By Shawn Allison
Hey Queen City! This weekend is scheduled to have some absolutely GREAT weather. And what goes with great weather? A LOT OF GREAT EVENTS. So everyone get ready for The Weekend Rundown of get-downs around Crown Town.
THURSDAY, April 28
Brothers & Sisters, where will you connect with your next customer or client, vendor or partner? Join the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce (CMBCC) this evening at 5:30 p.m. for their monthly professional networking event. Come out for great food, even better “beverages” and most importantly — the right connections with Charlotte area business owners and professionals. Come early, bring a friend and plenty of business cards! Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.eventbrite.com The event will be held at Imani’s Fusion Café starting at 5:30 p.m. Imani’s is located at 3535 Randolph Rd. near the Mint Museum.
Start your weekend off in rhythm and head down to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and attend “Catch the Dance: An Inspired Movement.” The event begins at 6 p.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown. Join three legendary activists, educators and choreographers, Joan Myers Brown, April Ferry and Dr. Mel A. Thompson as they will participate in a panel discussion as they address the black dance experience, the Gantt Center’s yearlong theme–Art as Activism, and philanthropic sustainability. Admission is $10 and can be purchased at: https:blackbaudhosting.com or at the door. Admission is free for Gantt Center members. The program begins at 6 p.m. and the Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Head over to The McColl Center for Art + Innovation for the workshop “Hand-Building A Human Figure” with artist and McColl Artist-In-Residence and Alumnus Tom Thoune. Thoune offers participants an exciting opportunity to explore hands-on forming and building using clay. Learn how to use pinch, coil, and slab methods to build a human figure with clay. Admission is $30 and can be purchased/registered here: https://53393.blackbaudhosting.com The workshop begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at The McColl Center. 721 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Come lounge at BluNotes this evening for “Soulful Thursdays @ BluNotes” and get ready to relax as the melodic sounds of Linda Straite& Midnight Blue sets the musical mood for your pleasure. Linda Straite&Midnght Blue is a local act that features a rich, sultry, smooth and jazz-tinged delivery with several performing accolades to boast. Admission is only $4 and the show begins at 7 p.m., sharp. BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.
Swing those hips and head down to the Mint Museum Uptown for another edition of the Latin Music Concert Series as you prepare to enjoy a musical night in Brazil! Take in the sounds and flavor of one of the Western Hemisphere’s most vibrant countries as you will hear rhythms in the style of Classical, Bossa Nova, Capoeria, Samba and more! The Bechtler Ensemble and a local Brazilian band will lay the soundtrack for the evening and take in visual splendor as two dancers light up the dance floor in rhythm with the music. Tickets can be purchased at: http://13800.blackbaudhosting.com/13800/Latin-Music-Concert-Series-24Mar2016. The show starts at 7 p.m. The Mint Museum Uptown is located at 500 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Local creative Arsena Schroeder has returned from her tour and will be performing tonight at The Pizza Peel. Joining her is special guest, The Possibility Project-Charlotte for a night of spoken word and live music. Grab your friends and family and enjoy some delicious pizza while you absorb the artistic aura! The performance begins at 7 p.m. The Pizza Peel is located at 1600 Central Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District. #SupportLocalArtists
The Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte is proud to present the feature, “Fly By Night.” In this darkly comic rock-fable, a melancholy sandwich maker’s humdrum life is intersected by two entrancing sisters. A sweeping ode to young love set against the backdrop of the northeast blackout of 1965, “Fly By Night” is a musical about making your way and discovering hope in a world beset by darkness. The production will be here for a series of performances running all the way to Saturday May, 7th. For all other shows, tickets can be purchased at: https:blackbaudhosting.com Tonight’s show begins at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be at The Actor’s Theatre which is located at 650 E. Stonewall St. in Uptown.
FRIDAY, April 29
Everyone shift your noses and stomachs into 5th gear and head down to either Plaza-Midwood or South End because it’s time once again for “Food Truck Friday.” Let your olfactory senses steer you to one or many of Charlotte’s colorful culinary chariots ready to fill you up with a delicious variety of eats! 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
Everyone is invited out to The McColl Center for Art + Innovation for an Open House this evening. Raise a glass to the end of another successful art residency term by joining them and departing artists Stephen L. Hayes Jr., Ivan TothDepeña, CarlosAlexis Cruz, Carlos Estévez, Hollis Hammonds, and Heather Hart. See the phenomenal work they’ve been creating and get another look at the art work for sale from Studio Party 16. Admission is FREE and there will be a cash bar available. The event begins at 6 p.m. The McColl Center is located at 721 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Come out to The Neighborhood Theatre as The Levine Museum of the New South proudly presents, “The New Latino Sound.” This concerts of local artists is sure to get your blood flowing as a variety of styles gets you grooving! The acts featured are Orquesta Mayor, Jahlistic, Patabamba and Reinaldo Brahn. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here:www.neighborhoodtheatre.com The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. The Neighborhood Theatre is located at 511 E. 36th St. in the NoDa District.
Everyone put on your pajamas, grab a big mixing bowl of cereal and plop down in front of the stage because the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte proudly presents “School House Rock Live!” Relive all of those fun, favorite tunes of yesteryear that made education fun! “Conjunction Junction,” “I’m Just A Bill,” and many more! The show will run from April 8 – May 1. Tonight’s show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased: ctcharlotte.org All performances will be held at ImaginOn located at 300 E. 7th St. in Uptown.
Slide over to Dupp& Swat to hear local artists, Quent Young and the band, and The Free Will Project perform music from their new album entitled “Free Will.” Music will also be provided by A Guy Called Quest and there will be additional performances from The Port, King Calls, PhazeGawd and more. Admission is $5 and the show starts at 7 p.m. Dupp & Swat is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District. #duppandswat #CharlotteOverEverything
Grab a hot, delicious meal and get an earful of melodic tunes as one of Charlotte’s finest instrumental and vocal acts, Sai The Violinist, serenades you at Freshwater’s Restaurant this evening. If you’ve never heard her perform before, she gives the violin an entirely new feel of grace with her skillful and soulful playing. She takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Freshwater’s is located at 516 N. Graham St. in Uptown. #SupportLocalArtists
Tonight at BluNotes, witness musical greatness as the Dwayne Jordan Group sets the stage on fire in BluNote’s “Straight-Ahead Jazz Fridays” edition. If you are unaware of Dwayne Jordan, prepare your ears for a totally unique and authentic sound. True Jazz. If you are looking for a jolt of energy that moves from stage into your core, this is exactly what you want on a Fridaynight. Solid players with a fresh exciting attitude that lights up the room. Finger snappin’, toe tappin’, chair rockin’ and jive dancin’ are all permitted and encouraged. And while you’re there, please grab some of the delicious food and drink specials available! There will be two shows tonight: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. There will be a $4 admission for both shows. If you wish to reserve a table, please call (704)-910-1996 or visit:http://www.blunotes.com/reservations/ to get your seat(s). BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.
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 only $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
SATURDAY, April 30
Attention All Aspiring Entrepreneurs! Come out to the Royal Orchid Event Centre for a Free Business Seminar. Entrepreneurs Business Solutions (EBS) provides startups and small businesses, religious organizations and non-profits with solutions to many of the strategic challenges they face. To attend this FREE seminar, RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com The seminar begins at 9:30 a.m. The address of the venue is 11812 Carolina Place Parkway in Pineville.
Start your morning off at The NoDa Eclectic Marketplace. This FREE eventhosts 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.
Gather the family up and head on down to Hippie Fest. This is sure to be a fun and colorful springtime event featuring hundreds of North Carolina vendors, various artists, food trucks and groovy vibes! This event starts at 11 a.m. and it is FREE admission. Hippie Fest will be held at 5471 Central Ave. (the old Eastland Mall site).
At the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture this morning, join the beautiful and Motherland-created Javonne M. Gbenyon-Spearman as she hosts the dance workshop, AfroBeatz. AfroBeatz is a dance style inspired by the undulating hip movements in East and West Africa dance cultures. AfroBeat dance focuses on the powerful, high energy styles that emerged from urban environments across Africa, including Coupé Décalé from Ivory Coast, Azonto from Ghana and Soukous from Congo. If you have a lapa (African wrap), bring it, although it’s not required for this workshop. All levels are welcomed! The session is FREE with museum admission, but please RSVP here: www.ganttcenter.org The session begins at 2:30 p.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
For more festive family fun, head to Sugar Creek Church of Christ for “Sugar Creek Spring Festival 2016.” In a world dominated by the threat of terror, anxiety and political tension, the Spring Festival is just what we need. This FREE festival is a celebration of all the good that we have been given; life, family, and community. Join the hundreds of guests and local celebrities for a time to remember as this event promises to lift your spirits and reconnect you to the gift of community .Children and families will enjoy face painting, cultural performances, bounce houses, free food, games, music, prizes, sports and much more! Don’t miss out on this grand celebration! The fun starts at 11 a.m. and will be held at Sugar Creek Church of Christ. The address is 3932 Sofley Rd. near the N. Tryon & Sugar Creek Rd. intersection.
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! The brunch menu is really delicious and diverse and you cannot go wrong with a $5 mimosa, either. And what is a day party without music? Very bland. So to cater to your vibration-less earholes, DJ Fannie Mae 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
Join Moxie Society again this afternoon as they keep the groove flowing with “Hip Hop Soul LIVE! 2016” at Club One. Hip Hop Soul LIVE! 2016 is a concert series that is being held in cities throughout the country. The purpose is to use hip hop music as a platform to bring educational and health care awareness and support to the community. Proceeds from this event will allow students from Charlotte to complete the Common Black College Application and apply to any number of 46 HBCUs for FREE. For your entertainment, DJ SNS will be handling the turntables, Rischard Jenkins and Adrian Crutchfield will also provide live sounds for the crowd. The event will be hosted by R&B crooner, Raheem Devaughn. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hip-hop-soul-live-charlotte-tickets-24417192480?aff=ron. The event begins at 3 p.m. Club One is located at 950 NC Music Factory Blvd. which is on the outskirts of Uptown.
This afternoon, come celebrate all things beautiful at Christ Central Church as they host “First Fruits: A Celebration of Faith & Art.” Join local artists for the First Fruits celebration as you all explore beauty and spirituality through music, storytelling, visual art and more! In addition to all of the art, there will be food available from the Mini Taco Truck and Simply Southern Baking Co. Admission is FREE and the fun begins at 5 p.m. Christ Central Church is located at 3646 Central Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
Catch the wind and cruise over to Paint Craze for the “Sunset Sails Paint Party” later this afternoon. Bring your friends out for a fun evening of social painting as artist and instructor, Lindsay Boeheler shows you how to create your own maritime sunset-inspired masterpiece on a 16×20 canvas. And be sure to stop by the Art Bar for some tasty refreshments! Tickets can be purchased at: https://paintcraze.com/buytickets/sunset-sails-paint-party-at-paint-craze-charlotte-1109. All art supplies and unlimited paint will be included. The party begins at 5 p.m. Paint Craze is located at 5028 South Blvd.
Local creative collective, Culture Initiative hosts, “The Annual – Ci7 Spaces @ The Grace” this afternoon. Join them as they celebrate 7 years of developing Charlotte’s grassroots art & culture movement. As they do, CI has a special concept for this year’s showcase where they have selected 4 talented creative teams to curate unique interior spaces for local artists to place their work.Part of the Proceeds for this event will go to Hearts Beat as One Foundation as they work with NoDa Brewing Company to help bring the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to kids here in Charlotte. Also, be sure to stick around for the Charlotte Art Party which will take place directly down the street from The Grace. Both events will be chock full of vendors, food trucks, live music, DJ’s and a vast array of artists. The “Spaces @ Grace” event is $15 and the Charlotte Art Party is $20. Both events begin at 5 p.m. The Grace is located at 219 S. Brevard St. and the Art Party will be held at 223-229 S. Brevard St. which are both in Uptown.
If you’re in the mood for delicious treats and conversational feats, head over to Red@28th this evening for “Dessert & Discussions: Real Talk About Sex, Love & Relationships.” My two beautiful friends and fellow church members, Crystal Donald and Tamara Jackson want to celebrate their conjoined birthdays with you. Power98’s DJ Strategy will be rocking the good tunes all night long. Get your tickets at: www.eventbrite.com If you use the discount code,“DNDLOVE” in advance they save $10 off admission. The celebration will start at 6 p.m. Red@28th is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.
Get you some culture this afternoon and head down to Crossroads Charter High School as Soul Of Cinema Movie Review proudly presents a screening of the documentary, “Black and Cuba.” Black and Cuba is the award-winning documentary that follows street-smart Ivy League students who are outcast, band together, and adventure to Cuba – whose population is 60% Black. While filming their poignant encounters with Afro-Cuban youth and neighborhood block parties, the travelers confront realities behind myths of color-blindness and social mobility. This edgy and artful diary of their journey uncovers renewed hope for equality and human rights. Featuring Fidel Castro, Fred Hampton, Che Guevara, Malcolm X and Assata Shakur in rarely seen footage.A short panel discussionand an Afro-Cuban dance presentation by Dance Killer Company will follow the screening. And save room in your stomachs because the Culinary Countess, Crispin Robinson, will provide a Cuban-inspired dinner for everyone at $10 per plate. Advance tickets are on sale for $8 and can be purchased here: www.eventbrite.com If you purchase tickets at the door, the cost is $10 per adult and $5 for high school and college students. The doors open and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the screening begins at 7 p.m. Crossroads Charter High School is located at 5500 N. Tryon St. #SOCMR
Come out to C3 Lab this evening for “Death + Punk: A Celebration of Film & Music.” Join director and native Charlottean, Jeff Howlett for a screening of his film, “A Band Called DEATH.” It is said by some that DEATH was the first ever punk rock band, so come watch the film and see why. After the film, Rough Francis will take the stage and play their brand of punk. Special guests Dirt Bag Love Affair, a Charlotte-based punk band, will kick things off and warm up the crowd. Tickets can be purchased at: www.eventbrite.com The event begins at 7 p.m. C3 Lab is located at 2525 Distribution St. in Historic South End.
At BluNotes this evening, prepare yourselves for a very special treat.All the way from Columbia, gear your ears to the stage and witness another edition of “Saturday Blues & Grooves” with the beautiful, Kentaj. This fine lady possesses lots of soul who is carving a unique place in the world of music. Rich, sexy and soulful vocals that in my opinion place her among the greats of yesteryear. I have had the pleasure of hearing some of her recorded work before and my ears just flared with delight. Two shows this evening: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Admission is only $4 per show and be sure to grab some delicious food and drink specials from the menu. BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.
If you are in the mood to really wind down, slide over to Sydney’s Martini & Wine Bar this evening as local band, Rhythm 4U teams up with the stunning powerhouse vocalist, Blanche J. for an intimate performance. Rhythm4U boasts a commanding sound which blends Blues, Jazz, R&B and Gospel so beautifully. And as for Blanche J., this chocolate goddess needs no introduction. Just think of Ella Fitzgerald, Angela Winbush, Sarah Vaughn and Lalah Hathaway all rolled up into one. Bottom line—the woman is BAD! Showtime is at 9 p.m. and it is FREE to attend. Sydney’s is located at 401 N. Tryon St. in Uptown. #SupportLocalArtists
Rounding out your fun-filled Saturday, take a nostalgic musical journey Black in time to the decade when music was deemed arguably one of the greatest eras ever—the 80s. Join The JETA Team as they take you on this journey with “Off The Wall: Best Of The 80s V.9!” Listen to tunes from Public Enemy, to the Beastie Boys, Wham!, Billy Joel, Anita Baker, LL Cool J, Roger & Zapp, Michael Jackson, The SOS Band, Hall & Oates, Guy, Duran Duran, David Bowie, His Royal Badness and MORE! The musical DeLorean takes off at 9 p.m., sharp. Admission is $5 before 11 p.m. and $10 after 11. Off The Wall will be held at Petra’s Bar which is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District. #TheJETATeam #OffTheWall
SUNDAY, May 1
This afternoon, come out to BluNotes as local promoters Jennifer Cook and Fly Ty host the “Single, Saved & Serious Documentary Viewing Party & Lounge.” Single, Saved and Serious is a lifestyle, which consists of singles who carry themselves as responsible, approachable Christians with great attitudes. After the viewing, Jennifer and Fly Ty will take your questions and continue the dynamic conversation. Come after church and grab a bite stay to dance, or just sit back and listen to the smooth voice of Gran Man, a fabulous, local Christian rapper with tunes spun by DJ300! This is a “No Judgment Zone,” so come as you are and bring your friends and family. Tickets are only $6 and can be purchased here: www.eventbrite.com The event begins at 1 p.m. BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.
For some soulful Gospel vocalism and grooves, catch the multi-talented and angelic SaLil Wynette this afternoon at The Light Club. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this beautiful young lady perform and her voice is like that of a blanket wrapping you up with the Most High’s love and grace. It’s acoustic inspiration and I promise you will feel much better and greater after hearing her. SaLil’s performance will be at 5 p.m. The Light Club is located at 5108 Reagan Dr. Suite #15. #SupportLocalArtists
The competition heats up at Park Road Park 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
Had a long weekend so far? Good! But know that after all the fun, your body and mind needs to be re-centered. So if you need an alignment of self, head over to Revolution EGO for the “Weekend Wind Down.” Join the beautiful host and hairstylist, Kelly Carboni-Woods as she conducts an intimate and calming yoga session. All yoga levels are welcome and be sure to bring a mat. Admission is $5 and the class begins at 6:30 p.m. Revolution EGO is located at 312 N. Myers St. Suite #115 in Uptown.
Everyone have a GREAT weekend and spread some love to a stranger! God Bless!
Live. Laugh. Love. Learn. Listen. Give.