FRIDAY, May 6
If you all are in the traveling mood and want to get out of Charlotte for the weekend, take I-85 N up to Durham for the weekend-long “Art of Cool Festival 2016!” The Art of Cool Festival (AOCFEST) is a progressive jazz and alternative soul music festival located in downtown Durham. The goal of the festival is to expand the audience for jazz-influenced music. Performers include DJ 9th Wonder, Rapsody, DJ Pete Rock, Terence Blanchard, DJ Skillz, Kamasi Washington, DJ Maseo & Friends, Rich Medina, All Cows Eat Grass and many more! For the full schedule, ticket prices and purchases, please visit: http://aocfestival.org/.
Everyone shift your noses and stomachs into gear and head down to either Plaza-Midwood or South End because it’s time once again for “Food Truck Friday.” Admission is FREE. FTF will be behind Sycamore Brewing in South End (2161 Hawkins St.) and The Light Factory in Plaza-Midwood (1817 Central Ave.) Both locations begin at 5 p.m. #FoodTruckFriday #SupportFoodTrucks
Come grab a hot, delicious meal and get an earful of melodic tunes at Freshwater’s Restaurant this evening in their “Jazzy Fridays” live music series. This is one of my favorite restaurants in the Queen City—if you’ve never had the pleasure of savoring them before, please do your taste buds a favor and head down there and choose from a truly authentic and delicious menu. The music begins at 5 p.m. Freshwater’s is located at 516 N. Graham St. in Uptown. #SupportLocalArtists
Enjoy another fine evening at The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art as they present another installment of “First Fridays Jazz @The Bechtler.” Join the in house band, The Ziad Jazz Quartet as they collaborate with renowned and acclaimed with guest tenor saxophonist and Berklee College of Music alumnus, Danny Walsh. The performance tonight is entitled, “Smoking Saxophones” and tonight you’ll get to see what massive grooves that they can generate during this concert with their own version. Two shows tonight: 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Tickets . The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is located at 420 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
BreatheINK Youth Poetry Initiative is proud to present the 3rd annual Youth Poetry Grand Slam Finals. This competition of fierce verbiage will feature the top 12 teenage poets from around the Charlotte metropolitan area. And only one poet will win the honor of being named the 2016 BreatheINk Grand Slam Champion. In addition, the top six competitors will go on to represent Charlotte at the 2016 Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival in Washington, D.C. These youth have worked very hard at enhancing their craft, and they need our support. Admission is $5 and can be purchased at the door. The slam begins at 8 p.m., sharp and will be held at The McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square. The address is 345 N. College St. in Uptown. #BreatheINK
If you think fried chicken is a work of art, you are absolutely, positively correct! And tonight, you are in for a special treat! Join Armada Skate Shop and PBR as they proudly present “The Fried Chicken Art Party!” described as a mixed media graffiti art show with works by Rebus, Phoebe Alicia, Joey Obso, and Spclgst. Music will be provided by Merlin and Gyromite and therewill be free fried chicken from Price’s Chicken Coop and Beer from PBR. This event is for folks 21+ so have your I.D.’s ready. The fun begins at 8 p.m. Studio 1212 is located at 1212 E. 10th St. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
Join the Jazz N’ Soul Music family for a special First Friday event featuring Willie Walker & Conversation Piece helping us celebrate 5 years of Jazz N’ Soul Music! Conversation Piece gives people something to talk about! The band is a successful and respected staple in Charlotte with a loyal following. Conversation Piece members include Willie Walker on bass guitar and vocals, Carl Ratliff on saxophone and flute, Darryl Payton on Trombone, Kevin Homesley on keyboards, Jerry Moore on guitar and Christian Whitley on drums. The show begins at 9 p.m. and will be held at The Tavern. The address is 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown. #JazzNSoul #SupportBlackBusinesses
At Petra’s Bar this evening, your ears are in for a special treat in a threesome concert of incredible local talents in, “Groove 8//Squid//Blanche J.” Groove 8 is an 8-piece ensemble that creates their own authentic jazz-funk sound reminiscent of the 70’s melded with the acid jazz coming from the soul edges of London in the 90’s. The band blends all of its musical influences into its own powerful sound. Squid is described by many as “music with a groove that comes with a heart.” And the chocolate Amazon, Blanche J. protrudes some of the most sultry and organic vocals that I have ever heard. Her musical lexicon is drenched in soul and she can ride the rhythm of R&B, Soul & Jazz greats of yesteryear with ease. Admission is $7 at the door. Showtime is at 10 p.m. Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
SATURDAY, May 7
Start your morning off at The NoDa Eclectic Marketplace! This free event hosts vendors of locally produced works of art, jewelry, body products, clothing, housewares, pet products and more! The marketplace is open at 10 a.m. and will be behind The Smelly Cat Coffeehouse & Roastery and NoDa Company Store. 514 E. 36th St. in the NoDa District.
At the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture this morning, come out for three workshops to fun-fill the first half of your day! First up, view the documentary and discuss “Beyond The Steps: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.” Released in 2006, the documentary detailed the dance troupe’s visit to Russia; the creation of the ballet, “Love Stories” and the group’s present Manhattan facility.
Secondly, loosen those limbs and join choreographer Oneita Williams for a “Dancing Mosaic Workshop.” Mosaic is the art of crafting images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. In this workshop, you will create a mosaic that was inspired by movement and dance history. Each participant will select a pre-drawn image of ballet shoes, a tutu or a dancer in motion and leave with a masterpiece of Mosaic Art. RSVP here!
And finally, stick around for a workshop entitled, “Modern Dance Using Horton Technique.” Choreographer and artist Jackie O’Toole’s Horton-based class is a technical blend of codified fundamentals implemented by its creator, Lester Horton. This workshop will focus on the “fortification studies” and a combination of traditional and contemporary foot-work and progressions across the floor. Dancers will find a strong emphasis on musicality, use of the core, and self-expression while demonstrating the kinesthetic studies of the Horton technique. All ages and all levels are encouraged to join the workshops and view the film. All the fun begins at 10 a.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown. Visit www.ganttcenter.org to register.
Moxie Society is back once again with their much-raved about “I Love The 90s Brunch & Day Party.” Gather your friends, colleagues, older cousins and come on down to Sports One Bar & Lounge for some great fun! DJ Hot Rod will be spinning the best of 90s Hip Hop and R&B. Admission is FREE but please be sure to reserve your table at: http://www.sportsone.com. The fun begins at 11 a.m. Sports One is located at 521 N. College St. in Uptown. #MoxieSociety #SportsOneCLT #SaturdayBrunch
Bring the entire family out to The Levine Museum of the New South for “Family Afternoon @ Levine!” This is sure to be an afternoon full of special activities including lots of exhibits and interactive workshops with local creatives, story-time and much more! All activities are free with paid admission. The fun begins at 12 noon. The Levine Museum is located at 200 E. 7th St. in Uptown.
Come and crash in NoDa for the day and engage with others in the All Arts Street Market. The host, NoDaRioty invites everyone to join an old-fashioned art crawl through the businesses of NoDa, who are hosting artists. Businesses include The Company Store, Revolution Ale House, Salud, Dog Bar, The Evening Muse, Custom, Ruby’s Gift, Pura Vida, the YMCA, Benny Pennello’s, and Heist Brewery. Admission is FREE and the festivities begin at 12 noon. The event will occur from Heist Brewery on N. Davidson St. all the way up to E. 36th St.
Join the fearless voices of Breathe INK Youth Poetry Initiative this afternoon in the “2nd Annual Inked Uprising High School Team Poetry Slam.” This slam is an exciting opportunity for your youth and student to perform, dialogue and speak their minds with other high school youth in NC and SC. The event is a team poetry slam with each participating school having 4-6 poets. Inked Uprising is open to all high schools in the Carolinas. The top scoring schools from each bout will move on to compete for the title of 2016 Inked Uprising Slam Champion. Afternoon bouts are at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. with the championship finals at 7 p.m. Doors open at 12 noon and the slam will be held at ImaginOn. The address is 300 E. 7th St. in Uptown. #BreatheINK
This afternoon, take the entire family down to Romare Bearden Park for “Romare Fest!” Come out for an afternoon of fun with jazz artists, Paul Taylor & Jeff Lorber Fusion along with The Mike Frost Band. Also happening, a magic show, face painting, balloon artists, caricature drawings, food trucks and more! This event is FREE for everyone. The fun begins at Noon. Romare Bearden Park is located at 300 S. Church St. in Uptown.
Mother’s Day is tomorrow and for some neat shopping ideas, head over to the 7th Street Public Market for the “Mother’s Day Sip & Shop.” Join an assortment of locally owned businesses (including the full-time market vendors) at the 7th Street Public Market for our semi-annual pop up shopping event. Show your support and shop small for your Mom this year. The event begins at 3 p.m. and the admission is FREE. 7th Street Public Market is located at 224 E. 7th St. in Uptown.
Back again to rock the house at Petra’s is the RELEASE! Classic & Soulful House Party! Come and release your frustrations on the dance floor as pulsating, mind, body and spirit-freeing grooves pour through the speakers and into your being. Your sound engineers for the evening are the Deep House Providers, DJ Marcus, Gary “Jackmaster” Wallace, DJ Badala B along with special guests, DJ Tony Cutlass, Paul Croom and DJ Police. The musical experience begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 before 9 p.m. and $10 after 9 p.m. Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District. #RELEASE
The Carolinas Latin Dance Company (CLDC) is glad to present its 14th annual fund-raising event: “Dancing Through Latin America.” This colorful spectrum of music and dance will include soundscapes from Latin America including the Caribbean, Central & South America and Spain. This year’s performance will showcase the indigenous, African and Spanish influence in Latin American music and dance. Click for Tickets. The show begins at 7 p.m. and will be held at The McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. The address is 345 N. College St. in Uptown.
During the 80s and 90s, your home and car radios were thumping from the sounds of Evelyn “Champagne” King, Me’lisa Morgan, Freddie Jackson, Stephanie Mills, Kashif, Lilo Jackson and many others. And tonight, you’re in for a treat with the man behind some of R&Bs greatest hits. Head down to The Stage Door Theatre at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center for the aptly titled, “Jam Tonight: An Evening With Paul Laurence & Friends!” Hear Paul along with friends, Beverly Crowder, Eliah Soul, and members of the Queen City’s own Peace & Love Band perform his timeless hits that you know and love. Two shows this evening: 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here. The Stage Door Theater is located on the corner of E. 5th St. & N. College St. in Uptown.
Head over to The Dirty Hippie for the “YumeGo Light Party.” This extravaganza is full of wild performances from local musicians, vendors, drink specials, a glow-in-the-dark paint party and more surprises. Admission is $5 and only people 21+ with proper I.D. will be admitted. The fun begins at 8 p.m. The Dirty Hippie is located at 5028 South Blvd. #YumeGo #SupportTrueMovement
Rounding out your Saturday, head over to Heist Brewery for “The Big Heist.” Join The JETA Team’s own, DJ Chance & DJ Lunchbeats as they maraud your ears giving you the best of Golden Era/Underground/True School Hip Hop! Admission is free and the sound blast begins at 9 p.m. Heist Brewery is located at 2909 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District. #JETATeam #KeepHipHopAlive
SUNDAY, May 8
Rounding out your Mother’s Day celebration, bring the lady of the day out to Petra’s Bar for the “Second Sunday Jazz Workshop & Improv!” Join host and local jazz enthusiast, John Shaughnessy as he conducts a live jazz session in front of an intimate audience. All are welcome to join in! Whether you are a flautist, guitarist, funky drummer, vocalist, horn-blower, percussionist or ivory tickler, this is the workshop for you! Admission is FREE. The jam session begins at 8 p.m. Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
Attention all Crate Diggers, Vinyl Enthusiasts and Music Lovers… Spin yourselves over to the Tip Top Daily Market for the “Diggers Delight Pop-Up Record Swap” this afternoon. Bring a stack or some crates of timeless music as you fellowship with other collectors and scour through a healthy selection of Jazz, Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, R&B and Rock LPs! Admission is FREE. The fun begins at 2 p.m. Tip Top Daily Market is located at 2902 The Plaza Rd. in the Plaza-Midwood District. #VinylIsForever
Head over to The Gantt Center this afternoon and treat your mother to a delightful film screening as Classic Black Cinema Series proudly presents the 1987 classic, “Cry Freedom”, starring Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline. This is a rousing and emotional film and it is sure to keep you enthralled. The film screening is at 2 p.m., sharp and it is FREE with museum admission. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
The competition heats up at Park Road Park this afternoon as M.A.R.S. (Main Attraction Recreational Sports) runs around the bases in another round of Co-Ed Kickball! Come out and see young adults bring their childhood athletic ambitions to fruition with powerful kicks, base dives, unbelievable pitching and some on-field music/comedy from Yours Truly! There is no cost to come and spectate—just cheer us on for the goodwill of sport! We start at 5 p.m., sharp. Park Road Park is located at 6215 Park Rd. and we’ll be on Field #1. #MARS #Funletics
I wish a Happy Cinco de Mayo to all of my Mexican readers and friends and a Happy Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful mothers out there! God Bless You!
Live. Laugh. Love. Learn. Listen. Give.