Gallery Fifty Six hosts a reception for “New Talent 2014,” an exhibition of work by 12 young artists from the Memphis College of Art, the University of Memphis and north Mississippi. The show will be displayed through Jan. 25.
5- 8 p.m. 2256 Central. Call 901-276-1251.
ShadowCon XVIII, a convention for fantasy and science-fiction aficionados, gamers, Society for Creative Anachronism enthusiasts and other fans of swords, sorcery and chain mail, takes place through Saturday at the Memphis Airport Hotel & Conference Center. Panel discussions, guest authors and artists, costume contests, memorabilia rooms and more can be found at the event, which typically attracts about 400 participants a year.
2240 Democrat Road. Registration: $35 for the weekend, or $25 per day. Visit shadowcon.org.
Former one-man garage band William Stull goes full-on plural with his new band release, Fuzz Wizard, out on the Dirty Streets’ Soul Patch Records label. Stull plays a free record release show at the Hi-Tone with local psychedelic headbangers Hazy Skies and indie pop-rockers Hi Electric opening.
Doors: 9 p.m. 412-414 N. Cleveland. Free. 901-278-8663.
Local jam favorites the Minivan Blues Band are back briefly with the return of frontman/guitarist Joe Schicke to Memphis. The group kicks off a three-show run Friday at the Buccaneer followed by a date Jan. 10 at the Young Avenue Deli, before wrapping up again at the Buc on Jan. 11.
10 p.m. 1368 Monroe. Cover: $5. 901-278-0909.
The Memphis Tenors playing at the Germantown Performing Arts Center are not the vocal kind. Lannie McMillan, Gary Topper and Bill Easley represent some of the top tenor sax jazz talent in town and are part of a new ensemble that also features Tony Thomas (keyboard), Scott Reid (bass) Austin Bradley (percussion) and Gregory McIntyre (guitar).
7 and 8:30 p.m. performances at GPAC’s Black Box. $25. 1801 Exeter. Info: 901-751-7500 and gpacweb.com.
The Jordan Rules
Hot Springs, Ark., singer-songwriter Jordan-Morgan Lansdowne comes to Downtown’s The Brass Door for a concert performance. Landsdowne — who has released a series of well-received Americana albums over the past decade — is prepping a new disc, Love on the Way Down, for a spring release.
9 p.m. 152 Madison. For more information, call (901) 572-1813.
Culture from the Far East
The spectacular Shen Yun performance returns to the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts for two shows. It’s a colorful mix of classical, ethnic, folk and story-based dance celebrating traditional Chinese culture. The organizers request that formal, semi-formal, or business attire be worn, and children under 4 are not admitted.
7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $50-$120. The Cannon Center is at 255 N. Main. Info: 866-818-7844, 901-576-1269 and shenyunperformingarts.org.
Call of the Choir
The Young Africans, a group made up of now-grown former members of the acclaimed African Children’s Choir, brings its U.S. tour to Memphis for two performances as part of Emmanuel United Methodist Church’s regular Sunday services. Founded in 1984, the African Children’s Choir was started to raise money to care for and educate the choir members, children between the ages of 7 and 12 from strife-torn countries like Uganda and Rwanda, most of whom have lost at least one parent and all of whom live in poverty. The choir has recorded numerous CDs and concert DVDs, has been featured in films like “Blood Diamond,” and performed at 2005’s Live 8 concert, proceeds from which support thousands of children across the continent in special homes and schools.
8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. 2404 Kirby Road. 901-754-6548.
Back to the Mound
Did you miss “Orange Mound, Tennessee: America’s Community,” which won the “Soul of Southern Film Award” at the Indie Memphis Film Festival in November? You’ll have a chance to catch up with it when director Emmanuel Amido screens his documentary about Memphis’ historic and vibrant African-American neighborhood at the Malco Paradiso.
7 p.m. 584 S. Mendenhall. Tickets: $11. Visit amidoproductions.com.
A Royal Party
Fans of the King can come celebrate what would’ve been Elvis Presley’s 79th birthday during a free event at Graceland’s North Lawn. A birthday cake cutting and the proclamation of Elvis Presley Day by Memphis and Shelby County officials will be part of the festivities. David Thibault, the 16-year-old Canadian YouTube singing sensation, will also lead Elvis fans around the world in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” that will be live-streamed on Graceland’s website.
For more information, go to elvis.com .
Circle of Songs
Memphis-based Americana artist Bryan Hayes hosts a “Songwriter’s Round,” in which he and several other locals trade tunes and stories, at the Hi-Tone.
7 p.m. 412-414 N. Cleveland. Cover is $7. For more information go to hitonememphis.com or call 901-278-8663.
Provocative, ingenious and darkly comic, Randy Moore’s “Escape from Tomorrow” — a sly, cautionary horror story, shot with small digital cameras and without permission during visits to Disneyland and Disney World — chronicles a family vacation to the Magic Kingdom that becomes a nightmare, especially for a hapless dad (Roy Abramsohn) whose experience is more creepy than Goofy. It screens at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
7 p.m. Tickets: $8, or $6 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.