Wayne Escoffery

This Week in New Haven (August 12 - 18)

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. The New Haven Jazz Festival swings through town this week, and tennis rackets will be swinging fast and with great precision starting Friday at the New Haven Open at Yale. Meanwhile, Elm Shakespeare Company takes a swing at capturing the epochal fall of a Roman dictator.

If you find a swing in your step this week, just go with it.

Monday, August 12
The Mitchell Branch of the NHFPL (37 Harrison St, New Haven; 203-946-8117) hosts a free but potentially invaluable “wilderness survival skills workshop for teens” tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. After getting a taste of the wild, participants can meet friends and family behind the library to get a taste of civilization via the “Hi-Fi Pie Contest,” which invites “cream” and “freestyle” pie entries from any and all amateur bakers, at the latest installment of the Beecher Park Summer Concert Series.

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2013 New Haven Open at Yale

Tuesday, August 13
New Haven gets pretty cool this week, and not just from sympathetic August breezes. The New Haven Jazz Festival takes over downtown with 25 performances at nearly as many venues, from bars and restaurants to the New Haven Green. Last night at 9:30 p.m., Rohn Lawrence kicked things off with “a night of smooth jazz” at the Lilly’s Pad inside Toad’s Place (300 York St, New Haven; 203-624-8623; $5), but tonight things really get going, with five official festival shows downtown. Check the schedule (scroll down at the link) to begin charting your course, and your chords.

Wednesday, August 14
We’re right in the middle of high harvest season. Around here that means farmers’ markets, and those mean access to the freshest produce you’re likely to find. Today there are at least two: the Downtown Farmers’ Market on the Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., organized by CitySeed, and the Woodmont Farmers’ Market in Milford, hosted by Robert Treat Farm, from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

At 7 p.m., head over to the Pardee-Morris House (325 Lighthouse St, New Haven) and take in the final bow of the summer for the New Haven Museum’s Twilight Concert Series. SOUND Affect, the energetic and charity-oriented all-ages choir that recently organized a trip to Haiti, performs. The museum encourages blankets and baskets for picnicking, though encouragement hardly seems necessary.

Thursday, August 15
It was “not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more,” Shakespeare’s Brutus explains after bringing about the demise of his close friend Julius Caesar. Luckily, we don’t have to choose between our city and Julius Caesar. The production, presented by the Elm Shakespeare Company and co-directed by Alvin Epstein and Jim Andreassi (who also plays Brutus), opens tonight at 8 p.m. in Edgerton Park (75 Cliff Street, New Haven) and runs through September 1, skipping Mondays. It’s a thrill to see The Bard’s work ably performed outside—though, to be safe, you should probably bring bug spray in addition to your blanket and vittles. Watch for free, or chip in a suggested donation.

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Windows into Heaven at Knights of Columbus Museum

Friday, August 16
The qualifying rounds of the annual New Haven Open at Yale WTA tournament begin today at 10 a.m. at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale (45 Yale Ave, New Haven; 855-464-8366). The higher seeds, including five of the world’s top 10 players and this year’s Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, are already in the main draw, so attending the qualifying rounds presents the chance to follow dark horse contenders from the outset. By the way, the tournament is consolidating seating closer to the court this year, which means you can follow the ball more easily too. For ticket information and pricing, click here.

Saturday, August 17
The Yale Center for British Art (1080 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-432-2800) is at least as much a work of art as the hundreds of paintings and other works it displays so well. This Saturday, spend an hour touring the building as a qualified academic discusses YCBA’s architecture. 11 a.m. Free.

Tonight is the New Haven Jazz Festival’s main event on the New Haven Green. The Wayne Escoffery Quintet leads the free bill, which is to say that the group goes on last, at 8 p.m. First up at 4:30 p.m. is the Neighborhood Music School Band, followed by the Hawkins Jazz Collective an hour later and Zaccai Curtis and Insight at 6:45. As a youth, Escoffery trained at the Educational Center for the Arts right here in New Haven, so this headline performance on the Green will mark a special homecoming.

Sunday, August 18
Pop over to the Pop Shop Market on Market Island (a.k.a. the Broadway Triangle) today sometime between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. The event brings together “antique and repurposed furniture, artwork, jewelry and fashion” as well as food, beer and other refreshments from local vendors.

Written by Dan Mims. Photographed by Mamo Delpero.

Readers are encouraged to verify dates, times, locations and prices before attending events.

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