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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Uptown Charlotte Jazz Festival returns with stellar lineup
Jazz Fest is June 21-22 in the N.C. Music Factory
 
Published Wednesday, June 19, 2013
by Michaela L. Duckett

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WWW.UPTOWNCHARLOTTEJAZZFEST.COM
The Uptown Charlotte Jazz Festival returns June 21 - 22 to the Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheater.

It’s time again for the annual Uptown Charlotte Jazz Festival, which returns June 21 – 22 at Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheater located in the N.C. Music Factory.

Tammy Greene, “the Jazz Diva,” co-manages the event with former Hidden Beach executive Charles Whitfield. She said this year’s ticket sales are on track to exceed last year’s record-setting numbers.

“We were nearly sold out last year,” she said. “I think we were about 100 tickets away, but in my book that’s a sell out.”

Greene said the biggest challenge each year is assembling the line up.

“It’s a challenge to come up with the right mix of artists,” she said. “We put our heads together and try to figure out what will work for Charlotte and what will work so that we are not having the same artists as other festivals because there are so many other festivals on the East coast.”

Greene said this year’s line up is one of the best to date.

Friday night the festival will kick off with 5th & York introducing their new CD. Guitarist Peter White, saxophonist Euge Groove and headliner Brian Culbertson will also perform.

Saturday’s mix features pianist Gregg Karukas, Sax in the City (Marion Meadows, Paul Taylor and Vincent Ingala) and BWB consisting of Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown will close out the show.

Greene is an avid jazz lover who has been on the scene promoting concerts and events for nearly a decade. She said Charlotte’s appetite continues to grow.

“Within the last year or two, jazz has really taken off in the Queen City,” she said. “I’m not sure how or why, but it has.”

From live jazz at the Ritz Carlton, to events produced by the Jazz Arts Initiative and sold-out performances at the Bechtler Museum, the city’s jazz-loving patrons enjoy all genres of jazz from swing to traditional or smooth and contemporary.

“There’s a lot going on,” said Greene. “Everyone likes different types of jazz, and it’s good that we can offer that to people.”

She adds that with so many events going on around Charlotte, the fact that they are so well attended just goes to show how hungry the city’s jazz fans are for more.

This past weekend Greene hosted a show that was produced by Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation featuring Nnenna Freelon and Bradford Marcellus that she estimates was attended by over 2000 people.

Aside from the Jazz Festival, Greene said the concert she is most looking forward to this year is Najee, who is kicking off her Carolina Jazz Concert Series in August.

“I’m really looking forward to Najee because it’s been a while since Najee has been here,” she said. Greene is also looking forward to Spyro Gyra coming later in the year.

“I’m a huge jazz fan,” she said. “So I’m excited about everything.

Visit www.UptownCharlotteJazzFest.com for more information about this weekend’s jazz festival.

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