Arts

Ways to Connect

The Charlotte area has lost one of its leading jazz men - John Alexander. The longtime saxophonist and composer died last Sunday, Nov. 19, in Gastonia.  He was a regular at the Double Door Inn, Blue and the Ritz, as well as many other local venues where he helped keep jazz alive in the Charlotte area. 

Gantt Museum

Many people only connect the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture to its tall upscale building uptown, its home for the past eight years. But the museum goes back to 1974, well before it was named for Gantt, a former Charlotte mayor and longtime community leader.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

On a recent afternoon, inside a bustling, 8,000 square foot warehouse off Remount Road, workers are carrying out their final preparations for this year's Thanksgiving Day Parade. On one end of the warehouse, workers are testing a life-size locomotive that's spewing steam from its smokestack. On the other end, a painter is doing detail work on Santa's workshop.

Alex Phillipe Cohen

When guitarist Tashi Dorji hits the stage in Charlotte this weekend, he doesn’t know exactly what he’ll be playing. That’s usual for the musician, who lives in Asheville.  All of his music is improvised. 

It’s called free improvisation, because there are no rules to follow. He had an epiphany the first time he heard someone play a guitar this way.

Marshall Terry / WFAE

John Coltrane's Giant Steps is a song that continues to make legions of saxophonists sweat as a practice template with its dazzling display of technique.

"What are we, almost 60 years later?  I mean it's still considered the measuring stick," says Charlotte saxophonist Phillip Whack.

He's not only taking on the song but the whole album Friday and Saturday nights at the Blumenthal Stage Door Theater. Like most fulltime musicians, Whack wears many hats.  He tours overseas in a funk band. He plays regularly at a local church, and you might also catch him in a cover band at a wedding.  Playing Giant Steps in its entirety is the most difficult project he's ever taken on.  

Photo Courtesy of Hamiltonbroadway.com

The 2017-2018 Broadway series at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is sold out. The reason? The Tony Award winning musical Hamilton that comes to Charlotte next fall.  

Music's 'Amen Break' Calls Carolina Home

Jul 12, 2017
Erin Wygant / WFAE

What do Salt-N-Pepa, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, and the theme song to the animated TV show Futurama have in common? Six seconds. It's called the 'Amen Break.' It’s used in at least 2,000 songs spanning several genres, including hip hop, rap, and pop. It was created by the 1960s band The Winstons, but they never saw a cent from it. WFAE’s Erin Wygant visited one of the last remaining band members in Wadesboro.  

Sunday night's awards show included performances by students from all 46 schools participating.
Blumenthal Performing Arts

Blumey Awards were handed out Sunday to the Charlotte region's top high school musicals - a production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at Cramer High in Gaston County and Northwest School of the Arts' show "All Shook Up."

Sarah Delia

What do you get when a jail and a museum partner together? In the case of this story the answer is…an art class. The Bechtler Museum has been working to bring art and the museum world into an unlikely classroom: Jail North. WFAE’s Sarah Delia recently spent the day in class and has this story.

Sarah Delia

You may wonder whose home you’ve wandered into when visiting a particular corner of the Mint Museum in uptown. A new installation making its Charlotte debut this weekend is a space full of grandma’s old furniture and knickknacks. But there’s a catch: what looks like an inviting and still, livingroom is actually slowly moving toward a path of destruction. WFAE’s Sarah Delia has this story.

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