Music fans kick back at the year's final installment of the Freedom Jazz Series in Charlotte's Freedom Park. (Photo: Toni Baker-Tyson)

This week I attended a dress rehearsal for the August Wilson play “Jitney,” now being performed at Duke Energy Theater. I was simply blown away by the cast and music. This is an excellent production you don’t want to miss. Kudos to artistic director Rory Sheriff of Brand New Sheriff Productions. Visit for tickets:

Last weekend, Mecklenburg Park and Recreation presented the final installment of the 2017 Freedom Jazz Series, which featured an opening performance by Freeport Jazz, followed by dapper Nick Colionne, who provided a wonderful variety of music and singing. Nick is known for his smooth dressing and charisma. Jazz lovers certainly enjoyed themselves at this spectacular event. I’m already looking forward to seeing what’s on the lineup for summer 2018.

It’s Labor Day weekend, and the symbolic end to the summer. Check out my weekend picks.


Matthews Alive Festival ~ This four-day celebration, which ends Monday, is dedicated to the support of local nonprofit organizations. Events include a parade, family activities, festival rides, food, arts, and entertainment. It’s all happening on S. Trade Street, and all events are free! More info.


Bearden Birthday Bash ~ Enjoy the annual Romare Bearden Park Birthday Bash, a celebration that features live music and family activities hosted by Mecklenburg Park and Recreation. Saxophonist Euge Groove and guitarist Terence Young are schedule to perform. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and snacks. Food trucks and adult beverages will be available for purchase. This is one birthday bash you won’t want to miss. Rain or shine. Cost: Free Time: 7-10 p.m. Location: Romare Bearden Park (300 S. Church St). More info.


Comedian John Witherspoon ~ Witherspoon is best known for his role as Willie Jones for the “Friday” series. He also has starred in films such as “Hollywood Shuffle” and “Boomerang.” Join him this weekend at the Comedy Zone (900 NC Music Factory Blvd.) General admission: $22. More info.

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