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People, Places and Things

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By Gwen DeRu

TODAY…
THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE WITH VOCALIST DOMINIQUE POSEY at Perfect Note.
THE GOLDEN FLAKES and DIE.JPG at the Nick Rocks.
BIT BRIGADE and KINZIE at Saturn.
COMEDIAN LIL DUVAL and RUBICON presents VP OF RICHBROKE at the StarDome Comedy Club.
ROBERT EARL KEEN at Iron City.

FRIDAY…
INDEPENDENCE DAY at Opera Birmingham.
VOCALIST SHENA RENEE-CHAKA KHAN TRIBUTE at Perfect Note.
JASON RINGENBERG (of JASON & THE SCORCHERS) with RICK & JOHNNY  at The Nick.
COMEDIAN DONNELL RAWLINGS at StarDome Comedy Club.
KAI WACHI, SAM LAMAR and SKETCH MUZIC at Saturn.
JAZZ at Jazzi’s on 3rd Music Gallery.
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…
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).
GOOD JAZZ at Jazzi’s on 3rd.
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.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, every Saturday, at Luxe Ultra Lounge, 300 24th Street S with DJ CHOCOLATE.
SNV – SATURDAY NIGHT VIBES, 10 p.m. at Platinum.
COMEDIAN at the StarDome Comedy Club.
MICHAEL ANGELO BATIO – SPEED KILLS TOUR 2020 at the Nick.
COMEDIAN DENO POSEY AND FRIENDS at the Perfect Note.
IVING VENUE YOGA and LAUGHS FOR LITERACY: A FUNDRAISER TO SUPPORT THE LITERACY COUNCIL at Saturn.
VELCRO PYGMIES at Iron City.

SUNDAY…
INDEPENDENCE DAY at Opera Birmingham.
TODD SNIDER and CHICAGO FARMER at Iron City.
SLOW ART SUNDAY, 2 p.m. at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Soulful Sunday with SAXOPHONIST VES MARABLE at Perfect Note.
COMEDIAN ANDREW SCHULTZ at the StarDome Comedy Club.
KAI ORION, MATCHI, PUSHI and TENGEN at the Nick.
RIPE and THE NEW RESPECTS at Saturn.

MONDAY…
MO MONEY MONDAYS at the Eastside Lounge.
BIRMINGHAM BANDSTAND and JEFFERY GAINES (Early) at The Nick Rocks.

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.
PLUM BAR on 17th Street, Downtown.
JOSE’ CARR at the Boss Lounge, 8:30 – 11 p.m.
JEFF PLANKENHORN and SCRAPPY JUD NEWCOMB at the Nick.
SPAFFORD and CBDB at Saturn.
COMEDIAN JAY STEVENS at StarDome Comedy Club.

NEXT WEDNESDAY…
COMEDIAN JAY STEVENS at the StarDome Comedy Club.
VINTAGE PISTOL at the Nick.
BLACK FLAG, THE LINECUTTERS and MATTHEW RYAN at Iron City.

NEXT THURSDAY…
THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE WITH VOCALIST DOMINIQUE POSEY at Perfect Note.
JAMMIN JANUARY HIP HOP FESTIVAL at the Nick Rocks.
ASHLEY MCBRIDE and LAINEY WILSON at Saturn.
COMEDIAN JAY STEVENS at the StarDome Comedy Club.

NEXT FRIDAY…
KEYBOARDIST CAMERON SANKEY’S TRIBUTE TO BABYFACE at Perfect Note.
REBECCA EGELAND and COFFEE BLACK at The Nick.
HYPNOTIST FLIP ORLEY at StarDome Comedy Club.
FRED LANE AND HIS DISHEVELED MONKEYBITERS at Saturn.
PARKER MCCOLLUM at Iron City.

FOR BOOK LOVERS…
THE SOUL OF AMERICA – Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, JON MEACHAM wrote The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.  With clarity and purpose, Meacham explores contentious periods and how presidents and citizens came together to defeat the forces of anger, intolerance and extremism.  Meacham helps us understand the present movement in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America, Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called “ the better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. While the American story has not always – or even often – been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times.  In this book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before” – as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.  Each of the dramatic hours in our national life has been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather them back, to assert hope over fear – struggle that continues even now.

FOR THE COMMUNITY…
DON”T MISS! OPERA BIRMINGHAM 2020- Opera Birmingham presents the Southeast’s premiere of Independence Eve on Friday, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, at 2:30 p.m. at RMTC Cabaret Theatre. Independence Eve, a new one-act chamber opera by composer Sidney Marquez Boquiren and librettist Daniel Neer, explores the troubled journey of race relations in America. From the civil rights era through current conflicts and into an uncertain future, Independence Eve contrasts lyrical music and heightened emotions to hold up a mirror reflecting racial challenges from America’s troubled past with a look ahead to the future. Comprised of three separate scenes, each taking place on July 3 of different decades in unspecified American cities, Independence Eve focuses on the stories of three character pairings (three black males and three white males) struggling with identity and acceptance amidst issues that span one hundred years of the American experience. Taking place on the benign location of a single park bench in three different urban locations, Independence Eve is a study of black and white America, offering commentary on the intricacies of race relations and the insidious and persistent stain of racism that has remained consistent throughout American history. Independence Eve will be performed as written in English, but will also be presented with projected English titles, so you can follow every word. Tenor Brian Wallin will sing the roles of Sam (a Caucasian policeman in the 1960s), Joe (a white investment banker of present time) and Max (an Anglo-Caucasian boy in the future); and baritone Jorell Williams will sing the roles of Louis (a “Negro” hotel porter in the 1960s), Sean (a black investment banker of present time) and Phillip (a boy of mixed race in the future). Music will be directed by Cris Frisco, who will also accompany on piano; and the stage will be under the direction of Dennis Whitehead Darling.
DREAMS OF HOPE DOCUMENTARY AIRS ON PUBLIC TELEVISION – A premiere of DREAMS OF HOPE is Thursday, Feb. 6.  It is an inspiring program that celebrates the unifying power of music and spirit of resilience that will air on public television stations across the country in February. The concert documentary DREAMS OF HOPE tells the story of a historic performance at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, more than 50 years after a hate crime there killed four African American girls. An initiative called Violins of Hope contributed painstakingly restored musical instruments to the event, including violins recovered from Holocaust concentration camps, symbols of resilience in the face of hate, discrimination and racism. Musicians and artists, including some from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, performed and contributed to the creation of the concert and documentary.  Directed by filmmaker David Macon and UAB University Professor of Music Henry Panion III, Ph.D., and presented and distributed by American Public Television, “Dreams of Hope” will air on public television stations nationwide for Black History Month (check local listings for airdates). With a captivating storyline written by Macon, “Dreams of Hope” blends concert performance footage with behind-the-scenes interviews chronicling the event’s preparation and reflecting on its significance. The program includes reflections by Richard Arrington Jr., the first African American mayor of Birmingham; Jeffrey and Gail Bayer, co-chairs of Violins of Hope Birmingham; Chris Hamlin, former pastor of 16th Street Baptist; Amnon and Assi Weinstein, founders of Violins of Hope; Panion; violinist Caitlin Edwards, who returned to her hometown of Birmingham to play the Auschwitz violin, originally built around 1850; and Sallie Downs, who spearheaded the initiative to bring Violins of Hope to Birmingham. Concert footage features the premiere of “Dreams of Hope for Solo Violin & Orchestra” by acclaimed composer and conductor Panion, commissioned especially for this concert. Alongside the Dreams of Hope Orchestra, the concert features vocalists Valerie Smith and Lenora Goodman-Panion, dancer Kelsey Ebersold, and the Miles College Choir.

COMEDIAN MARTIN LAWRENCE AT THE BJCC – The LIT AF Tour, hosted by Martin Lawrence comes to Legacy Arena at the BJCC on Friday, February 7. The 25+ city comedy tour follows the much-anticipated release this week of Martin’s new movie, “Bad Boys For Life” co-starring Will Smith, and each night of the tour will feature Martin doing stand-up along with some of his biggest and baddest friends for a killer comedy explosion. Joining Martin on the Birmingham tour stop will be comedians Rickey Smiley, DeRay Davis, Bruce Bruce and Benji Brown.
AFRICAN CHILDREN’S CHOIR PERFORMS IN BIRMINGHAM AND HUTSVILLE –
Music For Life (MLF)(the parent organization for the African Children’s Choir) works in the African countries: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa.  The African Children’s Choir will perform March 12, 7 p.m. at the Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham. Call (205) 925-5972 for more. They will perform, in Huntsville, on March 14, 6 p.m. at the New Life Seventh-Day Adventist Church.  Call (256) 241-6750 for more. On March 15, 5 p.m. they will be back in Birmingham to perform at the Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. Call (205) 979-5920 for more.  Then there is Ozark, Alabama, March 18, 6 p.m. at Ozarck Baptist Church.  Call (334) 744-9381 for more. MFL purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa, by focusing on education.  MFL has educated over 52,000 children and impacted the lives of over 100,000 people through its relief and development programs during its history. The African Children’s Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their charming smiles, beautiful voices and lively African songs and dances. The program features well-loved children’s songs, traditional Spirituals and Gospel favorites. Concerts are free and open to all. A free-will offering is taken at the performance to support African Children’s Choir programs, such as education, care and relief and development programs. (No tickets are needed, but donations are appreciated.) The African Children’s Choir has had the privilege to perform before presidents, heads of state and most recently the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, for her diamond jubilee. The Choir has also had the honor of singing alongside artists such as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Michael W. Smith, and other inspirational performers! Music For Life is celebrating its 51st choir to tour from Africa since it’s founding in 1984. It’s New Program is JUST AS I AM. For more on African Children’s Choir go to: www.africanchildrenschoir.com.

FOR MUSIC LOVERS, SPOKEN WORD…
JAZZ at Jazzi’s on Third.
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 OUTDOORS LOVERS…
SATURDAY DAY HIKE – Southeastern Outings Dayhike at  Sipsey Wilderness, Bankhead National Forest – DETAILS: Moderately strenuous 4-mile hike in a highly scenic location, Upper Quillan Creek Forest Area.  Most of the hike is off trail with lots of ups and downs, and several rock-hopping crossings are required across small creeks.   Walk along two creeks and on an old road.  At a beautiful waterfall, visit the site of an old mill.  See several small waterfalls on side creeks and tributaries to Quillan Creek.  Visit at least three very pretty waterfalls on Quillan Creek itself along the way.  Bring picnic lunch and water for the day.  Expect to finish about 4 p.m.  Optional dinner after hike.  Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 9 and over able to walk 4 miles off trail without complaining welcome. Reservations Required: If you wish to participate in this outing, you are required to call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or email your reservation to seoutings@bellsouth.net by 5 p.m. on TODAY.  Leave your phone number or email address.  If you aren’t coming after making a reservation, please notify Dan.  Leader will advise meeting time and place only to those who have signed up for this trip. Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net, or 205/631-4680.

FOR ART AND PERFORMING ART LOVERS…
SLOW ART SUNDAY, 2-3 p.m. at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

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.

FOR COMEDY LOVERS…
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…
THURSDAY… LIL DUVAL AND RUBICON presents VP OF RICHBROKE…
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY… COMEDIAN DONNELL RAWLINGS… Donnell Rawlings is an overnight success a decade in the making. You’ve seen him on Comedy Central’s award winning and critically celebrated “Chappelle’s Show” as “Ashy Larry,” the 70’s jheri curled “Beautiful,” and numerous other characters he’s played. Donnell is the franchise player Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan wanted as a writer and prime time player on their team. “Hilarious” is what Linda Stasi of The New York Post calls Donnell. In recent years Donnell was on numerous seasons of MTV2’s “Guy Code and served as the judge of MTV2’s Guy Court. Donnell has been recently cast in Kevin Smith’s project Hollyweed. Donnell continues to tour the world with his hilarious stand-up. He also lends his voice to Black Jesus and Black Dynamite.
SUNDAY…COMEDIAN ANDREW SCHULTZ…Andrew Schulz has three weekly shows on his YouTube channel centered on stand-up. On UNSAFE SETS, Andrew drops a new joke every week from his Matador Tour, and you can follow the tour selling out nationwide on DROPPING IN, where he explores cities during the day and turn his experiences into jokes on stage that night. On INSIDE JOKES, comics bring their most divisive material, find the funny, and see if they work in front of audience
NEXT TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY …COMEDIAN JAY STEVENS… Jay Stevens is a professional comedian, and has been for more than a decade. Jay has been very successful at making people laugh in any venue, from churches to comedy clubs to cruise ships, and now… casinos! He’s also been digitally entertaining audiences with his hilarious skits and commercial reenactments. Jay’s life changed drastically when a video sketch of Stevens getting into an humorous altercation with a police officer, in which Stevens places himself in a police cruiser of an overly intimidating officer, went viral after amassing over 30 million views in just one week! Jay’s “Life Is Hilarious” Tour has been selling out all over the country, leaving audiences in stitches. Stevens has the uncanny ability to point out how funny life really is. From standup to sketch comedy, Jay Stevens is a comic you don’t want to miss!
NEXT FRIDAY … HYPNOSTIST COMEDIAN FLIP ORLEY… Since Flip Orley has bursted onto the comedy seen he has single – handedly reshaped the image of hypnosis from its vaudeville image, to an act hip and edgy enough for the MTV generation. Flip’s appearance on the “Today Show” brought rave reviews and stopped traffic in midtown Manhattan. His one-man show has set comedy club attendance records from coast to coast. Faithful fans and new comers alike find themselves screaming with laughter as Flip ignites his volunteers’ subconscious minds and transforms reality.

COMING SOON!!!
MARCH 14 – UNCF MAYOR’S MASKED BALL at Sheraton Birmingham Hotel.
APRIL 10 – THE ZOMBIES at Iron City.

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.