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People, Places and Things

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Comedian Drew Thomas
By Gwen  DeRu


TODAY
SUMMER KICK OFF PARTY WITH BEITTHEMEANS, 53 JUDGES & TIRE FIRE at The Nick.
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS, 6 p.m. at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
COMEDIAN DREW THOMAS at the StarDome Comedy Club.
FREE AFTER PARTY SHOW WITH THE PEARL at Saturn.
LIVE JAZZ EVERY THURSDAY, 9 p.m. at Jazzi’s on 3rd.
MUSIC, COMEDY AND MORE at VIP Lounge in Ensley.
PLUM BAR on 17th Street, Downtown.
LIVE BAND KARAOKE OPEN MIC of Perfect Note.

FRIDAY
9TH ANNUAL TAILS IN THE TRAILS at the Birmingham Zoo.
SAXOPHONIST DWIGHT HOUSTON at the Perfect Note.
TRAGIC CITY, MONARCHS and MISNOMER at The Nick Rocks.
COMEDIAN CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER at the StarDome Comedy Club.
CHRIS KNIGHT and KYLE KIMBRELL at Saturn.
RUMOURS at Iron City.
UGLY BABY LIVE, 9:30 – 11:30 p.m. at Birmingham Improv Theatre, 2208 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, 35233.
FACEBOOK FRIDAYS, every Friday, at the Legion in Fairfield, 5 p.m. Happy Hour, 7 p.m. Line Dance, 9 p.m., DJ Vick Goes Live and Ladies are free until 10 p.m.
MUSIC, COMEDY AND MORE at VIP Lounge in Ensley.
FUNNY FREE FRIDAYS (Comedy Show) at Good People Brewery, 9- 10:30 p.m.
FRIDAY NIGHT EXPERIENCE at Luxe Ultra Lounge.
JAZZ at FRIDAY UNWIND, 6 p.m.– midnight, at Jazzi’s on 3rd.
PASSPORTS FRIDAYS, 10 p.m.– 4 a.m. at Legends Sports Lounge with Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Afro-Beats and Top 40. FREE until midnight.
PLUM BAR on 17th Street, Downtown.
DJ RUSTY IN THE MIXX at Zanzibar….Check it out…EVERY FIRST FRIDAY AT ZANZIBAR Bar and Grill, 9 p.m.

SATURDAY
ANNUAL CARRIBEAN FOOD AND MUSIC FESTIVAL in Bessemer.
PEPPER PLACE MARKET, 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE, every Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on V94.9 FM with Curtis Bell. Request Line (205) 994-8949 (V949).
SLICEFEST 2019, 2 p.m.
EVERY SATURDAY AFTER HOURS AT ZANZIBAR INTERNATIONAL BAR AND GRILL, 9 p.m., 2024 Green Springs Highway with Caribbean, African, Latino music, Signature Dish Suya and Drink Specials.
HELLROD AND THE TURN SIGNALS, THE MAGIC MATH, ROB ALDRIDGE, and ALEXA RANKIN at The Nick Rocks.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, every Saturday, at Luxe Ultra Lounge, 300 24th Street S with DJ CHOCOLATE.
EAT DRINK AND RIDE NIGHT FOOD TOUR WITH COMEDIENNE JOY, at 6 – 10 p.m., meet in Brookwood Mall, at Grille 29. For more, www.diningoutwithcomediennejoy.com.
PEARL LOUNGE GRAND REOPENING in West End.
SNV – SATURDAY NIGHT VIBES, 10 p.m. at Platinum.

David Stevens

COMEDIAN CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER at the StarDome Comedy Club.
LGBTQ SALSA NIGHT at Saturn.
GUITARIST DAVID P. STEVENS at Perfect Note.

SUNDAY
VULCAN’S 115th BIRTHDAY BASH, 1 p.m.
SLOW ART SUNDAY, 2 p.m. at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
SOULFUL SUNDAYS with GOOD FELLAS at Perfect Note.
JEFF GOLDBLUM at ASC.
STONE MECCA and SOUL OF ‘46 at the Nick Rocks.
COMEDIAN TONY ROBERTS at the StarDome Comedy Club.
SARAH SHOOK AND THE DISARMERS, and SYLVIA ROSE NOVAK at Saturn.

MONDAY
MO MONEY MONDAYS at the Eastside Lounge.
Early Show w/ CARL JR – MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER “WHAT ARE WE THINKING NOW?” and BIRMINGHAM BANDSTAND at The Nick Rocks.
KARAOKE NIGHTS WITH RICKEY SMILEY at the StarDome Comedy Club.

TUESDAY
TASTY TUESDAY, 5 p.m. doors open, (30+ before 9 p.m.) (21+ after 9 p.m.) at Platinum of Birmingham, every Tuesday. Free Dinner buffet for Birmingham’s Best Happy Hour.
FIESTA TUESDAY at 1st and 23rd, all night.
PLUM BAR on 17th Street, Downtown.
JOSE’ CARR at the Boss Lounge, 8:30 – 11 p.m.
TYLER BOONE, UNCLE DUANE’S BAND and TAYLOR HOLLINGSWORTH at the Nick Rocks.
BETTY WHO – BETTY: THE TOUR and LOOTE at Saturn.

WEDNESDAY
LIVE JAZZ, at The Marble Ring, every Wednesday, 430 41st Street South, Suite B.
WINE DOWN WEDNESDAY, every Wednesday at 30/40 Hookah Lounge.
WINE AND JAZZ at the Perfect Note.
DEXX, PRIMEVAL, SMOKE D, JAYDEE, and NICK JAY at The Nick Rocks.
J. S. ONDARA and ADAM MELCHOR at Saturn.

NEXT THURSDAY
THE HARMED BROTHERS, PEOPLE YEARS at The Nick.
COMEDIAN HENRY CHO at the StarDome Comedy Club.
JOHN MORELAND and EARLY JAMES & THE LATEST at Saturn.
OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW at Iron City.

NEXT FRIDAY
MS. SENIOR JEFFERSON COUNTY PAGEANT at the Cahaba Ridge Resort Lifestyle Communities.
HORN DOGS – DISCO FUNK R&B at Perfect Note.
AFTM and THE ICEMAN SPECIAL at The Nick Rocks.
COMEDIAN HENRY CHO at the StarDome Comedy Club.
GNASH and ANNA CLENDENING at Saturn.
STRUTTER – A TRIBUTE TO KISS  at Iron City.

FOR FOOD LOVERS
ZANZIBAR BAR AND GRILL – If you love good ethnic food, then Zanzibar Bar and Grill is the place to go every Saturday night. Get your groove on with all kinds of favorite foods from Africa, Caribbean, and more. Enjoy music of all kinds including Caribbean, Soca, African, and Reggae.
PEPPER PLACE MARKET, 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

FOR MUSIC LOVERS, SPOKEN WORD AND DANCE
PEARL LOUNGE GRAND REOPENING, Saturday, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at 3132 Boise Avenue S.W.  Everyone free before midnight, Summer Time Fly attire and soundtrack provided by DJ CHOCOLATE and DJ PAKK. Pearl’s Famous Kitchen will be open. RSVP at www.urbanham.com.
JAZZNET is June 14, 5:30 – 9 p.m. at the Boutwell Auditorium hosted by Jeh Jeh Pruitt. It is a great networking event whether you are a musician, doctor, insurance agent, online merchant, caterer, manufacturer, candlestick maker, salesperson, personal trainer, attorney, financial advisor, etc., this is the perfect event to grow your business. Network with positive business people and promote your business to a variety of audiences.
SUNDAY JAZZ, 5 p.m. at the Perfect Note.
SPOKEN WORD OPEN MIC NIGHT, every Third Sunday, 7 p.m. at the Carver Theatre.

FOR ART AND PERFORMING ART LOVERS
SLOW ART SUNDAY, 2-3 p.m. at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
ART ON THE ROCKS – Art on the Rocks at the Birmingham Museum of Art kicks off in June with visual and performing arts from live music and DJ dance parties to artist demos and interactive mural making. The dates are: June 14, July 12 and August 9, 7-11 p.m.
AFRICAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL – The African Heritage Festival is June 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Celebrate vibrant traditions and cultures of regions throughout the African diaspora at the BMA’s free-of-charge African Heritage Festival. This family-oriented festival honors African heritage through art, crafts, music, dance, and more. Featuring a powerful performance by Atlanta-based African drumming and dance group Giwayen Mata.

FOR THE COMMUNITY
SPECIAL ELECTION IN BIRMINGHAM – The Birmingham Election Commission has set October 8 as the date of a citywide referendum to renew ad valorem taxes for Birmingham City Schools. For more, call Birmingham City Council, (205) 254-7726.

FOR BOOK LOVERS
BOOK SIGNING – MY LIFE WITH CHARLES BILLUPS AND MARTIN LUTHER KING: TRAUMA AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT by Rene Billups Baker, Tuesday, May 28, at the Five Points West Library, 5- 7 p.m. Rev. Charles Billups displayed pivotal leadership during the climax of the civil rights movement Martin Luther King’s campaign in Birmingham. Little of the Billups’ story has been told until recently by his daughter Rene Billups Baker as she relates his torture by the Ku Klux Klan. Billups Baker reveals his participation in King’s key strategy sessions at the Gaston Motel.

FOR LOVERS OF THE OUTDOORS
BOTANICAL GARDENS SUMMER CAMP- Children’s Summer Camps will return to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, June 3 – August 2, and will feature half- and full-day camps that explore gardening, cooking, art, and more for age 4 through rising 9th graders. The camps, an educational initiative of the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, are designed to promote creativity and the joy of discovery in the unmatched natural setting of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Registration is opened to the public. Visit bbgardens.org/summercamps or call 205.414.3950 for more information and to register.
SATURDAY DAYHIKE, 8:45 a.m. – Southeastern Outings Kayak and Canoe Trip on the Elk River near Elkmont, Alabama – DETAILS: The section to paddle is easy with no obstructions and is a scenic stretch of river located in a very rural area. Novice canoeists may come on this trip, but each one must be partnered with an experienced canoeist in their boat. Call Fort Hampton Outfitters 256/431-8988 to reserve your rental kayak with Southeastern Outings on June 1. The outfitter has no canoes and only 19 one-person sit-upon kayaks, 1 one-person sit in kayak and 6 tandem sit-upon kayaks for rent, reserve early. The outfitter will take you and your rented boat to the put in and meet you at the take out, so you will never need to transport your rented boat at all. You may bring your own canoe or kayak on this trip, but you must pay the outfitter to shuttle your privately-owned boat. Shuttle fee and life jacket are included in rental boat fee for those who rent kayaks from the outfitter. Children age 10 and over welcome. After the kayak/canoe trip we plan to go for dinner at an excellent restaurant in Athens, Alabama. If you would like to have dinner at the restaurant after the kayak and canoe trip, bring your things to clean up with and a change of clothes. Meet at 8:45 a.m. at the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride. Plan to depart at 9 a.m. Reservations Required: You must call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or emailseoutings@bellsouth.net if you plan to come on this kayak and canoe trip. You may leave a message on Dan’s voice mail if you wish.

FOR COMEDY LOVERS
AT BIRMINGHAM IMPROV EVERY FRIDAY…
UGLY BABY LIVE, 9:30 p.m. at Birmingham Improv Theatre, 2208 7th Avenue South, 35233.
AT GOOD PEOPLE BREWING…EVERY FRIDAY…
FUNNY FREE FRIDAYS (COMEDY SHOW), 9 – 10:30 p.m., at Good People with Birmingham’s finest comedy show at a brewery. It’s free and features the best comedians from around the country.
AT THE STARDOME…
TODAY… COMEDIAN DREW THOMAS … His hard work has led to

Comedian Drew Thomas

appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing (Seasons 6 & 9) and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. For three years Drew was the opening act on Rodney Carrington’s Laughter’s Good Tour playing countless theaters, arenas and casinos throughout the U.S. and Canada. Drew has also opened for notable musical acts such as Salt N Pepa, Boyz II Men, Chaka Khan, Al Green, Jeffrey Osborne, Tito Jackson, M.C. Hammer, The Temptations, Morris Day and The Isley Brothers, just to name a few. He’s also appeared at over 75 Colleges and Universities. In addition to performing, he also produced two successful comedy series at California’s Morongo and Chumash casinos. You can currently catch him on Gotham Comedy Live, Laughs on Fox and Comedy All Stars on Pure Flix or at a Comedy Club near you. His work ethic is above par and he continues to grow as an artist. He mentors young comics, does private comedy coaching, and still makes time to take acting classes and maintain a personal life.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY…COMEDIAN CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER… Over the course of a career spanning 30 years, Cedric the Entertainer has solidified his status as one of the world’s premier

Cedric The Entertainer

performers. In July 2018, the actor and comedian was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to starring in and executive producing THE NEIGHBORHOOD, Cedric currently appears in the hit TV comedy “The Last O.G.,” starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish. Previously, he starred in “The Comedy Get Down,” a mockumentary series inspired by events that occurred behind the scenes of the comedian’s successful stand-up tour of the same name, with George Lopez, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin and the late Charlie Murphy.
SUNDAY… COMEDIAN TONY ROBERTS…A favorite of club owners for his improvisational skills and quick wit, Tony has toured the nation with his stand-up comedy in all the major night clubs across the country. Tony has also toured nationally with the stage plays, If these Hips Could Talk and Ain’t Nothing like Family. He has also toured internationally with his stand-up comedy, one of his more notable accomplishments was a 2009 nomination from the UK for Best International Comic. Tony has also made numerous television appearances on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, BET Comic View, and Showtime at the Apollo. In 2010, his one hour comedy special, Wired, aired on Showtime. He has also appeared in B movies like Damon Dash’s Death of a Dynasty, A Get2gether, and Durdy Game.
MONDAY…KARAOKE NIGHTS WITH RICKEY SMILEY… Birmingham’s own, Rickey Smiley is taking over the StarDome on Monday nights. Come join Rickey, his band and whatever else he has up his sleeve as he brings Karaoke to a whole new level.
NEXT FRIDAY AND SATURDAY… COMEDIAN HENRY CHO…
HOT NEW MUSIC…
NEW ALBUM! NEW ALVIN! –  Grammy-Nominated Singer-Songwriter, Alvin Garrett, is celebrating the release of his latest album, “This HILL”. After several years of climbing and grinding with his breakout hit single, “By Myself,” the Grammy-Nominated songwriter, Alvin Garrett, is inviting everyone to join him on “This HILL.” Garrett’s sophomore album truly captures this Alabama boy’s old soul and takes you on a neo-vintage journey through his musical mind and life. The title song and lead-off single, “This HILL,” pays tribute to the lessons he was taught growing up, which helped shape his relentless spirit and pursuit of his goals. “Because of HOPE, I have the INSPIRATION to pursue what I LOVE at the risk of LOSS,” says Garrett. This singer-songwriter truly believes that attitude determines altitude; which he gleefully delivers with “Have A Good Time,” and the classic William DeVaughn hit, “Be Thankful For What You Got.” Alvin’s celebration of women and their unique and individual beauty is captured in the Prince-styled funk jam, “It’s You”; and he beautifully channels his inner Al Green with the gentleman-esque ballad, “What I’ll Do.” Garrett is joined by his good friend and recent Grammy-Award winner, PJ Morton, on the soul-stirring groove, “Wait.” The songs “Love Is Still The Answer” and “By Myself” prove that Garrett has no interest in escaping his Gospel roots. Get on “This HILL” with Alvin Garrett, and you’re sure to be inspired to keep climbing.

COMING SOON
JUNE 8 – REGGAE BLOCK PARTY at Chasers Sports Bar and Grill.
JUNE 14 – JAZZNET at the Boutwell Auditorium.
JUNE 15 – JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL at the Birmingham Civil Rights District
JUNE 15 – 19 – NATIONAL JUNETEENTH OBSERVANCE at Kelly Ingram Park.
JUNE 16 – FATHER’S DAY BLUES & BASH at the Boutwell Auditorium.
JUNE 21 – AN EVENING WITH ICONIC KENNY G with ERIC ESSIX at BJCC Concert Hall.
JUNE 22 – AFRICAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
JUNE 22 – JUNETEENTH SANKOFA AFRICAN CULTURAL CELEBRATION at 1121 Tuscaloosa Avenue S.W.
JUNE 22 – 5TH ANNUAL ZOO, BREWS & FULL MOON BAR-B-QUE at the Birmingham Zoo.
JUNE 23 – JAZZ IN THE PARK in Bessemer.
AUGUST 18 – L’CHAIM at the Alys Stephens Center.
NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 5 – 3rd ANNUAL ALUMNI GETAWAY CRUISE.

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 and gwenderu@yahoo.com.