Culture FIX: April 24-30

Cincinnati is among the top cities increasing downtown foot traffic, a new study from the University of Toronto shows, with a 28% increase from last year. Residents and visitors are driving that post-pandemic recovery, it said. That’s great news, especially as Cincinnati’s outdoor season is just getting underway. This week, we have the Asian Food Fest and Jazz at the Square Downtown, plus Tunes & Blooms at the Cincinnati Zoo and other outdoor events. And there’s more soon to come, especially Downtown – Fountain Square events, Washington Park series, the Flying Pig weekend, Taste of Cincinnati … So get out and start trafficking those feet!

Wednesday, April 24

The Cincinnati Museum Center’s Skinner concert organ

Music in the Museum, organist Ken Cowan and Cathedral Choirs | 7:30 p.m., Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203. 513-287-7000. DETAILS: But first, let’s head for the Great Indoors! If you’ve never been to the coronation of a British monarch, here’s your chance to hear a bit of what it’s like. Union Terminal continues to showcase its grand 1929 Skinner concert organ with its Music in the Museum series, and this concert is a doozy: top concert organist Ken Cowan with the combined vocal forces of the Christ Church Cathedral and St. Peter in Chains Cathedral choirs (including Movers & Makers’ very own Thom Mariner), with music by William Harris, Stephen Paulus, Jonathan Dove and Hubert Parry. Written for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902, Parry’s “I Was Glad” has been performed for several new monarchs since then, including King Charles III in 2023. Big sounds in a big space! Cowan is an experienced choral accompanist, having joined with the Houston Chamber Choir for a Grammy Award-winning recording of Maurice Duruflé’s complete choral works.

The Queen City Concert Band in Memorial Hall

Queen City Concert Band, 50th Anniversary Concert | 7:30 p.m., Corbett Theater, School for Creative and Performing Arts, 108 W. Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-561-1799. DETAILS: The Queen City Concert Band, which started out as the Powel Crosley YMCA Band conducted by Herbert Tiemeyer, has been a fixture in the city’s musical life for 50 years. QCCB makes its home in Over-the-Rhine, practicing at SCPA and performing throughout the neighborhood. Now co-directed by Tasha Aragaki Nakahodo and Rob White, the ensemble celebrates its 50th in a program with the SCPA Wind Ensemble.

Thursday, April 25

From Art in Bloom in 2022
(Photo by Phil Armstrong)

Cincinnati Art Museum, Art in Bloom, “A Wine & Floral Soiree” | 6-9 p.m., Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-721-2787. DETAILS: Cincinnati Art Museum’s spectacular Art in Bloom, a biennial exhibit in which CAM artworks are paired with designs by some of the nation’s top floral artists, actually opens April 26, but it kicks off April 25 with a preview party featuring wine, cocktails and light bites. Amsterdam-based floral artist Natasja Sadi, whose arrangements are inspired by Dutch Master paintings, is the featured guest for the weekend. Other events include a luncheon with Sadi, a tea party with The BonBonerie, various flower arranging demonstrations and a performance by the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus. The museum’s recurring “Art After Dark” event on Friday evening will take on the Art in Bloom theme. Through April 28.

Moonshine Drive

Tunes & Blooms, Moonshine Drive and Cecil Jackson & Dry Ridge | 6 p.m., Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45220. 513-281-4700. DETAILS: Speaking of flowers, someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo. With its Zoo Blooms floral festival in full, uh, bloom, the Cincinnati Zoo has resumed its Thursday Tunes & Blooms concert series. This evening features bluegrass among the blooms, with Cincinnati bands Moonshine Drive and Cecil Jackson & Dry Ridge entertaining visitors. (Cecil Jackson’s day job, by the way, is elephant manager for the zoo.) Best of all, zoo admission is free on Tunes & Blooms Thursdays after 5 p.m.; parking is $10.

CSO principal clarinetist Christopher Pell, featured in Aram Khachaturian’s Clarinet Trio

Winstead Chamber Series, Spotlight on Winds & Strings | 7:30 p.m., Wilks Studio, Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s chamber-music series concludes its season with a nicely varied program highlighting CSO wind and string players. It includes music by Erwin Schulhoff, Carl Reinecke, Aram Khachaturian and Robert Schumann. It’s a rare opportunity to hear a work (the Concertino, which makes use of Czech and Ukrainian folk songs) by Schulhoff, a fine Czech composer who died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1942. Limited seats remain.

Friday, April 26

DE LA Dance’s ‘La Sylphide’

DE LA Dance Company, “La Sylphide” | 7:30 p.m., DE LA Dance Center, 5141 Kennedy Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45213. 513-871-0914. DETAILS: DE LA Dance goes old-school for its season finale with “La Sylphide,” the famed romantic ballet about a Scottish farmer enchanted by a forest spirit. The company is using the 1836 choreography by Danish master August Bournonville said to be one of the world’s oldest surviving ballets. Don’t confuse this ballet with “Les Sylphides,” a later, shorter ballet with music by Frédéric Chopin as orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov. The composer for Bournonville’s “La Sylphide” was Herman Severin Løvenskiold. Yeah, never heard of him, either.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Dvořák & Shostakovich | 7:30 p.m., Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: The CSO this week hosts rising-star British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who gained worldwide attention by performing at the 2018 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry and Meghan to us commoners). That year, he also made his debut recording, featuring Dmitri Shostakovich’s fiercely virtuosic Cello Concerto No. 1, which he’s playing with the CSO as the orchestra’s 2024 MAC Music Innovator. Also on the program: Antonin Dvořák’s cheerful, folk-inspired Symphony No. 8 and Shostakovich’s toe-tapper “Festive Overture.” (Trivia time: According to biographer Elizabeth Wilson, the only two of his works that Shostakovich ever conducted were you guessed it the “Festive Overture” and the Cello Concerto No. 1.) Katharina Wincor, who led the May Festival’s performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” in 2022, conducts.

Whoa! What light through yonder window breaks, dude?

Lebanon Theatre Company, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged]” | 7:30 p.m., Mechanic Street Playhouse, 10 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon, OH 45036. 513-932-8300. DETAILS: This manic adaptation by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, which crams The Bard’s 37 plays into an hour-and-a-half play with three actors playing all the roles, is always a fun time. Expect plenty of improvisation, topical references and audience participation as the Lebanon cast romps through this mashup of comedies, tragedies and histories. Through May 5.

Saturday, April 27

The 2022 Asian Food Fest

Asian Food Fest | 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Court Street Plaza, Downtown Cincinnati. DETAILS: Now in its 13th year, the two-day festival of Asian culture and cuisine is bigger than ever, with 56 restaurants and eight “Secret Menu” options this year. Around 100,000 people are expected to attend the event, which also includes cultural demonstrations and exhibits, comedy performances, karaoke and more, sponsored by Kroger and Procter & Gamble. Also 11 a.m.-8 p.m. April 28.

Promotional photo for Playhouse in the Park’s ‘Vietgone’

Playhouse in the Park, “Vietgone” | 7:30 p.m., Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3888. DETAILS: This intriguing romantic comedy by playwright Qui Nguyen is based on the experience of his parents, Quang and Tong, who met in a refugee relocation camp in Arkansas in the 1970s and crafted an all-American life together, with all the challenges of navigating a strange new culture. Through June 2.

An outdoor sculpture at Pyramid Hill

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, Art & Earth Day | 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., State Route 128, Hamilton, OH 45013. 513-868-1234. DETAILS: Pyramid Hill has planned a day “focused on creativity and conservation” to celebrate Earth Day and International Sculpture Day. The event includes a display of new outdoor sculpture by students from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program and the Art Academy of Cincinnati, workshops on gardening and sustainability, a scavenger hunt and more.

Sunday, April 28

Pianist Brianna Matzke

The Response Project, “Tremor” | 7:30 p.m., The Well, 2868 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225. 513-470-5548. DETAILS: As writer David Lyman explains in a new article for Mover & Makers, Cincinnati pianist Brianna Matzke is noted for her innovative, decade-long “Response Project,” in which composers and other artists are commissioned to create new works “in response” to a certain artwork or concept. Most recently, she has drawn on her recently-diagnosed neurological condition “essential tremor,” which makes her hands shake, as the inspiration for a creative endeavor called “Tremor.” It’s a two-part project, with the first part pairing an exhibit of “response” art from Visionaries + Voices at The Well in Camp Washington with a concert of musical responses by members of the concert:nova ensemble. Entrance to the opening is free, but advance reservations are required. Doors open for the exhibit at 4 p.m. The second part comes May 5 at the American Sign Museum, where Matzke will perform new works by Molly Joyce, Hanna Benn, Matthew Evan Taylor, Adeliia Faizullina and Forrest Pierce and host a panel discussion. The art exhibit at the Well will remain throughout May, with gallery hours 5-8 p.m. Fridays and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

The interior of Plum Street Temple

Cincinnati Camerata, “Hallelujah! Psalms of Praise and Passover” | 3 p.m., Plum Street Temple, 720 Plum Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-941-5088. DETAILS: Performing in the inspired spaces of the Plum Street Temple, community chamber choir Cincinnati Camerata offers a program of Jewish choral music, including the world premiere of “Lecha dodi” by Nicholas Weininger, winner of the group’s composition contest. Other works are by Felix Mendelssohn, George Gershwin, Kurt Weill and local composers Rabbi James G. Heller, Maurice Goldman and Brenda Portman. Suggested donation is $15 at the door.

Valérie Graschaire

Jazz@First, “April in Paris featuring Valérie Graschaire” | 2 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Cincinnati, OH 45219. 513-280-8181. DETAILS: Noted French jazz vocalist Valérie Graschaire will perform French songs and American classics with the Phil DeGreg Trio in this Jazz@First concert under the auspices of the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Graschaire, who has recorded several albums with top French jazz artists, is a noted improviser and a teacher at the Music Academy International in Nancy, France. Tickets include complimentary wine and cheese at intermission.

Monday, April 29

Jazz pianist Phil DeGreg

Jazz at the Memo, Steve Hoskins and the Phil DeGreg Trio play Paul Simon | 7 p.m., Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Busy fellows, those DeGreg Trio guys. On the heels of their French twist for Jazz@First, pianist Phil DeGreg, bassist Aaron Jacobs and drummer John Taylor join saxophonist/flutist Steve Hoskins for a concert celebrating the long career of the brilliant singer-songwriter Paul Simon, from his Simon & Garfunkel days onward.

Tuesday, April 30

The Clark and Jones Trio

Music Live@Lunch, Clark and Jones Trio | 12:10 p.m., Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: This installment of the cathedral’s free, weekly lunch concert series features the trio of Jude Jones, Frank Clark and Nancy Bick Clark, who perform traditional Celtic and Appalachian music with Celtic harp, guitar and percussion.

Grace Lincoln and Brad Myers

Jazz at the Square, Grace Lincoln and Brad Myers | 5-8 p.m., Fountain Square, downtown. 513-621-4400. DETAILS: Fountain Square’s free Tuesday-night jazz series, which started April 2 and continues throughout the warm(er)-weather months, features live music by popular local and regional artists. This week it’s singer Grace Lincoln and guitarist Brad Myers, who are well known for their many performances in jazz venues around the area. It’s a great chance to relax, grab some food and drink, and enjoy the downtown vibe and 28% more foot traffic!

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