Even as the temperatures cool down, Savannah's entertainment scene remains as hot as ever. This weekend brings about a wide variety of music, arts and community happenings. Here's our breakdown of can't-miss events:
SAVANNAH JAZZ FESTIVAL
Head to Forsyth Park on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights, and you'll be treated to some amazing jazz sounds courtesy of this 33rd annual event - and it's all absolutely free. Friday features local favorites Velvet Caravan, and Saturday will offer the Hall of Fame induction and concert, as well as a performance from noted jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis.
SHONEN KNIFE WITH COEDS
This all-girl Japanese power punk trio is bringing its tour to Savannah for a Friday night stop at Dollhouse Productions. "I think it's really wonderful they're coming through Savannah. I really admire their semi-frantic positive energy," said Phillip Price, guitarist for local opener COEDS. "Bottom line, Shonen Knife just reminds me of good times in my life."
Fans of the '70s Southern rock band Wet Willie can head to Springfield's Mars Theatre to see Jimmy Hall in concert. "I'll be reaching into the catalogue of Wet Willie's and all my solo career," Hall said. "We always try to mix it up."
PIANO IN THE ARTS
Armstrong State University offers the second season of its Piano in the Arts concert series, opening Friday with soprano Susan Williams, baritone Dean Southern and pianist Jeffrey Brown interpreting Austrian composer Hugo Wolf's songs as a series of love letters. Three more shows are planned for the series in November, January and February.
Spitfire Poetry Group will offer a special late-night version of its popular Saturday night performances this weekend at Muse Arts Warehouse. Starting at 11 p.m., come out to hear local spoken word artists and special guest Royce Lovett, who was recently signed to Motown Gospel.
'THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP'
The Armstrong Masquers troupe presents its next show, "The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful," from Thursday-Sunday at Jenkins Hall Black Box Theatre. This comedy/mystery/farce is "quite an intriguing show," says director Travis Hornsby. "We have a random batch of people, including a sympathetic werewolf, a brash Egyptian princess, a vindictive housemaid." Tickets are just $12 for all performances, with discounts available for students, seniors and military. Also, don't forget this is also the final weekend for the Collective Face Theatre Ensemble's musical "Grey Gardens." Read a review from Unplugged columnist Bill Dawers here.
'PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE'
Saturday night features a very special film screening at the Lucas Theatre. "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" is not only a classic the whole family can enjoy, but the overall goal of this event is to help a Savannahian in need. Keith Kozel, a musician, artist and longtime kitchen manager of Vinnie Van Go-Go's Pizzeria, suffers from a degenerative kidney disease and will soon require a transplant. Admission is by donation, and the popular pizzeria will match donations up to $3,000. There is also a Pee-wee look-alike contest with prizes for winners. If you want to go all-out with the '80s childhood nostalgia, start the weekend Friday night at Trustees Theater for a screening of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
SAVANNAH SEERSUCKER RIDE
Take part in a 6-mile cycling jaunt from Grayson Stadium to Forsyth Park on Saturday afternoon with the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. Afterward, enjoy a picnic and croquet in the park. This event is free, but be sure to don "dandy cycling attire," recommends event chair Maggie Kantor.
OTTAWA FARMS RODEO
If you're looking for a good ole' roping and riding night, head to Ottawa Farms in Bloomingdale for a rodeo on Friday and Saturday. "I think this is the first professional rodeo that's been in the Savannah area in many years," said LeRoy Lane, a rancher at the farm. "And it'll be the real deal."
Finally, end the weekend Sunday with a unique and fundraiser in Forsyth Park. Sustainativity, a nonprofit with the goal of helping other nonprofits go green, will host is first Mattress Dash at 1 p.m. Teams will create a racing apparatus to hold a twin mattress and one rider. Prizes will be awarded and costumes are encouraged, so even if you're not participating, head out and cheer on the racers.
Think we missed an event that deserves attention? We'd love to hear from you, and there are plenty of ways to get in touch: on Facebook, through Twitter, or email at email@example.com.
Heather Henley is the editor of Do Savannah. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @HeatherDHenley. View the Do Savannah "Big Calendar" mobile app