Culture FIX, June 5-11

Get those picnic baskets and lawn chairs ready. This week’s Culture FIX is loaded with summer outdoor arts/entertainment series that are kicking off their seasons during the next few days. Also, Cincinnati’s annual celebration of classic cars, Concours d’Elegance, revs up again at Ault Park.


Wednesday, June 5

Comet Bluegrass All-Stars

Wednesdays in the Woods, Comet Bluegrass All-Stars | 7-9 p.m., Burnet Woods Bandstand, 3298 Clifton Ave., Clifton. 513-497-2860. SEASON-OPENER – DETAILS: Back for its 16th season, Clifton Cultural Arts Center‘s free, Wednesday-evening, summer concert series opens with a long-standing Cincinnati favorite, the Comet Bluegrass All-Stars. But there’s much more here besides the band’s performance. Wednesdays in the Woods also features lawn games, a kids’ “art corner,” food trucks, beverages and more. And to celebrate the start of the summer series, CCAC is putting on a Season Opener Parade at 6 p.m., with Queen City Samba leading the way from the arts center’s new digs at 3412 Clifton Ave. to Burnet Woods. All are invited to take part in the parade, which also observes Burnet Woods’ 150th anniversary. The series runs though Aug. 14.


Danny Frazier

Wild Card Wednesday, Danny Frazier | 6-9 p.m., Factory 52, 4590 Beech St., Norwood. DETAILS: Factory 52’s Wild Card Wednesday series, which opened last week, continues with Northern Kentucky musician Danny Frazier, who’s been noted for advancing his his brand of blues/soul/country music here since the early 1990s. His band also includes guitarist Chris Goins, bassist Greg Amburgy and drummer Nick Baverman.

Thursday, June 6

Michelle Robinson Band

Live on the Levee, Michelle Robinson Band | 7 p.m., Newport on the Levee, One Levee Way, Newport. 859-291-0550. SEASON OPENER – DETAILS: Newport on the Levee’s Thursday evening series kicks off this week with Cincinnati native Michelle Robinson, a country recording artist who’s opened for and performed with many noted national acts. The series, which continues through Aug. 29, is free to attend, and plenty of food and drink options are available at the Levee.


The Turkeys

Music@BCM, The Turkeys | 6 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, Covington. 859-491-4003. SEASON OPENER – DETAILS: Behringer-Crawford Museum’s outdoor amphitheater is gearing up for its annual Thursday-evening concert series, which features a mix of area acts from bluegrass to classic rock through Aug. 15. Starting things off tonight is Covington bluegrass-country-rock band The Turkeys, whose tongue-in-beak moniker is a backwinged tribute to “animal” bands such as The Animals (naturally), The Byrds, The Turtles, The Eagles and, uh, those guys from Liverpool. There’s an admission fee, and beverages are available for purchase. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring folding chairs or blankets, and the event will move indoors in case of rain.


An evening at NightLight 513

NightLight 513, “21 Jump Street” | Sundown, Covington Plaza, 1 Madison Ave., Covington. SEASON OPENER – DETAILS: This popular outdoor “social cinema” film series for people age 21 or older, blessed by a prime riverfront location with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop, begins its 2024 run with “21 Jump Street,” the 2012 buddy-cop comedy starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. NightLight events feature local craft brews, food trucks and classic movie-theater snacks in a picnic-style vibe. Tickets are going fast for the season-opener, but the series continues through Oct. 4.

Friday, June 7

The Taft Museum of Art

Taft at Twilight Movie Night, “Barbie” | 7 p.m., Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., downtown. 513-241-0343. SEASON OPENER – DETAILS: More cinema under the stars, this time in a free, two-event series hosted by the Taft Museum’s young professionals group in the museum’s garden. A cash bar and complimentary light bites are offered. Last year’s hit film “Barbie” (without the “heimer”) needs no introduction. The second film, on July 12, will be the 2005 “Pride and Prejudice” starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.


Neal Gittleman conducting the Dayton Philharmonic

Dayton Philharmonic, “New World Symphony” | 7:30 pm., Schuster Center, 1 W. 2nd St., Dayton, Ohio. 937-637-8100. DETAILS: Yes, Antonin Dvorak’s beloved Symphony No. 9 is on the program. It serves as the centerpiece in a celebration of the sort of African American musical traditions that Dvorak derived inspiration from. Neal Gittleman, who’s about to end his three-decade run as the Dayton Philharmonic’s conductor, leads the orchestra and community choir in music by such greats as Hale Smith, Florence Price, Adolphus Hailstork and, yes, John Legend. The program repeats on June 8; pre-concert talks on the music by Gittleman and other speakers take place at 6:30 p.m. each evening.

Saturday, June 8

The Burning Caravan

Saturdays in the Park, The Burning Caravan | 10 a.m.-noon, Inwood Park, 2308 Vine St., Mt. Auburn. 513-497-2860. SEASON OPENER – DETAILS: Those folks at Clifton Cultural Arts Center certainly are busy. Following up after Wednesdays in the Woods, CCAC hosts its family-friendly Saturdays in the Park series at Inwood Park through July 27, starting tonight with Cincinnati-based gypsy jazz/swing group The Burning Caravan. The unusual late-morning timing makes this a breakfast/brunch concert event, with food available from vendors on-site, or you can bring your own brunch. What’s next for CCAC? Mondays in the Mall?


Promotional graphic for “Hands on a Hardbody”

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, “Hands on a Hardbody” | 7 p.m., ETC, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-421-3555. DETAILS: What a concept – A bunch of hard-luck Texans, outside in the burning sun, compete to keep their hands on a brand-new truck, day and night, for the chance to win it. Last one to keep a hand on the hardbody gets to drive away in it. And it’s a musical to boot, with a blues-country-rock vibe, songs by Amanda Green and Phish frontman Trey Anastasio. But there’s serious stuff here, too, as the competitors end up discussing contentious, revealing issues while hanging on to the coveted truck. Through June 3.

Sunday, June 9

Visitors check out the cars at Concours d’Elegance.

Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance | 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Ault Park, 3600 Observatory Ave., Mt. Lookout. DETAILS: For 46 years, this celebrated event has showcased classic, vintage and exotic cars from around the world in a grand outdoor spectacle that draws big crowds. You don’t have to be an auto enthusiast to enjoy this show and the atmosphere around it. This year’s theme is “La Doce Vita: Celebrating Italian Style,” with 24 classes of vehicles and special displays of the Ford Mustang (its 60th anniversary!), plus Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg. The event also offers a variety of food options, a craft beer garden, bourbon tastings and more. Proceeds benefit Juvenile Arthritis programs.


Opera in the Park at Washington Park, with Music Hall in the background

Cincinnati Opera, Opera in the Park | 7:30 p.m., Washington Park, 1230 Elm St, Over-the-Rhine. 513-241-2742. DETAILS: Last week, Cincinnati Opera went to church. This week, they’re headed to the park. In a way, this is also a season-opener, an informal celebration of Cincinnati Opera’s 2024 Summer Festival, which begins June 13 with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in Music Hall. The Wash Park event, with Music Hall as the backdrop, features opera and musical theater selections performed by singers in the 2024 summer productions. The Cincinnati Brass Institute starts things off with a 6 p.m. performance. Admission is free, but registration is encouraged, especially as it means you’ll get tickets in case weather forces the performance indoors to Music Hall.


Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra members performing at the Taft Museum

Taft Museum of Art, Summer Chamber Music | 2:30 p.m., Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., downtown. 513-241-0343. SEASON OPENER – DETAILS: The Taft hosts musicians from the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra for a two-concert series that serves as a sort of prelude to the CCO’s Summermusik festival, which runs July 31-Aug. 24. It’s a free event at the Taft, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The second Taft concert is July 7.

Monday, June 10

The Kris Keith Quartet

Jazz at the Park, Kris Keith Quartet | 6-9 p.m., Washington Park, 1230 Elm St, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Kris Keith, a woodwind professor at Ohio State who performs in a range of styles from classical to funk, invites music lovers to “enjoy an evening of Jazz At the Park with me and my friends Stan Smith (guitar), Roger W. Hines (bass), and John Taylor (drums).” Admission to the park’s weekly music series is free, but food and beverages are available for purchase.

Tuesday, June 11

Phil DeGreg and Rick VanMatre

Jazz at the Square, Phil DeGreg/Rick VanMatre | 5-8 p.m., Fountain Square, downtown. 513-621-4400. DETAILS: Yes, it seems like Jazz at the Square is almost a weekly pick here at Culture FIX, but that’s because the Tuesday after-work series at Fountain Square is a great atmosphere for enjoying the work of our area’s jazz musicians. This evening’s lineup is especially fine – pianist Phil DeGreg and saxophonist Rick VanMatre, two of Cincinnati’s best-known and most respected jazz artists/composers/educators. As always, the performances are free, and there are plenty of food and drink options.


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