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Weekend In Entertainment: Jazz Party, Art After Dark & Chef's Best

Adrian Crutchfield
Adrian Crutchfield
Saxophonist Adrian Crutchfield

Adrian Crutchfield, a Charlotte native and Northwest School of the Arts graduate has performed with renowned musicians such as Lionel Ritchie, Bette Midler, Cee-Lo Green, and Anthony Hamilton. He even recorded and performed with Prince and led Prince's 11 piece horn section, The New Power Generation.

Last year Mecklenburg County commissioners declared August 11 as Adrian Crutchfield day. And on Saturday he will perform at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's Booth Playhouse. In an interview with WFAE, he says for this show he will show his appreciation for the community support in a special way.

“The main idea I had was inspired by my own experience when I was four years old. I received a saxophone from Kenny G. and that's what led to my whole career as a saxophonist and all the accomplishments that I've made so I wanted to do that for someone else,” Crutchfield said. 

“So I decided that at this particular show I'm going to find a child or a young person who shows significant interest or potential in the saxophone and I'm going to give that person a saxophone.”

Joining "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn for our Thursday Weekend In Entertainment preview to talk more about Crutchfield and other events in the Charlotte area is Katrina Louis, managing editor of QCity Metro

Katrina Louis, QCity Metro
Credit Sarafina Wright
Katrina Louis, managing editor, Q City Metro.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi Katrina.

Katrina Louis: Hi Gwen. Thanks for having me.

Glenn: So, Crutchfield has other plans for the audience beyond the saxophone gift right?

Louis: Yes. So if you're a jazz musician or you play the French horn he's encouraging you to bring your instrument to the show and he may just call you on stage to play with him. So everyone of all ages will have something special to look forward to.

Glenn: It's going to be like a block party I understand with a lot of special guests. Tell us about that and who are the special guests?

Louis: Yes, you have Terrence Young. He's an artist out of Columbia, South Carolina who is opening the show. He leads the Terrence Young Experience and then you have jazz veteran Ocie Davis, the bandleader of BreakOn’ Em Davis. People may also know him as one of the co-founders of Jazz Art Charlotte. He's worked with Ellis Marsalis, Terence Blanchard all of the greats.

Glenn: Wow sounds like fun. So how much is it to attend the show?

Louis: Tickets are available at BlumenthalArts.org and they range from $15 to $40. The show is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, so get them now. They're going pretty fast.

Glenn: Great. Now on Friday the Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture is hosting another of its monthly Art After Dark parties. What's this month's theme?

Louis: Friday night’s theme is art as activism. It's happening from 6 - 10 p.m. and they're commemorating Black August. It also recognizes 400 years since the arrival of enslaved Africans in North America as well as the 1791 revolution in Haiti where they gained their independence. It's also free, everybody should check it out. 

Glenn: So, what can folks expect to see and experience during this?

Louis: They can watch a preview of a scene from a Three Bone Theatre production called Pipeline and they're doing an artist's talkback. Quentin Talley will be performing with his band based on the Intergalactic Soul art exhibit. There'll be panel discussions and more.

Glenn: Sounds like even more fun. And there's another event happening a few blocks away at the Convention Center on Friday night too, right?

Louis: Yes, that's the 30th Annual Chef's Best with Robert Irvine. That's happening on Friday. 

Glenn: Now for non-cooks tell us a little about Irvine?

Louis: So, he's a celebrity chef and a talk show host. You'd probably know him from shows like Worst Cooks in America and Restaurant Impossible.

Glenn: Now this isn't just an event to come out and eat good food right? But it has a purpose?

Louis: Yes, it's benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Guests will enjoy a reception featuring some of Charlotte's hottest restaurants, a three-course meal designed by Irvine paired with wines and music. There will be a live auction and raffles, so tickets start at $100. And like you, said it's happening at the Convention Center starting at 6 p.m. 

Glenn: Many choices out there for the weekend, a great lineup. Thanks, Katrina.

Louis: Thanks a lot. 

Glenn: Katrina Louis is the managing editor of QCity Metro.