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Weekend In Entertainment: Orchestra Noir, Kacey Musgraves & Festival In The Park

Orchestra Noir
Orchestra Noir
Orchestra Noir

Orchestra Noir, the renowned all African American orchestra, is performing live on Friday at the McGlohon Theater. They're bringing their show “90s Vibe: The Best of Hip Hop and R&B" to the Queen City. There's also the 55th annual Festival in the Park on tap this weekend.

We'll be talking about those events and others in this edition of Weekend in Entertainment. Joining WFAE's "All Things Consdered" host Gwendolyn Glenn in the studio is Ryan Pitkin editor of Queen City Nerve.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi Ryan. 

Ryan Pitkin: Hey Gwen. Thanks for having me. 

Ryan Pitkin
Credit Ryan Pitkin
Ryan Pitkin, editor of Queen City Nerve

Glenn: Let's start with Orchestra Noir on Friday night. What do you know about them?

Pitkin: Well, they sort of made a name for themselves presenting an orchestra versus DJ battle in 2016 and then the next year they appeared in The Dead's video with 2 Chainz and Migos, two of the biggest hip hop superstars around today. And since then Orchestra Noir has built a following, sort of as cultural ambassadors for both symphonic and contemporary black music. They are presenting an evening of what they've branded crazy, sexy, cool, hip hop and 90s R&B. So that's already got the TLC vibes.

I'm looking forward to who else might be featured maybe a little D'Angelo, little Bad Boy hip hop. We'll see what they got. But this event will be a pretty innovative concert and it's going to bring the best of the 90s vibes. Some of your favorite music will be played. I grew up listening to 90s hip hop so that's sort of what got me into hip hop to start with so I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of stuff they come with.

Glenn: And there’s a preshow, too. Tell us about that and ticket information?

Pitkin: So guests will come to a pre-concert soiree upon entering the main concert hall. They will be treated to Maestro Jason Ikeem Rogers who will be leading the orchestra. Tickets are around $50, $47.75 starting price. And it's going to happen at McGlohon at 8:00 p.m. on Friday. 

Glenn: Let's move on to the 55th annual Festival in the Park. What exactly is that?

Pitkin: That’s at Freedom Park, and it's been happening since 1964. The Festival in the Park has grown sort of into a big-time Charlotte tradition over the last 50 years. You can come enjoy arts, crafts, music, family entertainment. It’s just a very family-friendly event where you can get local vendors and just find it all in one spot. And it's really just turned into a staple of the Charlotte transition from summer to fall.

Glenn: Is there a big crowd that comes out for this?

Pitkin: Absolutely, I think throughout the weekend there are thousands of folks who show up and you'll see the whole community out there, all types of folks.

Glenn: Sounds great. Like a lot of fun. And on Friday there's something called the Flow Fest. What can folks expect there?

Pitkin: Right so you hear Flow Fest -- this is happening at the U.S. National Whitewater Center -- it might sound like a rafting event or something like that, but it's actually on a different level. It features a variety of different yoga classes and workshops. I mean it's not necessarily my bag, but a lot of people are into this these days. This is a whole weekend-long event, sort of start your weekend with morning guided hikes through the trails or sunrise yoga, afternoon restorative class, so basically how they advertise is whether you're looking to elevate your practice to the next level or you're already an expert or an amateur it's a way to get involved with the yoga community for all different levels.

You can definitely continue to unwind as you flow into the evening. There's melodies from the center's River Jam stage, live music, stuff like that. As with all Whitewater Center Festivals, I think the coolest part about this is it's free. You can just sort of show up and do things you're interested in. There's a pretty comprehensive calendar up on the website. Some of the stuff requires registration but most of it's just walk on. 

Kacey Musgraves
Credit pressroom.umgnashville.com
Kacey Musgraves

Glenn: Sounds relaxing. And as we always say here, free is always good. And finally tonight, country music artist Kacey Musgraves “Oh What a World: Tour II” is in town tonight. So tell us about Kacey, tickets, time and place? 

Pitkin: So, Kacey Musgraves has just been killing it lately. She's actually been around for a good bit. She was releasing albums on her own DIY style back in 2008 and 2009 and has just continued that hustle and then within recent years has become almost more of an icon.

She's blown up in the country scene in a sort of representative of that new wave with her, Sturgill Simpson, people who are sort of bringing the old school country back in but doing it in a new way. That's going to be at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater its 8 p.m. Tickets range from $27.50 all the way up to $140. 

Glenn: Okay. Well, Ryan thanks for giving us the 411 on this weekend's events. 

Pitkin: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. 

Glenn: That's Ryan Pitkin, editor of Queen City Nerve.