Culture FIX: Aug. 16-22

“Whatever happened to the relaxing days of August?” mused the Wall Street Journal’s sports/humor (redundant, I know) columnist Jason Gay last week. You can’t just “hop off the hamster wheel” for a month anymore. “August has become as chaotic and loaded as every other month on the calendar,” he noted: Appointments, deadlines, meetings, kids back in school … “I think it’s more accurate to call August ‘Pre-September.’ ” He has a point. You’d think mid-August would bring a huge lull to Culture FIX. But summer series are still in high gear, new art exhibits are opening, and even some “fall” seasons are underway. There’s lots to do! Let’s get on the hamster wheel:


Wednesday, Pre-Sept. Aug. 16

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Summermusik | The Return of Chamber Rock, 7:30 p.m., The Redmoor, 3187 Linwood Avenue, Mt. Lookout. 513-723-1102. DETAILS: CCO’s Summermusik forges ahead with its innovative, engaging lineup, with many dates either sold out or close to it (so grab your tickets now). Led by the inimitable Roger Klug, the nine-member Chamber Rock ensemble returns with some of its biggest rock-classical smash-up hits, plus a rumored few new surprises. (Also Aug. 17, but that performance is sold out.)


Renee Stoltzfus, Rick Kramer and Douglas X. Berlon in “Man of La Mancha”

Cincinnati Landmark Productions, “Man of La Mancha” | Incline Theater, 801 Matson Place, Cincinnati 45204. 513-241-6550. DETAILS: “The Impossible Dream” survives, as popular as ever. The 1965 Dale Wasserman/Mitch Leigh Tony-winning Broadway musical has become one of the staples of the theater world, and Landmark gives it a go with this production, directed by Dee Anne Bryll and starring Rick Kramer (Don Quixote), Renee Stoltzfus (Aldonza) and Douglas X. Berlon (Sancho). Through Sept. 10.

Thursday, Aug. 17

A previous Summer Music Series event at Ault Park

Ault Park Summer Music Festival, Floyd and the Walkmen | 6 p.m., Ault Park, 5090 Observatory Circle, Cincinnati 45208. 513-357-2604. DETAILS: Ault Park’s free monthly outdoor music event is a delight for the whole family in a beautiful setting. Bring a picnic or purchase food and beverages at the booths. In addition to the main musical act, there’s special entertainment for the kids. It’s all organized by the Ault Park Advisory Council. Admission is free, but proceeds from food and drink sales help with the park’s upkeep. A win-win.


Members of the We Create Jazz Ensemble

It’s Commonly Jazz, We Create Jazz Ensemble | 6-8 p.m., Seasongood Pavilion, 1600 Art Museum Drive, Cincinnati 45202. 513-357-2619. DETAILS: Another great Cincinnati music tradition, It’s Commonly Jazz continues its 39th annual summer series at Seasongood with the all-woman We Create Jazz Ensemble presented by Jazz Alive. The free August series this year is devoted to celebrating women in jazz. It’s Commonly Jazz also does a Final Friday Jazz series at Findlay Market and a Sunday Jazz Series at Harriet Beecher Stowe House.

Friday, Aug. 18

Manifest Gallery

Manifest Gallery, Three New Exhibitions | Reception 6-9 p.m., 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati 45206. 513-861-3638. DETAILS: The always-prolific Manifest Gallery wraps up its Season 19 with a trio of new themed exhibits by jury-selected rosters of artists: “Plastic,” a show of 56 works featuring plastic as subject matter; “Private Space,” a collection of works exploring the difficulty of keeping secrets and carving out spaces to be unobserved; “Nude 15,” the latest in Manifest’s continuing project to present works studying the uncovered human form.


Part of the “20 Years Ago Today” exhibit at The Gallery at The Summit Hotel

Gallery at The Summit Hotel, “20 Years Ago Today” | Reception 5-8 p.m., 5345 Medpace Way, Cincinnati 45227. 859-653-8684. DETAILS: To help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, aka Contemporary Arts Center, The Summit Hotel gallery is presenting an exhibit by local artists who were prominent in the city’s “millennial” early-aughties art scene. Each of the 17 artists, all of whom are still active in the art world, has included works from the early 2000s plus brand-new works. The show runs through Oct. 28 in the gallery right off the hotel’s main lobby, and a roundtable discussion with the artists is set for 6-8 p.m. Sept. 28.


Fitton Center for Creative Arts, “Paint the Town Red” | 5-9 p.m., 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton 45011. 513-863-8873. DETAILS: Hamilton’s very active arts center celebrates the start of its 30th anniversary season with what you might call a very “fitton” occasion: a fun, free party for everyone to come celebrate the arts community. There’s live music, food, a cash bar, theater performances and art demonstrations, along with the opening reception 5-8 p.m. for a pair of new art exhibits, “Human Nature” and “Class Act” – the latter a group show by Fitton instructors and staff.

Saturday, Aug. 19

Arturo Sandoval

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Summermusik | “A Night in Havana,” 7:30 p.m., School for Creative and Performing Arts, 108 W. Central Parkway, Cincinnati 45202. 513-723-1102. DETAILS: The great Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval headlines this fascinating classical/jazz program that not only dwells on Cuba’s musical traditions but takes side trips to Mexico, New York City and Spain. Music by Sandoval is the focus, but the program also includes the likes of George Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture,” Pulitzer Prize-winning Cuban composer Tania León’s “Ácana” (a tribute to a tree native to Cuba) and the original chamber-orchestra version of Mexican master Silvestre Revueltas’ groundbreaking “Sensemayá” (based on an Afro-Cuban poem). Summermusik Director Eckart Preu gives a pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m.


The Traveling Jam

Music at the Esplanade, The Traveling Jam | 5-7 p.m., Smale Riverfront Park, downtown. DETAILS: Free summer entertainment options abound in the downtown area – there’s something virtually every evening in some venue – and this Saturday series takes place in the Castellini Esplanade area of Smale. The series presents a mix of area bands, such as The Traveling Jam, a five-member string band from Clermont County. Food is available for this family-friendly event.

Sunday, Aug. 20

An OTR Performs event in Washington Park

OTR Performs 2023, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati | 6-8 p.m., Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202. 513-621-4400. DETAILS: “Something for Everyone” is the theme of Washington Park’s events program, and indeed the Over-the-Rhine venue offers free public events almost daily. This Sunday series ranges from opera to dance to rock to, in this case, a presentation by Ensemble Theatre.

Monday, Aug. 21

Spherical Agenda

Jazz at the Park, Spherical Agenda | 6-9 p.m., Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202. 513-621-4400. DETAILS: As noted above, Washington Park has a free summer series going nearly every evening. Mondays are devoted to local and regional jazz acts, programmed in collaboration with the Jazz at the Memo series. This week it’s local jazz-rock fusion band Spherical Agenda.


“The Three Faces of Betty Carter” by William Parrish

Art Academy of Cincinnati, “Color of Jazz: Concepts in Improvisation” | Reception 5-8 p.m., 1212 Jackson St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-562-6262. DETAILS: Art Academy alumnus William Parrish, founder/director of the Eckstein Cultural Arts Center in Glendale, was inspired by his former AAC teachers who played jazz recordings while working and creating art. Parrish credits them for challenging him “to be adventurous through the introduction of different materials and techniques,” and this exhibit is his tribute to them – and to jazz. The exhibit continues through Sept. 22.

Tuesday, Aug. 22

Trombonist Marc Fields with pianist Phil DeGreg at the now-defunct Blue Wisp Jazz Club

Jazz at the Square, Marc Fields | 5-8 p.m., Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown. DETAILS: Jazz, jazz and more jazz! Part of Fountain Square’s rotation of free summer events is its Tuesday evening Jazz at the Square series, programmed by 3CDC. This week’s soloist is famed jazz trombonist and composer Marc Fields, a College-Conservatory of Music grad and just-retired faculty member. Fields is noted for a long, standout career featuring a role with the Ray Charles Orchestra and several world tours. He now is a composer/soloist with the Cohesion Jazz Ensemble.


Riverbend Music Center, Jethro Tull: The Seven Decades | 7:30 p.m., 6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati 45230. 513-232-6220. DETAILS: I know, I know – rock music isn’t really our thing here at Culture FIX. But Jethro Tull’s legendary leader, Ian Anderson, is a flutist of wide-ranging interests who ventures into folk, classical and more. And come on, a band named for the 18th-century inventor of the seed drill must have some traditional, uh, roots, as it were. Tull’s “Seven Decades Tour” draws on the incredibly varied Tull repertoire from 1968 (yes, they’re that old) to the just-released album “RökFlöte.” Flute of Destiny. What a concept.

“Aqualung” is so ’70s: The 2023 edition of Jethro Tull, led by flutist Ian Anderson (center)


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