Want to enjoy the night air? Take in an outdoor concert: Herb Seelbach's Dixieland Band plays at Struthers' Mauthe Park, 156 Smithfield St., or do some Celtic step dancing to The Mickeys at Warren's Community Amphitheatre, 303 Mahoning Ave., or polka to the sounds of Jack Vasko and Joe Fedorchak at Boardman Park, U.S. Route 224 (don't forget your lawn chairs). All events start at 7 p.m.
Shelton-Mathews Chocolates will launch its new schedule of live music performances by local musicians from 7 to 10 p.m. with a debut by Black Tie Optional, the jazz and old standards duo of Doug Pearson and Tracy Avis. The addition of the music series marks the gourmet confectionery's first full year of operation at its new Boardman location at 4150 Market St., and will also include local classical guitarist Steve Pappas and String Theory from 8 to 10 p.m. Aug. 26. While you're there, sign up for this month's Chocolate School class from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 19, which will feature the making of Pot de Creme and a chocolate souffl & eacute;. Call (330) 783-5500 to sign up.
Concerts galore tonight: Brooks & amp; Dunn bring their country sounds to Blossom Music Center at 8; Soundoctrine plays their alternative rock at 8 at Anthony's On the River, 15 Oak Hill, downtown Youngstown; jDestiny's Child will rock Cleveland's Gund Arena at 7; and Sugar Magnolia's tribute to the Grateful Dead Reunion show at 8 at Cleveland's House of Blues at 308 Euclid Ave.
The pulse of African culture will be come pounding through a remarkable dance and drumming experience at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo through the end of August. Visitors can enjoy performances by African Soul International at noon and 1 p.m. Saturdays and at 2 and 3 p.m. Sundays at Safari Campsite, near the zoo's new Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine. The seven performers draws their material from African stories, poems and folklore. Visitors are encouraged to dance along to the interactive live performances. Admission to the zoo and rainforest is $9 for adults 12 and older and $4 for children ages 2-11. Children under age 2 and zoo members are always free. Enter at 3900 Wildlife Way; parking is free. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Enjoy the summer sky at Pittsburgh's Station Square where you can see Summer Sky Lights, a spectacular audio-visual laser light experience that illuminates the Pittsburgh skyline and dazzles the senses. The show is from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Saturday through Aug. 27 in Bessemer Court and is set to the hottest chart-topping hits from today's biggest stars in pop, R & amp;B, rock, alternative and country music. Guests can dance under the stars and among the bright blue, red, green and orange laser beams mixed with flashes of theatrical lighting to the tunes of Jessica Simpson, Toby Keith, Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys, US, Green Day and other big name musicians. The show alternates with the Waltzing Waters Liquid Fireworks Show.
Take your pick of festivals today: Irish at 4:30 at St. Maron's Pavilion and Rec Area, 1555 S. Meridian Road, Youngstown (continues Sunday); Warren's Italian-American Festival on Courthouse Square, downtown Warren; or the Woodstock Fest at 5 at Lock 3 Live, Main Street, downtown Akron.
For the more sports-minded, the AND 1 Mix Tape Tour offers the nation's best homegrown basketball players at 7 at Gund Arena, Cleveland.
The Youngstown Symphonic Band will play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Churchill Park, 4316 Belmont Ave., Liberty. And the Rat Pack (a salute to Frank, Sammy, & amp; Dino), 6 p.m., Mount Carmel Social Hall, 343 Via Mount Carmel, Youngstown.
The sounds of great American songs and songwriters -- Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and George Gershwin -- will be pumpin' at the Canton Palace Theatre at 8 p.m. Aug. 19 when the 17-piece John Trapani Big Band performs with singer Don Dasco. For tickets or more information, call (330) 492-7070.
The music duo Lost and Found will give a concert at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at Springfield High School stadium, 13335 Youngstown-Pittsburgh Road, New Middletown. This pair invented and named their special style of music ministry "Speedwood" and won the grand prize in the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest in 1999. Admission is $8. In case of inclement weather, the concert will move to the auditorium. For more information contact the Rev. Ken Hacker at St. John Lutheran Church, (330) 542-3151, or visit www.speedwood.com.
Itching for a Summer Soulfest? Come to Powers Auditorium, 260 Federal Plaza West, downtown Youngstown, at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25. R & amp;B superstar Gerald Leverty and sultry songstress Miki Howard will be bringin' down the house. Tickets at Ticketmaster, Goldie's Flowershop, Ryans Chair, JLW Crown Limousine, RBG Music (Warren), and Klassy Kuts (Farrell, Pa.). For more information call (330) 744-0264. To charge by phone, call (330) 747-1212.