Midtown events this month

Gospel Explosion concert at Playhouse

Gospel Entertainment will present True Glory Ministries along with Sonji Wright Savage and Sit Back and Relax Gospel Explosion, 5 p.m. July 7 at Playhouse on the Square, Union Avenue at Cooper Street. Performances include Sonji Wright Savage/Sit Back and Relax, Historic /Jubilee Humming Birds, The Four Stars, Scott King, John Wayne Gardner, Andrew Know & New Change, Chrystal Ransom, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Mass Choir, King Darius Entertainment and Ricardo Harrison. Vendors include Larry Davis (free massages), Fashioned (jewelry) and    Kay’s Kreations (scented candles). The event is sponsored by WLOK Radio (Delsa Fleming.) Tickets are $15, available at the door.

Song Slinger Showdown at First Congo

Nancy Apple’s Song Slinger Showdown will feature Ronny Elliott and Rebekah Pulley July 7 at Theatre South, 1000 S. Cooper St. Doors open at 6 p.m., showtime is 6:30. The show is over at 9 p.m., and there is an after-show meet and greet at Young Avenue Deli.The Song Slinger Showdown is a monthly series produced by Nancy Apple that features internationally and nationally respected troubadours as well as Memphis musicians who fall in those ranks.July showcases Ronny Elliott, highly respected among other songwriters. The same people who produced the Grammy-nominated tribute album on Peter Case are currently producing one on Ronny’s songs. His songs are about Memphis, music history, love, iconic figures in history, good and bad, and often against war. Bio at www.ronnyelliott.comRebekah Pulley is someone you should know about. Her songs are potent shots of reality sugar coated in melodies that are the kind you wish you had found first. She writes songs about how nobody’s cool anymore, and when you hear her, you know exactly what she’s talking about. Bio atwww.rebekahpulley.com.Tickets are $10 and are sold at the door. Seats can also be reserved by sending a message via the event’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/199553450196849.

Experience Brazilian choro music

Memphis Acoustic Music Association presents Choro das 3, 7 p.m. July 10 at First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper. Choro is the music of Rio de Janiero that gave rise to bossa nova and samba, blending the influences of European court music, American jazz, Eastern European polkas and Klezmer music, West African rhythms, Italian mandolins, Russian 7-string guitars, and marching bands. Choro das 3 is a Brazilian trio formed in 2003 by three sisters from the state of Sao Paulo. Despite their youth, they have amassed an amazing number of achievements, playing for audiences large (over a million) and small (for President Lula da Silva.) They’ve garnered numerous national awards in a country that takes its music very seriously, performed for audiences in Europe and Japan, and are now headed to the U.S. for their first tour of North America. Choro das 3 released their debut CD in 2008, following up with “Escorregando” in 2012. World-renowned mandolinist Mike Marshall says that Choro das 3 plays with “the highest level of musicianship and presentation… the highest quality of Brazilian Choro music that can be heard any place today.”Concert tickets are available at The Booksellers at Laurelwood or online: http://mama-cd3concert.eventbrite.com/ $20 adults / $10 students.Musicians of all ages and on all acoustic instruments are welcome to join Choro das 3 for an afternoon workshop to lean how to play choro, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the church, for $25. Workshop registration (online only): http://mama-cd3workshop.eventbrite.com. 

Java Cabana hosting music in July

Java Cabana, 2170 Young Ave., has released its July music scheduleJuly 5, Wolves Like Sheep; July 6, Steve Smith; July 10, Keith Campbell; July 13, Steve Lockwood & John Chambliss; July 20, Mark Allen; July 26, Nathan Bonnes & Zeke Johnson;July 27, Jeff Ruby. Find events at javacabanacoffeehouse.com.

Playhouse presents ‘The Color Purple’

The Color Purple, a musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, is at Playhouse on the Square through July 14. It is the story of Celie, a downtrodden young woman who, through love, finds strength and her own unique voice despite a lifetime of abuse and adversity. With a score filled with jazz, ragtime, blues and gospel, The Color Purple is a celebration of the healing power of love and the human will to persevere. Nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2006 including Best Musical and Best Original Score.The Color Purple runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. There is no performance on July 4. Playhouse on the Square is located at 66 S. Cooper St. For more information or to make reservations, please call 726-4656 or purchase tickets online at playhouseonthesquare.org.

Tillinghast to sign books at Burke’s Book Store

Richard Tillinghast will return to Burke’s Book Store from 5 to 6:30 p.m. July 18 to sign copies of his new book, An Armchair Traveler’s History of Istanbul (Haus Publications, $19.95 hardcover). Reading will begin at 6 pm.The great crossroads, Istanbul has absorbed several millennia of different influences; it is both modern and ancient, fluid and constant. Tillinghast’s poetic consideration of it won the Ondaatje Prize from the Royal Society of Literature. “The wealth of historical information in An Armchair Traveller’s History of Istanbul is conveyed in Tillinghast’s engaging voice and vision. It feels like a collection of fascinating, rich stories of the city, delivered by a brilliant friend,” said Maria Browning, in Nashville’s The City Paper. Tillinghast has published eight collections of poems, along with a critical memoir of Robert Lowell and two books of essays. A native of Memphis, and part-time Sewanee resident, he currently lives in rural Ireland. For information contact Corey Mesler at 278-7484.

Green exhibit at David Perry Smith Gallery

David Perry Smith Gallery, 703 New York St., will present “Green,” an exploration of the spirit of flora and the natural world through paintings, curated by intern Natalie Brashear, a student of Art History at Wake Forest University, through July 31. The exhibition will open with a reception from 6-8 p.m. July 5. For information check davidperrysmithgallery.com or call 606-9690.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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