Catch musicians Barry Leach and Raphael Semmes at different times at Hal & Mal’s. Image: Sherry Lucas

by Sherry Lucas

The birthplace of America’s music is a prime honor to hang our state’s hat on, but it’s also a great reason to enjoy a night out in Jackson, soaking up the sounds of fantastic local musicians.

You’ll find some this week the same place you have for years, at Hal & Mal’s. I’ve really loved popping in Tuesday nights to hear what talented friends my buddy Raphael Semmes will be playing with that night. Make a plan for next Tuesday, but between now and then there’s a great slate of talent, including the incredible guitar stylings of Barry Leach Friday — all in the dining room’s intimate setting, up close and personal.

It’s a great place to retreat from this heat. But wait! There’s more …

Hear Julian Rankin discuss his new book, “Catfish Dream: Ed Scott’s Fight for His Family Farm and Racial Justice in the Mississippi Delta,” in a multimedia lecture and signing at History Is Lunch, noon Wednesday at Two Mississippi Museums. It’s free and open to the public.

Hal & Mal’s continues to cook with near-nightly tunes. Here’s the week’s rundown: balladeer Spencer Thomas Thursday; top-notch guitarist Barry Leach Friday; Taylor Hildebrand Saturday; Central Mississippi’s Blue Monday ($5/$3 CMBS member cover); Dinner Drinks & Jazz with Raphael Semmes & Friends Tuesday. With the exception of Blue Monday, it’s free.

Museum After Hours on Third Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – until, hits a hot note for July with this roundup of fun: a pop-up exhibition of the museum’s 10-week summer camp showcase plus more art-making fun for kids with Art Lab; interactive dance performance led by Hapax Creative; food for purchase by La Brioche and food trucks; 7 pm. screening of “Super 8.” It’s free and open to the public.

See artwork from the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Summer Camp Thursday. Image: Mississippi Museum of Art

Jackson Black Pages’ July “Network Your Net Worth” Mixer, 6-7:30 p.m Thursday at Kundi Compound, focuses on fiscal responsibility and credit recovery in a discussion with Doris Makkar and Toi Johnson. The mixer is free and open to the public.

Join HRC for Mississippi Pop Trivia, 7-9 p.m. Thursday at Fenian’s Pub. Teams of up to six compete through several rounds on a variety of topics. Tickets,  $5 per person include a one-year HRC membership.

Friday fun doubles up with a twofer this week at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Believe It or Not Fun Friday focuses on freaky nature with a spotlight on two-headed snakes (like the museum’s mascot!), piebald deer, an albino alligator, black squirrels, cave dwellers and more. Afterward, have fun exploring “The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” The mini-event and exhibit are included with museum admission.

Friday night, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science’s first Popcorn and Pajamas event, “Museum and a Movie, 6-8:30 p.m., includes the movie ‘Back to the Future II” in the Rotwein Theatre. Dress in PJs or your favorite ‘80s icon, see Marty McFly’s shoes and hoverboard, and Indiana Jones’ bullwhip (on special loan from Ripley’s Entertainment Inc.), grab complimentary popcorn while it lasts, plus more fun planned at the event. Ticket pre-sales are required; museum members need to call 601-576-6000 and reserve a spot; find out about membership here; or, just buy a ticket here.

Popcorn & Pajamas at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science includes a showing of “Back to the Future II.” Image: Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

The Epic Funk Brass Band dials up the funk for Funky Friday at Mediterranean Fish and Grill at Northpark Mall, 1200 E. County Line Road in Ridgeland, 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, featuring DJ da DJ with old-school hip-hop and R&B. It’s $10 advance ( and $15 at the door.

Country rap musician Big Smo hits Jackson with a Friday night show at The Hideaway, 11 p.m. For tickets, $20 or $75 VIP, visit

At Martin’s, Cody Rogers with Dylan Sevey & Buckley entertain Friday night, starting at 10 p.m. On Saturday night at Martin’s Flow Tribe delivers New Orleans funk.

Dancer, educator and health and wellness consultant Cynthia Newland leads a Wellness and Wine event, which includes a sampling of wine and healthy hors-d’oeuvres, 7-9 p.m. Friday at 4540 Eastwood Road. Admission is $10; RSVP today to

Make a Back to School Splash, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Jackson Zoo, to help provide school supplies for the upcoming year. The event’s free, with inflatables, face painting, food vendors, water slides and splash pads, as well as discounted zoo admission for participants. The event is hosted by The Salvation Army Jackson Metro Area and the zoo in partnership with The Boys and Girls Club of Central Mississippi.

Curious Citizens’ focus group, 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday at The Hatch and hosted by Significant Developments, invites people to playfully explore one of our state’s primary symbols of representative government — the Mississippi State Capitol and activities therein. In monthly public orientations, participants will learn about the building and ways they can explore the space.

Lights, Camera, Imagination! 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, is a talent search for children ages 1 to 10 to represent the museum in local and regional advertising. Registration is $15 per auditioning child; museum admission is not included with the fee.

Lights, Camera, Imagination is Sunday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum. Image: MCM

Kids ages 2-12 are invited to join Meadowbrook Church of Christ’s Out of This World Vacation Bible School, 6-7:30 p.m. Sunday through July 25, for crafts, games, music, snacks and storytelling relating to the gospel. Register here.

The Bravo! Homecoming Dinner, 6 p.m. Monday at Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar, welcomes back some of Southeast’s best chefs who got their start at this iconic Jackson eatery, including Chefs Jason Goodenough, Jay Parmegiani, Louis Larose, Matthew Kajdan Jeffrey Gardner and Dani Mitchell. Count on a delicious six-course indulgence with premium wine pairings; seats are $125 a person and include a wine flight. It’s almost sold out; reserve your standby spot here.

A Murder Mystery Dinner, 6 p.m. Monday at Char combines a tasty meal and a tasty mystery to chew on, too, with a three-course prix fixe menu and an interactive performance presented by Detectives Dinner Theatre. It’s $49 per person, plus tax and gratuity, with 6 p.m. seating/cocktails and 7 p.m. dinner and show, in the private banquet space. Reserve a spot by emailing

Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a curated sampling of creativity and culture from across the metro area. For additional Fondren events, see our online calendar here. Reach Sherry at

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page