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People, Places and Things

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Birmingham's Rickey Smiley has been a standup comic for 28 years, and is known nationally for his legendary skits, southern inspired bits, prank phone calls, and unforgettable church personalities. (Reginald Allen Photo, For The Birmingham Times)
By Gwen DeRu

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND!! BE SAFE! ENJOY!

TODAY
4th OF JULY CELEBRATION at The Nick.

Jose Carr

4th OF JULY CELEBRATION WITH FOOD AND FIREWORKS at 1918 Catering.
SAXOPHONIST JOSE CARR at Tutwiler Bar and Grill.
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 at Perfect Note.

FRIDAY

VOCALIST JAEDEN HENDERSON CD RELEASE at Perfect Note.
FALSE JASMINE, DANA IVES, TOPSOIL and WOOTER at The Nick Rocks.
COMEDIAN STEVE BROWN and NO CHILL PODCAST at the StarDome Comedy Club.
SHOOT 2 THRILL 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.
EVERY FIRST FRIDAY AT ZANZIBAR Bar and Grill, 9 p.m.

SATURDAY
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).
70’S THROWBACK DANCE PARTY at Jazzi’s on 3rd.
YAUTJA w/MEAN QUEEN, DROVES & SHEHEHE, at Saturn.
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.
THE McRYATTS, JUSTIFY THESE SCARS and PINK FOR PRESIDENT 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 in West End.
SNV – SATURDAY NIGHT VIBES, 10 p.m. at Platinum.
COMEDIAN STEVE BROWN at the StarDome Comedy Club.
OVERFLOE BAND at Perfect Note.

SUNDAY
SLOW ART SUNDAY, 2 p.m. at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
SOULFUL SUNDAY with GOOD FELLAS at Perfect Note.
MATCHI, POST HUNK, CALLIOPE MUSICALS and WAX FUR at the Nick Rocks.
COMEDIAN STEVE BROWN at the StarDome Comedy Club.

MONDAY
MO MONEY MONDAYS at the Eastside Lounge.
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.
KARAOKE NIGHTS WITH RICKEY SMILEY at the StarDome Comedy Club.

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.
WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE at Saturn.

NEXT THURSDAY
PUSSY RIOT: A BENEFIT FOR YELLOWHAMMER FUND AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD at Saturn.
KEYBOARDIST DEE HILL at Perfect Note.
HEADWIRES, SICK RIDE and NO CULTURE at The Nick.
COMEDIAN TRAP COMEDY and MATT OWENS at the StarDome Comedy Club.

NEXT FRIDAY
SAXOPHONIST ANTONIO ALLEN at Perfect Note.
HOLLIS BROWN, ONEHUNDREDS and VOLKS at The Nick Rocks.
COMEDIAN RODNEY CARRINGTON at the StarDome Comedy Club.
THE GET UP KIDS and GREAT GRANDPA at Saturn.

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.
1918 CATERING CELEBRATES FOURTH OF JULY –1918 Catering will host their ANNUAL BBQ AND VIEW on the Fourth of July with live music, games and kids’ activities and a great view of Thunder on the Mountain. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. For more, call (205) 518-5711. The 1918 Catering has now opened for lunch in Homewood at 197 Vulcan Road, Birmingham, 35209.
2019 BIRMINGHAM RESTAURANT WEEK – The 10th annual Birmingham Restaurant Week (BRW) presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will be held Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 25. The 10-day event celebrates the city’s acclaimed culinary culture by offering incentives for Birmingham residents and visitors to dine at their favorite restaurants or try something new, all while celebrating the landmark eateries that helped put Birmingham on the map as one of “The 50 Best Foodie Towns in America” by The Daily Meal. From fine dining to down-home cookin’, food lovers with a taste for adventure can enjoy special lunch or dinner prix-fixe menus. BRW will give 60 restaurants the opportunity to showcase all the ways they are feeding the city – from filling vacant spaces and creating locally-sourced dishes to mentoring the next generation of culinary greats.

CELEBRATING JULY 4TH
JULY 4TH FESTIVAL CELEBRATION and THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN – Celebrate the 4th of July in Downtown Homewood, 5 – 9 p.m. Two blocks of 18th Street South & one block of 29th Ave South will be blocked for pedestrian traffic to make way for attractions, which will include various rides and inflatables for children of all ages. A DJ will also be on site to provide family-friendly entertainment including music and interactive activities! Downtown Homewood is the prime location to view Vulcan Park & Museum’s famous “Thunder on the Mountain” firework show. The July 4th Festival will officially end at the beginning of the show.

FOR LOVERS OF THE OUTDOORS
FOURTH OF JULY PICNIC, 6:30 p.m. – Southeastern Outings 4th of July Picnic at Bartow Arena Park – DETAILS:  Bring your own blanket or chairs and all your picnic supplies: food, drinks (no alcohol, please), cups, ice, utensils, etc.  Look for the SEO signs.  Assemble to the right of the stage as you face the band, right where the grass ends and the concrete floor leading to the entrance to the arena begins. Well-behaved children, but no dogs, are welcome. For more info contact, Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or (205) 631-4680.
THURSDAY CONCERT, 7 p.m. – Southeastern Outings Attends FREE 4th of July Band Concert Followed by City of Birmingham Fireworks at Bartow Arena Park – DETAILS: Band concert by the UAB Summer Band. This large group of carefully auditioned and selected student and professional musicians is an outstanding concert band. Bring your own blanket or chairs. Assemble to the right of the stage as you face the band, right where the grass ends and the concrete floor leading to the entrance to the arena begins. Look for the Southeastern Outings signs. When the concert ends, conveniently enjoy clear viewing the Birmingham City Fireworks from the picnic area. Well-behaved children, but no dogs, are welcome. For more info contact Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or (205) 631-4680.
THURSDAY POTLUCK DESSERT GET-TOGETHER – After the Concert and Fireworks at Bartow Arena Park – DETAILS: Southeastern Outings people will stay at the Bartow Arena Park for a while after the fireworks are concluded, avoiding all the exiting traffic congestion. Enjoy good company and food. Invite one or several guests to come with you since this event is one of the best SEO events for introducing yourself (if not already a member) and your friends to the group. Bring a small dessert with you to share with the group. SEO will provide a table to set out desserts plus plates, napkins, forks and spoons. Bring your own drink (no alcohol, please) with you. Well-behaved children, but no dogs, are welcome. For more info, contact: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or (205) 631-4680.
SATURDAY KAYAK OUTING, Meet 9:45 a.m. – Southeastern Outings Canoe and Kayak Outing, Big Wills Creek near Gadsden, Alabama. – DETAILS: This is a scenic stretch of river located in a very rural area. This stretch is fairly easy and without classified rapids. Along the river, see wildflowers and stop to investigate islands and beaches. Novice canoeists are welcome and may come on this trip, but each novice canoeist must be partnered with an experienced canoeist in their canoe. If you wish to rent a boat from Big Wills Outfitters, call the outfitter BEFORE July 6 at (256) 438-7172 to reserve your boat. Tell the outfitter you are boating with Southeastern Outings. If you rent a boat, the outfitter will take you and your rented boat to the put in, and you will take out at the outfitter’s property so you will never need to transport your rented boat at all. Life jackets, paddles and shuttle fee are included in the rental boat fee for those who rent boats from the outfitter. You may bring your own canoe or kayak on this trip, but you must pay the outfitter to shuttle your privately-owned boat. For more information about the outfitter and photos of the creek, please visit www.facebook.com/bigwillsoutfitters. Upon arrival, sign a waiver, pay your shuttle or boat rental fee, use the restroom, and then eat lunch in the picnic pavilion at the outfitter’s. After you finish lunch the outfitter will transport ALL the boaters and their boats, both rented and owned, to the put in. Paddle down the creek to the take out, stopping as often as we want to. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 10 and over are welcome. If you would like to have dinner with us at the restaurant after the kayak and canoe trip in Gadsden, bring a change of clothes. A changing room is available at the outfitter’s. Reservations Required: You must contact Dan Frederick, email seoutings@bellsouth.net or call (205) 631-4680 if you plan to come on this kayak and canoe trip and for more info. You may leave a message on Dan’s voice mail if you wish. Meet 9:45 a.m. at the Applebee’s in Trussville. Depart at 10 a.m.

FOR THE COMMUNITY
ENSLEY ALIVE LAUNCHES “BRANDING ENSLEY” – Ensley stakeholders have launched an initiative to honor Ensley jazz greats while enticing patrons to visit downtown Ensley retailers. Branding Ensley is an initiative developed by Bettina Byrd-Giles, CEO of The Bethesda Life Center, Inc. and Ensley Alive co-founder as her culminating initiative for the Culture of Health Leaders program. The Culture of Health Leaders is one of four programs sponsored by the Leadership for Better Health Initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Byrd-Giles was one of 40 selected for the inaugural class of The Culture of Health Leaders in 2016. For Byrd-Giles, Ensley was a natural selection. She has been working in Ensley since 2010 when she was asked to direct The Bethesda Life Center, Inc. The Bethesda provides healthcare regardless of one’s ability to pay. Byrd-Giles found the narrative around Ensley through the news, crime reports, and Census data to form a negative and incomplete story. She knew the community has several assets that should be highlighted and built upon. However, the perception internally and externally held Ensley back from its potential. Ensley Alive set out to change the perception and focus on Ensley’s assets. It uses the cultural arts, social media and articles to accomplish their goals. Byrd-Giles captures their mission in the article, “The Revolution will be Painted, Planted and Photographed.” Branding Ensley builds upon work of Ensley Alive and is an opportunity to operationalize Ensley Alive’s social capital to bring foot traffic to downtown Ensley by highlighting its jazz heritage. Three teams have been commissioned to design t-shirts honoring jazz greats from Ensley and the surrounding communities. The teams consist of a design mentor and a group of students who are interested in learning graphic design, production, marketing, and entrepreneurship. The t-shirts will be available in retail stores located in downtown Ensley. Their initial collaboration was a photo-voice project called, “100 Lenses Ensley.” Other former Ensley residents and stakeholders joined them to create, Ensley Alive, a movement to spark a renaissance in Ensley. Branding Ensley builds upon work of Ensley Alive.
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 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: Friday, July 12 and August 9, 7-11 p.m.

FOR MUSIC LOVERS, SPOKEN WORD AND DANCE
PEARL LOUNGE, 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.
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 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
FRIDAY, SATURDAY and SUNDAY… COMEDIAN STEVE BROWN…Widely recognized for his distinct high-pitched voice and his unpredictable high-energy physical antics, Steve Brown is one of the hottest comics in the industry today. He’s appeared on BET Comic View and Martin Lawrence First Amendment. Steve Brown has become synonymous with “Real, Raw Comedy.” Steve W. Brown is that rising star.
FRIDAY… NO CHILL PODCAST…Gilbert Arenas is one of the most unique characters basketball has ever seen. The No Chill Podcast unleashes Agent Zero as he offers up his truly unique perspective on all things basketball, pop culture and whatever else is on his mind. Along with co-host Mike Botticello, Gil chops it up with hoopers, comedians and other personalities, all with…no chill.
**MONDAY and TUESDAY…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 THURSDAY…COMEDIAN MATT OWENS…In November of 2014, Matt Owens was personally selected to feature for Louis CK for two sold out shows at New Orleans’ historic Joy Theater. He was featured at Hell Yes Fest comedy festival from 2014 through 2017. Matt has featured for Dom Irrera, Hannibal Buress, Theo Von, Brian Posehn, Mark Normand, and has shared the stage with Bill Burr and Darrell Hammond at the House of Blues. Matt was the headliner and co-producer for The Jay Thomas Show on Sirius XM radio. In July 2018, he co-produced the local filming of New Orleans-based Season 3 of Kevin Hart’s “Hart of the City.”
NEXT THURSDAY…TRAP COMEDY…Created by Marques McConico – Four comedians battle it out in the TRAP for a chance to win their own comedy special. Hosted by DJ Cuzzo and Christine Lee.
NEXT FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY…COMEDIAN RODNEY CARRINGTON.

COMING SOON
JULY 16-25 – 2019 BIRMINGHAM RESTAURANT WEEK.
JULY 20 – CLARENCE CARTER at Roscoe’s Bar and Lounge in Lipscomb.
JULY 27 – BIRMINGHAM FREEDOM FEST.
AUGUST 18 – L’CHAIM at the Alys Stephens Center.
SEPTEMBER 28 – FIESTA 2019 in Linn Park.
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.