By Shawn Allison
What’s Up Queen City? I hope you all have had a wonderful week. Now it’s time to kick back and relax because I’ve got the weekend goods for you. I think you’ll love It. So without further adieu…
THURSDAY, March 31
The Charlotte African-American Festival returns for 2016 with a weekend chock-full of activities for all ages. There will be live art, performances, vendors, griots, drummers, a beauty pageant, a Black History Walk of Fame and a trip through The Underground Railroad guided by a Harriet Tubman impersonator. Bring the entire family, friends and neighbors out to The Carole Hoefener Center Thursday-Sunday (4/3) for an experience of fun and fellowship. For additional information, please visit: http://www.charlotteafricanamericanfestival.com or call (704)-777-9928. The Carole Hoefener Center is located at 610 E. 7th St. in Uptown.
Everyone gather at The Epicentre for another great season of Alive After Five! Every Thursday, come out with your friends to mix and mingle with other Uptown Charlotte professionals, grab some great drinks and enjoy live music. Admission is FREE and you must be 21+ with I.D. to purchase alcoholic beverages. Alive After Five begins at 5 p.m. and is located at 210 E. Trade St. in Uptown. Hashtag: #AA5
Ladies, head over to Napa on Providence for the March Girls Night Out Meet Up & Networking Social. Bring your friends, your smiles and your business cards for a relaxing evening. There will be cocktails available. Admission is FREE but be sure to RSVP at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/march-girls-night-out-meet-up-networking-event-tickets-21364231993. The social begins at 6 p.m. Napa on Providence is located at 110 Perrin Pl. in the Myers Park Area.
So you love soul food, don’t you? Like me, I bet your mouth waters at the mere thought of it. This evening, come out for a FREE screening of the critically-acclaimed documentary “Soul Food Junkies” by filmmaker Byron Hurt. Hosted by Muhammad Mosque Charlotte, this will be an evening full of fellowship, networking and dialogue about one of our greatest vices, soul food. Doors open at 6pm and will be held at Redemption Christian Ministries. The address is 301 W. 24th St. located in the NoDa area.
The lovely Linda Straite & Midnight Blue will set the mood for you this evening at BluNotes with some rich and soulful vocals and a hot band in the background. Admission is $4. Bring your friends out for some drinks and great food. 7 p.m. 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University area.
Get your crazy and creative energy ready because Paint Craze is having a $5 Open Paint Night! To celebrate the end of March, everyone is invited to paint whatever their mind desires. Easels, canvases, paintbrushes and unlimited paint colors will all be provided for the cool, low cost of only $5. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Paint Craze is located at 5028 South Blvd. Hashtag: #PaintCraze
The Soultron DJs are back to give their turntables more revolutions at one of Charlotte’s newest cool-down grooves, the “Weirdo Lounge.” On the playlist is the best of Underground Hip Hop, Neo-Soul, Deep House, The Funk, Jazz, Soul and R&B. Let your ears take flight as DJ’s Taz Infinite, FoundACEtion, Tony Cutlass & Bes Kep take your soul to new heights. $5 admission. 360 Lounge at 8p.m. ready to bob your head, boogie and relax. 7030 Smith Corners Blvd. in the Northlake Area. #WeirdoLounge #SoultronDJs
Grammy Award-winning noisemakers The Rebirth Brass Band blares their brand of homegrown New Orleans funk and jazz in the Queen City this evening at The Rabbit Hole. Also joining them is the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra and Futureman of Blea Fleck and the Flecktones. Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rebirth-brass-band-w-funk-you-the-rabbit-hole-tickets-21308896483. The show starts promptly at 8 p.m. The Rabbit Hole is located at 1801 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District. Hashtag: #FunkYou
At Petra’s tonight, you get two events for the price of one. Come check out the new art gallery entitled “BothUsInFocUS” which features the artwork of local creatives Jessica Garris and Matt Alford. Then sitck around for a musical dose of “INTERVENTION”, provided by your local therapists DJ Tober, DJ Oliver and DJ Donald. Downtempo, Deep House, The Funk, Electronic, Techno and more. The admission for both events is FREE. Starts at 8 p.m. 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood area.
The beautiful and talented vocalist Jacci McGhee stops through Charlotte for a one-night-only show as she hosts and performs at R&B Live. Known mostly for her lovable, late 1980s duet “Make It Last Forever” with Keith Sweat, she has maintained her vocal star power over a nearly three decade period. Tickets at: http://www.jaccimcgheernblive.eventbrite.com. Doors open at 9p.m. R&B Live will be held at Studio Movie Grill at The Epicentre. 210 E. Trade St. in Uptown.
FRIDAY, April, 4
Head over to the Charlotte Nature Museum for Citizen Science Friday: Frog Watch USA. This interactive and educational session is designed to help you learn and identify a variety of frog calls and to help collect data on the biodiversity and abundance of the frog population in the Charlotte region. The session begins at 1 p.m. The Charlotte Nature Museum is located at 1658 Sterling Rd.
Parents, bring your child(ren) and their friends out to ImaginOn for another edition of “Learn, Connect, Play.” Children ages 5-11 can participate in board games that encourage cooperation, problem solving, letter and word recognition, and critical thinking skills. Pick a new game or an old favorite from our collection–your choice! And for the older children ages 12-18, bring them out for “Learn, Quest, Play” in an UNO tournament. 3 p.m. 300 E. 7th St. in Uptown.
Late in the afternoon, come over to The Light Factory as Carolina CARE Partnership hosts, “Southern Postcards From The Edge.” This is a moving art project and benefit bringing light on action for HIV prevention and reducing the stigma. It offers a unique opportunity for the public to acquire original, postcard-sized artwork by established and emerging artists for an affordable price. The project emphasizes compassion, tolerance, acceptance and proactive support for activities that efforts to improve the quality of life for all. Artists may submit postcard-sized works of any subject on paper no larger than 4X6. Proceeds benefit to the work of Carolinas CARE Partnership. 5 p.m. The Light Factory is located at 1817 Central Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
This evening, head to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art for another edition of “Jazz At The Bechtler.” For your entertainment, the Ziad Jazz Quartet along with special guest vibraphonist Jon Metzger pays and plays tribute to one of jazz’s greatest and longest-running bands, The Modern Jazz Quartet. The MJQ has a sound that has spanned decades and has managed to remain culturally relevant in the ever-evolving face of music. Two shows this evening, 6 and 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $14 and may be purchased at the front desk or by calling (704)-353-9200. The Bechtler Museum is located at 420 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
The good people of Jazz N’ Soul Music are back with their “1st Friday” at The Tavern. And taking the stage tonight is none other than The Jazz Munkee! If you’ve never heard them play before, they are finely-tuned instrumental collective specializing in Smooth Jazz, Neo-Soul, R&B and Jazz Fusion. Tickets are sold at:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jazznsoul-music-1st-friday-featuring-the-jazz-munkee-tickets-24124388696 or can be purchased at the door. Showtime is at 9 p.m. The Tavern is located at 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown. Hashtag: #JazzNSoul
Hit the dance floor at Vibrations as Uptown Swagga…Charlotte’s Premier Go-Go Band” jams at “Grown Folks First Friday.” Join Old School 105.3’s Rae Styles as she hosts this great get-down this evening. And save more energy for dancing as DJ Short Dawg burns up the turntables. Admission is $10. Event starts at 9 p.m. Vibrations is located at 5237 Albemarle Rd.
Throw on your fly tuxedo, multi-gadget wristwatch, hop into your limited edition Aston Martin and speed down to The Knight Theatre as the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra proudly presents, “Bond & Beyond.” Sit back and an enjoy a martini—shaken, not stirred, as CSO plays the theme music from all of the 007 James Bond film franchise, Mission Impossible, Austin Powers and other cinematic scores of spy movies. “Bond & Beyond” will be performed on Friday and Saturday (4/2) with both performances starting at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.charlottesymphony.org/events/6CCFB88F-775F-4338-BE45-B2B8AE3A3C13. The Knight Theatre is located at 430 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
April is here, the weather is just right and once again, it’s time for Charlotte’s favorite eclectic international experience. Head over to Apostrophe Lounge for “Diasopora: Afropolitan April Edition.” Shake your hips to the best of Afrobeat, Caribbean, Reggae, Soca, House Music and more! Admission is FREE and the party starts at 10 p.m. Apostrophe is located at 1440 S. Tryon St. in Uptown. Hashtag: #AfricanaConnections
Come and relax tonight at ‘Stache House Bar & Lounge as Charlotte’s own DJ Skillz provides some “Electric Relaxation” for your earholes. Enjoy the best of Hip Hop, R&B, Neo-Soul, Rare Grooves, and other timeless tunes of yesteryear! Admission is FREE all night long and be sure to take advantage of the many drink specials available. The event begins at 10 p.m. ‘Stache house is located at 1520 South Blvd. in Historic South End.
SATURDAY, April 2
Start your morning off with The C.H.A.I.N. Fund as you congregate with others to view the new film, “God’s Not Dead 2”. This unique fundraiser allows attendees to enjoy a first run movie on the Saturday morning of opening weekend while enjoying a delicious breakfast and supporting a worthy cause. Attendees are treated to much more than a movie. The $30 ticket price includes a catered, full buffet breakfast, a red carpet experience, door prizes and admission to the movie. Advance tickets are available for purchase through the charity’s website, http://www.thechainfund.com. Doors open at 8 AM. The movie begins at 9:30 AM. Film will be screened at, Regal Stonecrest at Piper Glen Stadium 22 & IMAX. The address is 7824 Rea Rd. located in Ballantyne area.
Want to learn more about how the brain works? Love learning about science? Interested in learning more about Autism Spectrum Disorder? The Discovery Place is partnering with UNC TEACCH Autism Program’s Charlotte Center to offer a low-sensory Museum experience. Activities will be modified so that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families can enjoy the Museum, with exclusive access from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. And there will be a lot more educational events to help you learn and understand autism more. All events begin at 8:30 a.m. The Discovery Place is located at 301 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
This morning come out to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture to be inspired and uplifted! “F-R-E-E” is a feature-length documentary following five teens through their year-long participation in the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company. Their journey in this Oakland-based dance program reveals how collaborative art can be a foundation for personal discovery. Follow them through a year of becoming F-R-E-E. The film screening is FREE along with museum admission. 10 a.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
If you’re still out this morning, bring your crew out to Sports One Bar & Lounge as Moxie Society hosts the “I Still Love The 90s Brunch & Day Party.” Take a load off and before you get your Saturday started, enjoy a fine brunch, $5 mimosa specials and groove to the sounds of DJ Shogun spinning the best of 90s Hip Hop and R&B. Admission is FREE and if you desire to reserve a table for your party, please RSVP at: http://www.sportsoneclt.com or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Event starts at 11 a.m. Sports One is located at 521 N. College St. in Uptown.
At the Beatties Ford branch of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library, come and show your support and appreciation as Momsrising NC, QC Supermom, and Queen City Stay-At-Home Moms hosts “NC Sheroes Moving Forward Awards.” Celebrating Women’s History, make your way to the library and hear the stories of seven women who have made bold moves to advance the livelihood of all women. Their goal is to not only give honor to these NC sheroes, inspire future young ladies to dare to be their best, but to provide strategies to everyone to build their own phenomenal path. Doors open at 11 a.m. The Beatties Ford Road Library is located at 2412 Beatties Ford Rd. Hashtag: #NCSHEROES
This afternoon, join some of the most talented DJs hailing from New York, New Jersey and Baltimore as they host the “House Therapy Day Party” at Apostrophe Lounge. House Music in your midday is guaranteed to get your blood flowing and lift your spirits up higher. The admission for this is event is FREE and it begins at Noon. Apostrophe is located at 1440 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
This evening at witness some of the riveting pop art of Mexican creative, Mr. Julio Gonzalez at Haylo Healing Arts Lounges. He’s an absolutely brilliant artist who speaks power through his great works. Be sure to visit his website at: http://www.wonderwhatif.com to peep more art and to learn more about Mr. Gonzalez himself. Admission is FREE and there will be libations and music provided. Event begins at 6 p.m. Haylo Healing Arts Lounge is located at 1111 Central Avenue in the Plaza-Midwood District.
Relationships are often a hot topic for many and is discussed in many distinct and diverse forums. This Saturday evening, come out to Rebecca’s Taste of the South as The Single, Saved and Serious Movement proudly presents a screening of the “Single, Saved and Serious Documentary Webisodes.” Listen to men and women talk about challenges they face regarding singleness and courtship while living a Christian life. Admission is FREE. However, a $5 donation is suggested. There will be food and drink specials and SSS Movement merchandise available for sale and photo-ops will also be available for with the movement founder, hostess and documentary cast. Be sure and get your tickets here: http://www.sssmovement.eventbrite.com. The doors open at 6 p.m. Rebecca’s is located at 630 University Center Blvd. in the University Area.
Ladies, I got something else special for you this weekend. Join the lovely Ms. LaVonndra Johnson as she hosts the poolside edition of “Cocktails In The City.” Relax with your friends and make new ones as you all will get to enjoy some great cocktails, a swimwear runway presentation, private bartenders and a delightful poolside atmosphere. There will also be vendors present. Admission is FREE but please RSVP at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/cocktails-in-the-city-poolside-edition-tickets-22425024853. The social begins at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Courtyard Hotel Charlotte Billy Graham Pkwy. The address is 321 Woodlawn Rd. Hashtag: #ElleVJ
Once again, it’s time to House your mind, body and soul into the night as the Deep House Providers hosts “RELEASE! Classic & Soulful House Party.” Join DJs Marcus Wade, Gary Jackmaster Wallace, Jazzy Bee, James Anderson and Badala B as they bring their own version of funk on the turntables this evening. If you don’t know much about House, I invite you to experience something new and invigorating. The party starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 before 9 p.m. and will raise up to $10 after 9 p.m. RELEASE! will be held at Petra’s Bar. 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood area. Hashtag: #HouseMusicLives
Rounding out your Saturday, come out for “Queen City Flava” at L4 Lounge. 10 DJs will be hitting the stage and outdoor patio in order to bring unity through the power and love of music. From House to Hip Hop, be part of an experience guaranteed to leave you with a smile. Admission is $5. Party starts at 9 p.m. L4 Lounge is located at 2906 Central Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District area.
SUNDAY, April 3
Are ya’ll ready for some kickball? If so, join M.A.R.S. (Main Attraction Recreational Sports) this afternoon for the “Season Opener Kickball Game”! Come out and cheer on young adults who aren’t afraid to throw down in some friendly and competitive action out on the field. Be at Park Road Park at 5 p.m. ready to cheer–and yours truly will be out there too. 6215 Park Rd. in the South Park Area.
Hashtag: #MARS #Funletics
Everyone have a fun and safe weekend! Live. Laugh. Love. Learn. Listen. Give.