Amid the annual pining for old-fashioned winter holidays, the Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed is doing more than wishing, it is fulfilling those desires in the most traditional way possible.

MOJO is starting by holding its annual Holiday Jam on the winter solstice, Monday, Dec. 21, at 6:30 p.m. And since Bamahenge in south Baldwin County is too far and too exposed, MOJO will convene in its usual haunt of Gulf City Lodge (601 State St.).

The entertainment for the night is Atlanta songstress Myrna Clayton, who last appeared at a MOJO event about eight years back. The sultry vocalist last entranced the crowd with standards and jazzy holiday tunes, with touches of gospel. She will be joined by musicians Ron Williams, Danny Infante, Bryan Morris and Chuck Schwartz.

Guests are welcome to pay their best druid homage by donning as much white attire as they want, no one will tell Emily Post about the mid-winter fashion faux pas. Mistletoe is optional.

Entrance is $12, $10 for students and military, $8 for MOJO members. The entrance includes a light jambalaya dinner; a cash bar is available. In lieu of snow, Cammie’s Old Dutch will be on hand with ice cream.

For more info, go to mojojazz.org, call 251-459-2298 or email mobilejazz@bellsouth.net.


Mobile author publishes new maternal memoir
When Mobile playwright and author Thomas Perez published “Love, Hickory” in 2011, the loving story of his mother’s life and his parents’ love only traced the first half of her century of life. It covered the young woman’s weathering of marriage and motherhood through the Great Depression, raising four children while her husband fought in World War II. Equally comedic and touching, it fascinated readers who wondered when the sequel would emerge.

The second volume, “Hickory Goes To Heaven,” has finally been completed. Copies are available on Amazon, both in Kindle and print versions.

Perez is also offering a special in time for Christmas. Buy four of the books and he will throw in a fifth for free. Contact him at tojoperez@yahoo.com and he can arrange to send you and any gift recipients inscribed copies.


Fairhope’s First Fridays altered
Fairhope’s highly successful First Friday Artwalks will undergo a bit of change for the next months. Due to the timing with New Year’s Day, the January version will take place Jan. 8, 6-8 p.m.

February’s first Friday conflicts with Mardi Gras activities, so the gallery stroll will take place Thursday, Feb. 4, 6-8 p.m. Adjust your calendar accordingly.


ESAC art classes open enrollment
Speaking of the Eastern Shore, winter classes for the Eastern Shore Art Center are now open for enrollment. They begin Jan. 12 and last eight weeks.

Among the offerings are an Art History class focusing on Art History post-WWII. Classes run 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and cost $70.

Also on schedule is Pottery Hand Building with Barbara Nassar. Classes take place Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and cost $185.

ESAC is offering a limited abstract painting class with David Kessler that runs Feb. 16-18, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $325.

You can register online at www.esartcenter.com; call 251-928-2228, ext. 107; or register in person Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Registrar’s office (Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).


Handel’s “Messiah” performance aids community fund
There’s a new choral group in town. The St. Paul’s Singers is a community-based group that will present major works with an orchestra.

Their first show takes place Sunday, Dec. 20, 4 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (4051 Old Shell Road) when they will perform the Christmas portion of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

There’s no entrance fee, but freewill offerings will be accepted and donated to the St. Francis Fund, which aids organizations in the community that help people in need, and to help defray the cost of concerts in the Music at St. Paul’s Series.