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See & Do 

Wednesday, April 26

Don't let Leela James' size fool you, nor her stately "natural," which adds almost a whole foot to her height. James is an R&B singer -- a real R&B singer, in the vein of a Chaka Khan or Lauryn Hill or Roberta Flack -- equally at home with gospel, blues, soul and acoustic-based music. Her critically acclaimed A Change Is Gonna Come fired a big ol' warning shot with its cover of Sam Cooke's seminal "A Change Is Gonna Come," a song her mother had requested. Covering a Cooke song, and nailing it, ain't easy, no matter how many electronic pitch-fix studio doodads you use. Here's hoping James continues her ascent, afro or no. Check her out tonight at Tempo, 4809 Wilkinson Blvd. Advance tickets are $20 and available at www.charlottevibe.com. Doors open at 8pm. For more details call 704-391-8909. (Davis)

Friday, April 28

We've been watching and praising the work of the Children's Theatre Teen Ensemble for years. Their ImaginOn debut in February, The Arabian Nights, gave us no reason to revise our high estimation of the educational programs within Charlotte's transplanted fantasy palace. Now a good thing gets better with the Student Performance Project, rolling three productions in rep through Sunday at Wachovia Playhouse in pint-sized 75-minute productions. Two of the titles should be familiar enough, Romeo & Juliet and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, while the third -- The Witch of Blackbird Pond -- makes its Charlotte debut. All three get three performances each, with single tickets priced at an enticing $5 each. Start at 11am, 1pm and even 3pm on Saturday, and you can see the whole Project in a marathon five and half hours. Call 704-973-2825. (Tannenbaum)

Cirque du Soleil puts its famed big top out to pasture and says hello to Charlotte's new arena with Delirium. Dropping in for only two nights at Bobcats Arena, Delirium is a new kind of Cirque. Singers and musicians will both be centerstage, intensifying the importance of music in the circus-theatre-multimedia extravaganza. And in another Cirque first, the remixed music will be wedded to lyrics in real languages, including French, Spanish, Wolof and -- surely an oversight -- English! Expect the usual eye-popping techno dazzle in Cirque's acrobatics and atmospherics with the urban party-down attitude. Friday and Saturday at 8pm; tickets are $69.50-$99.50. Call 800-495-2295. (Tannenbaum)

The local premiere of Erica Dunton's indie film Find Love will be presented tonight by the Light Factory in the Duke Power Theater at Spirit Square. With cinematography by Charlottean Alan Newcomb, the film explores the brief yet passion-filmed relationship between two strangers who meet at an airport. Also screening on the same bill is the short film Throw, local moviemaker Rick Fisher's poignant tale about the strained family ties between a young man interested in pursuing a career as a potter and his short-fused dad, who wants his son to drop this ambition and join him as a house painter. Showtimes are 7pm and 9pm; tickets cost $7 and will be available at the door. For more info, call 704-333-9755 or go to www.lightfactory.org. (Brunson)

Pssst! Charlotte Symphony isn't making a big deal of it, but they're celebrating Shostakovich's 100th Birthday with the PAC debut of Dmitri's Symphony #6. Instead they're touting the debut of Simon Trp_eski, the vowel-starved keyboard phenom who will play Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto. Rounding out an intriguing program is the Symphony debut of Chen Yi's Ge Xu (Antiphony). With Alan Yamamoto at the podium, we'll hopefully get help pronouncing that one. If listening to the work of a living composer sounds too risky, there's a 10am open rehearsal on Friday. Otherwise, the concerts begin at 8pm on Friday and Saturday with tickets priced at $17-$49. General admission seating at the morning rehearsal is $10. Call 704-972-2000. (Tannenbaum)

Saturday, April 29

When you smell the hot samosas and chai, hear the feisty bhangra drums in the distance and see colorful sarees and dresses enliven the drabness of downtown, you know the annual Festival of India is just around the corner. The two-day fest moves to Spirit Square this year with its celebration of heritage that's become a popular springtime attraction in the Queen City. Get a taste of all things India including dance and musical performances, Indian food, exhibits of crafts and artifacts from different states of India, henna artists, yoga, saree wrapping demonstrations and nary a talk of outsourcing. Today from 11am-7pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm. Admission is $3, kids under 10 get in free. For details visit www.festivalindia.org. (Shukla)

Sunday, April 30

Alexander Kordzaia conducts the Charlotte Civic Orchestra's Season Finale at First United Methodist Church, but composer David Crowe will get a hefty share of the spotlight. Middle school students who have participated in Civic's Composer-in-the-Schools project under Crowe's wing will perform a new piece of their own composition alongside the CCO. Also featured on the typically adventurous program are Vaughan-Williams' English Folksong Suite, Bach's Chorale Prelude ("Wachet auf"), and Crowe's "Mbira Song." Tickets for the 3pm concert are $10, or $8 for students/seniors. Better yet, attendees at Crowe's preconcert talk, beginning at 2pm up in the church balcony, get a 50 percent discount on concert tickets. Call 704-344-0098. (Tannenbaum)

Texas' Riverboat Gamblers apparently got kudos in Rolling Stone as one of the best bands at this year's SXSW in Austin. See for yerself as the lead singer pounces off the rafters into the heaving masses while spouting his twisted observations of life, politics and everything else. Don't linger in the loo for long, as these punk rockers will likely knock off a half-dozen songs by the time you make it back to the pit. Charlotte's own 2k13 Wolves will open this all-ages show at 8pm tonight at Tremont Music Hall. Ten bucks gets you in the door; details at www.tremontmusichall.com. (Shukla)

Is it moonlighting when Charlotte Symphony musicians show up at Providence United Methodist Church to play a concert of listener-friendly Standard Fare? We won't tell on the nine instrumentalists participating in the latest 7pm concert in the Providence Chamber Music Series. They won't be making their money off of you, that's for sure, because admission at the corner of Providence and Sharon Amity is free. Included on the playlist are Felix Mendelssohn's String Quartet #2 and Carl Nielsen's Woodwind Quintet, the latter widely regarded as setting the standard for wind ensemble compositions. Call 704-333-9536. (Tannenbaum)

Tuesday, May 02

"I'll be your number one with a bullet" -- a lyric from "Sugar, We're Going Down" -- pretty much sums up the appeal of Midwesterners Fall Out Boy. After a successful debut album, the band's breakthrough record From Under the Cork Tree perfectly blended the group's dark sense of humor with more catchy melodies laced with energy and fun. They'll be performing on a bill with the All-American Rejects, Hawthorne Heights, From First To Last, the Hush Sound and October Fall tonight at 6:30pm at Cricket Arena, 2700 East Independence Blvd. Tickets are $27 and available at Ticketmaster: 704-522-6500 or www.ticketmaster.com. (Calloway)

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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