Arts & Culture

News and information about arts and culture from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

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.  

Chris Miller

Actor, singer, and comedian Andy Griffith grew up about two hours north of Charlotte in Mount Airy. And even though he passed away in 2012, his legacy is still very much alive in the city commonly known as Mayberry. So much so, the museum there that bears his name just got a major renovation

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.  

Architect's drawing of the planned InterContinental Hotel, above a renovated Carolina Theatre at Sixth and Tryon streets in Charlotte.
Foundation for the Carolinas

The Foundation for the Carolinas is asking the city for $4.5 million to make up a shortfall in fundraising for the Carolina Theatre renovation project uptown. The City Council's Economic Development Committee unanimously recommended the expenditure Thursday, which now goes to the full council for a vote on July 24. 

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.  

Al Phillips self-portrait
Al Phillips / Charlotte Observer

Al Phillips, an artist who used his talent and imagination to capture major moments, big ideas and compelling people during 14 years as an illustrator for the Charlotte Observer, died Sunday at Asbury Methodist Village, a retirement community in Gaithersburg, Md.

He would have turned 84 on Thursday. The birthday party his family and friends had been planning will now be a memorial, said his daughter Kendra’s partner, Julie Chitty.

Sarah Delia

The president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History is stepping down to accept a position at a new museum in Washington, D.C.

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."

Review: The Wizard Of Oz - Country Day School

May 20, 2017

“The Wizard of Oz” remains a classic in film and in theater for many reasons: it has fantastically colorful scenery, memorable characters, and songs that no one can help but sing along to. But perhaps the most remarkable part of the work is not something we notice on the surface; instead it is the meaning we pull from Dorothy’s whole experience: true friendship, one regardless of outward appearance or background.

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.

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