The Olympia Free Jazz Festival brings four nights jam-packed with free jazz — a kind of improvised jazz that began as an attempt to break down jazz conventions. It’s also known as creative music, and among the bands performing are some with particularly creative names: This Saxophone Kills Fascists (with Olympia experimental-music stalwart Arrington de Dionyso), Dick Valentine’s Thought Leaders and Circus Aurelius (performing the free jazz compositions of Joe Mailhot). The festival concerts, all starting at 7 p.m., are set for Friday at The Pig Bar, 619 Legion Way SE, Olympia; Saturday at Oly Underground, 109 Legion Way SW, Olympia; Sunday at Art House Designs, 420 Franklin St. SE, Olympia; and Monday at Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia. Admission is free, but with a suggested donation of $5-$15. Get more details at facebook.com/olympiafreejazzfestival/.
Get a new ’do
Of course, you don’t need big hair to go to the Lacey Senior Center’s new Big Hair Bingo. But wouldn’t it make things more fun? (Also, you can show it off in the costume contest.) The center suggests ’80s attire for its Friday night fiesta, hosted by Elizabeth Lord. But hey, how about taking inspiration from The B-52s, Farrah Fawcett or Divine in “Hairspray”? If the opportunity to make a style statement doesn’t motivate you, how about the full bar — including Jell-O shots? Games begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6, at the center, 6757 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey. Tickets are $20, including a game pack, and all proceeds benefit Senior Services for South Sound. Find out more (and make reservations for a table of 6-8 people) at 360-407-3967.
Where there’s smoke, there are likely to be barbecue fans. Connoisseurs of the savory staple can satisfy their cravings Saturday at the South Sound BBQ Festival. Goings-on will include a professional cookoff, a chicken-wing-eating contest, kids’ activities, entertainment and, of course, lots of munchies for sale. Get your fill from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Huntamer Park, 629 Woodland Square Loop SE, Lacey. Admission is free. Get details at laceysschamber.com/south-sound-bbq-festival/.
July 13 and 14
Find out what you don’t know about the students who fought fires at The Evergreen State College, or fish farming, or romantic comedies — or The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman (known as “The Quiet One”) — all at the Olympia Film Society’s What It Is Festival, featuring a half-dozen documentaries from across the world. Screenings happen Saturday and Sunday at the Capitol Theater, 205 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia. Tickets for each screening are $9, $6 for film-society members. Check out the lineup at olympiafilmsociety.org/what-it-is/.
Get into monkey business
The kid-rock band Recess Monkey has a lot more than a perfectly fitting name to its credit. The trio of teacher-musicians has a Grammy nomination, heaps of critical accolades and plenty of grownup fans. Recess time is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Huntamer Park, 618 Woodland Square Loop SE, Lacey. Like all Lacey in Tune events, the concert is free. Get more information at 360-491-0857 or ci.lacey.wa.us/laceyintune/ — and check out the toe-tapping “Time to Make the Donuts” at youtube.com/watch?v=GMWkJ_twmdU.
Get ready for crowds
Yes, it’s Capital Lakefair time again — when the shores of Capitol Lake fill with carnival rides and food booths and music and when hordes of people descend on downtown, slowing traffic to a crawl. Whether you’re eager to eat an elephant ear or making plans to steer clear of those pesky jaywalkers, it’s good to know that the festivities begin at noon Wednesday and end with a bang at the July 21 fireworks show. Admission is free. Get details at 360-943-7344 or lakefair.org.
Get tickets now
The literarily inspired wizard rockers Harry and the Potters are playing a free concert Thursday at the Olympia Timberland Library, and the librarians are bracing for a crowd. Attendance, they warn, will be limited to 300 people, so wise witches and wizards will get tickets ahead of time. The free show happens from 7:30 to 9 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15, at the library, 313 Eighth Ave. SE, Olympia. Find out more at 360-352-0595.