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July 15, 2019 Allison Andrews

I was driving to Hickory to go furniture shopping (at the Hickory Furniture Mart-link) and listening to our local NPR station.  The daily show, “Charlotte Talks” was discussing Charlotte’s music scene. There are loads of talented musicians around town. In fact, summertime is a great opportunity to hear them. Local breweries highlight live music.  Many neighborhoods host summer concert series. And if you want to make your own music, you can easily find a spot for karaoke!

The hosts of the show posed this question — “What is Charlotte’s Sound?” Much like food and art, Charlotte has struggled with a distinct character around music.   It got me thinking. When you think of New Orleans you think of street Jazz.  When you think of Seattle you think of grunge. But Charlotte? You get the point.  I was riveted and fascinated by this topic.  

I was also glad I was driving far enough to be able to listen to the whole program because the interview introduced me to the Charlotte’s Jazz Art’s Initiative. I’m so ashamed I didn’t know about this! It’s a place for Jazz to grow and play. Established artists perform with young artists. It is doing such amazing work with education and promoting jazz in Charlotte. 

The story of how it came to be is special in itself. Lonnie & Ocie Davis were displaced from New Orleans by Katrina. They moved to Charlotte to be near family.  They desperately missed the New Orleans music so they started Jazz arts Initiative in 2009, now Jazz Arts Charlotte  

You have to check it out and hear for yourself the incredible talent of jazz musicians in the area. In fact, there are some shows coming up this week/weekend. 

Can’t make any of those? No problem. You can hear great jazz at the Cajun Queen, The Imperial, and Uptown at the Bechtler Museum year round!

Just thinking about it gets me jazzed up! (Come on, I couldn’t pass that up!)