By Shawn Allison
Yo, what’s happenin’ my Queen City family? I know you all have been waiting patiently as to what I have found for everyone to do this weekend and thankfully, I was able to dig out a few goodies! So let’s hit the streets, fire up those grills (save yours truly a plate if you can) and let’s get busy!
• “Cocktails & Gardens at The Duke Mansion” starts at 5 p.m.
• “Gantt After Dark” starts at 6 p.m.
• PJ Morton featuring Kendra Foster starts at 7 p.m.
• “INTERVENTION” starts at 8 p.m.
THURSDAY, June 30
Enjoy a fine evening outdoors and bring your friends and colleagues out for “Cocktails & Gardens at The Duke Mansion.” Take a load off at one of the city’s most pristine and prestigious plots of land and take in the sights of beautiful botanical arrangements, architecture and more! Admission to this evening is FREE and it begins at 5 p.m. The Duke Mansion is located at 400 Hermitage Rd.
Start your weekend off at The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture this evening and get ready for this second special edition of “Gantt After Dark” celebrating Black Music Month! Take a load off after work and relax in a calming atmostphere filled with vendors, food, fellowship and a great variety of music from Charlotte’s own, DJ CK! Admission is FREE to attend and the event begins at 6 p.m. The Gantt Center is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
Charlotte, get ready and welcome two multitalented and Grammy Award-winning figures to our city! Head down to the Neighborhood Theatre and witness the musical greatness of PJ Morton featuring Kendra Foster! PJ Morton is an established keyboardist and vocalist who plays in the successful pop-rock band Maroon 5 with some rich vocals to summit his musicianship. Kendra Foster is a young lady who is all about keeping the funk. She has been featured touring and recording with George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic and most recently earned some acclaimed accreditation by working with D’Angelo. They will be in Charlotte together for one night only—don’t miss this! Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.neighborhoodtheatre.com/event/1190367-evening-pj-morton-maroon-charlotte/. 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.
Got the blues? Head down to Petra’s this evening for “INTERVENTION.” What is it you ask? Choice tunes ranging from House, Downtempo, Soul, Funk, Industrial, Rock and more expertly mixed by residents DJ’s Tober, Oliver and Donald. Also, to blend in with the musical ambience, there is an eclectic art showcase presented and created by local artists. Drink specials all night long and admission is FREE! The music begins at 8 p.m. Petra’s is located at 1919 Commonwealth Ave. in the Plaza-Midwood District.
FRIDAY, July 1
Eating clean doesn’t have to be all lettuce and carrots. In fact, it is proven that most people stick to nutrition changes when they actually enjoy the food. This evening, come join the beautiful fitness expert Chrysten Crockett as she hosts her “Clean Cheatz Cooking Class.” Clean Cheatz is a cooking class that offers a yummy spin on the food that you do not want to let go of. Dishes like mac-n-cheese, brownies, and lasagna don’t have to be filled with guilt and fat; there are ways around the kitchen to make eating clean a fun, healthy alternative to those ‘not so clean’ eats. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/clean-cheatz-cooking-class-tickets-25744055162?aff=es2. The class begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at Loft 135. Loft 135 is located at 135 W. Morehead St. on the outskirts of Uptown.
Loosen those limbs and lunge yourself down to Abundant Life Creative Expressions Studio for a Afro-Cuban/Timba/AfroHouse dance class! Join host and dance enthusiast, the regal and expressive Solange Ah as she guides you and your body into an evening full of high-energy, indigenous dance moves. You’ll be able to learn some basic steps of Rumba, Orishas, Kuduro, Azonto, Coupe decale and merge them with Salsa movments. All dance and experience levels are welcome to join. Admission is $12 for the Afro-Cuban/Timba class and $12 for the AfroHouse class. The first session begins at 6:30 p.m. Abundant Life Creative Expressions Studio is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.
Invite your friends and colleagues and “jazz-out” your Friday at Treehouse Vineyards this weekend as local band, The Jazz Guys perform an evening full of easy listening and smooth jazz cuts for your pleasure. Admission is $3 per person and ages 5+ are welcome to attend! There will be food vendors on site, snacks are welcome but no outside beverages are allowed. Please bring your lawn chairs and blankets. If you wish to reserve a table or treehouse suite, please call (704)-283-4208. The event begins at 7 p.m. Treehouse Vineyards is located at 301 Bay St. in Monroe.
Soothe your sweet tooth and your earholes at BluNotes this evening for another fine edition of their “Straight-Ahead Jazz Fridays!” Tonight’s guest is sure to give your eardrums diabetes without question. Get ready for Audio Chocolate! Who is Audio Chocolate, you ask? It’s described just as the title of the band: sweet sounds to your ear. The lovely Persona Bell (vocals) will be singing your favorite Jazz/Soul/R&B hits. She will be accompanied by Ray Tyson (lead guitar), Rick Blackwell (bass), and Fred Dunlap III (drums). There will be two shows this evening: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Admission is $4 per show. Also, please inquire about some of the delicious 4th of July meal specials from the kitchen. BluNotes is located at 3425 David Cox Rd. in the University Area.
Come out to Paint Craze this evening and get in the Independence Day spirit at the “Sparks Fly Paint Party!” Bring your girls or your significant other out as local creative Leslie Shrum guides you and your hands along your provided canvas to create your own radiant and radical fireworks display. All art supplies and colors will be at your disposal and be sure to enhance your experience by grabbing a tasty beverage from the Art Bar. Tickets can be purchased here: https://paintcraze.com/events/view/sparks-fly-paint-party-at-paint-craze-charlotte-1185. The class begins at 7 p.m. Paint Craze is located at 5028 South Blvd.
Join Jazz N’ Soul at The Tavern for their “First Fridays” jam session with special guest, Affectual. If you have never heard these gentlemen jam before, you are totally missing out on greatness! I don’t need to say anymore. I just need you all to head down there and witness the magic yourselves! Admission is $10 and can be purchased at the door or at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jazznsoul-music-first-friday-presents-affectual-tickets-26171538777?aff=es2. The show begins at 9 p.m. The Tavern is located at 300 E. Morehead St. in Uptown. #JazzNSoul
End your first day of July live and in living color at Apostrophe Lounge and come out for “DIASOPORA: Summer Heat!” Hosted by DJ Kato and Paul Prince, groove your body to the best of Afrobeat, Deep House, Soca, Reggae and a minimal sliver of Top 40 hits! Admission is FREE before 11 p.m. and only $5 after. If you are looking to get away from the usual Friday night routine and feel the energy of something eclectic and cultural, I highly recommend this event for you! The party begins at 10 p.m. Apostrophe is located at 1440 S. Tryon St. in Uptown.
SATURDAY, July 2
Parents, in today’s economic climate, understand that your children will have a much harder fight to get a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke). This morning, bring your children out to The Empowerment Center of Charlotte for workshop hosted by B.Y.E. Building Young Entrepreneurs. B.Y.E. is an initiative for empowering youth through economic independence with entrepreneurship. Your child(ren) can start their business now and have some fun while doing it! Trusted and esteemed instructors will guide your youth to say “B.Y.E.” to excuses, lack of money, no direction and more economically crippling avenues. Admission to this workshop is FREE and you can RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/building-young-entrepreneurs-bye-tickets-24539205424?aff=es2. The workshop begins at 10 a.m. The Empowerment Center of Charlotte is located at 7925 N. Tryon St., Suite #210 in the University Area.
Join Moxie Society at Sports One Bar & Lounge as they host a special Independence Day Edition of “I Love The 90s Brunch & Day Party!” Bring the crew down and enjoy a delectable and delicious menu, drink specials and the best 90s Hip Hop and R&BTunes spun by Durham native, DJ Paradime. Also, for your visual pleasure, the extremely beautiful and talented Whitney Austin will give a live painting performance to add onto the festive mood. If you wish to reserve a table, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: http://sportsoneclt.com/reservations/. The event begins at 11 a.m. Sports One is located at 521 N. College St. in Uptown. #MoxieSociety #TheArtOfTheDayParty
Guide your eyes down to Dupp & Swat this afternoon and come out to the “Red Frame Pop-Up Shop: Summer Edition!” Want to look stylish while protecting your peepers? Red Frame has an entirely new stock of sunglasses and fashion frames to compliment your summer looks. There will also be other vendors there with a variety of related products. Lastly, don’t forget to RSVP or purchase your VIP ticket, which include a gift certificate towards your Red Frame purchase and other goodies! You can RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/red-frame-pop-up-shop-summer-edition-tickets-26189730188. The event begins at 2 p.m. Dupp& Swat is located at 2424 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District. #SupportSmallBusinesses
This evening, get ready for legendary and longstanding music staples Steely Dan and Steve Winwood as they grace the stage at the PNC Music Pavilion. Whether you know their music or aren’t too familiar with them, please come out and experience classic jazz-rock, soul, fusion and classic rock tunes! Tickets can be purchased here: http://concerts.livenation.com/event/0E0050550EA3DCAE. All ages are admitted. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. PNC Music Pavilion is located at 707 Pavilion Blvd. in the University Area.
Join local, renowned creative and Certified Art Instructor, Cathay Dawkins at The Last Word as he hosts a Mixed Media Painting Workshop. I’ve seen much of Cathay’s work around this city and let me tell you that it is some of the most riveting contemporary pieces I have ever seen. I’m very certain that if you were to participate in this class, you will be surrounded by a plethora of humor, vigor, color and wine! For this workshop, he will guide you step-by-step to help you create your own masterpiece and you will have complete creative freedom to choose any color scheme along with a variety of materials. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mixed-media-painting-workshop-tickets-26298536631?aff=es2. The class begins at 7 p.m. The Last Word is located at 5744 N. Tryon St.
Have you had a long week? Is your mind, body and soul a little stiff? Then I’ve got the perfect remedy for you! Head down to Petra’s this evening and get ready to RELEASE! yourself to the best of Classic and Soulful House Music! As always, the Deep House Providers, DJ Marcus Wade and Gary ‘Jackmaster’ Wallace bring you the finest of house music for your dancing pleasure! Joining them is their brothers-in-House, The SoulJunkies Crew and special guest spinners, DJ Tony Cutlass, Johnnie Davis and Paul Crooms. I have heard all of these gentlemen spin before and trust me when I say that you will never leave the dance floor! The party starts 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. #HouseLives
Head to Heist Brewery and get an earful of fly sounds at “The Big Heist: The Ol’ Skool Retreat!” Your sound engineers DJ Chance and DJ Lunchbeats will be rockin’ all the best of Golden Era Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Funk, House and then some! Admission is FREE to attend and the event begins at 9 p.m. Heist Brewery is located at 2909 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.
All my fellow Hip Hop heads—more specifically New Yorkers get ready to stand up! Awesom Entertainment along with E.O.C. So Street Ent. Proudly presents one of our culture’s finest figures in the Queen City to rock the turntables for one night only! I’m talking about none other than the legendary Kool DJ Red Alert! His list of credits is far too long to post, but if you know like I know, good music is the definitive standard. The opening set will be handled by Charlotte’s own DJ Justice. Come out and rock like the old days and dance! Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/i-love-ny-series-dj-red-alert-tickets-26118695722?aff=efbevent. The event begins at 9 p.m. and will be held at The White House. 4809 Wilkinson Blvd.
SUNDAY, July 3
Abari Game Bar is celebrating the 4th of July in style and is guaranteed to put some more fun in your weekend! Head on down to one of my favorite hangout spots as they present, “ID 1/4: Independcents Day!” For today and Monday, July 4th, ALL video arcade games will be cost just $.25 to play, various drink specials will be available along with patriotic films and music to suit the holiday mood! Also for Monday, July 4th, there will be hotdogs, hamburgers and sides for all patrons. Admission is FREE for members with membership cards and only $1 to join for non-members. The fun starts at 12 noon. Abari Game Bar is located at 1721 N. Davidson St. in the NoDa District.
Bring the family over to the Plaza-Midwood area as various restaurants and bars proudly host and present “The 16th Annual Plaza Midwood Pig Pickin’!” Come slop around and try various sandwiches, meals, drink specials and more! From Pint Central to Snug Harbor, there will be lots to choose from. There will be vegan and vegetarian options available as well. Also, be sure to stick around as local creatives Em Young and Dollar Signs will give a live music performances. Prices on food and drink will vary. The event begins at 4 p.m. and will be headquartered at Pint Central. The address is 1226 Central Ave.
Let us remember our Ancestors who were still held in bondage during this holiday season and to never forget their sacrifices to make this country what it is now. Be safe with fireworks, don’t drink and drive and as always, please spread some love to a stranger! God Bless!
Live. Laugh. Love. Learn. Listen. Give.