Houston International Jazz Festival
Since 1991, the Houston International Jazz Festival has brought many of the biggest names in jazz to the Bayou City. This year's festival features a special ensemble performance from Barbadian saxophonist Elan Trotman and South African guitarist and singer Jonathan Butler. Butler's latest album, Grace and Mercy, has a hard-edged, contemporary gospel sound. Houstonians who know Butler from his more mellow albums are in for a surprise. "There's going to be a lot of different flavors going on," he says of his newest work. "It's going to be fire."
Aug 2–4. See website for locations and performance schedule. $28–58. 713-230-1666. jazzeducation.org
Space City Con
Founded last year as a “Geek Festival with free parking,” this convention quickly won the hearts of Houston’s fangirls and boys. Master of Ceremonies Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager; Stargate SG-1) presides over a weekend of gaming, memorabilia shopping, celebrity appearances, and general nerdiness.
Aug 2–4. Fri noon–7; Sat & Sun 10–7. $18–45. Houston Marriott Westchase, 2900 Briarpark Dr. spacecitycon.com
Bay Cup II
Sponsored by the Lakewood Yacht Club, this regatta is open to anyone willing to contribute a vessel and the $75 registration fee, but even non-skippers should enjoy the sight of colorful boats racing around Galveston and Trinity Bays. With Space Center Houston and the Kemah Boardwalk nearby, the regatta easily can be folded into a weekend on the Gulf.
Aug 3 all day. $75 to enter regatta; free to watch. Lakewood Yacht Club, 2425 NASA Pkwy, Seabrook. 281-474-2511. lakewoodyachtclub.com
Public Poetry Summer Series
Founded in 2011, Public Poetry offers free year-round poetry readings in partnership with the Houston Public Library. For the second of their three group readings this summer, the organization has invited Kay Cosgrove, Peter Hyland, Lupe Mendez, Nancy K. Pearson, and dedicated follower of fashion David Tomas Martinez, whose verse is as sharp as his wardrobe. (See August issue, page 40.)
Aug 3 at 2. The Clayton Library for Genealogical Research, 5300 Caroline St. publicpoetry.net
Although the name is French, film noir is one of the most characteristically American movie genres. And nothing is more characteristic of film noir than the femme fatale—the woman of ambiguous morals and unambiguous sexuality who drives the plots of so many classic films. In partnership with the Houston Film Critics Society, the MFAH showcases four of the most famous “dark women” on film. See our story here.
Aug 2 at 7 & Aug 4 at 5. $9; students & seniors $7. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7300. mfah.org