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Talents returning to Harding to ‘INSPIRE’

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

• Several talented area natives will perform this month at Warren G. Harding High School for “INSPIRE: An Immersive Arts Experience.”

The event, present by Second Baptist Church of Warren, honors the legacy of Clifford and Lillie Johnson, longtime Warren educators and patrons of the arts.

Among those scheduled to perform are Sean Jones, a Harding and Youngstown State University graduate who is an internationally renowned jazz trumpet player. He has released eight albums, played lead trumpet with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis and has performed with the Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Youngstown orchestras.

He is the chair of the brass department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Other performers include Brian Keith Johnson, the son of Clifford and Lillie Johnson and a baritone who has sung lead roles with several opera companies; members of the Warren Youth Symphonette; Youngstown vocalist Arielle Green; Darrius Simmons, a Harding student and pianist who has performed at Carnegie Hall; and hip hop artists King DTown.

The evening also will include a visual art display.

The event — supported by Any Given Child-Warren, the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County and Trumbull Art Gallery — was conceived by the Rev. Todd Johnson with consultants / co-organizers Dana Kristina Joi-Morgan and DeWayne Reed to raise awareness of the arts in the Mahoning Valley and highlight the diversity of the arts community.

“INSPIRE” will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 28 at Harding. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased online at www.secondbaptistwarren.com and at the church. Artists interested in displaying their work can email SBC1510Main@secondbaptistwarren.com.

• Today is the last day to purchase discounted tickets for Oktoberfest on the Square, which runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at downtown Warren’s Courthouse Square.

The 4th annual event will include music by the Youngstown Saxon Club Brass Band, the ceremonial taping of the keg and blowing of the alp horn as well as a grape-stomping competition.

Tickets are $25 in advance and include a buffet of traditional German fare and two drink tickets with a selection of 10 beers from local brewers (additional drink tickets can be purchased at the event) Tickets for those ages 12 to 20 are available in advance for $12. Advance tickets are available online at Eventbrite and through its Facebook events page.

Tickets purchased the day of the event are $30, with children 11 and younger admitted for free.

Proceeds benefit the Trumbull County Historical Society. For more information, call 330-394-4653.

• Youngstown Playhouse added a Saturday matinee to its two-weekend run of the musical “Dreamgirls.”

Opening weekend sold out, and the three performances originally scheduled for this weekend are sold out.

As of midday Wednesday, tickets still were available for a 2:30 p.m. show on Saturday, but I wouldn’t expect them to last long. Tickets are available online at www.theyoungstownplayhouse.com and by calling 330-788-8739.

• Jackson Browne and Valerie June have been added to the lineup for the Rock Hall Honors concert celebrating Mavis Staples at 8 p.m. Sept. 20 at the KeyBank State Theatre.

Browne, a Rock Hall inductee himself, and June will perform with Staples and her band during the concert.

Tickets range from $30 to $100 and are available through PlayhouseSquare.

The day before the concert, “The Voice: A Symposium on Mavis Staples” will be held at Case Western Reserve University’s Tinkham Veale Ballroom. Panelists will include Mark Burford an associate professor of music at Reed College and an expert in 20th century African-American popular music; Rob Bowman, author of “Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records”; Maureen Mahon, author of “Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race” and “Beyond Brown Sugar: Voices of African American Women in Rock and Roll, 1953-1984:; and Jessica Edwards, producer-director of the documentary “Mavis!”

Admission is free, and those interested in attending can RSVP online at www.rockhall.com.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer of the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at agray@tribtoday .com