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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Miles and Coltrane go global
Charlotte fundraiser for Scotland theater production
 
Published Wednesday, May 29, 2013
by Michaela L. Duckett

clientuploads/v38n13photos/Quentin Talley as Coltrane by Lovo_300.jpg
PHOTO/COURTESY OF LOVO
On Q Productions founder Quentin Talley portrays John Coltrane in "Miles & Coltrane: Blue(.) The show runs through June 2 at Spirit Square.

Quentin Talley of On Q Productions has joined forces with RLO and The Jazz Diva to present “Miles & Coltrane: Blue(.)” by Concrete Generation. The show opened May 29 and will run through June 2 at Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square.

This special performance is also serving as a fundraiser to help finance the show’s return to the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Fringe Fest, which runs August 3-26, is billed as the largest performing arts festival in the world, featuring as many as 2,100 shows per day in various venues.

“The Fringe Festival is amazing,” Talley said. “The whole city transforms into a performing arts city. Everywhere you go art is just leaping out into the city. It’s beautiful. You have artists from all over the world representing the best of the best from every continent, except for Antarctica.”

This will be Talley’s second performance at the festival. On Q Productions performed “Miles & Coltrane” at Fringe Fest in 2009, but was able to bring only half of its cast for one week. Tally said to really have an impact at Fringe Fest, a show needs to run for the entire month.

“It’s an experience I can’t even explain,” he said. “Once we went the first time, I knew we had to come back for the whole month, take the whole cast and show what we really can do... I’m pretty sure we are the only company from Charlotte going and possibly the only one from North Carolina. So when we go over, we’ll represent Charlotte and North Carolina.”

Talley said his goal is to raise $10,000 to assist with associated production and travel costs for 10 cast members.

“Miles & Coltrane: Blue(.)” was written by Concrete Generation, a collection of poets from Charlotte’s slam scene in collaboration with other performing artists of various mediums.

The work captures the galvanizing energy of the 1950s. It’s an era of time when American society was rapidly changing, and jazz music became became the soundtrack of the social revolution. Trumpet-blaring Miles Davis and saxophonist John Coltrane were at the forefront, and the story unfolds as the legendary pair joined forces to become two of the most influential and controversial figures in jazz.

“Miles & Coltrane: Blue” weaves together a multitude of artistic mediums, featuring award-winning poets, musicians, dancers and actors as it takes us through the lives of Davis and Coltrane and the legacy they left behind.

“It’s a Charlotte-born production,” said Talley. “All of the artists in the show got their start in Charlotte and have been professional artists in Charlotte for the past 10 years.”

Talley adds that the play is also significant to him personally because he counts On Q’s first run of “Miles & Coltrane” during the company’s inaugural season as the catalyst for On Q being accepted as a reputable production company by Blumenthal Performing Arts and other venues.

 “It really helped to solidify us and kind of was the jumpstart to help the company move along,” he said. “The show has transitioned over the past four or five years, and now Concrete Generation, myself, RLO and Jazz Diva are helping to produce it and take it back to Scotland as an independent project. So it’s no longer under On Q. On Q just helped develop it.”

Show times are as follows: May 30-31 at 8 p.m.; June 1 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; June 2 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available at CarolinaTix.org. To support the “Miles & Coltrane on the Road to Edinburgh” fundraising campaign, visit igg.me/at/mcblueontour.

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