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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Love and the sound of music in February
Toni Tupponce and Ziad play the Bechtler Feb. 1
 
Published Thursday, January 31, 2019
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | TYRUS ORTEGA GAINES
Toni Tupponce and Ziad Jazz Quartet play Feb. 1 at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art as a tribute to Valentine’s Day.

Artists tell the truth with love.


Toni Tupponce and the Ziad Jazz Quartet kick off February with Jazz at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and a tribute to Valentine’s Day on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Expect a bulk of the evening to feature love songs, with numbers like “But Beautiful.”

“Another is ‘Laughing at Life,’” Tupponce said. “It is a song that Betty Carter made famous that I love. I am also going to do a sort of obscure love song by Bill Withers. It will be a mixture. I wanted to make sure that I covered Aretha [Franklin] and Nancy Wilson.”

Tupponce intends to close with “Takin’ it to the Streets” by The Doobie Brothers.

“It is sort of a double entendre, in the sense that I believe strongly that the only way we are going to make a difference is if we take love to the streets,” she said. “That means, for me, acknowledging all of the love that exists, or should exist. Whether it is romantic love, patriotic love, or whether it is national and cultural, all of that love really needs to be taken to the streets. We need to take it everywhere we go.”

“Takin’ it to the Streets” elicits a mental image of what love would look like beyond the doors of the Bechtler, and onto Tryon Street.

“For me, it’s a real and authentic statement and visual of who Charlotte is today,” Tupponce said. “Our mingling around Trade and Tryon [streets] and that famous crossroads for us, as well as in the epicenter of the arts, which is where the Bechtler sits, with all of the cultures, and all of the stories, and all of the love that could and should exist between various races, ethnicities and companies.”

Bringing together different ethnicities is a start, but people of various income levels must also be included.

“I think the Arts & Science Council has done a good job, for example, in some of its work in bringing different cultures together around the table,” Tupponce said. “What I don’t think is always there, though, are the different income levels. It’s easy to say ‘takin’ it to the streets,’ when everybody looks like you, or has the same educational or cultural advantages that you’ve had, but if you are takin’ it to the streets only where you are comfortable, then we are not going to get anywhere. When I say, takin’ it to the streets, I mean across the board.”

As an artist, Tupponce sees her role as a continuous call to action.

“Particularly as artists, we have the opportunity to do that from a platform of love,” Tupponce said. “We can tell the truth, but we can do it with love. Those are the kinds of stories that I try to tell, whenever I have the opportunity to perform. That might be what is a little bit different for me at the Bechtler, because my show will still be about telling stories.”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the first show; 7:45 p.m. for the second. Tickets cost $10 for museum members and $16 for general admission.

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