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Your weekend arts forecast: Hello Amythyst Kiah, au revoir TFO

Bill DeYoung



Maiya Reeves, left, and Jen Diaz are in the cast of "A Skeptic and a Bruja" at freeFall Theatre. Photo: Joseph Michael Kenneth

Singer/songwriter Amythyst Kiah, who’ll be onstage Friday at the Jaeb Theater (in the Straz Center) describes her lyrically powerful music as “Southern Gothic.” The Tennessee-born and bred Kiah plays guitar and banjo; her Rounder Records debut Wary + Strange was nominated for the 2021 album of the year by Folk Alliance International. She was chosen by CMT (Country Music Television) for its Next Women of Country class of 2022, and was nominated for a Best American Roots Grammy for her song “Black Myself.”

She recently opened a string of arena dates for The Who.

As a member of the group Our Native Daughters (with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell) Kiah creates a riveting new sort of Americana folk music, historically-based, music that (according to NPR) “shines new light on African-American women’s stories of struggle, resistance, and hope.” She also plays songs by Radiohead and Joy Division.

Tickets are here.

TFO to go

It’s “mission accomplished” for The Florida Orchestra, as Saturday’s concert (at the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall) sticks a fork in the 2021-22 season.

Daniel Black conducts the band for the 8 p.m. program called “Stars and Stripes Forever,” consisting of patriotic music from the pens and pianos of Sousa, Copland, Barber, Berlin, John Williams and more (it is Memorial Day Weekend, after all). Tickets are here.

Maestro Michael Francis and the gang will begin Season 55 in October (read all about it here).


Music festivals

It’ll be quite the rave-up at Raymond James Stadium Friday through Sunday as something like 70 DJs and live bands make music and other sounds for the annual Sunset Music Festival. The electronic dance music lollapalooza began in 2006 across the bay, in Vinoy Park. Details, tickets and other pertinents are here.

Saturday’s the day for the 2022 Margarita Festival, at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa. Live entertainment for the 1-11 p.m. celebration of margaritas (you must be 21+ to attend) and music: Elle (“Ex’s & Oh’s”) King, whose father, comedian Rob Schneider, was just onstage in Clearwater a few nights ago; the 2020 incarnation of the Village People; and the band that insists on calling itself Lynyrd Skynyrd, with one original member, guitarist Gary Rossington. Details and tickets are here.

Shen Yun is at the Mahaffey Theater daily through the 29th, for its annual visit. This is a New York-based touring celebration of traditional Chinese dance – it’s an enormous company of performers – and culture. The Chinese government does not permit Shen Yun to perform in China, because several of the numbers in the show refer to cultural oppression in that country. Tickets for the Mahaffey performances are here.


Theater and music

At freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg, the haunted-house comedy/drama A Skeptic and a Bruja by Rosa Fernandez continues this weekend (tickets here).

Jobsite Theater, in the Straz Center (Tampa), is in full production mode with German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s simmering satire of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. It’s onstage through June 5 (tickets here).

Opening Saturday at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg is an exhibition of works from Bahamian multidisciplinary artist Gio Swaby. Fresh Up features more than 40 works ranging from intimate portraits to life-size textile panels fabricated from sewn line drawing and quilting techniques. The artist creates unique portraits through a range of textile-based methods. Read more in Friday’s edition of the Catalyst.

The Wilson Van, a part-time rock ‘n’ roll band consisting of St. Pete-raised brothers Patrick Wilson, Mark Wilson and Paul Wilson, will be onstage Sunday at Jannus Live. Hint: They’re all famous. Here’s our interview with Patrick Wilson from earlier in the week.


Oak for we folk

New at the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement: In Honor of Oak, a special installation curated by museum founder Rudy Ciccarello. It consists of never-before-exhibited furniture dedicated to the material that shaped the Arts and Crafts Movement: Oak.

The description of this exhibition reads, in part: “More than just beautiful, the wood panels used in this collection of furniture are structurally stronger than your everyday oak boards, because of a lumber processing technique popular during the Arts and Crafts Movement, called ‘quarter sawing.’ This process begins by cutting a log of wood into four pieces length wise, creating wedges, and then cutting those wedges into boards. By using quarter sawn oak, these furniture panels reveal a beautiful tiger-stripe pattern known as ray flecks and have stood the test of time.”

Indeed. More than 100 years.

For additional information, see the MAACM website.

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You can also submit your events to the Catalyst calendar, by clicking here.




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