Spanish for “A is for art,” the tenth annual Con A de Arte is a celebration of Charlotte’s Latino culture, community and achievements through arts and entertainment. This year’s participating artists have created works that respond to the Mint Museum Uptown’s captivating exhibit, Sociales: Debora Arango Arrives Today. Some of the many artists include Ivan Peña, Claudia Pureco, Oscar Ortiz, Angela Lubinecky and Nico Amortegui. Other artists, poets, dancers, storytellers and creative folk also are slated to showcase their art forms during the event, which includes an awards ceremony.
BRIAN CULBERTSON He seems like such a nice guy, but composer-keyboardist-trombonist Brian Culbertson should kick the shit out of whoever stuck him with the “smooth jazz” tag. True, Culbertson’s latest CD, Dreams, is a velvety, late-night baby-maker, but dig a little deeper into its hypnagogic grooves and you’ll find solid and confident grounding in funk and R&B. Unlike smooth jazz atrocities such as Chuck Mangione, Culbertson has no interest in concocting a pop hit, and though he frequently relies on suave and shimmery vocals, the kind of hired guns he turns to are Neo-soul luminary Musiq Soulchild, R&B stalwart Ray Parker Jr. and fatback funkateer Bootsy Collins. Culbertson’s high-water mark remains his 2008 LP Bringing Back the Funk, which cross-breeds sunny Ramsey Lewis-styled melodies with uplifting Earth, Wind & Fire choruses, swinging Jazz Messengers gospel and the exuberance of pre-plastic surgery Michael Jackson. Culbertson’s recent turn to mellow and romantic vibes seems like he’s forsaken funk for the time being. Yet, his compositions sway and breathe while hanging onto the heartbeat of R&B, proving that “smooth” shouldn’t be featureless, and that “adult contemporary” needn’t mean dead and buried. $74.70-$196
Having opened to the public on Earth Day, the Altered exhibit at Cornelius Arts Center up in Lake Norman features what you could call sustainable art. Four artists — Andrea Vail, Jessica Naples, Amy Bagwell and Laurie Schorr — have used found and/or discarded objects to create the works on showcase. As upcycling’s popularity grows, we’re reminded of the power that items of the past possess. The reception for the exhibit is slated to go down during ’Tawba Walk, an art crawl with entertainment. Free admission