Thursday, Dec. 27
26th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration
Christmas and Hanukkah might be over, but that doesn’t mean the holiday season is. The Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Multicultural Ministry is hosting its community-wide Kwanzaa celebration Thursday. In addition to poetry, gospel music, dance and African drumming by the River City Drum Corps, the event will also feature a key part of any holiday celebration — food. A not-so-common aspect of the program is guest speaker Yolanda Woodlee, a reporter from The Washington Post. —Bethany Furkin
Catholic Enrichment Center
3146 W. Broadway
Free; 5-7 p.m.
THURSDAY, DEC. 27
Java Men reunion
Todd Hildreth, Ray Rizzo and Craig Wagner were once one of our city’s most inspired jazz trios, and for one night only, these players collectively known as The Java Men will bring some of that inspiration back to the stage. In their late ’90s heyday, The Java Men found solid recognition locally, and substantial attention in Keyboard, Acoustic and Just Jazz Guitar magazines, Signal To Noise and the Jazz South syndicated radio program. Their songs were heard over the airwaves in Canada, Portugal, Colombia and elsewhere. LEO readers named them the best jazz band in the city in ’98, ’99 and ’04, and the troupe shared stages with Bela Fleck’s onetime bassist Victor Wooten, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Buckwheat Zydeco and Spyro Gyra.
“It was very spur-of-the-moment,” Hildreth says of the reunion, which will be recorded for posterity. He says he wouldn’t rule out another appearance down the line. “I guess it would depend on whether the stars lined up.” —Mat Herron
The Jazz Factory
815 W. Market St.
$10 (for both sets); 7:30 & 9 p.m.
Friday, DEC. 28
MERF Benefit, part deux
Five Louisville rock bands are doing their part to help the Musician’s Emergency Resource Foundation with another show Friday at Headliners.
Amherst, Roper Crust, Aniston, Jeny and Creatures make up the bill, but you might wanna think about putting on your Ol’ St. Nick impressions, as there will be a contest for the Best Dressed Santa. Raffles for prizes and gift certificates to ear X-tacy, Mom’s Music, Twisted Images tattoos and Hair By Bennie & Friends also are up for grabs. —Mat Herron
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Road
$10 ($8 w/ Santa costume); 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 29
Coffee shop goes to the dogs
Coffee, dogs and Indiana — three things near to my heart. OK, cats make the list, too. On this day, Dbl Shotz Coffee Roasting holds an open house to show off a new look, and the barristas will donate half of the day’s proceeds to the Animal Protection Agency, a scrappy organization working to end the stray pet problem. An APA rep will be there to talk about the organization (www.apa-pets.org), and there’ll be prizes, including a raffle for a year of free coffee. Dbl Shotz, which sells specialty beans to the public at wholesale prices, is located in downtown Jeffersonville, which is a nice place to stroll and check out a collection of shops. But please, keep the doggies and kitties away from the caffeine. —Cary Stemle
1315 Spring St., Jeffersonville
Free; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (open house)
Saturday, Dec. 29
Some things never change around here — it’s cold in winter, rains in spring, sweaty in summer and fabulously beautiful in fall … and whenever the Pygmies stop back in town, I’m gonna write about it. Some call it predictable; I prefer to refer to it as a minor obsession. There’s actually some news surrounding this Louisville-based band that travels the South year-round — lead guitarist Delicious is out, new guy “Angel” is in, Gibson guitar in tow. Expect all the same ’80s glam you’ve come to love from Cam, Chris and Jason (aka Johnny Depp). They don’t come around often anymore, so this is your chance to brush on some blue eye shadow and tease your hair. Let’s get, let’s get, let’s get, let’s get rocked! —Sara Havens
Phoenix Hill Tavern
644 Baxter Ave.
$10; 11 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 30
If you were to ask me what disbanded Louisville band I wish I could’ve seen more of, I would probably answer The Children. They were, to my knowledge, one of the best instrumental reggae bands of the new millennia. They sounded like London post-punks, but layered with dubby rhythms and far-out sounds. My second choice would be Strike City, another instrumental band, but this one was emphatically a rock band: grand, abstract and occasionally cacophonous. In a just world, everybody would’ve heard of both of these groups.
That explains my excitement about Development, an improvisational (and ever-changing) band that currently boasts the percussionists from Strike City and the bassist and guitarist from The Children. They play at the Pink Door on Sunday, so expect beautiful cosmic grooves.
Opening the show will be “Special Treatment,” an abstract film by Jim Nastics. It features music by a member of Development, Shawn Trail. —Alan Abbott
The Pink Door
2222 Dundee Road
Free; 8 p.m.
Jan. 2-Feb. 2
‘Tempest’ with a twist
Beginning next Wednesday, William Shakespeare’s timeless “The Tempest” takes on the tremendous tactile talents of an all-too-familiar local group. Jason Noble, Christian Fredrickson and Gregory King, of the avant-chamber band Rachel’s, were approached by Actors Theatre artistic director Marc Masterson, who heard the Rachel’s through its work with the New York theater group City Company, which appears on the Rachel’s 2003 album Systems/Layers.
“First of all, it’s Shakespeare, so it’s immortal language,” says Fredrickson. “There are a number of those moments in the play when you go, ‘That’s Shakespeare? I didn’t know that was there.’”
Fredrickson says the ensemble avoided listening to other scores of the show, nor did they try to adapt Rachel’s musical sensibilities to the play, which shows 41 times between Jan. 2-Feb 2.
“As far as transforming it to our world, we were never trying to make a 17th-century version of Rachel’s or anything like that,” he says. “We were freed up in that sense. The toughest thing has been trying to keep our instincts to make a lot of music in check a little bit, make sure to leave room for the words to come through.” —Mat Herron
316 W. Main St.
Through Jan. 26
Gibbs Rounsavall solo show
Come for the paintings but stay for the drawings. Gibbs Rounsavall’s colorful enamel on aluminum stripes of color have made his name. But it’s his graphite on paper drawings that suck you in. You can feel his creative energy as your eyes travel among the mazes of lines.
This is his first solo gallery show, full of “fresh” paintings and drawings done this year. There’s an immediacy to his art, as if stamped with a “view by” date sticker. Drawing is often labeled as a basic, intimate type of art; Rounsavall throws in an intellectual quality to that mix. —Jo Anne Triplett
632 E. Market St.
Through Feb. 28
‘H2O’ by Howard Schatz
“How does he do it?” was about the fourth thought I had when viewing these unusual underwater photographs by Howard Schatz. At first I was captivated by the color, form and downright beauty of his work. His use of ballet dancers and Cirque du Soleil acrobats photographed in his underwater studio, which have the ability to seemingly fly or dance in the water, is genius. It’s about as far from water aerobics or synchronized swimming as you can get.
“H2O” is showing simultaneously here as well as in New York City, and is also the title of his latest book. —Jo Anne Triplett
Paul Paletti Gallery
713 E. Market St.