MLK today plus a look ahead

Harold DuckettOur Town Arts

The arts in Knoxville continue to offer lots to engage the mind and soul this week and next.

Martin Luther King Jr. will be recognized today (Jan. 15) at 6 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre. The Knoxville Symphony, conducted by Aram Demirjian, along with the Celebration Choir, directed by Aaron Staples, and the Carpetbag Theatre, directed by Linda Parris-Bailey, will join speakers for a free program, open to all. A detailed story is posted here.

Free opportunities for visual art come on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 16-17, as the Knoxville Museum of Art hosts the East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition and the Emporium Center hosts five separate shows, notably Genevieve S. Byrd’s equestrian art and Sam Stapleton’s still life photography. The UT Downtown Gallery, also in the 100 block of Gay Street, presents work by Christina A. West, which uses figurative sculptures to suggest the home as a stage set.

“Moon Over Buffalo” continues at Theatre Knoxville Downtown on Thursday, Jan. 18. See the review here.

PROJECT Trio’s double bassist Peter Seymour, cellist Eric Stephenson, and flutist Greg Pattillo. Photo submitted

The Knoxville Symphony will present a pair of concerts Thursday and Friday, Jan. 18-19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre, with guest PROJECT Trio, a chamber music ensemble based in Brooklyn, N.Y. It consists of Greg Pattillo, Eric Stephenson and Peter Seymour. Pattillo has mastered the unique combination of playing the flute while also making the sounds of a vocal beatbox, the vocal-percussion technique so popular in contemporary a cappella singing groups. Ticket prices vary. Info: 865-291-3310 or [email protected], or any remaining tickets at the door.

Knoxford Drama’s remarkable production of three short plays of Samuel Beckett resumes for the weekend, through Sunday evening, at the Hive, 854 N. Central Street. See the review here.

David Brass, Chris DeVictor, Frank Lee and Allie Burbrink of bluegrass band Freight Hoppers. Photo submitted

Local favorites R.B. Morris and Hector Qirko will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at Jubilee Community Arts at the Laurel Theater. The Freight Hoppers, a bluegrass band based in Bryson City, N.C., will perform on Saturday, Jan. 20. Info: or 800-838-3006, ext. 1.

Pianist Shijun Wang will perform at the UT School of Music on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 2:30 p.m. It’s the first of this year’s Young Pianist Series – concerts that are one of those I-heard-them-when opportunities. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the door or at

Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell will perform in Knoxville this week. Photo submitted

Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell will join the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the Mill and Mine, 227 W. Depot Ave. One of the world’s greatest living guitarists, Frisell is a master of the entire spectrum of guitar styles. He has performed at the Big Ears Festival and is reported to be one of the nicest, most gentle spirits in the music world. Tickets are $36.50 at or at the door.

Friday, January 26, Marble City Opera presents contralto Julie Belanger Roy in concert at the LeGrand Music Studios, 213 Hotel Ave., at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26. Also, an accomplished violist, Roy won the Mozart Prize at the Orpheus Vocal Competition sponsored by the Middle Tennessee Choral Society. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

The magical adventures of Harry Potter in the film “The Chamber of Secrets” will be shown in high definition Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 28, at 1:30 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium, with the Knoxville Symphony performing John Williams’ ethereal music score created for the movie. Tickets range from $55-$85 and may be purchased here.

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