By Thomas Consolo
What’s that in the air? No, besides the humidity. Is it an early hint of autumn? No leaves turning yet, but the days are noticeably shorter, and the locusts are singing in the trees. There’s more than that in the air, though: Your best bets this week are heavy with music. Take a listen.
Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra | 513-723-1182
Already? Hard to believe, but Summermusik is down to its final two performances. They’re programs, though, that show why this concentrated festival format can be so enjoyable. Both feature pianist Christopher O’Riley, until very recently heard hosting “From the Top,” NPR’s showcase of young musical talent. Fortunately for us, he still has time to maintain a busy performance schedule, too.
Friday, Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m. Alt Rock @ The Redmoor. One of the reasons that O’Riley was a good choice for “From the Top” is his appreciation (and performances) of nonclassical genres – particularly music of the alternative rock band Radiohead. You can count on some of that at Friday’s concert, along with some Sun Kil Moon and some surprises. Principal violist Heidi Yenney curates the evening at The Redmoor in Mount Lookout Square (3187 Linwood Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208).
Saturday, Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m. “The Hero Within.” Composers have tackled the concept of heroism for centuries, and Saturday’s concert is a good primer, topped off with some new thoughts on the subject. There’s Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” made famous by its use in announcing Franklin Roosevelt’s death; Shostakovich’s somewhat misnamed Piano Concerto No. 1 (the trumpet player is as much the hero as the pianist); “Heroes,” a compilation of works by four talented young composers from the Music Resource Center; and the mother of all musical heroics, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” At the School for Creative & Performing Arts (108 W. Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202).
Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-0717
Thursday, Aug. 23, 6:30 p.m. Jerald Cooper
So how did “some kid from Ohio” (that’s Cooper’s Instagram account, by the way) end up partnering with one of the top engineer-producers in the music business? Jerald Cooper will discuss that – and “The Era of the Engineer” – Thursday at this 2035 Lecture. Cooper and his “Era” co-founder, Young Guru, launched a groundbreaking study at Georgia Tech University, “The Sleeping Giants of STEM,” to discover how music production and sound engineering could encourage African-American and Latino students to use and adapt technology and serve as a conduit into STEM-related professions.
It’s Commonly Jazz | 950 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Thursday, Aug. 23, 6 p.m.
For Week 4 of the free, monthlong series, the versatile Eugene Goss and Friends take the stage at Seasongood Pavilion. Backstage food area opens at 5 p.m.
Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
Monday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m. “Singin’ and Swingin’”
Jazz vocal powerhouse Mandy Gaines sings and swings with the Brad Myers Guitar Trio. (Besides Myers, that’s Mike Sharfe on bass and Art Gore on drums.) They’ll cruise through their favorite vocal standards. Washington Platform, as always, provides the bites.
Butler Philharmonic | 120 S. Carmody Blvd., Middletown, OH 45044; 513-895-5151
Saturday, Aug. 25, noon. “Shall We Gather at the River”
If you missed it around July 4, conductor Paul Stanbery and the Butler Phil invite us, indeed, to gather at the river. In this case it’s the Great Miami River in AK Pavilion, now part of MetroParks’ River Center in downtown Middletown. The group offers an appropriately river-themed program that includes Copland’s “At the River,” Smetana’s “Moldau,” music from “Jaws,” Handel’s “Water Music” and “The Blue Danube.” Soprano Jessica Rivera is special guest.
American Sign Museum | 1330 Monmouth Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225; 513-541-6366
Friday, Aug. 24, 7 p.m. Robin Lacy & DeZydeco
The Signs and Songs series is back at Cincinnati museum of nostalgia in Camp Washington. The venerable Robin Lacy & DeZydeco have but puttin’ da Cajun in the Queen City since the 1980s. They’re more than that, of course, but you just have to go to hear for yourself.
Sharon Woods | 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, OH 45241; 513-521-7275
Saturday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m. U.S. Air Force Band of Flight
What do the military and musicians have in common? Not much, you laugh? It’s true that the average musician doesn’t start the day at reveille, but both callings require discipline and taming one’s individual goals for the good of the group. If you doubt that these are transferable skills, you haven’t heard the Band of Flight. It’s the last of the Great Parks Summer Concerts in the Parks series. The tunes take off at Cardinal Crest Meadow.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273
Shakespeare in the Park
You thought this series was eternal (I’m sure some of the actors undoubtedly do), but the list of dates is growing short. If you’ve been thinking about seeing the troupe, but you live a day’s ride from the big city, here are thy chances to high thee to thy local enchanted wood.
Wednesday, Aug 22: “Julius Caesar” at Norwood’s Lindner Park (Yes, Norwood owns the park, but the land is in Pleasant Ridge: 2726 Cypress Way, Cincinnati, OH 45212).
Thursday, Aug. 23: “Romeo and Juliet” (last chance) at Erlanger’s Flagship Park (Deerchase Drive, Erlanger, KY 41018).
Friday, Aug. 24: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Richmond Shakespeare Festival in Elstro Plaza (47 N. Sixth St., Richmond, IN 47374).
Saturday, Aug. 25: “Julius Caesar” at Keehner Park (7411 Barret Road, West Chester Township, OH 45069).
Sunday, Aug. 26: “Julius Caesar” at Shawnee State University (940 Second St., Portsmouth, OH 45662).
Tuesday, Aug. 28: “Julius Caesar” at Memorial Park Pavilion (2 E. High St., Oxford, OH 45056).
The Carnegie | 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, KY 41011; 859-491-2030
Through Sunday, Aug. 26: “Dreamgirls”
Last chance to see the musical about three friends determined to make it big in the 1960s music scene.
Art Beyond Boundaries | 1410 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-8726
Opens Friday, Aug. 24: “Uncomplicated”
Mary Barr Rhodes is a Cincinnati-based abstract painter. This show of her works opens Friday with a reception at 6 p.m. The show runs through Sept. 10.
Weston Art Gallery | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-4165
Through Sunday, Aug. 26
Two concurrent shows juxtapose Cincinnati’s artistic and commercial legacy with the city’s dynamic present. “Winold Reiss: Studies for the Union Terminal Worker Murals” features photographic, gouache, and crayon studies of the murals Reiss created in the 1930s for Union Terminal. In “Matt Lynch & Curtis Goldstein: Work/Surface” the artists combine their backgrounds (in alternative applications for industrial materials, and collage and mural painting) to create laser-cut, high-pressure laminate mosaics.