Alice Gerrard and The Piedmont Melody Makers – Thursday, 6pm – American Tobacco Campus continues its Back Porch Music on the Lawn series, welcoming Durham’s own Alice Gerrard and her group to the stage. Gerrard is an icon in American folk music. In a career spanning some 50 years, she has known, learned from and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music. With haunting vocals and a stellar band, she turns old American songs into something fresh and new. Chapel Hill’s Onyx Club Boys will open the show with some gypsy jazz sounds. Bring a blanket and your favorite four-legged friend. Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase.
Tan and Sober Gentlemen – Thursday, 7-10pm – Come to The Bullpen and listen to this group from Snow Camp. They have pioneered a sound they call “Celtic punk-grass,” a style best described as a blend of hard-driving, danceable roots music from the U.S., Scotland and Ireland, delivered with a punk edge and whisky-fueled abandon. They are well-known for their rip-roaring live show, featuring all sorts of on-stage shenanigans, audience engagement and tremendous energy. $1 of every draft sold benefits the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
‘Extraordinary Adventures: A Novel’ – Thursday, 7pm – The Regulator Bookshop welcomes Daniel Wallace, The New York Times bestselling author of “Big Fish,” for a reading and signing of his newest book. It’s a story about Edsel Bronfman, who lives a rather boring life in a seedy neighborhood and spends his free time with his spirited mother. When he gets a call telling him that he’s won a free weekend at a beachfront condo in Destin, Florida, he’s delighted. But there’s a catch: The offer is intended for a couple, and Edsel has only 79 days to find someone to take with him.The phone call jolts Edsel into motion, initiating a series of truly extraordinary adventures as he sets out to find a companion for his weekend getaway. Wallace is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at UNC, where he directs the Creative Writing program.
Beth Gill – Thursday, 8pm – Known for her exacting rigor and mesmerizing precision, Bessie award–winner Beth Gill makes choreography that is spare yet playful, stark yet beautiful. She performs her latest work, “In Brand New Sidewalk,” at Reynolds Industries Theater on Duke University‘s campus as a part of American Dance Festival. She teams up with composer Jon Moniaci and lighting designer Thomas Dunn to create an elegant diptych born of questioning the value of formalism in dance. This evocative new piece for four dancers explores themes of alienation, erasure, fantasy and power through the lens of abstraction.
Too Many Zooz – Friday, 6-8pm – Durham Central Park hosts this three-piece “BrassHouse” band for the second week of its new concert series. The group is comprised of Matt Doe on the trumpet, Leo Pellegrino on the baritone saxophone and drummer King of Sludge. They found their voice – and their fame – playing for change on New York’s subway platforms. Named one to watch on Billboard‘s Top 25 Next Big Sound, their music is infectious and makes you want to dance. The band is known for their originality, the members’ playing abilities and Pellegrino’s characteristic dance moves while playing the sax. Enjoy the show and have something to eat and drink from one of the many food trucks and craft beer vendors on site.
The Magnificents – Friday, 6-9pm – Northgate Mall‘s Music on the Plaza summer concert series comes to a close with a live performance and a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House of Durham. Burlington’s The Magnificents will keep you dancing with their classic soul, beach, Motown, Top 40 and dance music, and shagging lessons will be provided by the Carolina Shaggers prior to the show. There will be a children’s area with face painting and a bounce house provided by Bull City Inflatables, a magic show and a Durham Arts Council Clay Studio open house. Enjoy dinner from Esmeralda’s Café, OnlyBurger, Randy’s Pizza and Zeke’s Meats, and purchase beer, wine and water from Bull City Burger and Brewery. Save your poptops and bring them along with any donations you would like to make to support the Ronald McDonald House as they celebrate “Christmas in July.” You might even see Santa and Mrs. Claus at the concert!
Pilobolus – Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 1pm (children’s matinee) and 8pm – An American Dance Festival favorite returns to DPAC this weekend. Since its creation in 1971, Pilobolus has performed on Broadway, at the Oscars and the Olympic games. The dance “On the Nature of Things” explores the birth of desire and its intertwined connection to shame and revenge. “Rushes” was the first of Pilobolus’ collaborating partners’ projects and is the result of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak’s work with Artistic Director Robby Barnett and the company. Magicians Penn and Teller teamed with the group to create the ultimate piece of gripping, do-not-try-this-at-home choreography in “[esc].” Finally, the company will present the world premiere of a new ADF-commissioned collaboration with Abigail Washburn and 16-time Grammy Award-winning banjo legend Béla Fleck. Please note that the evening performances contain nudity.
Eric Deaton – Friday, 8:30-11:30pm – A North Carolina native, this guitarist moved to Mississippi when he finished high school and entered a higher education program of moonshine-fueled hill country blues at the world-renowned Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint. Apprenticing under the late trance-blues master and R.L. Burnside, he became thoroughly immersed in the blues tradition. He brings his sound to The Bullpen where you’ll hear an electric juke joint style with an influence of early Funkadelic, East Indian sitar drones and the blues’ West African roots. As always, $1 of every draft sold benefits the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
Boogarins – Friday, 9pm – This Brazilian psychedelic pop group performs at Motorco Music Hall. The four-man band is known for speaking directly to the audience with their Portuguese-sung rock ‘n’ roll rooted in the traditions of tropicalismo but nurtured in contemporary global music culture. They are topping many fan and critic lists: the group was dubbed “Best New Artist” in mainstream outlets like Rolling Stone Brazil and on powerhouse GloboTV’s annual music awards show, and they are drawing large audiences on their tours. If you order a ticket prior to the show, you will receive a free download of their latest album, “Lá Vem a Morte.” Carrboro’s Tegucigalpan and Durham’s Wild Fur will open the show.
Mural Bike Tour – Saturday, 10-11:30am – Preservation Durham, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Museum of Durham History have teamed up to create a bicycle tour of the historic murals of downtown Durham. Some murals featured on the ride include the Manbites Dog Theater mural, The Cookery mural, the Angel of Spring mural and the Hayti Legacy mural at the Hayti Heritage Center. The tour also includes a mural by Odili Donald Odita commissioned by the Nasher Museum at the downtown Durham YMCA. The tours are designed for anyone who has a bike and is comfortable riding on a city street. Participants will meet and depart from the Durham Farmers Market at Durham Central Park on Foster Street.
Habitat ReStore Birthday Bash – Saturday, 10am-6pm – Ready the confetti! It’s Habitat ReStore‘s eighth birthday, and this year’s party theme is “Love Thy Neighbor”: They want to celebrate our community and thank everyone for their support. There will be bounce houses, free massages provided by Chapel Hill’s Casey Hayes Massage, face paintings and a tiny fort workshop by Erika Hamlett of Creative Spark Art Therapy. The Baguettaboutit food truck and Big Island Shaved Ice truck will be on hand, and there will be birthday cake courtesy of Kimmi’s Confection Expressions. All proceeds go towards building homes for families in our community through Habitat for Humanity of Durham and Orange Counties.
Festival for the Eno – Saturday and Tuesday, 10am-6pm – Since 1980, the Eno River Association has held this festival, which draws thousands of folks to West Point on the Eno to sing, dance and make merry with great food and crafts all while learning about natural resource conservation and raising funds for land protection in the Eno River basin. This year, there will be more than 60 bands playing on four stages. Fan favorite Charles Latham will be playing two sets: one at 11am with Winston-Salem’s Billie Feather and one at 3pm with his group, The Borrowed Band. Other notable performers include Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, The African American Dance Ensemble, Orquesta Gardel, The Gospel Jubilators, Boom Unit Brass Band, Apple Chill Cloggers, John Dee Holeman,and Tea Cup Gin. You can spend your time browsing the booths of more than 80 crafts artists, drinking cold beer at the beer garden and grabbing a meal from more than 20 food trucks and vendors. Throw a pot on a clay wheel, watch a water powered grist mill grinding corn or participate in urban farming, kayaking, weaving and clean energy demonstrations. There’s something for everyone here!
‘How to Be a Person in the World’ – Saturday, 7pm – New York Time‘s best-selling author and Durham native Heather Havrilesky will be at The Regulator Bookshop to celebrate the paperback release of her new book, “How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly’s Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life.” It is a hilarious, frank and witty collection of pieces from her beloved advice column, “Ask Polly,” in New York Magazine’s The Cut. She is here to guide you through the “what if’s” and “I don’t knows” of modern life with the signature wisdom and tough love her readers have come to expect. Whether she’s responding to cheaters or loners, lovers or haters, the anxious or the down-and-out, Havrilesky writes with equal parts grace, humor and compassion to remind you that, even in your darkest moments, you’re not alone.
Rise Up 5K – Saturday, 7-10pm – Join people from all walks of life, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations, and rise up together across the nation for the world’s largest running/walking event. With a collective voice of footsteps, the goal is to run to the cadence of liberty, freedom and justice for all. If you would like to sign up, registration is still open, but you may not receive a T-shirt until after the event. After the race, head over to Ponysaurus Brewing to celebrate with a cold beer. Food trucks will also be on site. All proceeds will be donated to charities.
Russ Varnell and his Too Country Band – Saturday, 8:30-11pm – Russ Varnell was born in Black Creek and was raised listening to 100% traditional country music. In the late 1990s, a lifelong dream came true when he decided to buy a plane ticket to go see his idol Buck Owens perform in California. He not only met him: They became good friends, and since then he has played alongside Owens, traversed the Nashville scene and hosted “The Russ Varnell Show” on Rocky Mount’s WHIG-TV. He plays at The Bullpen, continuing his mission to make sure people hear real country music the way it is supposed to be performed. Remember, $1 of each draft purchased is donated to the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
‘Dancing With the Stars’ Live: Hot Summer Nights – Sunday, 5pm and 8:30pm – Season 24 winner and NFL running back Rashad Jennings joins his partner, Emma Slater, on this live tour as they perform at DPAC. This all-new production showcases every type of ballroom and modern dance seen on the hit show, including sizzling group numbers, steamy duets and over-the-top original pieces choreographed and directed by four-time Emmy nominee Mandy Moore. Come out and experience the professional dancing, exquisite costumes and excitement for yourself.
Beer and Hymns – Sunday, 7:30-10pm – Venture out to Fullsteam Brewery for an evening of singing and slow drinking. This community sing-a-long of American folk hymns and traditional music is led by journalist and author Jesse James DeConto of the indie-pop group The Pinkerton Raid. There are more than 125 songs in their digital online catalogue, and the band welcomes your choices and requests. Song selections range from “How Great Thou Art” to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince, and the theme for this Independence Day weekend celebration will be justice songs. Well-behaved dogs are welcome at this event.
Durham Bulls Fourth of July Celebration – Tuesday, 6:05pm – Come out and celebrate patriotism and civic pride with Durham Parks and Recreation and the Durham Bulls as they host the Charlotte Knights. Make sure to stay in your seat at the end of the 6th inning when the Bulls’ World Famous Dancing Grounds Crew drags the field and puts on a memorable performance. There will be a fireworks show following the game beginning at approximately 9:15pm. Buy tickets early because this game always sells out!