Outdoor Music, African American Heritage Festival, Dancing and More: Lots to Do in Charlotte | DFA 90.7


It’s time to take a look at what is happening for the weekend in the Queen City. The Charlotte History Museum hosts its annual African American Heritage Festival, an outdoor jazz series kicks off, the Davidson Players have a comedy production this weekend only, and the Bechtler ensemble will be at the Duke Mansion.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Dashiell Coleman, co-author of the WFAE Arts and Culture newsletter, joins me in talking about the Bechtler Ensemble and other events. Tapestry. Hi, Dash.

Dashiell Coleman: Hi, Gwen. How are you today?

Glenn: I’m genius. So Dash, as you tell us about the Bechtler set, also describe the place.

Coleman: Thus, the Bechtler Ensemble includes cello, guitar, violin and piano. They will be at Duke Mansion in southeast Charlotte, where they will perform 20th century French compositions and some cheerful Danish pieces as well as works by Russian composer Scriabin and Armenian composer Hovhaness.

The Duke Mansion is a beautiful historic house built in 1915 and serves as a guesthouse and event venue. The show takes place outside and people are encouraged to visit the manor gardens during their stay. Just a note, Gwen, guests should bring their own chairs – and the seats will be spaced.

Glenn: When does the show take place?

Coleman: It’s Sunday at 6 p.m.


Glenn: This is the sound of bassist John Dillard, who will be at Victoria Yards in Upscale Neighborhoods This weekend. Dash, Victoria Yards has become a popular location for live entertainment and this weekend the Jazz series kicks off. And in June, it will feature bassists with Dillard headlining. Who else will perform?

Coleman: JazzArts All-Stars will be there tomorrow night to spotlight some rising stars in Charlotte. This will include Gustavo Cruz, Samuel David, Holland Majors and Olivia Ratfliff. Now the Ron Brendle Quartet is also playing tomorrow night. He is, of course, well known in the city. He was named one of Charlotte’s best bassists for years. And a little more on the headliner, John Dillard. He has been described as one of the most “funky” bassists and has won two Grammys.

Glenn: And Dash, this weekend only, “Love, lost and what I was wearing”, A play based on the book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman, is on stage.


Glenn: Now, of course, that was a snippet of the Off-Broadway production starring Tyne Daley, Rosie O’Donnell and others, which won’t be in the local production, right Dash?

Coleman: Law! This is an entirely local cast. They are all women from the Davidson Community Players. It follows the lives of 28 women. It obviously focuses on love and loss, and what’s particularly interesting is that it’s framed by the clothing and clothing choices of women over the years – so things like wedding dresses. and accessories.

The shows are at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Glenn: Now the Charlotte Museum of History is hosting its annual African American Heritage Festival, which kicked off on Tuesday. It celebrates the history and culture of Charlotte’s black community. You spoke earlier this week to Adria Focht, CEO of the museum, of the festival.

Adria Focht (recording): A a little something for everyone. Lots of history, of course. And I hope people can engage and really think about continuing the black experience in Mecklenburg County and thinking about how we got here today and where we are going now.

Glenn: Dash, the festival is virtual and in person this year. Tell us some of the highlights.

Coleman: Yes, there were virtual events throughout the week, including a West African dance demonstration by the Charlotte Ballet and a panel of historians speaking from the Rosenwald Fund, which has built thousands of schools for them. black children of the South at the beginning of the 20th century.

A sold-out JazzArts ensemble concert Friday features a timeline of music created by black musicians from the 19th century to modern times.

Saturday is the last day of the festival, and people will be able to watch an in-person performance of Drums 4 Life on the museum grounds as well as watch a live painting demonstration where four local artists will paint portraits of notable black figures. by Charlotte. the story. And one great thing, Gwen: the museum lets people in during the time since the pandemic to see a new exhibit on the Siloam School. It is a school building in Rosenwald that the museum is trying to restore and move.

Glenn: And for some of these events you have to register, don’t you?

Coleman: Law. And the one in person, which begins Saturday at 2:30 p.m. And everything is free, but you have to register because of the limited space due to social distancing.

Glenn: Also this weekend, the Charlotte Cirque and Dance is organizing a free dress rehearsal on Friday, and a full production, “Animalia with Dr Knows A. Lot”Later that evening as well. What can people expect to see at this performance?

Coleman: This rehearsal is for a new show called Random Acts of Kindness, and it’s billed as featuring exactly that – things like giving someone flowers or a hug. It’s meant to be heartwarming, and the actors will show love for each other and for the audience through dance and the circus arts. “Animalia” is an action-packed performance that follows a character named Dr. Knows A. Lot as he explores a world full of dancers playing creatures like panthers, koalas and even fish.

Glenn: Now Dash, it’s not just dancers dancing on stage in most dance shows, is it?

Coleman: Law. Gwen, they’re doing interpretive dancing and using elongated ribbons, and it’s going to be very colorful. It’s a good thing to bring your kids. It’s very colorful, and they will have a lot of fun.

Glenn: What about the times?

Coleman: The dress rehearsal is at 4 a.m. on Friday and the full show is at 7:30 a.m.

Glenn: Let’s go back to some more music from AFTM, which will play at River Jam at US National Whitewater Center This weekend.

Coleman: Yes, AFTM is a promising band from Athens, Georgia – of course a great city of music. They’re known for their southern rock and indie rock sounds, and their debut album was released in 2019. They’ll be at the Whitewater Center on Friday at 7am. At the same time on Saturday night, Lord Nelson will perform for River Jam. They’re a rock band from Charlottesville, Virginia.

Glenn: And other events include Eat Black Charlotte Week, with fixed-price meals at some black-owned restaurants, which continues through Saturday; Damn high-rise buildings, Bluegrass with an Attitude, is live at Queens University Open Air Sundays at 2pm, and… Willie Walker and Conversation Piece will perform at the Middle C Jazz Club on Sunday evening. Walker has performed with Najee, George Howard, and many more. Dash, thanks for helping preview this weekend in entertainment.

Coleman: Hey, Gwen, happy to be here.

Glenn: Dashiell Coleman is co-author of the WFAE arts and culture newsletter, Tapestry.


Gerald R. Schneider

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