The John Alexander Group, with special guest percussionist Lucas Torres (Toni Baker-Tyson)

Last weekend I attended the United in Jazz concert series, held the first Friday of each month at First United Presbyterian Church on 7th Street This series features extraordinary jazz artists and dinner.

The October concert featured the John Alexander Group, made up of five local musicians who had never played together. You can say they were good, but I’ll say they were great! Guest percussionist Lucas Torres added just enough spice to keep the audience on their feet. I’ve been to many United in Jazz events, but this one was definitely hot.

Next month’s event, on Nov. 3, will features saxophonist Dante Lewis, a Charlotte favorite from Columbia, SC. Tickets are on sale, and I would advise you not to sleep on purchasing one.

This weekend is the grand opening for Stats, a sports bar restaurant in University City. Stats is located at 3425 David Cox Rd, previously home to BluNotes of Charlotte. I sneaked a quick peek inside and I do believe you will be pleasantly surprised with the renovations. Tickets for Saturday’s event sold out like hot cakes. I’ll keep you abreast in next week’s column. I think it’s safe to assume grown folks are missing an age-appropriate venue in the U City area.

Check out my weekend picks.


Before You Say I Do ~ In this stage play, Dr. Adele Masters, played by Regina Belle, is a world-renowned couple’s therapist. She holds her couples retreat once a year at a secret location. There, she rips into the couples’ fears, neurotic craziness and hilarious and scandalous secrets, to discover if they are ready for wedding bells or wedding hell. Also starring Rodney Perry, LEON, Jackie Christie and Demetria McKinney. Location: Ovens Auditorium (2700 E Independence Blvd.) Time: 8 p.m. More info


Secret Society Cigar Lounge ~ Enjoy a cigar at the grand opening of Secret Society Cigar Lounge. This is an amazing, upscale venue for cigars, good food, drinks and conversation. This event is hosted by Herb Gray & Felicia Walton Gray. Time: 7 p.m.- 12 a.m. Location: 2415 Morehead St. More info


Brushes and Brunch Paint Party ~ Here’s a different Sunday brunch experience. Enjoy mimosas and light fare as a professional artist guide guest in completing a canvas painting. All included in the ticket price. Location: Loft & Cellar (305 West 4th St.) Time: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. More info

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...