans until the last day of November.  TO ALL VETERANS…Happy Veterans Day Month!!!  THANK YOU!!!!

IN MONTGOMERY….

60th ANNIVERSARY MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT – The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University will host “I Was There: Oral History Interviews with Participants of the 1955-56 Montgomery Bus Boycott,”  Monday, at the Levi Watkins Learning Center, Lecture Hall at 7 p.m.

Participants for the program will include the Rev. Robert and Mrs. Jean Graetz, Charles Varner, Nelson Malden, Dr. Ralph Bryson and Lenette Washington Bailey.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Ralph David Abernathy: Leaders and Partners in the Civil Rights Movement” featuring scholars, members of the Abernathy family and acquaintances of King; Wednesday, December 2, at the National Center at 7 p.m. Participants include the Rev. Dr. Troy Jackson, Executive Director of the AMOS Project and author of “Becoming King: Martin Luther King. Jr.; and the Making of a National Leader,” Rev. Thomas E. Jordan, Pastor of the Lilly Baptist Church. Pastor Jordan was baptized and ordained by Dr. King.  Mrs. Althea Thomas hired as organist for Dexter Avenue Baptist Church by Dr. King in 1955.  Dr. William Abernathy, nephew of Rev. Abernathy and Mrs. Juanita Abernathy, widow of Rev. Abernathy.

MORE….

LECTURE SERIES – Ralph D. Abernathy Civil Rights Lecture Series: “The Mass Meetings of the Montgomery Bus Boycott -The Lessons and the Legacy”.  Monday, December 7, at First Baptist Church, 347 N. Ripley Street at 6 p.m.  The keynote speaker for the program is Rev. Dr. William Barber, II.  Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II serves as president of the North Carolina NAACP and convener of the Forward Together Moral Movement, an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations in North Carolina. Barber and this coalition have been at the forefront of justice work in the state and have inspired organizing on a national level.

AROUND TOWN….

There are always plenty of things to do around the southeast.  Here are a few things going on in town…sooner or later….

HOLIDAY SOIREE AT WINELOFT – The A-List is partnering with Children’s Hospital of Alabama, to present a Holiday Soirée!  A mixer and fundraiser to benefit Children’s Hospital of Alabama Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The event will be hosted by Jeh Jeh Pruitt, Fox 6 News Reporter, at The Wine Loft, December 3rd, 6- 10 p.m. The evening will include food, drinks, door prizes and a live performance by Logan the Entertainer.

BRYAN STEVENSON SPEAKS IN BIRMINGHAM – Bryan Stevenson, will speak at Highlands United Methodist Church Sunday night December 6th, 6:30 p.m. as part of their Faith + Action = Justice Series, an outreach ministry seeking to put faith into action. Stevenson is a lawyer, social justice activist, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (www.eji.org), professor at NYU School of Law and best-selling author.  Past speakers in this series have included Sister Helen Prejean, the nation’s leading advocate against the death penalty as portrayed in the movie, Dead Man Walking, Jim Winkler, President of the National Council of Churches and Fred Gray, renowned Civil Rights attorney.  FREE. Open to the public.  For more call (205) 427-2724.

FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS….

SUNDAY, 1 p.m. – Southeastern Outings Walk in a Forest Preserve in Homewood – Details: The City of Homewood owns two forest preserves on Shades Mountain adjacent to the Homewood High School.  Come and spend a relaxing two hours walking with us in the lower preserve.  Rated moderately easy.  Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 6 and older welcome.  Depart 1 p.m. from the Homewood High School east (nearest Brookwood Village Shopping Center) parking lot, just off Lakeshore Drive in Homewood.  Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or 205/631-4680.

DECEMBER 9 WEDNESDAY, 10 a.m. – Southeastern Outings Weekday Dayhike at the Cahaba Lily Park in Helena, Alabama – Details: Come with us on our sixth, newly established weekday hike.  Enjoy an easy 4-mile hike on a trail in Montevallo.  Enjoy a short walk on trails through the Cahaba Lily Park.

The walk will be easy—on trails with no long or steep hills.  So that you will not feel deceived, please note that in spite of its name this park is NOT on the Cahaba River, and there are NO Cahaba Lilies in the park.  Please meet at the Cahaba Lily Park parking lot ready to start walking promptly at 10 a.m., bring plenty of water and wear good walking shoes or boots. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Directions to the Park: From the I-459 interchange with U.S. 31 just north of the Riverchase Galleria Mall take I-459 South, towards Bessemer and Tuscaloosa.  Drive 7.2 miles on I-459 from U.S. 31 to exit #6, Morgan Road, marked to Helena and Bessemer.

At the end of the exit ramp turn LEFT onto Morgan Road Southeast/County Road 52 heading towards Helena.  Drive a total of 5.7 miles on County Road 52.  Along the way you will cross the Cahaba River.       

After you cross the bridge over the Cahaba River you will come to the first and second entrances (properly signed) to Old Cahaba Subdivision on your right.  The first drive on the right after the SECOND entrance to the Old Cahaba Subdivision is signed Cahaba Lily Park.  Turn right on that drive and drive 1/10 miles to the parking lot for the park and park there.

If you are coming from Helena, Pelham or Alabaster, please drive to the traffic light at intersection of AL 261, Shelby County 17 and Shelby County 52 close to the Publix Super Market in Helena.  Then drive 1.5 miles on County 52 towards the Cahaba River and Bessemer.  Turn left at the park entrance and drive 1/10 miles to the parking lot.  After the walk there will be an optional lunch at a restaurant in the area.

Admission to Park: Free.  For more information on the Hike: Call Acyenith Alexander, (205) 529-2253.

FOR MUSIC LOVERS…

Magic City Smooth Jazz rings in the New Year with one of the hottest composers and keyboardists in Smooth Jazz, BRIAN SIMPSON, plus special guest, record-breaking, charting saxman VANN BURCHFIELD!

Who:  Brian Simpson and Vann Burchfield

What:  Magic City Smooth Jazz New Year’s Eve Celebration

When: Thursday, December 31, 8 p.m.

Where: Red Mountain Theatre Company Cabaret Theatre

Cost: $60 singles/$100 couple

This fun and exciting Celebration happens on Thursday, December 31, at the Red Mountain Theatre Company Cabaret in Birmingham, Alabama.  Doors open at 8 p.m., includes dinner from Cafe Iz.  Hailing from Gurnee, Illinois, Brian Simpson always knew music would play center stage in his life. This inspired keyboardist, composer, prolific studio musician and producer is a master of all he purveys. His eloquent approach to playing, sophisticated harmonics sense, bluesy overtones, R&B flavor and keen sense on how to craft a song that stands the test of time have made him the go-to man for many. Through the years Simpson has been revered for his unparalleled ability to compose unforgettable melodies and irresistible grooves.  Having already wowed some 5 – 6 years ago with his smooth jazz debut release Blue Eyed Soul, saxman Vann Burchfield who’s best noted as the man who beat Kenny G’s world record in 2000 for holding the longest note on a wind instrument (47 minutes, 6 seconds) returns to us with an exciting and exotic new direction for him as he delves into the beauty of Latin music with Rhythms in Rio, a suave, cool collection of mostly original material entirely produced by him.

NOW…on to the rest of the happenings…. THIS WEEKEND….A FEW THINGS IN BIRMINGHAM!

CHECK OUT….the TIDE AND TIGER every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday on Graymont Avenue.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE THINGS GOING ON…THIS WEEKEND…

TODAY….

ENJOY THE SEASON!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

ENJOY THE GREAT FOOD, FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

FRIDAY…

TIDE AND TIGER LOUNGE, 8 p.m. on Graymont Avenue across the street from Legion Field.  Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.

FRIDAY AFTER WORK – For those that want ‘a break’ before the weekend ‘Friday after Work’ has food and more, 5 – 10 p.m. Call (205) 572-1295 for more.  Get your palates ready!

TAYLOR HOLLINGSWORTH COUNTRY WESTERN, HEATH GREEN & THE MAKESHIFTERS at The Nick on southside.

SATURDAY…

TIDE AND TIGER LOUNGE, 8 p.m. on Graymont Avenue across the street from Legion Field.  Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.

PONY BRADSHAW and AMERICAN ANIMAL at The Nick.

SUNDAY…

LAYDEN & THE LION, 8 p.m. at the Nick.  No cover.

TUESDAY…

TIDE AND TIGER LOUNGE, 8 p.m. on Graymont Avenue across the street from Legion Field.  Open Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.

SKYBISON and OMARI JAZZ at the Nick

WEDNESDAY…

AMERICAN ROOMMATES and CREATURE CAMP at the Nick.

            FOR COMEDY LOVERS…

DON’T MISS….

AT THE STARDOME… this weekend, Friday and Sunday…LOTS OF LAUGHS AND LADIES… Come enjoy Ladies Night – all week long, it started on Tuesday. Comedian, Eunice Elliot is bringing her girlfriends in for a night full of laughs. Mia Jackson will be appearing as well as special guests, Red Squirrel, Jessica Carter and Nica Russell. Even DJ Chocolate will be here. Grab a group and make plans to catch this hilarious show!!

COMING SOON…, SOMMORE – December 4-6, LUCA BOHN – December 8-13, SINBAD – December 18-20, EARTHQUAKE – December 31 – January 2 and GARY OWEN – JJ

January 15-17.  Call (205) 444-0008 for more.

COMING SOON…in and around the southeast….

JANUARY 18 – 30th ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. UNITY BREAKFAST, 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the BJCC North Meeting Hall.  Call (205) 324-8797 for more.

JANUARY 29- 31 – WINTER WEEKEND GETAWAY in Gatlinburg with World Famous DJ Kid Capri.   For more: www.urbanprofessionals.com/wintergetaway.

FEBRUARY 6 – MILES COLLEGE 2ND ANNUAL UNITY FASHION SHOW, 11 a.m. at the Fairfield Civic Center featuring the Miles College alumni and student models with CHRIS COLEMAN, DORIS J. BLUE and world renowned musical artist JAMES MERRIWEATHIER.  Call (205) 901-4973 for more.

NOW…. BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUTS!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, … AND TO ALL CELEBRATING!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL YOU BIRTHDAY BALLERS…MANY, MANY MORE HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!!  ENJOY!!  Celebrate ‘your’ month…I do…all 30 days ‘and’ some!

Well, that’s it.  Tell you more ‘next’ time.

(People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu is a weekly column. Send comments to my emails: thelewisgroup@birminghamtimes.com or gwenderu@yahoo.com.)