By Shawn Allison
Yo! What’s going on Queen City? It is time once again for some dope events lined up to compliment this dope weather we have scheduled. So without any further hesitation, let’s just hop right into the mix!
THURSDAY, June 2
Prepare your taste buds for The Art Institute of Charlotte’s “Creative Concepts Tasting Event.” Curated and created by the lovely chefs Ashley Nightengale and Terra Ciotta, this is an evening full of live music, fellowship, art and delectable delights. Admission is $30 per person and can be purchased at the door. The event begins at 6 p.m. The Art Institute of Charlotte is located at 2110 Water Ridge Pkwy.
Kick off your Thursday evening in an island-themed cool down known as “Red, Red Wine.” Join S. Kehinde & DJ Corporate at Vin Master Wine Lounge. Bring your friends out, enjoy great drink specials and let the sounds of Caribbean, Reggae, African, Soca and Lover’s Rock tunes soothe you. Admission is FREE and the event begins at 6 p.m. Vin Master Wine Lounge is located at 2000 South Blvd. in Historic South End.
Election Day is approaching quickly for the North Carolina Primaries and while there is still time to cast your ballots early, why not add some fun, art and culture to it? Join local spoken word and activism collective, Guerilla Poets as they provide some early voting entertainment for you. Choosing the best candidates can be rather challenging and confusing at times, and these talented lyricists will help calm your nerves with amazing and creative freestyle pieces as you vote. But do not worry, they will not try to persuade or dissuade you from voting for your desired candidates. They will be at the West Blvd. Library Branch today, 6/2 from 6 – 7 p.m., Friday, 6/3 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, 6/4 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The West Boulevard Library Branch is located at 2157 West Blvd. #GuerillaPoets
Join local ministry and community-bridging initiative CharlotteONE at Crave Dessert Bar this evening as they host, “CLTtalks: Domestic Violence.” This will be an evening of turning words into action. CLTtalks is an event series based around social justice issues that are central to Charlotte. Come together with non-profit leaders and fellow Charlottteans in their 20s and 30s to talk about how we can advance change in our city and link up with organizations to help those in need. The event is FREE but please RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/clttalks-domestic-violence-tickets-25378028366. Complimentary light appetizers and beverages will be provided. The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. Crave Dessert Bar is located at 500 W. 5th St., Suite #120 in Uptown.
Slide over to Sydney’s Martini & Wine Bar and get ready to experience greatness as saxophonist, Mike Phillips and his band lays out some smooth jazz, soul and funk for your earholes this evening! His band, comprised of ivory tickler Chris Turner, Koknosh Lismon driving the bass groove, Eric Brice strumming the guitar, Marcus Jones adding melody with the tenor saxophone and Eleazar Shafer blowing life into the trumpet. If you have never heard these gentlemen play before, you are definitely missing out! Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here: www.eventbrite.com/e/mike-phillips-live-at-sydneys-martini-and-wine-bar-tickets-25753409140, or at the door. The show begins at 7 p.m. Sydney’s is located at 401 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
On Q Productions has been making many creative waves this year with their brilliant and bold presentations of classic, contemporary and original works of Black theatrical pieces and for the last edition to their 7th season, “Adaptation”, come and view On Q’s adaptation of the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning literary genius Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.” It is the riveting and poignant story of a young Black girl in the 1940s who battles internal and external demons and circumstances thinking that a new colored vision will give her a new lease on life. This heralded tale conveys and interprets the story of our community’s longstanding battle with racism. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased here: http://www.carolinatix.org/events/detail/the-bluest-eye. Performances will run from Thursday, June 2 to Saturday June 11. Tonight’s show begins at 7:30 p.m., sharp. All performances will be held at The McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square, located at 345 N. College St. in Uptown. #OnQ #BlackTheatreMatters
The hilarious local theatre troupe Charlotte Squawks returns to The Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center with their newest production, “12 Angry Hens!” Who and what is Charlotte Squawks you ask? Simply put, it’s the satire of Saturday Night Live, mixed with Broadway and welded with the socioeconomic climate of Charlotte. The creative team of Mike Collins and Brian Kahn collaborate with the area’s most talented performers to parody current issues in pop culture, sports, life and politics, both local and national. Come out and be part of the show and anticipate who or what will be “squawked”! This show will run from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 26. Tonight’s show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.carolinatix.org/events/detail/charlotte-squawks-12. The Booth Playhouse is located at 130 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
FRIDAY, June 3
Parents, bring the children out to LaCa Projects this evening as the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte proudly presents “PlayPlay! Theatre Celebrates Mi Casa.” Home and family are the foundation of every culture. Come explore the beauty of the Spanish language with PlayPlay as they collaborate with Mexican artist and Charlotte resident Rosalia Torres-Weiner. Full of captivating colores y sonidos (colors and sounds), Mi Casa will delight the littlest theatre-goers and their loved ones. All ages are admitted and tickets can be purchased here: http://www.ctcharlotte.org. The show begins at 5 p.m. LaCa Projects is located at 1429 Bryant St. which is on the outskirts of Uptown.
This evening at The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, take a photographic journey “Black” into the past, refocus your lens to present time and prepare to experience “#1960Now On the Ground.” Join award-winning photographer Sheila Pree Bright as she visits Charlotte to share her experiences on the ground documenting history in the making. This interactive photographic series of emerging young leaders affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Movement examines race, gender and generational divides to raise awareness of millennial perspectives on civil and human rights. All ages are welcome to attend this event. The admission is FREE for Gantt Center members and $10 for non-members. There will be a wine & cheese serving starting at 5 p.m. and the Q&A with Ms. Bright will begin at 6 p.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown. #1960Now
Put some color in your Friday evening and head over to Paint Craze for the “Pink Flamingo Summer Kickoff Party!” Paint, drink and have fun night with a night of social painting as artist Leslie Shrum shows you how to create your own flamingo masterpiece on 16×20 canvas. Perfect for girls night out, date night or just fulfilling your creative spirit! All art supplies will be provided and you can take your completed project home. Tickets can be purchased here: https://paintcraze.com/buytickets/pink-flamingo-summer-kickoff-party-at-paint-craze-charlotte-1172. The party begins at 6 p.m. Paint Craze is located at 5028 South Blvd.
Head down to The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art for another edition of their “Jazz at the Bechtler” series this evening. For the feature performance, hear the in-house ensemble, The Ziad Jazz Quartet as they melodically collaborate with pianist Noel Freidline in an intimate concert entitled, “Piano Legends II.” Jazz pianists come in many types, and in an ensemble setting their signature styles — bluesy swing, moody modal shades, percussive comping — often determine the group’s personality. Tonight’s show explores the styles of three singular piano stylists: Ramsey Lewis, Erroll Garner and Bill Evans. There will be two shows this evening: 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $8 for Bechtler Museum members and $14 for non-members. Tickets: https://30796a.blackbaudhosting.com/30796a/tickets?tab=2&txobjid=c77fadf2-8bb3-4515-aa86-ed972171d772. The Bechtler Musuem is located at 420 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Enjoy the calm and colorful atmosphere of Haylo Healing Arts Lounge and “visu-live” the works of local creative, Mark Doepker as he presents his latest body of work in the exhibit, “Current Faces.” Mark will creative a live portrait of his lady, Hayley, which is sure to be quite entertaining. Also, if you desire and inquire, Mark just may create a portrait of you! Admission is FREE and the event begins at 7 p.m. Haylo Healing Arts Lounge is located at 1111 Central Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
If you are in the mood for some true jazz musicianship, head out to Blu Notes for another fresh evening of “Straight-Ahead Jazz Fridays.” Tonight’s guest is the multi-talented Dwayne Jordan Group. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing them on several occasions and every single time I am just totally amazed by this group’s brilliant and vivid energy! It’ll be you and your company, the band, some delicious food and drinks and a wonderful atmosphere full of positivity! There will be two shows this evening, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Admission is $4 per show. Blu Notes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.
Enjoy a quaint and creative evening at The McColl Center for Art + Innovation as they host another edition of their “New Frequencies” art showcase series featuring an evening with poet, essayist and memoirist, Sandra Beasley. Beasley is author of three poetry collections: “Count the Waves”, “I Was the Jukebox”, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and “Theories of Falling”, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. Honors for her work include the 2015 C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize, a 2015 NEA Literature Fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, and two DCCAH Artist Fellowships. She is also the author of the memoir, “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life.” Advance tickets are $5 and can be purchased here: http://j.mp/NFSandraBeasleyTix or at the door for $7. The event begins at 8 p.m. The McColl Center is located at 721 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
The good people of Jazz N’ Soul Music have been on a roll this year with fantastic showcases from local artists. For your audible pleasure, gear your ears to the stage and get ready to spend an evening with the sounds of The Gi Spot featuring GiGi Mack. Let me tell you right now, this gorgeous amazon can sing out her pipes along with the best of them! From covers of yesteryear’s R&B, Soul, Funk and Jazz grooves to belting out her own original material, this lady got it goin’ on! Also, be sure to stick around as she’ll pay musical homage to His Purple Majesty. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at: https://jazznsoulgigi.eventbrite.com/. Showtime is at 9 p.m. and it will be held at The Tavern. 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown. #JazzNSoul
Relax and unwind with your friends this evening at The Oak Room this evening and prepare yourselves for “First Fridays: The Gemini Experience!” Hosted by the beautiful Terry Berry, enjoy a calm evening full of great Hip Hop, R&B,Neo-Soul and throwback jams from Charlotte’s own, DJ Ngenius. This event is FREE before 11 p.m. but only if you RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/first-fridays-the-gemini-experience-tickets-25430458185?aff=ebrowse#tickets. If you wish to reserve seats or bottles, please call, (980)-309-4170. The event begins at 9 p.m. The Oak Room is located at 200 E. Bland St. in Historic South End. #TerryBerryEvents #FirstFridaysCLT
June 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 Summer Heat Edition.” Shake your hips to the best of Afrobeat, Caribbean, Reggae, Soca, House Music and more! Admission is FREE until 11:30 p.m. and will be only $5 after. The party starts at 10 p.m. Apostrophe is located at 1440 S. Tryon St. in Uptown. #AfricanaConnections
SATURDAY, June 4
Ladies, swing those curvaceous hips and voluptuous honey dips down to the Carole A. Hoefener Center this morning and get ready to sweat at the “Charlotte’s Plus-Sized Women’s Dance Class!” This is the kick off meeting for 4Thirty-Two, Charlotte’s new plus size dance group! This event is FREE and open to all plus-sized women who love to dance. It will be an opportunity to meet new full-figured women, connect and of course, dance! Although all body types are celebrated, by request of the group’s creator, this class is only reserved for women with a little more to love. The class begins at 9 a.m. sharp. The Carole A. Hoefener Center is located at 601 E. 7th St. in Uptown.
Brothers & Sisters, come out to the Little Rock Cultural Center and start your morning off at the “Co-Operative Economics Black Business Expo!” Hosted by Soirees Entertainment and #BlackOwnedCharlotte, this family event is geared towards building the Black economic base here in Charlotte, eventually spreading the wealth beyond into more of our communities. Entrepreneurs, business owners and retailers are welcome to come down and engage with the community to network, exchange ideas and just have a good time. Some of the workshops at the expo will include how to construct a business plan, innovative fundraising, strategic marketing and more. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blackownedcharlotte-co-operative-economics-black-business-expo-vendors-tickets-24276366265. For more details, please call (704)-965-4464 or (704)-780-4272. The expo kicks off at 10 a.m. The Little Rock Cultural Center is located at 401 N. Myers St. in Uptown. #BlackOwnedCLT
This morning, learn how to save water, money and recycle at The Discovery Place as they host “Innovative 301: Build-A-Barrel.” You and the entire family will learn tips on how to conserve and harvest water using a rain barrel. The Discovery Place, in conjunction with Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated will help you retrofit a Coca-Cola syrup drum into a catch basin for rain water. All materials will be provided. This FREE water workshop will have educational activities for all ages and you’ll discover the importance of water conservation and explore ways to prevent water pollution through hands-on activities and story time. The session begins at 10 a.m. The Discovery Place is located at 301 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Are you still renting your residence? Do you want to own a home? If so join Blackberry Realty Group as they host their “Home Sweet Home Seminar” geared to help you in the direction towards home ownership. Interest rates are at an all-time low and if qualified, there are funds available to assist with down payment and closing costs. Come spend a couple of hours learning how to move forward and put your rent money to good use. Admission to this seminar is FREE but RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/home-sweet-home-tickets-25646724042#tickets. The seminar begins at 11 a.m. and will be held at The Carole A. Hoefener Center. The address is 610 E. 7th St. in Uptown. #BlackberryRealty
Take the family on a short drive up to Statesville late this morning and head to Lakewood Park for “Art In the Park 2016.” This FREE community event created through a partnership between the City of Statesville – Recreation and Parks and the Iredell Arts Council designed to showcase music and art in the Statesville area. There are a plethora of activities for everyone to enjoy along with live entertainment, food, vendors and more. The festival begins at 11 a.m. Lakewood Park is located at 911 Lakewood Dr. in Statesville.
Join local lifestyle collective, Moxie Society at Sports One Bar & Lounge as they host the weekly throwback joint, “I Still Love The 90s Brunch & Day Party!” Gather up your friends, colleagues, older cousins and come on down for an afternoon of great fun! The food there is absolutely delicious and prepared to your desire liking. There will be $5 mimosas and other great and tasty drink specials. For your audible entertainment, DJ Loui Vee will be rockin’ the best Hip Hop and R&B joints of yesteryear and for your visual pleasure, catch a live painting from the ever-fine and fascinating Whitney Austin who will also have some of her exquisite artwork for purchase. Again, this is a weekly event and if you desire to reserve a seat or a table for your party, please go to: http://www.sportsone.com. The brunch and fun begins at 11 a.m. Sports One is located at 521 N. College St. in Uptown. #MoxieSociety #SportsOneCLT
At the Gantt Center join photographer Sheila Pree Bright as she hosts the session entitled, “Selfie vs. Self-Portrait.” Bright will discuss the difference between a selfie and a self-portrait. Participants will take a selfie with a cell phone and then a self-portrait with a Polaroid camera, examining what the portraits say. This course revolves around the questions, “Am I revealing something real and true about myself? Is it just a selfie, or is it art?” The course is $25 and tickets can be purchased here: https://61686.blackbaudhosting.com/61686/Photography-Workshop-Selfie-vs-Self-Portrait. The class begins at 12 noon.
Secondly, all ballerinas and dance enthusiasts come out for a Ballet Dance Lesson hosted by the beautiful and talented Yessena Whitfield. Ballet is described as the foundation for most dance forms. In today’s session an emphasis will be placed on proper alignment of the body with the introduction of concepts required for correct placement of the legs, arms and head. Musicality, coordination, posture, and balance will be explored through simple enchaînements (sequence of movements) that celebrate the joy of dancing in solo and partner dances. This course is for all ages and is free with Gantt Center admission. If you plan on attending, please RSVP here: http://www.ganttcenter.org/calendar/ballet-with-yessena-whitfield/. The course begins at 2 p.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Everyone get in your positions, box out, pick and roll and then slam dunk down the hole because it’s time for “Pearl Oden’s Hoop 4A Cause Charity Basketball Tournament!” Get ready to have some fun this afternoon as the community congregates together for a good ol’ fashioned basketball tournament for a great cause! The purpose of this fundraiser is to send deserving kids to The Konnected Experience Youth Camp. A recent conducted study shows that 75% of parents with youth interested in performing arts are unable to afford the cost of camp. As a result, these youth miss opportunities to develop in areas of interests to keep them productive and active, building confidence and self-awareness. So bring the entire family out to enjoy some basketball and live entertainment provided by some very talented and local young artists and dance groups. There will also be a concession stand with snacks and drinks in case you get hungry (100% of the proceeds will go to the camp). Admission is only $5 and can be purchased at the door or here: http://thekonnectedfounda.wix.com/konnectedfoundation. The tournament begins at 1 p.m. and will be held at The Carole A. Hoefener Center. 610 E. 7th St. in Uptown.
Ladies, the weather is getting nice & warm and I’m sure that you all would like to add more creative and colorful editions to your wardrobe. Gather up all your homegirls and come out to Revolution EGO for the “Onion Trunk Show!” The eclectic and beautiful fashion designer, Whitney Mero is back once again to give your womanly curves a boost with some elegant flair and flavor. There are sizes to fit everyone and there is a communal dressing room so that you can try the items on and find your favorites. After you’ve made your selections, the items are cut to length by hand. Admission to the event is FREE. The event begins at 3 p.m. Revolution EGO is located at 312 N. Myers St. in Uptown.
Get ready to have your senses altered in an all-new and organic art showcase entitled, “CHROMA.” Join local creative Arthur Brouthers this evening, and experience the transformation of a 7000 sq. ft. warehouse into a multi-sensory art exhibit. The show will feature small to massive mixed-media paintings, oversized video projections, dramatic lighting, and select music to complete the installation. CHROMA presents an opportunity to step outside the typical gallery exhibit and plunge into an artist’s unique vision. Experience bold colors, captivating techniques, and conceptions expanding beyond Brouthers’ signature style. Admission to the showcase is FREE for everyone and it begins at 6 p.m. The address for the event is 2322 Dunavant St. which is located in Historic South End.
It’s that time of the month again! Bring all your troubles to the dance floor at Petra’s and get ready for “RELEASE! Classic & Soulful House Party.” Enjoy a fine and vibrant mix of House, Deep House, Downtempo, Funk and Soul grooves given to you by The Deep House Providers (DJ Marcus, Gary “Jackmaster” Wallace, DJ Badala B). Also, feel more energy from visiting special guest DJ’s Roc and James Anderson. If you’ve never been to a RELEASE! party before, your mind body and soul will feel completely uplifted while you dance and after you depart. The party begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 before 9 p.m. and $10 after 9 p.m. Bring your friends on out, house it up and just RELEASE! Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
Come and take a musical journey back into the 90s this evening at The Belk Theatre at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center as Red@28th proudly presents, “R&B Icons: The Reunion!” Relax and relive the smooth grooves of Tony, Toni, Tone, the immaculate and precise vocal scales of En Vogue and the strong and soulful harmonies of Silk. The event will be hosted by the talented funnyman, Joe Torry. Tickets are on sale at: http://www.carolinatix.org/events/detail/rb-iconsthe-reunion. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. The Belk Theatre is located at 130 N. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Slide over to Taste Lounge & Café for the return of “Taste Live Saturdays” and for your entertainment this evening, get ready for the lovely and multi-talented songstress, Joi James! This girl is prolific on the keys as she is in vocal ability—you will love her! Admission is only $5 and there will be some great drink/food specials to choose from! The party begins at 9 p.m. Taste Lounge is located at 2415 W. Morehead St. which is on the outskirts of Uptown.
Round out your Saturday and join The JETA Team at Heist Brewery as they host another edition of “The Big Saturday Night Heist: The Ol’ Skool Retreat.” Two of my favorite local turntablists, DJ Chance and the beautiful DJ Lunchbeats will be rockin’ the best of Golden Era Hip Hop, Underground, Rare Grooves, Soul and Funk! Admission is FREE and the cool down begins at 9 p.m. Heist Brewery is located at 2909 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District. #TheJETATeam
SUNDAY, June 5
The Single, Saved & Serious Movement has been making some noise in Charlotte with its broad conversations of Christian courtship methods. This Sunday at BluNotes, come out as they host the discussion and social, “Sex, Status & Success” this afternoon. Hosted by the beautiful Jennifer Cook and SSS creator, Brandon Chuck Brown, you are invited out to engage with others as an all-male and professional panel maturely discusses the title topics from a Christian-centered point of view. Afterwards, stick around for a live performance from Christian MC, Jus Will, clean and hilarious comedy from Nuff Ced and enjoy inspirational grooves spun by DJ 300. There will be a brunch menu available until 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fundraising-extravaganza-tickets-25553871317. The event begins at 1 p.m. BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area. #SSS
The Spring season of M.A.R.S. Co-Ed Kickball is complete and a new team has claimed victory! While everyone is getting ready for the upcoming Summer season of kickball, you are invited out to Park Road Park as they host the “M.A.R.S. Fun Game” Bring the entire family and your friends out for an afternoon of fun, food and fellowship! Everyone is invited to play and if interested, please inquire league officials about joining Co-Ed kickball for the summer. This event is FREE to attend and the fun begins at 5 p.m. Park Road Park is located at 6220 Park Rd. on Field #1 in the South Park Area. #MARS #Funletics
The weekend is nearing an end and the work week is nearing the beginning, head down to Revolution EGO this evening for “The Weekend Wind Down” yoga session. Your host and creative, Kelley Carboni-Woods will guide you through some simple yoga stretches and routines to help your mind, body and spirit become realigned in one of the most calming yoga methods possible. All yoga levels are welcome to participate. Please be sure to dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat. Admission is only $5. The session begins at 6:30 p.m. Revolution Ego is located at 312 N. Myers St. Suite #115 in Uptown.
People, a new, bold and brilliant musical force comes to The Knight Theater this Sunday evening and his name is Gregory Porter! Hosted by The Jazz Diva Tammy Greene and The Sol Kitchen, get ready to experience an artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time. The Grammy Award-winning Gregory Porter solidifies his standing as his generation’s most soulful jazz singer-songwriter. I recently heard him for the first time late last year and let me tell you, his whole aura and style is beyond incomparable! Rich, masculine and soulful vocals that will penetrate your spirit and leave you breathless. Come see this musical phenomenon as he is in town for one night only! Tickets are sold here: http://www.carolinatix.org/events/detail/an-evening-with-gregory-porter-1. The spectacle begins at 7:30 p.m. The Knight Theater is located at 430 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
I hope everyone has a terrific and fun weekend and please remember to show love to a stranger! God Bless!
Live. Laugh. Love. Learn. Listen. Give.