Friday, May 3, 2013

Arturo Sandoval is WHAT?

He's coming to Charlotte to play Wednesday, May 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. In the courtyard of Phillips Place. For free. You don't even need to RSVP to an invitation.

I'm not going to speculate on why the great Cuban trumpeter, who has won nine Grammys and an Emmy, would be playing a free outdoor concert at a shopping center. (An upscale shopping center, in a gig sponsored by Windsor Jewellers, but still....) Who cares? I just expect to hear at least a little of it, weather permitting.

I've been a fan since I saw the 2000 TV movie "For Love Or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story," in which Andy Garcia played the title role. (I commend the soundtrack to you, if you want a sampler of his music.) Sandoval's 63 now, but he still records: Last year, he cut a tribute to his idol, Dizzy Gillespie, titled "Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You)."

I draw two conclusions from finding out about this event in a haphazard way. First, I have to read the paper more closely. I haven't seen a single poster for the show, read a promotional e-mail or heard word-of-mouth about this gig; I found out only because it was printed on the back side of an advertisement for Windsor that had been shoved into the ads inserted loosely in my Observer Thursday morning. I saw it when it fell on my porch floor, as I was putting the paper in the recycling bin.

Second, culture must be happening all over Charlotte all of the time, and the average person hears about only a fraction of it. (Even I, who am paid to keep up with many branches of it, can't begin to fathom it all.) The Arts & Science Council has a slogan that says something like "Hundreds of things to do, zero excuses not to do them." That has never been truer in Charlotte.