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We've been hearing the story of homeless violinist Nathaniel Ayers' relationship with journalist Steve Lopez since Lopez's book The Soloist came out almost a year ago. Lopez met Ayers by chance when he heard him playing a beat-up, two-stringed instrument in Los Angeles. Lopez arranged for a musical instrument locker and other services in the hopes of helping Ayers get back on his feet, and in the process he learned that the man had studied bass at Juilliard and that his dreams had been derailed by schizophrenia. It's an incredible story that resonates beyond music and social problems, as the author gropes with his own motivations for trying to help. The movie version, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., and directed by Joe Wright, comes to theaters April 24. In the meantime, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra knows a good hook when it sees one, so it has teamed up with more than 200 other orchestras across the country for a canned-food drive. So when you go to Severance Hall April 4 to hear the Pops perform favorite arias from Turandot, La Boheme and Pagliacci with soprano Laura Pedersen and tenor Carl Tanner, be sure to bring a non-perishable food item. But first, hear the Pops this weekend at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave.) performing music of Rodgers and Hammerstein at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Tickets: $19-$54. Call 216.231.1111 or go to clevelandpops.com.

Super 8 films are like typewriters and 45s: old technology that has a beauty and durable quality that digital simply can't match. A group called Squeaky Wheel in Buffalo is presenting Global Super 8 Screening Day May 8. They are inviting anyone to send Super 8 film and other media to be part of their fest. Send up to 10 minutes of footage to Squeaky Wheel, 712 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14202 (ATTN: Global Super 8). For more information, go to squeaky.org.

Abstract painter and former graffiti artist Bob Peck has gone from the Red Line to the gallery wall, and now to Rocky River. Studio 22 Gallery in the Beachcliff Market Square shopping center (19326 Detroit Rd.) opens a show of his work, along with photography by Cleveland's Spin Vista studios, with a wine and cheese reception from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, March 6. Call 216.712.7114.

More by Michael Gill

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