by Sherry Lucas
My only trip to Puerto Rico, some years back, stands out like a collection of crayons in the big box of my memory, from the blue bricks of the streets of Old San Juan to the brilliant greens of the El Yunque National Forest, its tropical rainforest.
The pictures and news now, of devastation and people still desperate for basic necessities after Hurricane Maria ripped across the island, bring up other memories for us here in Mississippi — and you know the ones I mean. Another hurricane, only that one on our shore and the long slog toward recovery that followed.
A stellar Sunday lineup makes Concert for Puerto Rico — with live music at Hal & Mal’s and then at Martin’s — a weekend must. Soak up a lot of great music and goodwill and give generously at this concert to benefit people of Puerto Rico with proceeds going toward hurricane relief. You can get a ticket for either venue for $15, or a combo ticket for $25.
The Vamps, Latinismo and Jesse Robinson are just a few of the offerings. A good time for you can help make this a better time for those in need.
There’s plenty leading up to that fun, too, including holiday shopping in Fondren, an international piano sensation and a very special brew-worthy anniversary.
Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera presents the rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Duling Hall. Tickets to the partially seated show (first come, first seated), are $20.
Harvest Fest at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum continues through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, with live demos at the Cane Mill, Blacksmith Shop, Saw Mill and Bisland Cotton Gin (the oldest functioning cotton gin in the country!). Antique tractors, live history interpreters in period clothing, farm animals and complimentary biscuits and syrup (while they last) greet fall with small-town fun. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 3-18.
Soul Sounds, noon Thursday at St. James Episcopal Church, presents “Sturm und Drang,” as Mississippi Symphony Orchestra violinist Tom Lowe and John Paul present Beethoven’s violin sonatas.
The Fondren Merchant Holiday Open House on Thursday starts at 5 p.m. with a warm welcome to shoppers, an atmosphere of festive decor and the goal of fulfilling your holiday shopping list dreams. Participating shops in the Downtown Fondren Historic District include Interiors Market, Glo Design Studio, Treehouse Boutique, Brown’s Fine Art & Framing, Joan Hawkins Art & Interiors, Everyday Gardener and more.
Fisher Galleries hosts an opening reception, featuring new work by artists Cathy Hegman and Stacey Johnson, 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Dickies Building, 736 S. President St.
Relax with Trappy Hour at the Flamingo, 4 p.m. Thursday with beer specials, a musical playlist, and good company.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting honors Mississippi Vietnam War veterans, including the late Pfc. Milton Lee Olive III of Lexington, who was the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor in that conflict, 3-6 p.m. Thursday at the MPB Auditorium, 3825 Ridgewood Road, during its “Vietnam Reflections: Mississippi Stories” program. Olive The public is invited to this free program, but registration at eventbrite.com is required. The program includes a screening of MPB’s original documentary “Mississippians in Vietnam: A Shared Experience,” songs by gospel icon Melvin Williams and Sweet Potato Queen author and philanthropist Jill Conner Browne as emcee, with a reception following.
The Jackson Black Pages Expo Season Kickoff Mixer is 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Kundi Compound, 256 E. Fortification St., with announcements for the 4th annual Jackson Black Business Expo next spring. Food and beverages will be served.
The final Food Truck Friday of 2017 happens this Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Smith Park, so align your lunchtime appetites and whereabouts accordingly. The fun presented by Greater Jackson Arts Council, Visit Jackson and Trustmark includes fun and games and music from DJ Black as well as the food truck yumminess. Also, exercise your celebratory nature with Bike to Work Day, and ride to the park that way, too.
Hoist a celebratory pint in honor of Lucky Town Brewing Company’s 5th Anniversary Celebration, starting at 4 p.m. Friday to midnight. There’s a special beer for the occasion: Lucky Fifth, a Belgian Dark Strong aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels — a deep amber with Belgian note of clove and banana, dark fruit and sweet bourbon, they say. Live music, giveaways and food on site are all part of the fun. The music lineup: Jig the Alien at 6 p.m., Stonewalls at 8 p.m. and Vibe Doctors Jazz Project with 5th Child at 10 p.m.
Gala with the Gants supporting No Greater Sacrifice, a night of music, fun and giving back to fallen and wounded military heroes and their families, is 7 p.m. Friday at Duling Hall in honor of Veterans Day this weekend. Make a donation to purchase a ticket at nogreatersacrifice.org/galawiththegants. Benefactor level is $1,000 per couple for the 6 p.m. reception; concert admission is $125 per person, 7 p.m.-until. Find more details on the event’s Facebook post.
The Unframed Series at New Stage Theatre presents “Building the Wall,” a new play by Pulitzer and Tony-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday and Nov. 18-19 at New Stage’s Warehouse Theatre, 1000 Monroe St. in Belhaven Heights. The play is a harrowing drama of the consequences of President Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric turned into federal policy, speculating on the mass roundup of illegal aliens, incarceration overflowing into private prisons and camps. A former warden awaits sentencing, as a historian seeks the truth. Tickets are $10 cash or check at the door. “Building the Wall” contains strong language and is recommended for mature audiences only.
Friday at Spacecamp, hear Schaefer Llana with Sage Boy and DBL Take, at 8 p.m. Llana’s upcoming debut album is “49 Ceiling Tiles.”
At Hal & Mal’s Friday, at 8 p.m., join the Country Cousinz Concert Series II: Jackson vs. Louisiana with a double dose of indie talent and a full slate of performers from each camp. Admission is $10.
An afternoon of music and art awaits at Saturday’s Market at Highland Village. Local musicians Jay and Jon Marc (1-3 p.m.) and Melissa Thorson (3 -5 p.m.) serenade a courtyard of vendors including Susannah Morse , Prickly Hippie, Phelan Harris, Bailey Armstrong, Will Brooks, Sam Clark, Kristen Murphy, Caroline Warner, Ann Skelton, Sabrina Hagerman, Sam Thomas and Laura Ashley Butler.
Piano sensation Conrad Tao has the keys — “Fierce Keys” — to Saturday night’s Bravo II Mississippi Symphony Orchestra concert. The acclaimed guest artist will play Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the MSO, in an evening that also features Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. The concert’s at 7:30 p.m., with a pre-concert lecture at 6:45 p.m. on the mezzanine. For tickets, $25 and up, visit msorchestra.com or call 601-960-1565.
Cindy Wilson (of the irresistible B-52s), brings her vocal fun and her band to Duling Hall, 8 p.m. Saturday. Songwriter instrumentalist Olivia Jean and Material Girls open. Tickets are $15 general admission in advance and $35 VIP (includes post-show meet & greet) on ardenland.net.
A vinyl painting workshop 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Offbeat with Justin Ransburg lets participants choose whether to paint a vinyl record of a @kidrobot vinyl designer toy. Visit eventbrite.com for tickets, $20.
Also Saturday, there’s 10 Years of 7evenThirty, 8 p.m. at Offbeat, celebrating 7evenThirty’s first album and decade-long career as an internationally known emcee and producer, with performances by 7evenThirty, 5th Child, Nicholas McQueen and Red Planet.
Sunday, thoughts go to Puerto Rico and the music you can enjoy right here in Jackson and still help with hurricane relief and recovery of the U.S. territory. A Concert for Puerto Rico covers concerts at Hal & Mal’s and Martin’s downtown. The Hal & Mal’s lineup starts at 3 p.m. on three stages, in the Red Room, in the restaurant and on the Main Stage, where The Axidentals, The Vamps, These Days with Jewel Bass, Jesse Robinson, Latinismo and the Epic Funk Brass Band will deliver the entertainment goods, and then some (find the Red Room and restaurant lineup details at ardenland.net. The music moves over to Martin’s at 8 p.m., with DJ Venom spinning vinyl, SIKA, Seth Power & The Part Timers, Clouds and Crayons, and Monsterz featuring Dexter Allen. Don’t miss all this incredible music for a great cause. A combo ticket covering both venues is $25, or separate $15 tickets for the music at each club, on ardenland.net. There’s a silent auction, too, with proceeds bound for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Tuesday, singer/songwriter John Mark McMillan, known for musical and lyrical exploration, presents the “Mercury & Lightning Tour,” 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall. The Brilliance and LaPeer open. It’s $15 advance (ardenland.net), $20 at the door.
Fondrenite Sherry Lucas, a feature writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a sampling of creativity and culture from Fondren and beyond. For additional Fondren-centric events, see our Fondren events calendar. Reach Sherry at email@example.com.