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Arts & Culture
Each Thursday, WFAE checks in with a local arts and entertainment reporter about things to do in Charlotte during the upcoming weekend.

Anthony Hamilton Headlines Charlotte's Welcome Back Fest, Weekend Activities

Courtesy Anthony Hamilton

It's Thursday and time to check in to see what's happening for the weekend. International pianist Keiko Matsui will be in town. There's a Party in the Park at the Mint Museum and Novant Health is holding its Welcome Back Fest with a special performance from Charlotte native and Grammy Award winner Anthony Hamilton.

With WFAE's "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn for this edition of Weekend In Entertainment is Pat Moran of Queen City Nerve.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi, Pat.

Pat Moran: Hi, Gwendolyn. Thanks for having me. How are you doing?

Glenn: I'm great. I want to get back to the Welcome Back Fest. Besides the amazing Anthony Hamilton as the headliner, who most folks are familiar with and who has been on WFAE a few times, what else is happening at this festival?

Moran: There's food trucks. People can also sign up for the COVID vaccine there. There's kid activities and there are seven other performers in addition to Anthony Hamilton. Time Sawyer, you could call them an Americana band, but they're so much more than that. They're from nearby Yadkin Valley. I think of them as troubadours. And also Ray Singleton, R&B singer who just got a high profile on "America's Got Talent." He's going to be there, too.

Glenn: OK. Day and time?

Moran: That's Saturday. It starts at 11 a.m. and runs till 4 p.m..

Glenn: OK, so moving on to the Booth Playhouse, they will be showing a documentary, "Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance." Now, in addition to delving into jazz dance from its African roots, Pat, it will also explore a lot of serious issues, right?

Moran: Yes, it's a thread that weaves through kind of our culture. While talking about jazz dance, you know, it also kind of cracks open our culture. So it does talk about segregation and injustice as it tells this incredible history of dance. This is presented by the Charlotte Film Society. And proceeds are going to benefit The Independent Picture House -- that's Charlotte's upcoming independent movie theater in NoDa.

Glenn: OK, so what day in time does the documentary start?

Moran: That's Friday, it starts at 7:30.

Glenn: Great. The Levine Museum of the New South is bringing its spin on game night with a scavenger hunt, charades and more. Tell us about that.


Moran: This is called the Uncorked Scavenger Hunt. Basically, you're following a trail of clues to get to your table, but essentially it's an after-hours tour of the museum and its exhibits. Of note, there's "Brooklyn: Once a City Within a City." The exhibit, which is about the once thriving community that was basically destroyed through urban renewal.

Glenn: And when do the games begin? And on what day?

Moran: That's Friday at 7 p.m.

Glenn: OK, Pat, in addition to the Anthony Hamilton performance we mentioned earlier at the McGlohon Theater, internationally acclaimed pianist Keiko Matsui will be performing there, as well. Matsui has played with myriad artists such as Stevie Wonder and the late Hugh Masekela. Her recordings have been at the top of the Billboard chart and in the top 10 of the jazz charts. So tell us more about her and her style of play.

Moran: Well, Matsui ... she's influenced by classical music and R&B, but just as important is she draws from the pioneers of jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s. So pianist Chick Corea is just as important as Rachmaninoff or Stevie Wonder. So all those styles kind of collide and she makes that all her own.

Glenn: Yeah, she's great. What time does the show start?

Moran: That is Friday at 7:30.

Glenn: Well, Pat, the U.S. National Whitewater Center's River Jam continues. And one of the bands performing this weekend is The Hooten Hallers.

Moran: So this is a blues-rock trio from Missouri. It sounds kind of Southern gothic to me. They're basically, it's rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, honky-tonk, jazz, soul, a little bit of punk. And it's kind of like they sing about old weird America — you know, itinerant preachers, you know, stuff out of like a Flannery O'Connor novel. It's very lively.

Glenn: And when will that show start?

Moran: That is Saturday and it starts at 7 p.m.

Glenn: OK, and also on Saturday, the Mint Museum on Randolph Road will have a big Party in the Park festival from 1 to 5 p.m. with lots of activities. Tell us more about it.

Moran: Well, this is like, it's a great outdoor get-together. Live music, food trucks, but also it's a free admission to the museum.

Glenn: OK, and other events this weekend, the Summer Concert Series continues tonight at the Hodges Family Farm. This week, Todd Johnson and the Revolvers take the stage at 6 p.m. A Midsummer Morning Stream with OperaCarolina will be at the Aldersgate Retirement Community on Shamrock Road. The show starts at 10 a.m. on Friday. Rodney Shelton and Eric Brice are a Middle C Jazz on Thursday night. Charlotte's Queen Feast with dozens of restaurants participating continues.

Pat, thanks for being with us for this edition of Weekend in Entertainment.

Moran: Thanks, Gwendolyn. As always, a pleasure. Looks like we've got a full weekend ahead.

Glenn: We do that.

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