Joy Kate performs during Friday’s Pop! Showcase during Jackson Indie Music Week. Image: JIM Week

by Sherry Lucas

Locavores, don’t just eat up. Listen up, too. Part of all that community bonding includes appreciating the creativity that’s cooking under our very noses. Jackson’s independent music scene has always been a fertile one, so prepare to play your part in this harvest.

Take a moment or, in the case of this week, an evening or two to open up your ears to the music that surrounds us all. Jackson Indie Music Week provides multiple outlets for up and comers to share their music and reach new fans. Do your part and find new faves.

Jackson Indie Music Week rocks right along with these fun happenings Wednesday: Blender, 6-10 p.m. Wednesday at Hal & Mal’s, with James Virgodo, KoolKid Ridge, New JXN, Empty Atlas and Dolla Black; Blender, 7-11:30 p.m. at Martin’s, with performances by Jasiel Ace, TDotVDot, Pink Palaces, Slangston Hughes and Waterworks Curve; Smokehouse Entertainment Showcase, 9 p.m.-midnight at One Block East with Breezie, Lee SC, JJ the God, Shawty 4’8”, Chord Ross, Remidee, Mookey Montana and Scottie Pimeon. For all-event and day passes visit

“Express Yourself,” the theme of Thursday’s Museum After Hours in Mississippi Museum of Art, invites visitors to do just that in galleries, classrooms and The Art Garden, 5:30-8 p.m., through statement tees, top hats and a musical playlist all can have a hand in. The occasion is the final month of “Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer,” so take cues from that and play with color, texture, materials and pop culture. Help create the evening’s playlist with suggestions from the #ExpressYourself MMA social tag @msmuseumart on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The event is free. Food’s available for purchase — check out La Brioche’s small-plate Vietnamese “Seoul” Food menu or Bessi Roo’s BBQ food truck.

Museum After Hours Thursday includes games and activities that tie into the “Express Yourself” theme. Image: MS Museum of Art

Family Fun Science Night, 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is a chance to meet wildlife, play with robots, conduct experiments and perk up the brain power with STEM/STEAM demos. Food vendors will be onsite for this cool family event that’s full of hands-on fun. It’s $6 adults, $4 kids 3 and older and free for children younger than 3 and museum members.

Thursday, Jackson Indie Music Week finds the groove and honors it, too, at the Jackson ICON Awards/R&B Showcase, 6-11 p.m. at Duling Hall. Honorees include gospel singer Leonard Williams, bluesman Sherman Lee Dillon, radio personality Verbia “Lady V” Harden and (posthumously) photographer James Patterson. Showcase performers include Sonny Dumarsais, Aisha RaQuel, BrothaJosh and the Quickness and Stephanie Luckett. Also Thursday, the Sneaky Singer-Songwriter Showcase, 7-9 p.m. at Sneaky Beans, features songs from Eric Woods, Drew McKercher and The Hero and A Monster. For all-event and day passes visit

JSU alum and The Crisis editor Lottie Joiner makes the keynote address of the 51st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Convocation at Jackson State University, 10 a.m. Friday at Rose McCloy Auditorium, followed by the 24th annual AARP Mississippi For My People Awards luncheon in the Student Center Ballroom. Reserve luncheon tickets, $20, through the Margaret Walker Center.

That rumble you hear isn’t thunder (we hope), but the full-throttle engines of Hot Wheels Monster Truck Live, rolling into town with three shows — 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday — for the chance to see these mighty trucks in action. Find tickets, $8-$25-plus, at


Friday fun on the Jackson Indie Music Week scene offers this selection of auditory intrigue and more: Artists in the Studio workshop, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Crown Studios, sharing info with musicians on getting the most out of your studio time; POP! Showcase, 6-10 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s, with performances by Joy Kate, Judson Wright and Krystal Gem; Fusion at Fenian’s, 8 p.m.-midnight at Fenian’s Pub, with El Karnwie-Tuah (alternative hip hop), singer-songwriter Betsy Berryhill, R&B artist Cooper Deniro and alt-rocker DBL Take. Find passes at

Copper DeNiro performs Friday at Fenians. Image: Jackson Indie Music Week

Settle back for magical entertainment with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in concert, with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performing John Williams’ score live as the action unfolds in high definition across the big screen. Two shows this weekend share the wizardry; the 8 p.m. Saturday show appears practically sold out, with better availability for tickets, $60-$80-plus, for Sunday’s 2 p.m. matinee at

The Womanist Rally, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the State Capitol celebrates feminism with speakers, entertainment and key causes.

Saturday’s Storytelling Festival at the Mississippi Children’s Museum in LeFleur East is a literary and artistic adventure with special guests Richelle Putnam, Kinetic Etchings, Mississippi Djembe and more. It’s included with general admission.

Image: MS Children’s Museum

The Mississippi Museum of Art partners with Jackson Indie Music Week for Saturday night’s Indie Week Silent Disco, 8 p.m., with a museum-wide silent disco dance party and late-night gallery experience for the culmination of the vivid and dynamic exhibition “Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer.” Local DJs will curate playlists inspired by Gibson’s artwork, which draws from the aesthetics of his Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, pop culture, themes of futurism and free expression. The event’s free, and a cash bar is available.

Saturday, crank up even more Jackson Indie Music Week action with these possibilities: Workshop: Music in Media, noon-1:30 p.m. at Kundi Compound; The Beat Sale, 2-4 p.m. at Offbeat; Panel: Do the Knowledge with insights for artists, managers and promoters, 3-5 p.m. at Kundi Compound; the Re: Rap Showcase, 6-11 p.m. at Offbeat with music from Duff, Toya Modi, Gios4Ma,, Quanstar and Big Zay Mack; and the Southern Soul Showcase, 7 p.m.-midnight at Johnny T’s Bistro & Bar featuring Adrena, Mark A. Music, Dia Grover presents G-Rover Music Inc. and Anissa Hampton. For all-event and day passes visit

Dia Grover performs Sunday at Johnny T’s. Image: Jackson Indie Music Week

Wrap up the Jackson Indie Music Week on Sunday with another full lineup of activities: a Blues Brunch, 11 a.m. at the Iron Horse Grill with musician Danny-Ray; the Short Film & Music Video Showcase, 3-4 p.m. at And Gallery; a Pub Crawl “Music Tour of the Capital”, 3-5 p.m. meeting up at Hal & Mal’s; and the Official Jackson Indie Week Wrap Party, 8-11 p.m., with drinks, food and music from Newscast. Find passes at

Table-Top Gaming Day, 1-4 p.m. Sunday at Offbeat, invites hobbyists to come and play or watch the adventures.

Millsaps College will host “Extravagant Love: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of MLK, Jr.” on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex, Recital Hall. The joint presentation with Tougaloo College includes guest speakers, student musicians and recitations of Dr. King’s words. A reception will follow in the Campbell College Center Leggett Living Room.

Image: Millsaps College

Next up in Mississippi Opera’s Cabaret Series, 7:30 p.m. Monday at Dulling Hall, is “Unforgettable — Nat King Cole Centennial,” celebrating the 100th year since his birth in Montgomery, Alabama, with a tribute to the musical icon. Buy tickets, $25, at and at the door. Memorable hits such as “Nature Boy,” “Route 66,” “Ramblin’ Rose” and of course “Unforgettable” (the multiple Grammy-winning posthumous duet with daughter Natalie) will be part of the lineup, with singers David Walker and Latisha Hamilton and pianist Tyler Kemp.

Vocalists Latisha Hamilton (above) and David Walker will celebrate a musical icon in Monday’s “Unforgettable: Nat King Cole Centennial.” Image: Mississippi Opera

MLK Poetry Night “Where Do We Go From Here?” 6-8 p.m. Monday at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is an evening of free performances honoring King’s legacy. It’s hosted by museum director Pam Junior artist Thabi Moyo and musician 5th Child, with music by DJ Young Venom.

Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 35 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

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