Samara Joy, Motown, Barbados Jazz Fest and More Inside!
Middle C Jazz is honored to welcome countless National Artists to our stage this spring! Don’t miss your chance to see Jeff Lorber, Judith Hill, YellowJackets, Billy Cobham, Grace Kelly, Joey Alexander, and more right here at Middle C Jazz – Charlotte’s New Home for Cool!
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Surround Sound Presents: A Tribute to James Brown and The Greats of Funk & Soul
Join us on Thursday, August 25 at 7pm for Surround Sound Presents: A Tribute to James Brown and the Greats of Funk and Soul! Hailing from the musical hotbed of Atlanta GA, Surround Sound effortlessly performs the greatest hit music from Motown to Country, from Funk to Beach, from Hip Hop to Classic Rock, to today’s chart-topping hits and everything in between.
The Music of George Benson featuring Brandon Stevens and the Troy Conn Quartet
Middle C is excited to announce the return of The Music of George Benson featuring Brandon Stevens and the Troy Conn Quartet by popular demand! Join us on Friday, August 26 at 7pm and 9:15pm for a tribute to one of the greats!
On Saturday, August 27 at 7pm and 9:15pm, Middle C presents one of the brightest rising stars in jazz, Samara Joy! She will be joined by the Pasquale Grasso Trio for two incredible shows!
Featured Artist of the Week: Samara Joy
Bronx-born Samara Joy burst onto the New York jazz scene in 2019 when she won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Following the 2021 release of her self-titled debut album Downbeat called the 22-year-old artist a “deeply emotive vocalist, with power that usually takes a lot of living to master.”
Growing up, music was a pervasive presence, due to the inspiration of her paternal grandparents, Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, who led the well-known Philadelphia-based gospel group, The Savettes. Her father toured with the renowned gospel artist Andrae Crouch, and her home was filled with the sounds of not only her father’s songs and songwriting process, but the inspiration of many gospel and R&B artists, including Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway, George Duke, Kim Burrell, and many others. She was a participant in the Weill Music Institute Count Me In program, which provides high-quality vocal training and audition preparation for eighth-grade students in New York City auditioning for performing arts high schools.
Joy’s first exposure to jazz was while attending Fordham High School for the Arts, where she performed regularly with the jazz band, eventually winning Best Vocalist at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition. However, jazz wasn’t her focus until the time came to select a college. Wanting to attend a state school close to home, she picked the State University of New York at Purchase, gaining acceptance into their acclaimed jazz program with a faculty that includes many jazz masters (including Pasquale Grasso and drummer Kenny Washington, who both appear on her debut recording.) From this point, she began to pursue her jazz studies with an intense passion, eventually being named the Ella Fitzgerald Scholar.
Her self-titled debut recording was released in July of 2021 on Whirlwind Recordings. Within the album liner notes, veteran writer Will Friedwald comments that Samara Joy is “a fantastic collection of highly original new arrangements, beautifully sung by a rising talent, and a very impressive first album. People are forever using the word ‘timeless’ as if it were the greatest praise ever, but in a way, Samara’s voice and her music seem to belong to all time, like she’s connected to the entire history of jazz all at once – as if she were existing in every era simultaneously, she sounds both classic and contemporary.”
Smooth Sundays with JD featuring Gena Chambers: The Music of Roberta Flack
John Dillard returns to Middle C for another Smooth Sunday on Sunday, August 28 at 6pm! Join us for Smooth Sundays with JD featuring Gena Chambers: The Music of Roberta Flack!
Remember WHENsdays: Reggie Sullivan sings Ray Charles accompanied by the Sean Higgins Trio
Remember Whensdays returns to close out August with Reggie Sullivan sings Ray Charles accompanied by the Sean Higgins Trio! Join us for a tribute to one of the greatest songwriters of all time on Wednesday, August 31 at 7pm!
Sol Fusion is a dynamic 11-member musical powerhouse who are unmatched in range and versatility and with impeccable harmonies. Sol Fusion’s front line vocalists cover it all, from the Chicks to Gladys Knight to Lady Gaga, and from Chris Stapleton to Earth, Wind and Fire to Bruno Mars. Bring your dancing shoes on Thursday, September 1 at 7pm!
Noel and Maria Present: Motown Reimagined
27 #1 hits, over 60 top 10 hits – Motown had so many hits that one could put together five separate shows of their music and still have plenty of songs left over. The exemplary songwriting of Smokey Robinson, Holland/Dozier/Holland, as well as Berry Gordy himself, along with the interpretation by such legends as Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes and many more has left us with a repertoire that is prime for reinterpretation. Join Noel and Maria for Motown Reimagined as they reinterpret the music that defined the 60’s, the Motown Sound on Friday, September 2 and Saturday, September 3 at 7pm and 9:15pm!
MIDDLE C SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
Ready for a preview of some of our upcoming performers or want to catch up on the latest happenings at Middle C? Check out our monthly Spotify playlist below!