Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another big weekend

Mad good trumpet madness

This is kind of weird, but these two trumpet concerts Saturday night are not connected other than by instrument.
The Carmine Caruso International Solo Trumpet Competition takes place in Saturday and master classes and playoffs take place during the day. All that is open to the public.
If that sounds little too insider for you the closing concert is anything but.
Get a load of this lineup:
Brian Lynch, top right, won a Grammy Award for the 2007 recording “The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Recording Project – Simpatico.” Lynch was the trumpeter in the last edition of Art Blakley’s Jazz Messengers and is a regular with the Phil Woods Quintet and Palmieri's Afro-Caribbean Jazz. He leads the ongoing Spheres of Influence group which recently did a Chamber Music America “New Works” series.
Terell Stafford, right, has been in large and small bands led by
Benny Golson and McCoy Tyner, the Jimmy Heath and the Jon Faddis.
Sean Jones, director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, boasts time with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Vince DiMartino played in the Lionel Hampton, Chuck Mangione and Clark Terry bands.
I don't know all that much about jazz, so the names of the players at the concert didn't mean all that much until I began researching them a bit. And even if I don't consider myself a jazz fan I know a lot of the names, place and reputations on these cats' resumes.
This may well be the most under-reported and overlooked event that's taken place here in a long time. (I'd also put Al Frankin's visit here a two years ago on that list and I'd put my next-to-last-entry below, writer Richard Dawkins' talk, on that list.)
The five finalists in the competition will also play.
You don’t get this sort of concert often – and it’s free at the Koger Center at 7:30 p.m.

Competing directly against this will be trumpeter Jacob Wick a young player of new and improvised music making a mark all over. He really is doing it all over with his “Road Trip: Drawing a Perimeter of the United States.”
The trip stops in Columbia at 8:30 p.m. at if Art Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St. $5.

Thursday, Oct. 8

Art on Main Street
Wow you can really have a busy time today Look, those folks up there are worn out already.
Not really.
That's Wideman/Davis Dance and they're part
of an extravaganza on Main Street.

If you’ve taken in any of the art shows at Frame of Mind on Main Street you know it’s a small place. Tonight it will host Alicia Leeke's show of landscape-inspired paintings and short performances by Wideman/Davis Dance, the NiA theater group, a sampling of the re-vamped “Dracula” by the Columbia City Ballet and belly dancer Natalie Brown.
If that sounds a little cramped don't worry because most of it will be taking place in front of Frame of Mind, something the place has experimented with before.

When Frame of Mind, a high-end eyeglass shop, opened in late 2007 owner Mark Plessinger knew he wanted to do something with art in the space, but wasn't sure what. A few months later he and Alicia Leeke (they already knew one another) started talking and she did the first art show there in April 2008.

The show openings have gotten good buzz and a good turnout of 100 or so people. The quality of the art has varied greatly as have sales.

The shop has been branching out onto the sidewalk during the past two months and trying to drum up a little more nighttime activity on the street. That's been helped by because Frame of mind in now sandwiched between the White Mule and Gotham Bagel, which serve music and food and often stay open after dark. Both will have music going on tonight.

Both Plessinger and Leeke are interested in breaking down the barriers between various art forms so this dance, theater, art deal seemed right to them. The big goal is to have a regular First Thursday Night event every month on Main Street.
The event runs from 6 to 8:30. 1520 Main St. (803) 988-1065.

A powerful artist

“Alex Powers: Paintings and Drawings of the Last 20 Years” takes a close look at an important, but too often overlooked South Carolina artist.

The exhibition at City Art Gallery opening today shows Powers’ sketchy, intuitive, but still intellectual, way with the human figure. In these works he also often explores social issues sometimes incorporating text.

But none of what he shows the viewer is obvious in the words chosen, lines drawn or washes laid down.

What some people might find odd is that the Myrtle Beach artist is best known to many for his teaching watercolor workshops around the country. He’s also done well in the many national watercolor exhibitions, but his art is likely to blow away any preconceptions you might have about watercolors.

An opening reception for the show takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 15. (So don’t come up to me tonight and tell me you went to the gallery and it wasn’t open so I must have had the wrong date here.) The show runs through Oct. 31.
City Art, 1224 Lincoln St. (803) 252-3613

Abstract painting from the road

Suzy Scarborough doesn’t show much in Columbia although she lives here.
The artist spends much of the year on the road pulling an Airstream trailer and showing her paintings at high-end art shows around the country. She has won top awards at many of those shows as well as selling a lot of art.

A solo exhibition of her newest, mostly abstract paintings at Compass 5 Partners opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. It remains on display at Compass 5, 1329 State St., Cayce, through Nov. 5. (803) 765-0838.

How funny - I think
Trustus Theater is offering two short plays by Paul Rudnick, author of “I Hate Hamlet,” “Jeffrey” and “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” in an evening sure to offend or amuse everyone. Or maybe offend and amuse.

“Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach” is set on the public access cable television show of Mr. Charles. The name of the show? “Too Gay.” "Mr. Charles” is partnered, so to speak, with “Pride and Joy” in which a stereotypical Jewish mother talks about her kids - the lesbian Leslie, transsexual and lesbian Ronnie, and the baby David who is into leather and poop.
Gerald Floyd stars in the first and Dianne Wilkins in the latter.

The shows continue through Oct. 17 in the Trustus black box theater. T(803) 254-9732.

Poe west of the river and south of the border

The Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens opens its new El Jardin, a Latin American garden, with a reading of works by that famous Latin American writer Edgar Allan Poe. Well nothing's perfect. The reading is part of Columbia's "Stark Raven Mad" celebration of 200th anniversary of Poe's birth. Several Latino writers will give voice to Poe's works that use images from nature.The event starts at 6 p.m.

For information on this and other Stark Raven events, such as the Edgar Allan Poe Canadian Wheat Harvest Festival, go to

Friday, Oct. 9

Art and the Word
Columbia artist Jason Amick is doing his own sort of illustrated Bible, drawing visual ideas from Old and New Testament stories. One painting looks at the near-sacrifice of Issac by his father Abraham. (left)
Amick has a solo show of these paintings, etchings and monotype prints opening today from 5 to 9 at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios and running through Oct. 12.
Call (803) 629-3827 or go to

See some theater
Yes, looks like a slow Friday, but you can see plays at Trustus and Town Theatre tonight too.
And the NiA theater company is doing something called "Whisper....The Movies" at the future home of the Nickelodeon Theatre on Main Street. It's either a play about movies or a movie about a play. Quit talking and share that popcorn. 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday.

Saturday, Oct. 10

Opera or BBQ Opera or BBQ?
The first live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera, Puccini’s “Tosca,” can be seen on the big (movie) screen at 1 p.m. Not surprising, this is an opera full of tragedy. More surprising is when this new production debuted a few weeks ago most of the audience booed. It’s supposed to be quite a mess.
You can see for yourself at Sandhill Cinemas. Or you could wait for “Aida” Oct. 24; “Turandot,” Nov. 7; or “Les Contes d’Hoffman,” Dec. 19.
(800) 638-6737 or to to

Two high forms of art – barbecue and well, art – are two ingredients of the Fall Heritage Festival at the S.C. State Museum. Among the 20 artists showing work and doing demonstrations are potters, basket makers and wood carvers.
You won’t have to eat and look without some sounds provided by several country and bluegrass bands. I'ts unlikely any of them will be picking tunes from "Tosca," but you never can tell.
The event runs from 10 to 5 p.m. in front of the museum and in the lobby which means it is free. 301 Gervais St. (803) 898-4921.

Monday, Oct. 12

Dark anniversary of a ground-breaking play
In October 1998 a young man was left hanging on a fence beside a road outside Laramie, Wyo. The court determined that Matthew Shepard was tortured and left for dead because he was homosexual.
The murder motivated a group of theater artists to interview hundreds of Laramie residents and study news reports about the crime. That material was turned into the play “The Laramie Project” first performed in 2000.
“The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” takes a look back at what has happened to the people in the original play and the nation’s outlook on homosexuality. The play is having staged readings at about 100 theaters today –the tenth anniversary of Shepard’s death. In Columbia it will be done at USC’s Longstreet Theatre at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Tuesday, Oct. 13

Two in tune
Opus Two, violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock, are an excellent duo that plays here only occasionally, although Terwilliger lives here and teaches at USC. So don’t miss the group’s concert tonight at 5 p.m.

They’ll perform Beethoven's Sonata in G major, Grieg's
Sonata in C minor, Haydn's Concerto in F Major for Violin,
Piano, and Chamber Orchestra, and Andre Previn's “Tango, Song and Dance.” The free concert is at the USC School of Music.

Falling wr
The Fall Festival of Authors isn’t a huge event, but the lineup is good.

Masha Hamilton, author of four novels, including this year’s 31 Hours, starts the series tonight. The book is about a young man who has recently converted to Islam and drawn into a terrorism network.

Hamilton has also worked extensively as a journalist and founded several literacy programs including the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, also started early this year. Her other books include The Camel Bookmobile and Staircase of A Thousand Steps. She’ll be at the Currell College auditorium at 6 p.m.

The other festival writers are the delightful former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Oct. 15, and our resident of all things poetry, USC professor Kwame Dawes, Oct. 20. or call (803) 777-3142.

The most important writer in town today though is Richard Dawkins - not only a noted, but famous evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist. And he's a darn good writer.
He's the author of ground-breaking books including The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion and his brand new tome The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.
He'll be at the Carolina Coliseum at 7:30. It's free.

Not (all) your usual ceramics
"Ceramics: Southeast" examines traditional pottery to non-traditional sculptural forms made by artists from the region. The show opens today at the USC art department gallery and runs through Nov. 19.

Among the 13 artists in the show are Alice Ballard, Russell Biles, Jim Connell, Paula Smith, Mike Vatalaro, all of South Carolina.
Pictured is Biles' "Screwed: Bernard Maddoff.

The department is located at Senate and Pickens streets. Call (803) 777-4236. Check out the online catalog at

Wednesday, Oct. 14
Larry Clark: Tulsa - says it all

Let’s wrap up the week on a down-beat, but high note.
“Larry Clark: Tulsa” is a series of grim images the photographer took during the ‘60s of the down and out, drifting young people of the Oklahoma city.
Clark is an important documentarian – one who often has no distance from his subjects - of lives many people don’t see and don’t want to see. The pictures provide a sharp contrast to the peace-and-love-loving hippie kids and the American-dream suburbanites and their even more upwardly-mobile offspring.
Most of the people in the Tulsa images were Clark’s friends engaged in aimless drug use, violence and sex. He captured their and his destructive ways on and off between 1963 and 1970.
The show consists of about 20 black and white photos drawn from a 50-work portfolio in the museum collection.
The show opens today at the Columbia Museum of Art, Main and Hampton streets. (803) 799-2810.

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