@ JJ's Red Hots

What does On the Town with Toni know about the deaf community, the tastiest hotdogs in town, jazz in the park, and HIV Community Awareness Day? Apparently not as much as I thought!

Last weekend I attended an event to promote a new film  — “Shattered Mind” — by African American film writer Jade Bryan. I was warmly greeted by this spirited woman and made to feel right at home. Bryan lost her hearing after a childhood event, similar to the character in her movie. The African American deaf community is small, and while talking with some in that community, I was reminded of their challenges. I learned how to clap in sign language, and I’m fully aware that the deaf community wants to be heard. Check out this talented lady and her upcoming projects.

JJ’s Red Hots? If you are looking for the tastiest hot dogs in town, look no further. With locations on East Blvd and in the Ballantyne area, JJ’s hot dogs are delicious! As I waited in line, I noticed Robert and Teresa Holmes scoping out the menu and overheard them say it was their first visit. I opted for the Char Heel — homemade chili, slaw, dice onions, and yellow mustard. Two snaps and a smile; yes, yes I will be back!

Although Charlotte is known to run in cliques, the jazz clique (myself included) doesn’t miss a beat. This past Saturday we enjoyed Charlotte’s local band Groove Masters and guitarist Matt Marshak at the Freedom Summer Series in Freedom Park. Picture-perfect weather, food trucks, and a mature crowd was the setting. This series continues in July and August, so don’t miss out.

Get tested, get knowledge, and get involved. National HIV Testing Day events took place this week at Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center. African American women are at a disproportionately high risk for this disease. I participated in this free event and look forward to attending next year.

Now for my weekend picks. I hope to see you on the town.


Blakeney Summer Music Series ~ This weekend’s music series features the high-energetic Java band. Java has performed throughout the U. S. with artists like Earth, Wind & Fire; Chicago; Michael McDonald; Wild Cherry; Anthony Hamilton and many more. This event is free and open to the public. Bring your lawn chairs, wine and cheese — and comfortable dancing shoes. Java is known to have you on your feet once they hit the stage. Blakeney Shopping Center (9870 Rae Rd.) Time: 7p.m. Cost: Free. More info.


Steely Dan ~ Known as an American jazz rock band, Steely Dan also blends elements of funk, R&B and pop. The band parted ways in 1981, reignited in 1993 and has toured steadily ever since. This band appeared in Charlotte several years ago, and the night was magical. The backup singers were amazing! Grab a lawn ticket and have an old school party. I hope to see you there! PNC Music Pavilion (707 Pavilion Blvd.)  Time: 7 p.m. More info.


Slueth ~ CPCC summer series presents Slueth, a mystery thriller featuring a detective who plays a cat-and-mouse game with his wife’s lover. Lots of twists and turns as the plot thickens. July 1- 10, CPCC Pease Auditorium (1200 Elizabeth Ave.) More info.

To see a larger listing of local events, visit the Qcitymetro events page at www.qcity2021.flywheelstaging.com/events.

Toni Baker-Tyson is a social butterfly. Her entertainment picks are published each Thursday on Qcitymetro.com. Email Toni at toni@qcity2021.flywheelstaging.com, or join her Chocolate Social Network, a group for the mature (40-plus) but young at heart.

Toni Baker-Tyson is an entertainment columnist for Qcitymetro.com. She enjoys being a social butterfly out on the town, loves live music, the arts, and foreign films. Her passion is volunteering with the...