It's time for New Frequencies at Charlotte's McColl Center

Lonnie Holley, who will perform Saturday, Feb. 4. // Photo by Tamir Kalifa; courtesy of the artist.

Looking for something different to do this spring? Consider New Frequencies at McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte. New Frequencies at McColl Center hosts a diverse and innovative music series mixed with a night of literature. “Here, the future of art is on display,” declared Charlotte Magazine when it selected New Frequencies at McColl Center as the “Best New Arts Programming” in 2016.

ArtsNow got an inside look at this adventurous series by talking with Armando Bellmas, the director of marketing and communications and curator of New Frequencies.

What is the New Frequencies at McColl Center?

New Frequencies at McColl Center has been around since November of 2014.

It exists to provide a platform for today’s most adventurous creators — musicians, writers, filmmakers, dancers, etc. — to present their work to the Charlotte community.

There aren’t many outlets around here for artists and programs like these — yet.

What can we expect in this upcoming season of New Frequencies?

This spring we’re featuring our most adventurous and diverse set of programs so far.

We kick things off with artist and musician Lonnie Holley [pictured above] on Saturday, February 4. He puts on a mesmerizing show that’s both improvisational and inspirational. His voice, mind, and music are magical.

On Thursday, March 2 we welcome Noveller. This is the solo electric guitar project of Sarah Lipstate. She uses her guitar to create other-worldly and unique sounds, almost symphonic. She opened for Iggy Pop in Europe last summer and falls somewhere between Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth and St. Vincent.

Noveller. // Photo courtesy of the artist.

On Thursday, March 30 we stick with a musician, John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats), but host him for a reading of his second novel, “Universal Harvester.” He’ll read, take questions, and sign copies of the new book. Super excited to get a different glimpse of Darnielle’s creative force.

On Thursday, April 20 we welcome the duo of Mary Lattimore & Mac McCaughan. Lattimore is an innovative harpist originally from Asheville and McCaughan is known around these parts as the founder of Merge Records and singer/guitarist for Superchunk. For this program they’re performing a set of improvisational but structurally rooted tunes called “New Rain Duets.” Lattimore will be on the harp and McCaughan on analog synthesizers and guitar.

Finally, we welcome the duo of Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley on Friday, May 12. This Chicago-based saxophonist and New York-based trumpet player (respectively) will bring an exciting performance packed with organic jazz, modern composition, and improvisation to McColl Center. Each musician will perform a solo set, then end with an innovative duet set.

What three words describe the upcoming programing?

Diverse – These artists and performances span a variety of genres performed in unique and innovative ways.

Exciting – No other cultural organization in Charlotte offers up such an exciting series of performances. McColl Center strives to bring in new and “there is no box” artists to Charlotte with each program.

Inspiring – McColl Center provides a space for working artists to try out new ideas and push boundaries. It’s inspiring to see an artist try out a new and adventurous idea in front of the crowd.

What do you hope people will take away from New Frequencies?

Because the shows are so intimate (capacity is around 120 people), I hope people come away with some insight into how an artist performs and lets their creativity guide them. Much of the music and spoken words that happen during these performances will be unique, inspired, and in the moment. That alone is worth your time and the price of admission.

When, where, and how can people get tickets?

You can buy your tickets on our website at mccollcenter.org/new-frequencies. It’s always a good idea to get them in advance, in case there’s a sellout.

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