Thursday, June 7
Dennis Ross speaks
Former diplomat Dennis Ross, now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has not only been around the world — and specifically the Middle East — but around several administrations. The guy, who comes to Louisville tomorrow, first reached the upper echelons among foreign policy-makers in 1981 when Paul Wolfowitz selected him to work on the staff of the U.S. State Department’s Policy Planning office. Ross later became director of that office under President George H.W. Bush and helped shape foreign policy concerning a myriad of far-flung regions, from the Persian Gulf to the Soviet Union. But it was his work as Special Middle East Coordinator under President Bill Clinton that thrust him into the public limelight. In that role, he helped guide the Middle East peace process with the Israelis and Palestinians, which led to the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A few years ago, Ross wrote “The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace,” often praised for its keen insight into the realities of diplomacy. This month Ross has another book coming out, “Statecraft: And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World.” —Elizabeth Kramer
Galt House Hotel and Suites West Wing
$15; 6 p.m.
FRIDAY, JUNE 8
You know you’re in select company when Tony Bennett calls you “a visionary of extraordinary depth.” Born in Ventura, Calif., pianist and composer JoAnne Brackeen started learning jazz at age 11 by transcribing piano solos. At age 12, she hit the stage, and went on to study at the Los Angeles Conservatory before moving to New York in 1965. She was the first — and only — member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1969 to 1972, and has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, Carnegie Hall and the Experience Music Project in Seattle. Bassist Chris Fitzgerald and drummer Jason Tiemann join her. —Mat Herron
The Jazz Factory
815 W. Market St.
$20; 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, JUNE 8
When Scottie Yoder, Brendhan Bowers, Stefan Rubicz and Ryan Thompson go out on the road, bad things happen. According to the Seattle altweekly The Stranger, “On past tours, they’ve been arrested, injured, broken-down, robbed and stranded.” Quitters never win, as the saying goes, so the dance-punk group is embarking on an 80-show, U.S. tour that stops at the Brick House Friday. The shenanigans begin at 8 p.m. —Mat Herron
The Brick House
1101 S. Second St.
$TBA; 8 p.m.
‘Flying Against the Wind’
An artist’s life’s work plus a family’s love equals benefits for the Louisville visual art community. Linda Schaaf, a former Louisvillian who moved to San Francisco in the late 1960s, created oil paintings, black and white photographs, and pen and ink drawings. After her death in 2006, her family donated her work to the Louisville Visual Art Association. The sale of the art is the nucleus of LVAA’s new Linda Schaaf MicroLoan Program for Visual Artists.
“My sister made incredible sacrifices throughout her life on behalf of her art, oftentimes choosing lessons or supplies over groceries,” Elizabeth Schaaf, owner of Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire (featured in last week’s LEO cover story), says in a press release. “I know (she) would be very happy knowing that the sale of her art will support local artists.”
The retrospective show and sale is in two parts, starting with an hors d’oeuvres and wine reception on Friday from 5:30-8 p.m. Tickets to the reception are $15 before June 6 (available at the LVAA Web site) or $20 at the door. The show is free and open to the public on Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. —Jo Anne Triplett
Louisville Visual Art Association
Water Tower, 3005 River Road
Saturday, June 9
Magic at the Mount
Come and join the array of artists with the Mary Anderson Center for a taste of grassroots arts and crafts of all shapes, sizes and sounds. Founded in 1989 by the Mount St. Francis Friary, the colony has been providing residencies for emerging artists ever since, and will host its fifth annual Magic at the Mount event on Mount St. Francis in Floyds Knobs, Ind., on Saturday. The festival will feature work from more than 30 artists, fiber installations in trees and prose and poetry writers reading from their work. For those wanting to discover their own artistic side, interactive art activities for children and adults will be available, including a Mini Monet, Ohio Valley Creative Energies (“Turning trash into treasure”), storytelling, photo fun, installation art and tie-dye T-shirts. Don’t forget to check out the clay-making demonstrations and ceramic sale with local potters, too. The evening ends with a performance by classical guitarist Mario DaSilva, who has been instructing Indiana University Southeast students in guitar since 1989. —Mary Burton
Mary Anderson Center
101 St. Francis Drive, Floyds Knobs
Free; 3-9 p.m.
Louisville Irish Fest
Louisville always finds a pot o’ gold in the long-running, annual Irish Fest. This year the live music and dance includes John Williams and Dean Magraw, the Louisville Pipe Band and McClanahan School of Irish Dance. For the first time, there’s an Irish Idol competition, with the finalists presented on Saturday. “Danny Boy,” anyone?
And the food! Martha Ford, former owner of the Celtic Center on Bauer Avenue, returns with her popular Tea Room. Tara O'Donnell, a graduate of the Ballymallou Cooking School in Ireland, will prepare a “Fry Up” traditional Irish breakfast on Sunday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
If that’s not enough, the Knights from the Society for Creative Anachronisms will put on a joust on Saturday. Parking is available at the Sixth Street garage (between Main and Market), and meters are always free on Sundays.
Since it is never too early to plan, the 2008 Louisville Irish Fest will move to September as the kick-off event for the Ryder Cup. —Jo Anne Triplett
Fifth and Main
$5 (children under 12 free); 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (Sat.) and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Sun.)
Sunday, June 10
Patchwork for Peace
You don’t have to be a regular at the local quilting circle to participate in this program by the Muhammad Ali Center, though it may not hurt.
The Ali Center is inviting all members of the community to come out and be a part of the “peace quilts” they are putting together. Be an artist for the day by cutting quilt blocks out of denim and decorating them with paint and markers, expressing ideas of hope and peace. The blocks will be on display at the Center over the summer and then sewn into quilts to be donated to war-torn countries, including Uganda and Sudan. The idea of the program is to provide some semblance of comfort to these people who are victims of conflict.
Even if you don’t plan to participate in the event, the Center would greatly appreciate donations of old denim. So go through all those jeans you don’t wear anymore; it’s time to share all of your old acid wash with the quilting circle. —Erin Clephas
Muhammad Ali Center
144 N. Sixth St.
Free; noon-4 p.m.
Sunday, June 10
Wild and Woolly’s 10th anniversary
Wild and Woolly has never been the typical video store. Besides a deep and incredible selection, it has those historic ties to the our fabled indie-rock scene. So wouldn’t you know that for the store’s 10th anniversary, owner Todd Brashear has announced a concert/show with a singer-actor, a comedienne, an SNL player, etc., with the proceeds going to charity? Bonnie “Prince” Billy, hot off great notices both for his most recent album and for his performance in the art-house film “Old Joy,” is headliner for the Sunday night show at Headliners. True to his individualistic style, Billy/Oldham has announced he’ll perform an older album (I See a Darkness) in its entirety. Brashear can relate fully, of course — and that’s why the video store on Bardstown Road never resembled a Blockbuster. This gig celebrates our community as much as any overdressed Derby tradition. —T.E. Lyons
1386 Lexington Road
$5 (at W&W); 8 p.m.
Sundays through July 1
Mom’s Music Rock School Band Series
The future of rock ’n’ roll begins now. Every Sunday through July 1, the Hard Rock Café Louisville will play host to Mom’s Music Performance Rock School Band Series, which features local youth school rock bands as they gear up for an appearance at the Kentucky State Fair in August. Two bands each week will kick out the jams at the Hard Rock, with proceeds from each weekly event going to pop singer Shakira’s charity Fundación Pies Descalzos, which aids children who are victims of violence in Colombia. Aftershock and Catalyst kicked off the series, and subsequent shows will feature: Back Pocket and Radio Daze (June 10); The Trouble With Boys and The Hi-Tops (June 17); Papagei and Identity Crisis (June 24); and Red Rover and Down-N-Out (July 1). Think of it as a chance to help a good cause and fertilize the seeds of rawk at the same time. —Kevin Gibson
Hard Rock Louisville
424 S. Fourth St.
$1 donation; 4 p.m. (June 24 show is 2 p.m.)