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Enjoy Fun and Creative Activities on Family Day February 13

The Cabarrus Arts Council will hold its second free Family Day on Saturday, February 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The event will feature fun and creative activities in both The Galleries and the Davis Theatre. It also is an opportunity for anyone interested to see The Galleries’ Convergence exhibition on a Saturday.

In The Galleries, children may see Convergence, which features art made of found objects by 12 artists.  They will be able to try exhibition-related activities, including the “I Spy” artwork scavenger hunt and “Think About It” guided questionnaire. Three “Creation Stations” will give them the opportunity to make their own recycled artworks. Activities in The Galleries will be available throughout the event, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

In the Davis Theatre, dancer and educator Edie Barnhardt will lead movement activities on the stage, 11 a.m.- noon.  The Old Courthouse Theatre’s CabCo Pretenders will present an interactive children’s performance at 1 p.m.

Thanks to Trashed Studio for helping with Family Day.

Family Day is designed for preschool through elementary age.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 704-920-2787.



Americana Band Mountain Heart at the Davis Theatre February 19

Americana band Mountain Heart, known for revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be played, will perform at the Davis Theatre on Friday, Feb. 19.

The show will be at 8 p.m. in the theatre located in the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse at 65 Union St. S, Concord. Tickets are $36 and may be purchased online 24 hours a day aand Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the box office in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753.

Mountain Heart combines elements of rock, jam band, country, blues, jazz, folk and bluegrass into a high-energy sound that has earned it more than 130 appearances on the Grand Ole Opry stage and a boatload of awards and nominations. The band has won multiple International Bluegrass Music Association awards and it or individual members have been nominated for the Grammy, Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards. They have shared the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Brad Paisley, Alison Kraus, Tony Rice, The Avett Brothers, The Punch Brothers, Levon Helm and John Fogarty.

The band is made up of five all-star musicians: Josh Shilling, Aaron Ramsey, Seth Taylor, Jeff Partin and Molly Cherryholmes.

Shilling is a versatile singer-songwriter who plays piano and guitar and contributes robust vocals to Mountain Heart. He embraces many musical genres and has toured with The Avett Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Traveling McCourys, The Embers and Tower of Power. He graduated from high school a year early so he could begin touring.

Ramsey started playing mandolin at 12 and by the time he was 13 he was touring with his dad’s gospel band, Damascus Road. When he was 17, he won the mandolin competition at MerleFest. As a member of The Lites, he contributed his mandolin playing to the 2006 IBMA Album of the Year. He tours with Tony Rice, as time allows.

Taylor started playing guitar when he was 3 and learned banjo and other stringed instruments by the time he was 8. Competitions were a big part of his life; he won 14 in just five years, including the 2008 MerleFest guitar competition. He began playing in local bluegrass bands when he was 12 and touring with bluegrass/gospel band Pine Mountain Railroad when he was 15. He was a founding member of the acoustic band Monroeville.

Mountain Heart’s mandolin player, Partin, began singing with his family’s gospel group when he was 2 and has toured with them ever since. He began playing bass at age 3, mandolin at 8 and dobro at 10. He was 12 the first time he appeared at the Grand Ole Opry. He also is a member of the bluegrass group, Volume 5.

Cherryholmes was a five-time Grammy nominee as fiddler with her family’s bluegrass band, Cherryholmes. The youngest member of the family and group, she took the stage at age 7, just four months after beginning fiddle lessons with her mother. As a member of Cherryholmes, she traveled more than a million miles, playing venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the Grand Ole Opry to the Bonnaroo festival.

‘Convergence’ On View Through March 12 at The Galleries

Convergence, an exhibition featuring artworks that demonstrate where found materials meet fine art, will be on display at The Galleries through March 12.

The exhibition will include works by 12 artists:  Pinky/MM Bass, Doug Baulos, Marygrace Bianco, Carolyn DeMeritt, Edelweiss De Guzman, Bryant Holsenbeck, Flavia Lovatelli, Olena Nebuchadnezzar, Chuck Waldroup, Joe Waldrop, Naomi White and Aggie Zed.

Internationally Known Blues Artist Eric Bibb at the Davis Jan. 16

Internationally known blues artist Eric Bibb will play at the Davis Theatre on Saturday, Jan. 16.

The performance will be at 8 p.m. in the theatre located in the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse at 65 Union St. S, Concord. Tickets are $34 and may be purchased online 24 hours a day and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the box office in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753. Hint: if you have a blues fan in your life, tickets to this show would make a really good gift!

A career spanning five decades, 36 albums, countless radio and television appearances and nonstop touring have made Bibb one of the leading bluesmen of his generation. He is a fiery singer with soul, gospel and folk roots, and his blues are honest and powerful. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award and for nine Blues Music Awards.

Born in New York City, Bibb is the son of Leon Bibb, a senior figure on the New York folk scene of the 1960s.  His godfather was actor/singer and activist Paul Robeson and his uncle was the composer and jazz pianist John Lewis, founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet. His parents’ house was a center of artistic life where he was profoundly affected by the opportunity to meet people like Rev. Gary Davis, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins and Odetta.

At 19 he left the United States for Paris where he met American guitarist Mickey Baker and began focusing on blues guitar.  A few years later he moved to Sweden and settled in Stockholm, where he found a creative environment that, oddly enough, reminded him of his teenage days in Greenwich Village.  He made a handful of albums, starting in 1972, and began meeting and playing with local musicians, as well as other American expatriates.  His breakthrough album, Spirt and the Blues, was released in 1994 and led to that modern wandering songster/troubadour embarking on tours of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France, Sweden and Germany.

Bibb has played with on stage and recorded with a who’s who of music, including his idol Taj Mahal and Pops and Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, Guy Davis, Hubert Sumlin, Rory Block, Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt, Mamadou Diabate, Toumani Diabate, Djelimady Tounkara, Amar Sundy, Glen Scott, Staffan Astner, Chuck and Darick Campbell, Dirk Powell, Solo Cissokho, Cedric Watson, Larry Crockett, Andre De Lange, Jerry Douglas and Habib Koite.

This is a rare opportunity to see a performer that Elwood Blues (a.k.a. Dan Aykroyd) called “what the blues in the new century should be about.” For more information and to see video of him playing, visit his website.

Claire Lynch Band at the Davis Theatre Dec. 5

Bluegrass icon Claire Lynch is bringing her band to the Davis Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 5, for what promises to be an incredible holiday show.

The show will be at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $36 and may be purchased 24 hours a day online, by calling 704-920-2753 or visiting the box office, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. All seats are reserved.

The Davis Theatre show will draw heavily on the band’s newest release, a seasonal project called Holiday! It includes familiar favorites, such as “We Three Kings” and “White Christmas”; a couple originals, Lynch and Steven Sheehan’s “Heaven’s Light” and Henry Hipkins’ “Snow Day”;  and a rendition of “In the Window,” a traditional Chanukah song.

Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. She was the 2013, 2010 and 1997 Female Vocalist of the Year for the International Bluegrass Music Association and has twice been nominated for a Grammy. She won two IBMA awards in 2014, “Song of the Year” for the title track on her CD, “Dear Sister,” and “Recorded Event of the Year” for vocals on a tribute to John Denver.

Blazing her own trail in the mid 70’s when there were few role models for a young woman in the genre, Claire Lynch made history when she led the Front Porch String Band. She formed her own Claire Lynch Band in 2005 and has since consistently been a top pick of prestigious publications, critics and audiences across the United States and beyond.

In 2014, Digital listed Claire as “One of the 10 Best Angelic Voices of Our Time.” She shared that honor with such luminaries as Judy Collins, Alison Krauss, Sarah McLachlan, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.

With like-minded musicians blending tradition and innovation, the Claire Lynch Band has the innate ability to perfectly interpret the beauty, subtlety and genre-defying sophistication of Lynch’s music. They are Mark Schatz, two-time IBMA-winning bassist-clawhammer banjo player-dancer-percussionist; Jarrod Walker, soulful mandolinist-guitarist; and Bryan McDowell, a young string wizard who at 18, earned an unprecedented triple win at the Winfield, Kansas National Flatpicking Championship.

Read more and listen to her at

Great Holiday Opportunities Coming Up at the Arts Council!

There are great opportunities this week to start off the holiday season at the Cabarrus Arts Council! There’s an Ugly Sweater Party and contest, a screening of the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the biggest Art Walk of the year, which is held in conjunction with the City of Concord’s tree lighting festivities.

The festivities will begin Thursday, Nov. 19. Art on Tap, the arts council’s membership group for young adults, invites you to dig out your most festive and tackiest holiday garb and come to the Ugly Sweater Party at 6 p.m. in The Galleries.  There will be eggnog, Christmas cookies to decorate, the sweater contest with prizes and the opportunity to quote Clark Griswold all night. Speaking of Clark, a screening of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation will follow at 8 p.m. in the Davis Theatre.

The party is free to Art on Tap members and $20 for nonmembers. Year-long memberships in the group are $40 per person or $75 for a couple.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was chosen by Art on Tap members to be part of the arts council’s Flicks at the Davis series. The classic 1989 comedy is about the Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas that predictably turn into a disaster. The film stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, Diane Ladd, E.G. Marshall and Randy Quaid and is rated PG. Admission to the movie is $5 at the door.

The next night, Friday, Nov. 20, Art Walk will bring visual art displays and entertainment all over downtown Concord. A highlight will be the opening reception for Clay at The Galleries, 65 Union St. S. A celebration of North Carolina pottery, Clay includes more than 600 pieces by 20 North Carolina potters – something for everyone on your list! Art Walk is free.

The City of Concord will also sponsor its annual tree lighting festivities beginning at 6 p.m. and culminating at 8 p.m. with fireworks. Included are children’s activities, performances, trolley and carriage rides and the opportunity to meet Santa.

The arts council also has several other holiday events planned. Come to The Galleries on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 3-5 p.m., and enjoy After-School Cookies with Santa. The event is free, and guests should bring their cameras.

The Davis Theatre will host the Claire Lynch Band Holiday Show on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. She was the 2013, 2010 and 1997 Female Vocalist of the Year for the International Bluegrass Music Association and has twice been nominated for a Grammy. Tickets are $36 and available at online and at the box office, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753.

There also will be a holiday theme in The Listening Room on Thursday, Dec. 10, 7:30-9 p.m. The Davis Theatre’s version of an open mic night, the show features a wide variety of entertainment, and tickets are just $5 at the door.



Shana Tucker Brings ChamberSoul to the Davis Theatre November 7

Not only has Shana Tucker given her unique genre its own name, “ChamberSoul,” but she has even trademarked it!

A singer, songwriter and cellist, she credits the development of ChamberSoul to her jazz and classical roots blended with 1980s and 1990s pop music, movie sound tracks and world music.

Tucker will be joined by three other musicians for an evening of ChamberSoul, cello and songs Saturday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. at the Davis Theatre, 65 Union St. S, Concord. Tickets are $34 and may be purchased 24 hours a day online.

Tucker’s style and sound as been described as a mash-up of Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell, and Tracy Chapman, with an efficient complexity that is reminiscent of Bill Withers.

“I’m intrinsically drawn to “real” instruments, with resonance, tone and depth that can sound without amplification,” she said. “Whenever and however possible, I always try to set a tone of acoustic intimacy with my colleagues on stage, and also with the audience, so that the music, performers and audience feel close and tangible, no matter the size the venue.”

A native of Long Island, NY, Tucker began piano lessons with her great-grandmother, discovered the violin in fourth grade and switched to cello in junior high. Her cello talents earned her a scholarship to Howard University where she was introduced to jazz. While at Howard, Shana initiated her improvisation chops and honed her songwriting skills as a member of HUE, a singing piano trio that received critical acclaim within the DC music scene in the mid-1990’s, and later on, in New York City, where she completed her cello studies at CUNY-Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music before moving to North Carolina to raise her son.

She established a network of musicians and fans and a name for herself in the Triangle area of North Carolina. With the help of her dedicated fan base, she successfully launched a crowd-funded campaign to finance the independent recording and release of her debut CD, SHiNE, in 2011. Due to its broad appeal and genre-defying nature, SHiNE was picked up in 2015 by Boston-based jazz label and distribution team, The Jazz Urbane Recordings / SUGO Music Group to be remastered and reissued as one of their premiere projects.

An interview on NPR after the release of SHiNE caught the ear of a Cirque du Soleil talent recruiter, who invited her to Las Vegas to join the world-class theatrical production company as cellist and mezzo-soprano for KÀ, their unprecedented, gravity-defying production at the MGM Grand Hotel.

She divides her time among her role in KÀ, mainstage performances like that at the Davis and opening for internationally acclaimed artists including Norah Jones, Sweet Honey in the Rock, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Indigo Girls. Click to read more about her and listen to her music.

Local Stars Will Be Dancing For The Arts November 14 at the Davis Theatre

Eight local stars will be  Dancing For the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 14!

The event, which is sponsored by Positively Ballroom, is modeled loosely on the Dancing with the Stars television program. It is both a spectacular arts event and a fundraiser for the Cabarrus Arts Council. Local celebrities paired with professional dancers have been honing their skills and will perform in the Davis Theatre. The star who gets the most votes wins the grand prize which will be awarded at the Nov. 14 soirée. You do not have to attend the event or wait until Nov. 14 to support the Cabarrus Arts Council by voting for your favorite star. Voting is under way now!

To vote for your favorite(s) and support the arts council, click, call 704-920-2787 or come to the offices at 65 Union St. S, Concord. You can see some of the dancers in action on the website or the Cabarrus Arts Council Facebook page. One dollar equals one vote. Voting will continue until all the dancers have performed on the Davis Theatre stage.

The Dancing for the Arts Soirée will be filled with fun and entertainment. Here’s the schedule:

  • 6 p.m., nosh and sip beneath the chandeliers in an elegant, heated tent
  • 8 p.m., stars strut their stuff on the Davis stage culminating with the announcement of the grand prize
  • 10 p.m., the party continues with Dancing Under the Stars for everyone, both stars and event guests

Tickets for the black tie optional event are $150 for the first three center rows and $100 for all other seats. Purchase tickets online, via telephone at 704-920-2753 or in person at the arts council offices, 65 Union St. S, Concord.

Our stars are:

  • Donna Carpenter – Donna has been president and CEO of the Cabarrus County CVB since 2009. She has served on many local and state boards, including NC Travel and Tourism, the UNCC Advisory Board and the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce. She danced for Dixon Dance Studio from ages 5 to 12 and leads the Friday morning dance parties at the CVB. She can do a “herkie” cheerleading jump and sometimes makes appearances as RevPar, the CVB mascot and her alter ego. She is dancing with Ryan Knight.
  • McKenzie Faggart – McKenzie is a former Miss Cabarrus County and current Miss Queen City who was first runner up in the 2014 Miss North Carolina pageant. Her pageant platform is anti-bullying and her talent is dance. She is a rising junior at UNC Charlotte where she is on the dance team. Her secret dream is to be Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway.
  • George C.D. Griffith – George is co-founder and chief strategy officer of ConneXion360, Supernova Health and M2 Communications. He has been dancing pretty much all his life! His mother founded Griffith School of Dance in Kannapolis, now Dance Dreams, before he was born. He started dancing in fourth grade to regain leg strength and balance after being hit by a car and spending four months in the hospital and five months in a body cast. He likes to embarrass his children by singing and dancing in front of their friends. He is dancing with Wendy Irvin.
  • Sarah Dayvault Morrison – Sarah is co-owner of MB Property Management and realtor with the Love/Morrison Team at Re/Max Leading Edge. She also is a board member for the NorthEast Foundation and a member of the Historic Concord Preservation Trust. She loves to dance … in the front row to any live band, while watching Dancing with the Stars on TV, to the accompaniment of her own singing and to any dance her 6-year-old teaches her. She is dancing with Ryan Knight.
  • Scott Padgett – Scott was principal of Beverly Hills Elementary School and is the longest sitting mayor of Concord, in office since 2001. He has served on all sorts of boards, including the Cabarrus Boys and Girls Club and Concord Rotary Club, and been honored with the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine and the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. He likes to WATCH people dance – now you get to see him! He is dancing with Holly Cagle.
  • Richard Humphrey (aka Dick) Snyder – Dick, retired headmaster of Cannon School, is on the United Way and Red Cross Boards of Directors. Dick claims to have taken remedial Arthur Murray dance and admits that he dipped and then dropped Dianne during their wedding reception dance, which isn’t going to happen to his Positively Ballroom partner, who is Mary Knight.
  • Phyllis A. Wingate – Phyllis is division president of Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast and owner of Irongate Antiques and Art Company. She serves on several boards of directors including the Cabarrus Health Alliance, Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation and North Carolina Hospital Association. She did a little jazz dancing in college and is ready to take it to the next level with Dancing for the Arts! Her partner is Jason Stein.
  • Diane Young – Diane is executive director of Concord Downtown Development Corporation. As a licensed general contractor, she has renovated commercial buildings in several cities. She is married to Michael, and they have two young adult children, Lewis and Emalee. Diane and Michael love their weekend road trips visiting wineries in our region, exploring other downtowns and driving the backroads to discover new communities. She danced in elementary, middle and high school and even performed with the Charlotte City Ballet. More recently, she’s been honing her skills doing contra-dancing. Her dance partner will be Ryan Knight.

Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show at the Davis Theatre October 29

Local favorite Jeff Whittington will be bringing his bluegrass band back to the Davis Theatre three times during the 2015-16 season!

The first show will be on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the theatre located at 65 Union St. S, Concord, in the Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse. Tickets are $16 and are available online and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the box office in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753. All seats are reserved.

The Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show is an evening of traditional bluegrass featuring a quintet of outstanding musicians: Whittington, Pete Corum, John Culbreath, Mike Wood and Jason Wood.

Whittington performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage and was a staff musician with the Arthur Smith Show. He has been featured on commercials and movie soundtracks. A former North Carolina Banjo Champion, he plays banjo, pedal steel, Dobro, and guitar with the Brand New Opry.

Culbreath has performed with such bluegrass greats as Vassar Clements and Mac Wiseman, as well as being a former SC State Banjo Champion. He plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and banjo.

Corum toured with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass, playing at the Grand Ole Opry, on television and all over the United States and Canada, and appeared Off Broadway and in the movie Cotton Patch Gospel. He plays bass and sings.

Mike Wood began his career at the age of 14 as guitar player for his father and renowned banjoist, Al Wood and the Smokey Mountain Boys. His first major show was Bill Monroe’s world famous bluegrass festival in Bean Blossom, Indiana. In the 1980s, he joined with mandolinist Herschel Sizemore to form the Country Grass. He also sings bluegrass-gospel with his wife and family band, The Wood Family Tradition.

Jason Wood, Mike Wood’s son, began playing guitar when he was 7, began playing bass with his grandfather’s band when he was 13 and took up his main instrument, the left-handed mandolin, at 17. He toured with Constant Change and recorded “The Song of the Mountain” with bluegrass legend Curly Seckler. He also has played with Audie Blaylock and Redline and The Band.

On performance night, the doors to the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse will open at 6:30 p.m. to give patrons the opportunity to see the Clay exhibition and sale of North Carolina pottery and buy concessions.  The Davis Theatre will open at 7 p.m.

Tickets also are on sale for the other Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Shows on Thursdays, Jan. 21 and April 28, 2016.

Grammy Winner Paula Cole at the Davis October 2

The 2015-16 On Stage at the Davis series will kick off Friday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. with probably the biggest performer the theatre has presented in its eight-year history: singer-songwriter Paula Cole.

Tickets are $44 and may be purchased 24 hours a day at online and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the box office, in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753.

Grammy winner Cole is best known for her Billboard top 10 hit song, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” Her song “I Don’t Want to Wait” was used as the theme for the television show Dawson’s Creek. She won a Grammy for Best New Artist and has been nominated for six others, including Best Producer, the first woman solely nominated.

Her songs have also been used in several other television shows, ranging from Charmed to Big Brother to The Simpsons. Movie credits include Sweet November, August Rush, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Scary Movie.

Cole is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee School of Music where she is now a voice professor. She got a record contract offer from a jazz label at the beginning of her career but turned it down in favor of continuing to write her own songs. Her touring and collaboration with Peter Gabriel on his “Secret World Live” put her on the music map, and then she gave up the spotlight to stay home and raise her daughter for seven years. Now she performs concerts on the weekends, then goes home to be mom.

She has recorded seven studio albums, including “7,” which was released earlier this year. . “Intuitively I feel I’m not going to be doing the same thing now,” she said. “I’m moving into a different time of my life, standing on a mountaintop with some wisdom; looking down at my life as a whole. There are songs here that were crystallized by my past – but there are songs that reflect my future – a glimpse that I’m headed on an unknown road to my unknown fate.

Cole’s music is difficult to categorize. She is known for complex music rooted in jazz, rock and soul combined with superior musicianship as well as a close relationship with her fans and exceptional live shows. Find out more about her and listen to her beautiful songs at