Soon after Mark Grey stepped off the plane in Cleveland after a stint with the Marines in Hawaii, the Northcoast Jazz Collective drummer discovered that the land of leis and luaus was a world away from Cleveland's jazz scene. "Hawaii has a very small-town mentality, with a lot of local Hawaiian music and reggae, and not a lot of jazz," says Grey. "It was a very good-ol'-boy network, all tied-in, and hard to break into unless you were playing rock."
Upon his homecoming in 2001, Grey founded the post-bop quartet, which just released its self-titled debut CD. Since then, the foursome has been shoring up bookings at several area jazzfests and clubs, including a standing Sunday gig at Fat Fish Blue.
"Unfortunately, what happens with some Cleveland clubs is that, after a while, they want to make nothing but big dollars," says Grey. "So they eventually become all blues. By having a venue that presents New Orleans-style food, it goes right with the type of music we're playing. It gets people in the mood." The Northcoast Jazz Collective performs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Fat Fish Blue, 21 Prospect Avenue. Admission is free; call 216-875-6000. -- Cris Glaser
God Created Woman
Movie mixes faith and sex.
Religion and sexuality don't mix. Theologians, scholars, and playwrights have been telling us that for centuries. In The Holy Girl -- Lucrecia Martel's simmering look at a weekend conference where doctors, Catholic schoolgirls, and conflicting emotions converge -- the combination makes for some wonderful discord. Sulky Amalia is the most pious of the bunch. Or is she? In between Bible readings and devout discussions, she trails a married, middle-aged physician who inadvertently rubbed against her in public. (Or was the contact intentional? Director Martel doesn't let on.) Searching for a sign from God, the teen decides to save the doctor's soul. There are no real answers and not even a conclusion here, just an expertly helmed jumble of budding desires and complicated situations. The Holy Girl is at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 7 p.m. Friday and 9:20 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7450. -- Michael Gallucci
Back to the Future
Old-school soul fires up club night.
Clair, Hamilton's latest DJ night, is all about old-school R&B. "It's short for clairvoyant," explains owner Marc Hewlett. "Not so much seeing into the future, but seeing into the past." Time-tripping mumbo-jumbo aside, Hewlett calls the Thursday-night gathering a "little bit out of the box," with a rotating cast of DJs turntabling everything from vintage Luther Vandross to sultry Sade (pictured). "Instead of high-energy music or disco-house, it's more like a soulful deep-house," he says. "No hip-hop." Clair takes place from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursday, June 30, at Hamilton's, 1415 Euclid Avenue. Admission is free; call 216-241-7721. -- Cris Glaser
Our Bodies, Ourselves
In the latest Omnimax offering, The Human Body (opening Saturday), an animated tomato is your guide to the stomach. Along the way, you'll learn that a human being can grow 40 yards of body hair daily, and a man can squirt 500 million bad boys every time he ejaculates. Show times are noon, 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7 p.m. daily through September 18 at the Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Avenue. Tickets are $4.95 to $8.95; call 216-694-2000. -- Cris Glaser
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