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People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu

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Michael Blackson (galleryhip.com)

TODAY…..

**LIVE BAND KARAOKE JAM SESSIONS, 7 – 11 p.m. at the Perfect Note.

**OLIVIA’S HAPPY HOUR, every Thursday at Olivia’s Bar and Lounge with $.50 wings and drink specials, 4 p.m. For more call (205) 326-2881.

**JOSE’ CARR WITH JAZZ ON FIRST, 7-10 p.m. at Jazzy’s on First Avenue North.

**LIVE AT STEEL, 8 p.m. with SHARRON performing and DJ DUBB in the Mix at Steel on First at 23rd Street, downtown Birmingham. Get your live music and dance on every Thursday night.

**COMEDIAN MICHAEL BLACKSON at the StarDome, 7 p.m.

**HAND ME DOWNS and LESS THAN A SEA, 9 p.m. at The Nick.

 

FRIDAY…

**DJ CED AT THE TIDE AND TIGER on Graymont Avenue.

**FRIDAY UNWIND, every Friday, 7 p.m. at Jazzi’s on 3rd .

**COMEDIAN MICHAEL BLACKSON at the StarDome Comedy Club.

**FANCY FRIDAYS, 5 p.m. featuring JILLIAN GRAY with YARBROUGH & COMPANY every Friday at Legends on 18th Street North, Downtown. Birmingham. This is an After Work Experience hosted by Keely and Tiger and catered by Chef Jones. Call (205) 212-4406 for more.

**PLUM BAR on 17th Street, Downtown.

**THE GREEN SEED, LITTLE STRANGER and SHAHEED AND DJ SUPREME 9 p.m. at the Nick.

**JAZZ SAXOPHONIST NELSON RANGELL, 8 – 11 p.m., at the Perfect Note. 

 

SATURDAY…

**DEM W2’S CAN’T GET HERE QUICK ENOUGH COMEDY SHOW, 9 p.m.

**RAILROAD PARK is where the fun is Saturday.

**DJ CED AT THE TIDE AND TIGER on Graymont.

**SOULFUL SATURDAY at Steel 1st and 23rd Club.

**HUNTER SHARPE, OGINALII and THE SUNSETS,9 p.m. at The Nick.

**COMEDIAN MICHAEL BLACKSON at the StarDome Comedy Club.

**LITTLE GIRL, PINK BYRAMIDS, SLOE HARPER and ALLAN WHITTEN at Saturn.

 

SUNDAY…

**COMEDIAN MICHAEL BLACKSON at the StarDome Comedy Club.

 

MONDAY…

**SUPER CITY, KINZIE, LASTING IMPRESSIONS, 9 p.m. at The Nick.

**CARD PLAYERS SPOT at the TIDE AND TIGER, 6 – 12 p.m.

 

TUESDAY…

**TIDE AND TIGER HOT TUESDAY, 3 p.m. until … on Graymont across from Legion Field with $.50 wings and drink specials until 9 p.m. For more call (205) 503-3880.

**OLIVIA’S HAPPY HOUR, 4 p.m., every Tuesday, at Olivia’s Bar and Lounge with $.50 wings and drink specials. For more call (205) 326-2881.

**CHRISTOPHER TITUS, 7:30 p.m. at the StarDome Comedy Club.

**PLUM BAR on 17th Street, Downtown.

**JOSE’ CARR at the Boss Lounge, 8:30 – 11 p.m.

**BALKUN BROTHERS and CHRIS SIMMONS BAND at The Nick .

 

WEDNESDAY…

**AN EVENING WITH CLOUD CULT, 8 p.m. at Saturn.

**ECONOMY CARTEL, THE AMERICAN MYTH and THE MCRYATTS, 9 p.m. at the Nick

**OPEN MIC FINALE at the StarDome Comedy Club.

**OPEN MIC NIGHT at the Oak Hill Bar & Grill.

 

FOR MUSIC LOVERS AND SPOKEN WORD…

Jazz Saxophonist Nelson Rangell
Jazz Saxophonist Nelson Rangell

**BO BERRY QUARTET, 7 p.m. to midnight every Friday at Jazzi’s on 3rd.

**JAZZ SAXOPHONIST NELSON RANGELL, 7 p.m. at the Perfect Note, Friday

Rangell is one of the most exciting and diverse performers in the genre, equally adept at soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, as well as being a genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo. With his discography of now 17 CD releases Nelson Rangell continues on his musical path with 2 new and very unique albums, “Red”, a collection of dedicated saxophone recordings in the pop jazz and contemporary jazz idiom and “Blue” which features the flute and piccolo throughout its highly artistic and diverse 11 tracks.

**JAZZ AND JOKES, 8 p.m. at the Perfect Note, Saturday.

**JAZZ JAM SESSIONS, every Fourth Sunday, 6 p.m. at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (Carver Theatre), except for Christmas.  Jam with GARY MOTLEY on January 22.

**SPOKEN WORD OPEN MIC NIGHT, every Third Sunday, 7 p.m. at the Carver Theatre.

**STILLMAN COLLEGE CONCERT CHOIR, 2 p.m. on February 5, Sunday, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church. FREE. Donations for scholarships are welcomed. For more, call (205) 322-0161. This will be an afternoon of electrifying and inspirational music.

**STUDENT JAZZ BAND FESTIVAL, April 20-22 at the Jazz Hall of Fame, Carver Theatre. New Student Roll Call for 2017 Saturday Jazz classes for new students coming soon.

 

FOR MOTORSPORTS LOVERS…

**NASCAR HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY, Friday, 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Some Class of 2017 Inductees include RICHARD CHILDRESS, RICH HENDRICK and MARK MARTIN.

 

FOR THE COMMUNITY LOVERS…

Miles College V.P. Barbara Owens
Miles College V.P. Barbara Owens

**MILES COLLEGE NEW VICE PRESIDENT OF INSTITUTIONAL PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT – Miles College President, George T. French, Jr. has named Barbara Owens to the position of Vice President of Institutional Planning and Development at the College. Owens has held leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector for over 30 years and has vast expertise in all aspects of resource development, communications, volunteer management and strategic planning. In her role at Miles College, Owens will oversee all resource development plans and activities, including Title III programs, Sponsored Programs, Alumni Relations, College Relations and UNCF Campaigns.

**WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON – For those who can’t be in Washington on Saturday, the AL Chapter of the WMoW invites you to join them at Kelly Ingram Park on Saturday, 2 p.m. There will be speakers and a brief program at the Park, followed by a march to Linn Park, returning to Kelly Ingram. OTM DEMs and Forward Alabama will have a tent at Kelly Ingram for voter registration, information, and email sign-up.

**EFFECTIVE CITIZEN LOBBYING & GRASSROOTS ACTIVISM – Over the Mountain Democrats and Forward Alabama host “Effective Citizen Lobbying and Grassroots Activism Seminar”, on the Birmingham-Southern College Campus in Norton Theater in Norton Student Center, January 28.  Attend and learn how to make an impactful impression on your local and state legislators, get briefed on issues facing the 2017 legislature, and learn more about ways to participate in state and local issues through organized activism.  Details, on-line registration and lunch reservations here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/effective-citizen-lobbying-and-grassroots-activism-seminar-tickets-31118836277.

**STATELESS: CELEBRATING JEWS FROM FORMER SOVIET UNION – STATELESS is a documentary that will be screened at Birmingham’s Temple Beth-El, Sunday.  The 3 p.m. Russian Tea Reception in the Filler Cultural Center will be followed by a 4 p.m. screening of the film in the sanctuary.  FREE. The film follows the journey of families who were stranded for months in Italy because of a Kafka-esque bureaucratic tangle: Then-President Ronald Reagan successfully pressed Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to release Jews. But to be granted asylum in the U.S, the would-be immigrants had to show they’d been persecuted at home. Because the Soviet system’s ingrained anti-Semitism was all they’d ever known, many failed to persuade the American officials who interviewed them in Italy, where they waited in limbo, some for a year or longer. Finally, in 1990, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenburg of New Jersey successfully sponsored legislation classifying Soviet Jews as refugees, opening the door for tens of thousands to enter the U.S.  FREE. Reservations recommended, FlorinaN@bjf.org or (205) 803-1521 for more.

**FREE TAX PREPARATION – SAVEFIRST – The nonprofit’s SaveFirst initiative has started the efforts to provide free income tax preparation services to working families making up to $53,000/year with kids in the home or $20,000/year without kids in the home. Interested individuals should call 1-888-99-TAX-AL for a free appointment.  The tax preparation service is aimed at assisting families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is the federal government’s largest and most successful antipoverty program for low-income, working families. Impact Alabama’s annual free tax preparation services for working families will be available at five locations in the Birmingham area – Bessemer, Roebuck, Smithfield, West End, and Woodlawn.

TAX SITE INFORMATION:

BIRMINGHAM – SMITHFIELD LOCATION

Birmingham Public Libraries, Smithfield Branch #1 – 8th Ave W, Birmingham, AL 35204

BIRMINGHAM – WEST END LOCATION

Birmingham Public Libraries, West End Branch 1348 Tuscaloosa Ave SW, Birmingham, AL 35211

BIRMINGHAM – WOODLAWN LOCATION

Birmingham Public Libraries, Woodlawn Branch 5709 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35212

BIRMINGHAM – ROEBUCK LOCATION

Springville Road Library 
1224 Old Springville Rd, Birmingham, AL 35215

BESSEMER LOCATION

Bessemer Public Library 
400 19th St N, Bessemer, AL 35020

**CELEBRATING RECORD BREAKING JUDICIAL CANDIDATES – The Women of Will & Friends will celebrate the record breaking Judicial Candidates, Tuesday, January, 24, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Harbert Center.

**ALABAMA NATIONAL CEMETERY GRAVE SITE EXPANSION PROJECT – Alabama National Cemetery began construction of 5,000 pre-placed crypts and 1,000 in-ground cremation sites Jan. 3, 2017. The addition will serve 131,097 Veterans within 75 miles of the cemetery.  This expansion project will develop 5 acres and provide 20 years of grave site availability for Veterans and their families. Project construction will be 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The project is expected to last 300 days and should be completed by Oct. 1, 2017. Committal shelters and services will not be affected.

**BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS – Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens is pleased to announce its 2017 Board of Directors. Beverley French Hoyt will serve her first term as Chair, while Brian Barr will serve as past Chair and chair of operations. Serving second terms on the executive committee are: Wally Evans as chair of finance, John Miller as chair of development, Charles Goodrich as chair of governance and John Smith as chair of education. Carl Jones will begin his first term as secretary and Natalie Kelly becomes the chair of government relations. There are four new members for 2017: Stephanie Cooper, Kate Cotton, Bob de Buys and Fred Hawkins. Completing their services are: Dr. John Hurst, John Hudson, Katie Baker Lasker and B. Hanson Slaughter, who served as chair in 2014. The At-Large members of the Board of Directors are: Cathy Adams, Craig Beatty, Chris Boles, Emily Bowron, Norman Davis, Houston Gillespy, Chris Hastings, William R. Ireland III, Elizabeth Jernigan, Peyton King, Lee McLemore and Randall Woodfin. Ian Dexter serves the Board of Directors as Junior Board Chair.

 

FOR BUSINESS LOVERS….

Waymond Jackson
Waymond Jackson

**BBA PUBLIC POLICY EFFORTS – Waymond Jackson has been promoted to senior vice president of public policy for the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). In his new role, Jackson will continue to manage the BBA’s workforce development initiatives, as well as oversee the organization’s public policy and regional development efforts. The Birmingham Business Alliance is the lead economic development organization for the Birmingham region. For more information about the BBA visit its website at www.birminghambusinessalliance.com.

**BUSINESS AND BEER – A RISING STAR CELEBRATION – This event is a toast to the Rising Stars in Accounting, Health Care, Law, Money, Real Estate and Construction on January 26 at the Trim Tab Brewing Company.

**TOP 40 UNDER 40 – This event is honoring the up and coming individuals that will be the leaders of tomorrow, February 18 at Iron City.

**BBJ WORKSHOP EXPERIENCE INNOVATION – The BBJ and Dale Carnegie Training are hosting this workshop for those interested in learning why innovation is a mindset that must be cultural and promoted at every level of an organization.

**BIZWOMEN MENTORING MONDAY – Meet your mentor, April 3, at Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa.

 

FOR ART LOVERS…

**FREEDOM? – An exhibition FREEDOM?, is at the University of Alabama in the Paul Jones Gallery, January 23 – April 28. 

**SLOSS FURNACES: THEN AND NOW – Lawson State College is presenting an exhibition entitled SLOSS FURNACES: THEN AND NOW by Adjunct History Instructor Gregory Wilson.  This exhibition is covering the history of Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark and the rise of the Birmingham Industrial District.  The exhibition is weekdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. until February 28, at the ACATT Building, (Birmingham Campus).  For more information, email: gwilson@lawsonstate.edu.

**A SHARED INDIVIDUALITY by husband and wife duo James Rodger Alexander and Pamela Venz, through January 30, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Dinah Washington Center Arts Center, 620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Al 35401.  A reception will be held tomorrow, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

 

FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS….

**SATURDAY DAY HIKE, 9 a.m. – Southeastern Outings Waterfowl Viewing Trip at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (WNWR), Decatur, AL. 

DETAILS: Experience the thrilling sight of thousands of sandhill cranes, wild geese and ducks plus herons and other birds at the largest concentration of wintering geese and ducks in the entire state of Alabama!  This 35,000 acre refuge attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl each year.  WNWR is comprised of diverse habitat types including bottomland hardwoods, wetlands, pine uplands, shoreline or riparian woodlands, agricultural fields, and backwater embayments.  These habitats provide excellent feeding, nesting, and roosting sites for wintering waterfowl, white pelicans, sandhill cranes and a few whooping cranes as well as nesting sites for migratory songbirds and many species of resident wildlife.  The guide is Dwight Cooley, recently retired Refuge Manager.  The hike will be on refuge roads behind locked gates as we drive to various bays and sloughs where you can easily see hundreds of ducks and geese in large numbers, many other types of birds, hopefully, bald eagles,  and a huge flock of sandhill cranes which winter at the refuge each year.  Bring binoculars, a birding field guide and a spotting telescope with you if you have them.  The outing is rated easy, as there is very little walking involved, and we won’t be climbing any hills or walking through thick brush.  Dress for the weather.  The wind at the refuge can be biting, blowing across open water on cold days. Supervised children age 10 and over who can remain quiet for extended periods of time (so as to not disturb the birds and bird watchers) are welcome. Optional dinner after the birding trip depending on what time we finish bird watching.  Departing at 9 a.m. from the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride parking lot, or meet the group at 10 a.m. at the WNWR Visitor Center with driveway entrance on AL Highway 67 beween Priceville and Decatur 2.7 miles west of the Highway 67 exit (Exit number 334) off I-65.  Carpool from the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride meeting place up to the refuge.  For more information, call Dan Frederick, (205) 631-4680 for additional information.

 

FOR BOOK LOVERS…

**Read some cool library books and earn a circus ticket at the same time.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and BPL are partnering to host the Out of This World @ Birmingham Public Library! Kids can earn virtual badges and prizes including a Ringling Bros. circus ticket by simply reading. Children of all ages through 12th grade can register online or at one of BPL’s 19 locations. The BPL Reading Challenge ends on Sunday.

 

FOR COMEDY LOVERS…

**DEM W2’s CAN’T GET HERE QUCK ENOUGH, Saturday, 9 p.m. at Bennie Mac’s On 1st with KAMPLIFE, MPE WILLIAMS, DERRICK BROOKS, and SHEILA.  It is hosted by Chitlin Circuit All Star BENNIE MAC.  This show will bring you some of the most hilarious comics in the county from Bessma, Hampton, VA, Atlanta and Woodlawn.  Call (205) 585-7273 for more.

**LOVE DON’T PAY NO BILLS SHOW coming February 14th at Bennie Mac’s on 1st.  (Look for more right here.)

 

DON’T MISS Comedy…AT THE STARDOME

Michael Blackson (galleryhip.com)
Michael Blackson (galleryhip.com)

THIS WEEKEND, MICHAEL BLACKSON….Blackson has been called one of the most original stand-up comics in the country, and his performances leave audiences laughing in tears. Michael Blackson, aka, ‘The African King of Comedy”, has been entertaining audiences all across the country and around the globe for more than a decade. Inspired by the stand up comedy of Eddie Murphy, Michael began to develop his comedic talent in 1992 in the unkind comedy clubs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Michael’s comedic appeal grew from his involvement with BET’s Comicview series, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Showtime at Harlem, and Live in Hollywood. However, it was in a Los Angeles comedy club where Michael got his big break. Michael was performing at the Comedy Store where actor/director Ice Cube was in attendance to see comedian Mike Epps perform.

 

Christopher Titus (Poptower.com)
Christopher Titus (Poptower.com)

**CHRISTOPHER TITUS, at the StarDome Comedy on Tuesday…Christopher Titus is currently touring with his “Born With A Defect” Tour (recently released on DVD) but also will be doing some new material for what will be his 8th Comedy Special “The 6th Annual End Of The World Tour”. Titus is the host of The Titus Podcast and has a new movie coming out in 2017 called “Special Unit” which he wrote, directed, starred in and executive-produced.  Christopher Titus’ new show takes the audience on a wild ride through his personal life, and proves why he isn’t qualified to be a father, and why childless couples win.  In between, Titus again, takes you down some roads that may be unlikely to win him a CNN heroes award but will always be hilarious. His reasoning as to why owning a Ferrari is better than having children, along with more of his beloved dysfunctional personal anecdotes, will have you clutching your sides with laughter.  This is some of his most surprising material yet, and Christopher Titus again shows in his seventh 90 minute special why he is one of the best comics working today.

 

FOR HELPING YOUTH…

**TAKE OUT BULLYING – The Jefferson County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in conjunction with The Alabama School of Fine Arts present “Take Out Bullying.” The Alabama School of Fine Arts Theatre Arts Ensemble uses humor and personal experience to showcase skits which confront teen bullying and other social issues related to teens head on. The event will be hosted by Harmony Mendoza, Meteorologist at WVTM 13. The event is FREE and open to the public.  Dates and locations: Jonesboro Elementary School (K-6) – Jan. 27, Corner Middle School – Feb 8 (subject to change), Huffman Middle School – Feb. 28, and 
 Phillips Academy (K-6) – Feb. 28.

 

AT THE BCRI….

**Opening of “¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South” through May 31. This one-of-a-kind project will explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and the South is shaping Latinos.  The heart of the project is a 3,500 sq. ft. bilingual exhibition which explores a topic that many historians consider to be the biggest story in southern history since the Civil Rights Movement. Woolfolk Gallery.

¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South” Community Celebration Exhibition – As part of the Alabama Dance Festival and the opening of the exhibition “¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South,”CONTRA-TIEMPO will perform for a fun and interactive Latin dance party.  .

 **“Helen Keller Student Art Show” January 29 through February 26

The winning entries of art work in various media produced by children of all ages who are visually impaired, blind and deaf/blind in Alabama will be announced and displayed.  Milestones Gallery.

 

COMING SOON…

FEBRUARY 3-5 – WORLD CUP USA VS SWITZERLAND at the BJCC Legacy Arena.

FEBRUARY 5 – STILLMAN COLLEGE CONCERT CHOIR

FEBRUARY 10 – BRIAN McKNIGHT, KELLY PRICE and SHANTE MOORE at the BJCC CONCERT HALL.

FEBRUARY 25 – UNCF MAYOR’S MASKED BALL.

MARCH 11 – NATURAL HAIR & HEALTH EXPO at the BJCC.

MARCH 24 – CHRIS ROCK at the BJCC.

 

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.)