Highlights August 9-16

Mrs. Mailer returns
Mrs. Norman Mailer, aka Norris Church, originally from Atkins, Ark. will visit Arkansas this week and will sign copies of her new novel Cheap Diamonds at a meet and greet at the popular Eureka Springs hangout, the New Deli Café at 2 N. Main St. Mailer will be at the New Deli from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. The book will be released by Random House the day before Mailer’s visit to Eureka. Mailer is a former Wilhelmina model, who portrayed Britt Hemingway on All My Children. Her first novel, Windchill Summer received positive reviews from the New York Times, Washington Post and Denver Post. Seemingly autobiographical, her new book is about a young Arkansas woman who leaves her home in “Sweet Valley” for a modeling career in New York. Mailer currently lives in Cape Cod, Mass. with her husband of 32 years. For information on the book signing, call the New Delhi Café at 479-253-2525.

New Jazz
The lineup for the North Arkansas Jazz Society’s Composer’s Showcase this Friday night has been released. The showcase will bring together veteran and emerging jazz artists from Northwest Arkansas. The musicians will present their own compositions and arrangements. Scheduled to perform are: Rick Salonen, Nathan McLeod, Ben Harris, Ryan Fourt, Al Gibson, Claudia Burson, Jim Greeson, Andrew Seiff and the new group, Pentomino—Garrett Jones, Richard Hobbs, Drew Packard, C.J. Weatherford and Chris Wylie. The evening will feature a mixed bag of jazz styles and groups, from duos and trios to quintets and sextets. The showcase is the final concert in the jazz society’s summer concert series. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the UA Fine Arts Concert Hall on the UA campus. Tickets are $12 at www.digjazz.com or at the door.

Tontitown Grape Festival
More than 100 years ago a small group of Italian immigrants celebrated a meager, but successful harvest in the tiny community of Tontitown, just north of Fayetteville. There was food, music and a good time. Now, 109 years later, that celebration has evolved into the Tontitown Grape Festival and is one of NWA’s biggest events. The festival opens Tuesday night with a carnival, an arts and crafts fair and music. The famous spaghetti dinners, that are made by local cooks are offered family style Aug. 16, 17, 18. Local and national music stars will take the stage all five nights. The musical lineup includes: Amanda and Abbie Griffin and CMA award winner Bill Dean on Tuesday; Ozone Player and Rhonda Vincent and the Rage on Wednesday; Solomon’s Vine and Trent Willmon on Aug. 16; Tori Miller and Grammy and CMA nominee Lee Roy Parnell on Aug. 17; Sarah Jo & The Shifters and Grammy nominee David Ball on Aug. 18. Our pick for the night to get out for the music—if you can only make it out one night—is Aug. 18 for the David Ball show. Ball, formerly of Uncle Walt’s Band, is a crooner who takes on Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams” with finesse and does a melt-your-heart rendition of “Heartache By the Numbers.” If Frank Sinatra had been a country singer, his name would have been David Ball. He’s as smooth as velvet.

Cowboy Gathering
If a road trip is beckoning you this weekend, head east to Mt. View to the Ozark Folk Center for the Cowboy Gathering, Folk Humor and Storytelling Weekend this Friday and Saturday. If you’ve never been to Elko, Nev. for the famed Cowboy Poetry Gathering, this will give you a sampling of what it’s all about. There will be music, storytelling and poetry by working cowboys. Special guests will be the Gillette Brothers playing traditional cowboy songs and The Quebe Sisters Band (pronounced kway-bee). The Fort Worth based Quebe Sisters perform a refreshing blend of western swing and hot jazz borrowing from the likes of Bob Wills and Django Reinhardt. All three have been Texas and national fiddle champions and they are joined in the band by by guitarist Joey McKenzie and bassist Drew Phelps, a three-time world champion fiddler. Admission is $9 adults; $6 children 6-12. For more information go www.ozarkfolkcenter.com.

Categories: Legacy Archive