Charlie Parker Festival
Thursday, Aug. 18, through Aug. 27 at multiple venues
Jazz clubs around town will celebrate the life and legacy of Kansas City’s own saxophone legend, with the American Jazz Museum and the 18th & Vine Jazz District serving as the headquarters. In addition to plenty of music, highlights will be an opening night reception and lecture, the Charlie Parker Historical Tour and Graveside Musical Salute and the Tour de Jazz bicycle ride. Thursday, Aug. 18, through Aug. 27. Multiple venues. 816-474-8463. kcjazzalive.org. Prices vary; many events free.
Kansas City Improv Festival
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 18-20, and Aug. 25-27 at Kick Comedy Theater
Job got you down? Social life not going well? Family driving you crazy? The KC Improv Festival might be just what you need. Spend the weekend laughing instead of worrying, with multiple acts from around the country performing at one show Thursday, two shows Friday and three shows Saturday. The headliners will be Dasariski and Cook County Social Club. Job got you down? Social life not going well? Family driving you crazy? The KC Improv Festival might be just what you need. 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18; 7 and 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19; 5, 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20; same hours Aug. 25-27. Kick Comedy Theater, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., in the Westport Coffeehouse Theater. kcimprovfestival.com. $13-$25.
Ethnic Enrichment Festival
Friday-Sunday, Aug. 19-21, at Swope Park
You can sample more than 60 cultures on one day without leaving the country. Although the incredible variety of ethnic food sold at dozens of booths is the main attraction, the annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival also will feature native crafts and ethnic music and dances. 6-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19; noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20; noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. Swope Park. 816-513-7553. eeckc.org. $3; 12 and under free.
George R.R. Martin and the Wild Cards
Friday, Aug. 19, at Downtown Marriott
Before there was “Game of Thrones,” there was “Wild Cards.” The author of the international best-selling “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, adapted into HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” wrote his first entry in the “Wild Cards” series 10 years before the debut of “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Martin will appear for “High Stakes: A Wild Cards Novel,” which comes out just as we learn that “Wild Cards” will be made into a TV series. 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19. Downtown Marriott. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. $27.99.
“La Venida Cansa Sin Ti” by José Lerma
Opens Friday, Aug. 19, at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
A Spaniard who is based in Chicago, José Lerma was commissioned to paint an original mural for the Kemper Museum’s atrium. The project was inspired by works elsewhere at the Kemper and in Kansas City. The painting was created using stencils imitating the style of tiles found in the stairs throughout the Country Club Plaza. Opening reception and artist’s talk, 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 (exhibit runs through June 25, 2017). Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. 816-753-5784. kemperart.org. Free.
Friday-Sunday, Aug. 19-21, at English Landing Park
Few settings in the Kansas City area are better suited for a festival than English Landing Park by the Missouri River near downtown Parkville. In addition to booths featuring arts and crafts as well as food and specialties, the festival will have live music — Friday will be country night, and Saturday will be jazz night. A carnival runs throughout the festival, and the Run By the River 5K/10K is scheduled for Sunday morning. 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19; 7 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 20-21. English Landing Park, Parkville. 816-505-2227. parkvillemo.org. Free; carnival wristbands, $25.
Friday, Aug. 19, at Kauffman Center
Like the two annual TED conferences, the local TEDx program brings together people in the spirit of “ideas worth spreading.” Among those scheduled to speak are inventors James Hobson and Mark Shaw; Harriet Lerner, a clinical psychologist and author whose latest subject is the notion of apology; and Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, who studies the molecular mechanics of cell and organism regeneration. 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. tedxkc.org. Sold out; live-stream available at tedxkc.org/watch.
5 Seconds of Summer
Saturday, Aug. 20, at Sprint Center
Two years ago, Tamar Anitai of MTV.com said 5 Seconds of Summer was not really a boy band in part because “they play their own instruments … and two of them have chest hair.” The Australian quartet has evolved even further since then, though we have no updates on chest hair. The group, which toured with One Direction in 2013 and 2014, is now headlining its own second tour in support of its second studio album, “Sounds Good Feels Good.” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $27.95-$77.95.
Saturday, Aug. 20, at Starlight
A former favorite of David Letterman’s “Late Show,” Brian Regan also was the headliner on Comedy Central’s first live broadcast last year at Radio City Music Hall. The 58-year-old Floridian hasn’t gained the fame or notoriety of some of today’s other top comics, perhaps because he favors observational humor over potty-mouth rants. But he has made a nice living working clean. 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $45-$52.50.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver
Saturday, Aug. 20, at Children’s Mercy Park
Sporting probably will be plenty sick of seeing the Whitecaps after the next few weeks. After playing them in this Major League Soccer contest, Kansas City will play them again Aug. 23 in Vancouver and Sept. 13 at home, both in CONCACAF Champions League group stage play. On Saturday, Sporting will be coming off its CONCACAF opener Tuesday in Trinidad and Tobago, which followed two MLS road matches. 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. Children’s Mercy Park. 913-387-3400. sportingkc.com. $20-$280.
Kansas City Kosher BBQ Competition and Festival
Sunday, Aug. 21, at Ritz Charles
Teams from across the nation will compete in this event, which is designed to educate the community about the meaning and significance of “kosher.” Beyond learning about Jewish dietary standards through literature, booths and demonstrations, visitors to the Kansas City Kosher BBQ Competition and Festival can purchase food and enjoy entertainment. There will also be a Kids’ Zone. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. Ritz Charles. kckosherbbq.com. Free.
En Vivo Latino Music Festival
Sunday, Aug. 21, at KC Live
Kansas City is one of four cities where the En Vivo Latino Music Festival will take place this summer, joining Baltimore, Philadelphia and St. Louis. It is billed as “a celebration of music, culture and living lively” and will feature DJs, bands, food, beverages and games. Among those scheduled to perform are La Santa Cecilia, a Los Angeles band, and Maria the Mexican, a band headed by Teresa and Maria Elena Cuevas, two sisters from Topeka. 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. KC Live, Power & Light District. powerandlightdistrict.com. $11.