Blazing heat might not be our favorite thing, but the near-constant availability of free jazz performances all month long eases some of that weather-induced misery.
- Author Tessa Afsha will be launching her new novel, Harvest of Gold, at the Mark Twain House & Museum from 6-7 tonight. There will be Persian treats and tea served. This is free.
- The Frank Kozyra Group will be giving a free performance at Black-eyed Sally’s. Jazz Mondays are presented by the Hartford Jazz Society and Charter Oak Cultural Center. 8-11pm.
- Also at 8pm, the Hartford Jazz Orchestra performs at Arch Street Tavern. This is free.
HartBeat Happy Hour! Happy Hour is from 5-6pm. At 6, there will be a staged reading of Sarajevo Phoenix by Ellen Kaplan. Look, Hartford has lots of happy hours, but this one guarantees you will meet (or re-acquaint with) some interesting, three-dimensional folks. $5, cash only, at the door. This will be in the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue.
Renoir screens at Cinestudio at 7:30pm. Cinestudio describes the film:
Never underestimate the ability of an expertly made European costume movie to captivate an audience – we still get requests to bring back The Well Digger’s Daughter and A Royal Affair! This summer treat yourself to a sumptuous film set on the sunny Cote d’Azur in the summer of 1915, about the final years of Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir and his son Jean, the future filmmaker (The Rules of the Game, Grand Illusion). Father and son come under the spell of a free-spirited young woman called Dédé (Christa Théret), who becomes a model to Renoir père, before catching the eye of the restless Jean, just home from World War I. “Sensuality is the film’s theory and practice…This is a movie set on capturing the sound of the sunlight and the colors of the wind.” Ty Burr, Boston Globe.
Ticket prices vary. If you’ve never been to Cinestudio, walk up the stairs when you enter the theater. . . there’s a balcony.
The Connecticut Science Center is open today! Educators receive free admission through September 1, 2013 (show institutional ID at ticket counter). 10am-5pm.
- Beginning at 6pm, the Coltsville Vintage Base Ball League will play two games before the free screening of A League of Their Own. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks. Vintage Soda Pop will be available for purchase. This will be in Bushnell Park. If your child has peanut allergies, be on alert since peanuts will be distributed for free at this event.
- Open mic at the Kabbalah House this and every Friday, 9pm-1am. Free. The Kabbalah House is at 1023 Albany Avenue.
- Today is the Connecticut Historical Society‘s monthly Family Day. Admission is free to the galleries and there are children’s activities planned, like making cardboard binoculars. This program is recommended for children eight and under. 10am-1pm.
- All Elements Jam runs all afternoon, from 12-7 at Heaven. This multi-genre event is free to the community. There will be music, skating competitions, Bboy and MC battles, food, live graffiti walls, vendors, and more. If you want to participate in the battles, you can sign up on the day of the event.
- Riverfest: from 4-9:30pm there are free, family-oriented activities along the riverfront. On the Hartford side there will be music by River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs, Memphis Soul Spectacular, Frank Viele & the Electric Quartet, Eight to the Bar, and Antigone Rising. Also on the Hartford side, face-painting, bounce house(s), birds of prey, and a waterski show. Fireworks are at 9. They are not allowing backpacks or alcohol to be brought into the parks.
- The Real Ride (VII, if you were counting) gathers at 6pm for bike decoration and is scheduled to leave the Real Art Ways lot at 8pm. There will be a stop to enable fireworks viewing at 9pm. This ride is at night — duh — so make sure you have lights on your bike, the more the better to see you with. This is free and suitable for all-ages, all fitness levels. So, what is a Real Ride? It’s a leisurely, meandering ride around Hartford with a number of stops along the way. It is not a race. It is not a race. It is not a race.
- Metal bands Sever the Drama and Anti-Mortem will be playing at Arch Street Tavern at 9:30pm. Tickets are available online.
Travers Chandler & Avery County bring bluegrass to the Firebox from 5-8pm. There’s no cover charge but they “pass the boot.”
Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park: Bring a picnic and blanket. Rahstet — a sextet led by saxophonist Richard McGhee III and vocalist Margeaux Hayes — kicks the evening off at 6. They are followed by Mario Pavone and the Orange Double Tenor Septet, featuring saxophonist Jimmy Greene. This is free.
- Blueberry Festival at the West End Farmers’ Market from 4-7pm.
- There are no shortage of film series. Asylum Hill Congregational Church is running a Social Justice Film Series in July and August. These are free and followed by a dialogue. Tonight’s film, A Place at the Table, a documentary about access to food, begins at 7.
- If you are interested in economic disparities, check out this free event at the Mark Twain House & Museum. They say:
In conjunction with our exhibit “The Gilded Age in Hartford,” Dr. Andrew Walsh of Trinity College will explore the disparities of wealth and poverty, the vibrant social interaction and the explosion of creativity that characterized the city in the era named by Mark Twain.
Andrew Walsh is a specialist in American religious history and urbanism with a long involvement in the city’s history, including Trinity’s famed Hartford History Project in the 1990s. Since 1997 he has been Associate Director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life.
The reception is at 5pm, lecture at 5:30.
- This month’s Get HYPEd will be at the Rocking Horse Saloon, 181 Ann Uccello Street. This free networking event goes from 5:30-8:30pm. Bring a business card if you’d like to enter the free drawing. Bring more than one if you actually intend to network. The “young professional” category encompasses a broader age range than you might expect.
- Today is the day you’ve been waiting for since last July– the start of another ConnectiCon. This year’s guests will include Marina Sirtis, Brandon Sanderson, Michael Golden, Jim Cummings, and more. This goes through July 14, 2013. There is a registration fee. No charge to walk around the Riverfront area and check out the costumes (which might pique your curiosity enough to fork over dough for a day pass).
- Catch free jazz performances outside of the Pump House Gallery in Bushnell Park. The UMOJA Music Series continues tonight at 6 with the Jonathan Barber Group and Josh Evans Trumpet Ensemble. Bring a blanket or lawn chair.
- From 6-8pm, there is a public forum about the Capital City Parks Master Plan. This public meeting (free) will be held in the Center for Contemporary Culture in the Hartford Public Library. If you care what happens in Hartford’s parks, go!
- Come by the Charter Oak Cultural Center to learn how to speak for the trees. If the weather is nice, The Lorax will be shown outside; if not, it will be moved indoors. This free film and dinner begins at 7pm.
- Also at 7pm, Ghostbusters will be screened for free in Pope Park.
- If you don’t care for that kind of nostalgia, check out Movies and Music Under the Stars at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Real old school. Tonight they are showing The Thin Man (1934) at 8:15 in the Gengras Courtyard. Supper and live music precedes the film, with everything kicking off around 6. Admission varies, but is less than what you’d spend at one of the huge cinemas. If you want food, you’ll have to fork over more money. If it rains, the film is shown inside the Wadsworth — how easy is that?!
- Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK and Rick Rowley, director of the film Dirty Wars, will be present at the 2pm screening of the film at Real Art Ways. Ticket prices vary.
- Indie Fest at the Charter Oak Cultural Center: Doors open at 3:30pm and the music goes until midnight. Musicians include String Theorie, 1974, Breakthrough Frequencies, Farewood, Jennifer Hill & Co., Laura Ganci & American Echoes, Modern Merchant, and Post-Modern Panic. This is a free, all-ages show.
- Tonight is the third meeting of the Frog Hollow Social Club, a dining experience at the Firebox. Space is limited and details are scarce. Reservations are a must. 6-9pm. This is spendy.
- The Nita Zarif Quintet and Stanley Cowell Quartet perform at the free Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park, presented by the Hartford Jazz Society. Music starts around 6pm.
I know that Real Hartford readers aren’t the type to settle for passive entertainment 24/7. Tonight offers a double opportunity for civic engagement.
Stop by the conference room in the Lyceum for the monthly Frog Hollow NRZ (neighborhood revitalization zone) meeting from 5-7pm. This is a chance to find out and have some voice in neighborhood development. Dinner will be served around 6 because this meeting will be immediately followed by a presentation by the Connecticut Department of Transportation at 7pm, also at the Lyceum on Lawrence Street. Because more people are expected, this will move upstairs to the auditorium. (It’s not a huge building. Don’t worry, you’ll find it.) We hear that this meeting will likely be about the City’s plans for Capitol Avenue and the Farmington/Broad/Asylum trident, as well as with some ideas about what must happen with Flower Street. If you recall, the DOT was told that it can not close Flower Street to pedestrian/cyclist traffic unless it creates a bridge at the crossing. Readers who are enjoying that direct, safe route between Farmington and Capitol may want to stop by this meeting.
The Hartford Paralympic Experience offers an opportunity to play sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball alongside U.S. Paralympic medalists. This free event goes from 6:30-8:30pm at the Asylum Hill Boys and Girls Club, 170 Sigourney Street. Bring water and dress appropriately for this kind of activity (ditch the suit and slingbacks).
- This is the last performance in the 2013 UMOJA Music Series. Come to the Pump House Gallery in Bushnell Park for free music in the park at 6pm with the Stephen “King” Porter Trio and New Jazz Workshop.
- The Krar Collective will be performing at this month’s Creative Cocktail Hour, 6-10pm. $10 general, $5 Real Art Ways members.
- Author Stephen King will be speaking at the Bushnell at 8pm. Ticket prices range, beginning at $25. Having read The Stand and many of his other novels multiple times, not to mention the short stories, I’ll probably end up wrestling someone for a ticket to this.
- Thought last night was the end of jazz for awhile? Wrong.
Today marks the beginning of the 2013 Greater Hartford Jazz Festival in Bushnell Park. “Gates” open at 5pm, music begins at 7 with Ed Byrne’s Latin Jazz Evolution. Arturo Sandoval will follow. Since this is in a public space, you can bring your own refreshments, blankets, lawn chairs, etc.
- Tonight is also the 2013 Hartford Graffiti Tour. Meet at Heaven at 6:30pm, and be sure to have your bicycle since this is a bicycle tour. There may be off-roading, so don’t take your precious bike with flimsy tires. It’s at night– bike lights are a must. Really. This is free.
- Lilo & Stitch will be shown in Keney Park, free of charge at 7pm.
- After the Thin Man (1936) screens in the Gengras Courtyard at Wadsworth Atheneum at 8:15. Music and supper are at 6pm. Film prices vary, but always less than what you’d spend at one of the big cinemas. Food costs extra.
- Early birds can volunteer (from 9am-1pm) to clean and beautify the corner of Homestead Avenue and Garden Street with the KNOX Green Team. Breakfast and lunch are provided free of charge, so rsvp to ensure the right number of meals. Meet at the corner/traffic island.
- Cedar Hill Cemetery offers themed tours so the curious can learn about notorious, or just plain interesting, “residents.” At 10 this morning, the tour will be of “Barnstormers and Aviators.” $5; free to Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation, Let’s Go Arts and New England Air Museum Members.
- The Greater Hartford Jazz Festival continues this afternoon with Ace Livingston, Bob Baldwin & Walter Beasley, Tom Browne & Eric Darius, The New Urban Jazz Jam, and the Jus Us Band. The music starts at 4:30pm in Bushnell Park and goes late. Free.
- The final day of the Greater Hartford Jazz Festival begins with the not-to-be-missed performance by Ross Tucker’s Hot Cat Dixieland Jazz Band at the 10 o’clock mass at Christ Church Cathedral at Church and Main.
Music in Bushnell Park begins at 4:30 with Toscha Comeaux, followed by multiple artists including the Steve Davis All-Star Sextet.
- This is also the last day to catch the Discover the Dinosaurs exhibit at the Connecticut Convention Center. This free exhibit opened on July 19th.
The Norman Gage-Kenny Reed Quintet and Jay Hoggard Quintet perform at the free Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park, starting at 6.
- Corn Festival at the West End Farmers’ Market, 4-7pm.
- At 7, Asylum Hill Congregational Church continues its free Social Justice Film Series with a screening of The Color of Justice, which they describe as exploring the “links between race and treatment in the juvenile justice system.” A discussion follows the film.
Locomotion, described as a “rocking horn band,” will give a free performance on the Rose Garden Lawn at Elizabeth Park from 6:30-8:30pm. If it rains, the music is moved inside the Pond House.
- Dr. William Howe will be giving a presentation on cultural diversity awareness from 5-7. This free workshop will be held at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.
- Radio Adventure Theater will be held at Real Art Ways this time. It’s hard to explain this. Part radio show, part variety show. The theme is “buried.” $5 general, $3 for Real Art Ways members. 7:30pm.
- Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem will give a free roots music performance at Music Among the Memorials at Cedar Hill Cemetery. This is free for all. Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic dinners are all welcome. 6pm. The rain date is July 27th.
- North By Northwest will be shown in Riverside Park at 7pm.
- Catch a double header of Vintage Base Ball at Colt Meadows in Colt Park. The first game adheres to 1865 rules; the second, 1861. The first game starts at 11am. Bring chairs, blankets, picnics, hats, and sunscreen. Parking and admission are free.
- 2013 Music from the African Diaspora: A free performance by Nzinga’s Daughters at Hartford Stage. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7pm.
- From 7-9pm, watch free ballet performances at the Riverfront: Fabulous Duets for a Summer Night. EQuilibrium Dance Theatre will be the opening act. If it rains, the performances will be moved to July 28th, but will remain at the Riverfront Plaza.
You don’t have to pay for these laughs. Come see Sea Tea Improv do improv at City Steam Brewery’s Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club. You can grab a seat and food at 6pm (the food ain’t free) and then catch the performances at 7pm. People under 21 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
Tropijazz performs at Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park. 6pm and free. If you can’t make it to the park for the Monday Night Jazz series, you can listen to it live on WWUH West Hartford. This year MNJ is scheduled to continue into August!
The Social Justice Film Series features two items tonight: Living for 32 and a Bill Moyers’ PBS special interview with Sandy Hook parents. This starts at 7 at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church.
The Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series continues with music from the Nifty Fifites band. Stop by the Rose Garden Lawn from 6:30-8:30pm. Rain location: Pond House.
Hey, if you’re reading this, it’s assumed that you’re grown and understand that venues change dates and times, sometimes with little warning. It’s up to you to confirm that all events are running as planned.