The Empire Brass is a musically promiscuous ensemble that stretches the already-broad repertoire typically espoused by brass quintets. It's common for its ilk to mix baroque and classical composers like Bach, Handel and Mozart with jazz in a single program. But trumpeters Rolf Smedvig and Marc Brian Reese, French hornist Michelle Perry, trombonist Mark Hetzler and tuba player Kenneth Amis are just as likely to throw in electronic percussion - just as they have on their recordings for Cleveland-based Telarc - or something by Hildegard von Bingen, the Medieval composer of sacred chants. Broadway show tunes get the brassy treatment at 8 p.m. Saturday at Blossom Music Center. Come early for a pre-concert beer tasting. Or come at 7 p.m. Sunday to hear Loras John Schissel conduct the Blossom Festival Orchestra in a similarly ranging program of opera overtures, Sousa marches and works by J.S. Bach, Leroy Anderson and John Williams. Blossom Music Center is at 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets: $20 to $80. Call 216.231.1111. - Michael Gill
The words "garage sale" and "art" usually conjure visions of bad prints of steam boats, horses in bucolic reverie or perhaps the garage-sale coup de gr‰ce, a black-velvet Elvis. You won't find any of that at SPACES Summer Cleanup, which focuses on contemporary art. You'll also find office furniture, tools and clothing. Proceeds benefit the artist-run gallery. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. SPACES is atÊ2220 Superior Viaduct. Admission is free. Call 216.621.2314. - Gill LITERARY CAFƒ, POETRY NIGHT
It's impossible to come up with a new shtick for the ignoble institution known as open-mic poetry night. And while it's not actually new, the folks at the Literary have something interesting lined up for their Thursday-night gathering of featured readers and the "Penpad-Padpen" open-mic: Participants are encouraged to write something on the spot and then share it with the crowd. So BYOP and P. This week's featured readers are David Hassler and Michelle Krivanek. 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the Literary Café, 1031 Literary Rd., Tremont. Admission is free. Call 216.861.3922. - Gill
"Many a famous prima ballerina has broken wind while in a tight embrace with her partner, and he never stops smiling." You can find this anonymous bit of very high-minded observation and others (some with attribution) by poking around GroundWorks Dancetheater's website, www.notsoobvious.com. As J.M. notes, "Even in the color beige, there is .002 percent crimson." Or as Lara Bridger and Dino Valentini say, "Racial intolerance among dog owners is widely accepted. For example, people feel quite free to hate Chihuahuas." What observations like those have to do with dance is "not so obvious," but their tone certainly provides some insight into GroundWorks' playful aesthetic. You might learn more as Artistic Director David Shimotakahara and his company continue their busy summer with outdoor performances in Tremont's Lincoln Park at 8:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It's free. All you've got to do is show up. Rain date is Sunday. - Gill
Raccine Williams takes the visual information of three dimensions and mushes it into a single plane - resulting in the kind of odd angles and distortion you can see in the work of Osvaldo Guayasamin or, more famously, Pablo Picasso. What Williams brings to the style, though, in place of guitars, nude women and oppressed indigenous people, is the city of Cleveland. Starting Friday at Local Girl Gallery (16106 Detroit Ave., Lakewood), he looks at Cleveland's sports teams, with acrylic and oil representations of the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians. There's a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring refreshments and music by Reggie Williams. After that, gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and noon to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free. Call 216.228.1802. - Gill
ChiefRocka Entertainment continues to hold down its open-mic night Tuesdays at the B-Side Liquor Lounge in the basement of the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights). Come for the grooving vibe supported by the crackerjack Playscape Allstars band; stay for the verbal pyrotechnics, as poets and MCs spit both prepared work and improvised rhyme. Doors open at 9 p.m., and Q-Nice and his comrades begin to warm the mic at 10:30. Admission: $5. 21 and over. For information, call 216.932.1966. - Gill
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