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    Carolina Chocolate Drops in Concert Saturday, April 5th
    (Due to the high interest, we're keeping online sales open right
    up until the concert begins tonight! You can also buy tickets at the door.)

    Carolina Chocolate Drops with mentor Joe Thompson
    Carolina Chocolate Drops with mentor Joe Thompson

    Mark your calendars now for a Charlotte performance by The Carolina Chocolate Drops: Saturday, April 5th, at 7:30 PM, in the Northwest School of the Arts Auditorium, 1415 Beatties Ford Road. Tickets are priced to be family-friendly: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (62 years+), and $6 for students. Buy them at Charlotte Folk Society events or click here.

    The Chocolate Drops are presented by the Charlotte Folk Society, in partnership with the Levine Museum of the New South, The Historic Excelsior Club, African Diaspora Arts Program and Theater (ADAPT), Northwest School of the Arts, and The Afro-American Cultural Center. The concert is made possible, in part, through a Cultural Project Grant from Arts & Science Council and the Grassroots Program of the North Carolina Arts Council (a state agency). Creative Loafing and WNCW-FM 88.7 are proud media sponsors.

    Think of traditional African-American music, and the genres that come to mind are gospel, blues, and jazz; few people think of old-time string band music. But the antebellum combination of banjo and fiddle used to be a tradition in most black rural communities in the South. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, a band of three young and talented musicians, are recognized as leading the revival of this venerable musical tradition. The Carolina Chocolate Drops honed their skills under the tutelage of octogenarian fiddler Joe Thompson, a North Carolinian said to be the last black traditional string band player. Thompson, who grew up playing at barn dances, "frolics" and corn shuckings, wound up performing in venues across the country and beyond, including Carnegie Hall, and was honored in September 2007 with a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award.

    The Carolina Chocolate Drops have left excited audiences stomping, clapping, and whistling for more at major festivals from North Carolina to the State of Washington. Rolling Stone praises them for "dazzling velocity and virtuosity." Their energetic and joyful brand of string music created a sensation at MerleFest 2007. No wonder they've been invited back again this year. And they're sure to charm music lovers when they debut at Charleston's Spoleto Festival in June.

    The Chocolate Drops will come to Charlotte fresh from a tour of Ireland, England, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, and France. In the meantime, you can see and hear them in the movie The Great Debaters, starring and directed by Denzel Washington.

    In addition to the Chocolate Drops concert, several more community events will make their visit to Charlotte truly memorable:

    Free Workshop by ADAPT - Monday, March 24, 1:30-2:30 PM. This workshop is free and open to the public and will introduce the music of The Carolina Chocolate Drops and the African-American roots of banjo and fiddle music. It will take place at The Historic Excelsior Club, located at 921 Beatties Ford Road, in Charlotte. Register online HERE or email, or call 704-332-9146.

    Free Instrument Workshops With The Carolina Chocolate Drops - Saturday, April 5, 3:30-4:45 PM. Band members Dom Flemons (percussion/guitar), Rhiannon Giddens (clawhammer banjo), and Justin Robinson (fiddle) will offer free concurrent workshops for young musicians playing beyond the beginning level. Banjo instruction will be in the clawhammer style; students of any banjo style may sign up. Workshops will take place at Northwest School of the Arts, 1415 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte. Advanced registration is required; enrollment is limited. Register online HERE or email, or call 704-332-9146.

    Excelsior Club Family Fish Fry - Saturday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 PM. The Historic Excelsior Club, an anchor of social and business life in Charlotte's black community since 1944, will host a Family Fish Fry prior to The Carolina Chocolate Drops concert. Enjoy a family and community experience in an historically significant setting. Fish and Fixings, all-you-can-eat, just $5 for adults and $3 for children. The Historic Excelsior Club is located at 921 Beatties Ford Road, in Charlotte.