FunStuff: Charlottesville events July 5 and beyond

Gypsy jazz
With temperatures soaring into the triple digits recently, it seems Staunton's got the right idea for its free weekly Jazz in the Park series. Concerts take place on Thursday nights in Gypsy Hill Park at a much-cooler 8pm; and this week, renowned jazz drummer and UVA music prof Robert Jospé is the featured act. Known for his improv wizardry, Jospé began his musical career in New York before joining UVA faculty in 1989. He has performed with famed musicians in various genres including classic crooner Tony Bennett and multi-lingual vocalist Heather Maxwell, not to mention frequent Dave Matthews collaborator Tim Reynolds and fellow C'ville jazzmeister John D'Earth.
July 5, Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton, 8pm, free


Rough and tumble
For many people, simply making it around the skating rink upright is an accomplishment, never mind fighting off competitors who'd happily knock you on your tush if it means winning a race. The Charlottesville Derby Dames turn rollerskating into a competitive sport– and an aggressive one at that– as they whip around the rink at high speeds wearing zany costumes. These women put on a fearless, high-octane performance that makes it a girl-power event for the whole family. This time, the local Dames take on the DC Roller Girls. Tykes under five are free.
July 7, Main Street Arena, 7pm, $5-10





From abstract paintings to sculptures, First Friday at Charlottesville's plentiful art galleries puts works by Charlottesville's talented artists on display in an all-over-town event that's perfect to pair with dinner downtown or a musical event later. Among this month's new shows: abstract acrylic paintings by the intriguingly named Ucky Light, who layers colors and creates patterns to explosive effect. An opening reception at BozArt on the Downtown Mall next to Mudhouse takes place from 5:30-8:30pm.
July 6, BozArt, free





Eyes and ears
Artist Rob Tarbell and composer Douglas Boyce conceived of a joint project exploring nature while both were at an artists' retreat in France, and the fruit of their labor is ready for viewing– and listening. The exhibit "Bird-like Things in Things Like Trees," co-presented by Les Yeux du Monde gallery and Wintergreen Performing Arts, features Tarbell’s multi-media paintings, projections, and sculptures accompanied by recorded music played on the cello, recorder and harpsichord. A discussion with Tarbell and Boyce happens at 3pm on Saturday at the new and modern Les Yeux du Monde gallery at 841 Wolf Trap Road, off 20 North. A live performance of Boyce’s composition happens Friday, July 13. 
July 7, Les Yeux du Monde, free




Cheap eats
There's no shortage of great restaurants in Charlottesville, but there is often a shortage of cash in many folks' wallets. If you're one of those budget conscious diners, Restaurant Week's for you. With 16 high-end eateries including Bang!, The Mill Room at Boar's Head (those happy diners pictured ate there) and Tempo!, you'll thrill to fill your belly with a three-course meal for a mere $26– and do some good for charity as well, as $1 of every meal sold goes to the healthy food nonprofit PB&J Fund. Spaces fill quickly, so check the full list or participating restaurants at, then call for a reservation. Bon appetit!
July 9-14, participating restaurants, $26 plus tax and tip


Eclectic, electric
Gypsy ballads, ska beats and cute but grungey guys make up Vagabond Swing, a band out of Lafayette, Louisiana performing at the Main Street Arena on Thursday night, the night after an Independence day performance at the Box. The free indoor show starts at 6pm, offering a chance to dance during daylight hours without melting. The band's 2011 album, Soundtrack to an Untimely Death, was described by one reviewer on as "beautiful, complex, crazy music, elegant and rough, serious and joking, a blend of jazz, rock, and other forms of music." Sounds like a little something for everyone!
July 5, Main Street Arena, 6pm, free





Mountain music
Every summer, the hills around Charlottesville are alive with music thanks to the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, which attracts top-notch classical musicians from around the country to participate in masterclasses and perform for the public through July and into August. The Festival kicks off on July 6, then continues through the month with chamber and orchestra performances at various locations at Wintergreen and beyond. This week the orchestra tackles Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7. Beautiful scenery, beautiful music, beautiful summer....
July 6-August 5, Wintergreen, ticket prices vary




Reggae renewal
Since his debut album in 2009, Trevor Hall has been winning critical acclaim– and plenty of fans– with his raspy voice and reggae-inspired songs that focus on such Bob Marley-esque themes as love and peace. His most recent album, Everything Everytime Everywhere, released in August, is an uplifting collection with diverse songs including one titled "Dr. Seuss" that quotes the famed childrens' book author and won particular praise from Seattle Post-Intelligencer reviewer Kirsten Coachman. "The track is upbeat, playful, and actually quotes Dr. Seuss," wrote Coachman, praising it for containing both a real message and  "an overall fun quality." Hall's upcoming Jefferson show promises more of that.
July 9, The Jefferson Theater, 7:30pm, $15/$17





Southern rocks
If you have listened to 106.1 recently, chances are you've heard Shawn Mullins' sultry new hit, "Light You Up." The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Atlanta is best known for his top-ten hit "Lullaby," and his husky baritone can suddenly soar, showcasing the vocal versatility that's helped take him toward the top of the charts. He plays the Southern this week with local musician Holly Allen, whose new album, Red Dirt Soul, also features Mullins.
July 8, The Southern, 8pm, $15/17


They describe themselves as influenced by Devo and Fu Manchu, and the beat heavy songs are indeed reminiscent of those New Wave/punk groups. Curiously, the three members of Max Zero, performing this week at Durty Nelly's, don't get on stage together but rather perform separately in the countries in which they live– China, England, and the U.S.– with a satellite connection linking the shows. Futuristic, man.
July 6, Durty Nelly's, 6pm, free

This week's "FunStuff" was compiled by Courteney Stuart, and next week's "FunStuff" will be compiled by another newsroom staffer. To get your event considered, send a press release and photo to

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