5 music series to catch in Charlotte, from rooftop parties to indoor jazz

Charlotte Symphony's Summer Pops series. Photo courtesy of charlottesymphony.org/Virginia Brown

When the sun goes down, the music turns up around the QC. Whether you are into smooth jazz, folk or classical music, the Charlotte music scene offers something for everyone.

Here are 5 music series in Charlotte worth checking out:

Jazz at the Bechtler

Where it takes place: The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 420 S Tryon St

What it is: On the first Friday of each month, concertgoers have the opportunity to experience a night of jazz and modern art. Music is performed by the Ziad Jazz Quartet that features, Ziad Rabie, artistic director and saxophone; Noel Freidline, keyboards; Ron Brendle, bass; and Rick Dior (or Al Sergel), drums. Some nights will feature a guest singer or musician. Each time, attendees can choose to attend the 6-7:30 p.m. show or the 8:15-9:45 p.m. show. Purchase tickets online for $16.

Fun fact: Ziad Rabie has recorded with national artists such as James Brown, John P. Kee and Aretha Franklin, to name a few.

Summer Pops

Where it takes place: Symphony Park, 4400 Sharon Road

What it is: Summer Pops has been an ongoing music series in Charlotte since 1983. During the months of June and July, the Charlotte Symphony offers nights filled with picnics and great music from Broadway themes to patriotic tunes. In 2018, Summer Pops expanded to include two uptown, in-theater options in addition to the Symphony Park experience.

Fun Fact: Charlotte Symphony music director Christopher Warren-Green has been personally invited to perform for the royal family for several occasions, including the wedding of England’s Prince William and Kate Middleton and the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Alive After Five

Where it takes place: EpiCentre at 210 East Trade St., Suite B-320

What it is: Celebrate the start of the weekend in style every Thursday in the spring and summer, alongside friends and coworkers at the EpiCentre. AA5 calls itself Charlotte’s largest weekly happy hour and local entertainment celebration. These free shows include music, beverages and fun on Rooftop 210.

Fun Fact: Alive After Five often offers giveaways and contests such as best outfit of the week.

Tosco Music Parties

Where it takes place: Multiple Locations.

What it is: Come out to be inspired by both music professionals and amateurs at Tosco Music Parties. What started out as intimate living room jam sessions has grown into popular gatherings held several times each year that feature both nationally-known and undiscovered artists. Tosco Music Parties, now celebrating 30 years, include concerts, open-mic nights, music scholarships and outreach. And if you love to sing your heart out, participate in their singalongs that encourage audience engagement.

Fun Fact: Every June, Tosco Music Parties hosts a Beatles tribute.  

River Jam

Where it takes place: U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.

What it is: Enjoy music right in the middle of the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 7p.m. to 10 p.m. during the months of May through September, The Whitewater Center hosts live musical performances of genres that include roots rock, Americana, bluegrass, folk and funk. River Jam also features a large food and craft beer selection. These are free events, however there is a $6 parking fee.

Fun Fact: At 6:30 p.m. before the shows, the USNWC offers River Jam Run, which includes a 1.5 mile, 3 mile, or 6 mile group run through their trail system.



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