Friday, July 31, 2009

Very Busy Times in Durham

Sitting here at the Hayti thinking about all the positive things that are happening on the cultural scene lately.......The Bull City Slam team has been busy raising funds to go to West Palm Beach for the National competition, and several of NCCU's jazz performers are preparing to go to Newport for their annual Jazz event which in the past has had such renowned artist as John Coltrane,, Count Basie, Muddy Waters, Sarah Vaughan, and Dizzy Gillespie perform.
And don't forget that next week is also the week of the National Black Theatre Festival which draws thousands of fans and actors to Winston Salem to pay homage to Black Theatre and honor both its past and present and let folks know that it still has a bright future ahead. This year I have learned that a long time friend Ayinde Hurrey will be bringing a production to town and I am also looking forward to seeing some of my friends from the Theatre community at this bi-annual event.
But, if you aren't going out of town to these events, or playing to attend the National Black Journalist conference in Tampa, don't worry there is plenty of events going on right here in the Triangle.
Maxwell is coming to the DBPAC on Wednesday, the 5th and De La Soul will be peforming in Chapel Hill on the 8th..........And of course there will be live music at Brightleaf and West Village on Friday evening.
Keep telling folks Durham and the Triangle have plenty to do.....Last week, I had a full weekend...On Friday, I checked out the first of the West Village series which was like an All Star tribute and featured such acts as Captain Luke, John Dee Holeman, and Sol just to name a few....From there, I went and checked out Edsel
500's performance at Brightleaf and then chilled for a minute at West End Wine Bar before heading off to Alivia's for Carl Kinney's birthday party which featured great live music and some awesome poetry as well...There was even some deep political discussions going on about the Skip Gates incident that I participated in with one of my Police officer friends and others as well.
Saturday, I went and checked out my friend Kirk as he did some shooting for his film Game Boyz in the downtown area near Measurement Inc. Of course, sometimes you have to do some renegade kinda of shooting and I will talk about what kind of experiece that can be in a later post. Learned about the trials and tribulations that one of our actor's had been going through, and all I can say is that it is definitely a blessing that he pulled through what he had to go through and it was definitely a learning experience for him. That evening, I went by another gathering at Alivia's, this one for some folks who were moving out of town.
Sunday was relatively mild but I did go by the shooting that Kirk was having at Golden Belt. Sometimes folks are giving opportunities and still don't see the chances they have, and apparently that was the case as several folks didn't make it to the shoot but Kirk, being the trooper that he is, shoot with what he had and will probably do some more shooting at the Gallery he used which is located in Golden Belt.
By the way, looks like Durham is becoming even more of a spotlight for National acts. Why Tuesday, the Ballpark was filled with fans of legendary performers.....And although I was at work and missed the show, a friend of mine who works at West End and attended said it was a definite treat...She said John Mellencamp may not be as bouncy as he was the last time she saw him when he was much younger, but he still gives a great show and Willie was mellow....She said you could definitely smell Pot throughout the ballpark and considering the fact that Willie is an official spokesperson for NORMAL, a group that wants to endorse Marijuana legislation, that shouldn't be a suprise...She said some folks might have been thrown off by Bob's opening, and this was a sentiment I later read in Dave Menconi's column, but she thought as the show went on he got into more of his roots kinda of set and did a great job.
Later in the week Tori Amos was at the Durham Performing Arts Center. I keep telling my friends from out of state and even out of the Triangle don't sleep on Durham...We have a lot going on and I will be keeping you informed on many of these things right here in the future.
On Thursday, after work, went by the Armory where the concert that was slated for the Plaza with the Bull had been moved...Sometimes when the weather is threatening, the folks at Parks and Rec play it safe and move it indoors......I heard I missed a good acoustic set of Latin guitars earlier, but the band I heard definitely was rocking and had the limited audience moving..We have to find a way to get a more diverse and greater crowd for some of these awesome bands that are performing in the plaza. I went down by American Tobacco but by then the group who was performing Your Mama's Big Fat Booty Band had ended their set but I heard from a few friends that they rocked a nice sized crowd and had played a mixture of covers and originals...Definitely have to catch this group on a rebound trip....Also I understand that Friday, Coco had talked about her work with Gerald LeVert had an event honoring him that was held at the Carolina Theatre and I'm sure the jazz fans who saw Marcus Anderson at his CD release Party on Morris Street got a treat as well....Just as I know the folks who came here for Jazzy Friday got to hear some great music by William Darity and his group as well as meet some really talented artist who came here to talk about their art....I've always been a big fan of Marilyn and the dolls she makes that capture the essence of such great ladies as Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, and other famous people as well.....

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