The joy of living in her own place after years of homelessness came across when artist Inocente (Izucar) spoke by phone recently. “It’s been great having a place of my own,” she said. For about a year, she’s been in the small apartment she shares with pet “bunnies” Lunar and Bun-Bun. At 19, her life as an artist got a real boost earlier this year when “Inocente,” a documentary about her, won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short. She had tears in her eyes when she joined the film’s directors, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, onstage for the award presentation.
When guitarist John Scofield talks about his Uberjam Band, he emphasizes his roots in rock, blues and funk, and the importance of improvisation.
“Improvisation is always one of the key elements in music,” he said. “For me, as a jazz musician, I also have roots in blues and funk. This [band] brings out aspects of that music too,” he said. He recorded the first Uberjam project about 10 years ago. Now, Scofield has released “Uberjam Deux,” and the band will come to the Carolina Theatre on Thursday.
“Transformation: The Art of Charlie Lucas,” Outsiders Art and Collectibles, 718-C Iredell St., Durham, opens Sept. 25, and a farewell announcement from the gallery owner, Pamela Gutlon.
"Truth to Power: Communicating Messages of Social Justice through Visual Art," Pleiades Gallery, 109 E. Chapel Hill St., through Sept. 15.
Blind Boys of Alabama’s reputation precedes them. They were founded in 1939 at the Alabama School for the Negro Blind. They have five Grammy Awards and four Gospel Music Awards. While their history goes back decades and decades, they present gospel sound that is timeless yet modern. They’ll bring it to Durham for two performances – Friday (Sept. 13) and Saturday at Hayti Heritage Center. The concert is presented by Duke Performances, so tickets are available through Duke University.
When people ask Ellen Ciompi about the cabaret style of singing, she gets two common responses: “’Oh, I love that movie,’ or they look at me like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you were that kind of girl.’”
Saxophonist Brian Horton graduated in 1997 from N.C. Central University with a degree in jazz performance. He now is a visiting teacher in that program, but listeners might know him for his work with percussionist Winard Harper, and his many playing dates in the Triangle.
Shangri La conjures up eternal youth and paradise in some exotic location. On more earthly grounds, in 1937 Doris Duke (1912-1993) built a house near Diamond Head in Honolulu with her first husband, James Cromwell, named it Shangri La, and decorated it as if it might have been built by a Sultan who lived in 15th century Spain or 17th century India.
B.B. King opened the Durham Performing Arts Center in 2008 with the sweet bent notes of his electric blues guitar. He has returned to the venue several times since that inaugural concert.
Saturday, King’s daughter Claudette will perform her first concert in Durham during the Bull Durham Blues Festival.
For Big Daddy Wilson, his performance as the headliner for the Bull Durham Blues Festival is like a return home – in ways both geographical and musical.
Walltown Children’s Theatre launched an online fundraising campaign this summer to support its fall production, “Indigo Blue,” and has reached its goal. Donations were made to the nonprofit through Indigogo, surpassing the $5,000 goal for a total of $5,450.
There is not one among you, I dare say, who does not have a stash of letters and postcards at the bottom of a drawer or in the back of a closet. You probably have them because they were love letters or delightfully funny or poignant notes from a child or grandchild, or perhaps a note announcing something important. You kept them because of what was written. But there are all sorts of mail people keep because of the way they were made.
Gladys Bentley was an early 20th century pioneer of the blues, but unlike her contemporaries Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and others, Bentley’s contributions are largely forgotten. In the 1920s, Bentley (1907-1960) performed in clubs and speakeasies in New York and became part of the music and art movement now called the Harlem Renaissance.
Drummer Evan Sult, one half of the St. Louis garage pop duo Sleepy Kitty, is also one half of the St. Louis screen printing outfit Sleepy Kitty Arts. His two professional enterprises – an indie band and a company that makes posters for indie bands – are intertwined.