Jazz at the Gantt is a monthly concert series that commissions jazz musicians from New York and brings them to Charlotte. The live jazz series is hosted in an intimate setting before a crowd of about 40 people.
QCity Metro reporter Daija Peeler attended January’s installment of the event featuring Luther S. Allison Trio. Here’s what she thought:
About Jazz at the Gantt
Jazz at the Gantt is a collaboration between jazz musician and co-founder of Jazz Arts Charlotte, Ocie Davis and the Harvey B. Gantt Center. Talks of introducing a musical component to the museum began early last year and debuted in September 2022. The series has highlighted over 20 artists, ages 18 to 30, through its “Young, Gifted and Black” theme. Jazz at the Gantt has hosted several sold-out shows and will end its six-month long season in February. A second season is planned for early spring.
It’s giving “Love Jones”
Tickets cost $65 but, I promise it’s worth it. I went alone and still had a really good time.
The event is held in the performance suite, a small room just off the lobby, which creates an intimate feeling. The set up reminded me of the opening scene from the movie “Love Jones.” There were two sunset lamps –lights that make calming colorful circles on the wall– nestled in opposite corners of the room. The tables were draped in black cloth, each decorated with a small silver vase that held a flameless tealight candle.
Before each performance, attendees can view the Gantt’s exhibitions. Wine and cocktails are also available for purchase. I don’t drink, but lots of people went back for more so they must’ve been pretty good.
The performance was about an hour and a half. And they. Went. Crazy!
Luther S. Allison was on piano, Endea Owens strummed the bass and Domo Branch was on the drums. You could definitely see and feel the chemistry between them. They played an original piece, co-written by Allison in college, and he taught us the lyrics so we could sing along.
I really enjoyed myself.
After the performance, audience members asked Allison questions about his musical journey.
Will I be back? Most certainly. Before going, I wasn’t sure what to expect considering I don’t really listen to jazz music. But, Jazz at the Gantt changed that. Since going, I’ve added a few jazz songs to my playlist. Yes, it was that good.
The “it”: Jazz at the Gantt
Overall score: 5/5
What I loved: The outstanding performance and intimate setting
Would I return: Absolutely.