Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Amina Figarova Sextet in Asheville

On Sunday March 7th, starting at 7:00 p.m., the Diana Wortham theatre in downtown Asheville will be hosting a fantastic jazz sextet that you won't want to miss. Netherlands-based pianist Amina Figarova will lead her stellar Sextet in the kickoff concert of the Western North Carolina Jazz Series 2010. Featuring a cohesive three-horn front line of trumpet, tenor saxophone, and flute, Amina's group tours the globe.

Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and now residing in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, pianist and composer Amina Figarova earns praise from every quarter as she tours with the Sextet which creates recordings featuring her imaginative compositions. Jazz bible JazzTimes magazine’s review of Amina’s Sextet’s 2008 recording, “Above the Clouds”, lauded her as “among the most important new composers to come into jazz in the new millennium. She makes a sextet sound like an orchestra.”

Many successful jazz pianists got their start, at early ages, studying classical music. Then jazz lures them away. A constant surprise is the verve and energy so many of these classically trained musicians bring to improvisation. Amina Figarova began as a child prodigy who was composing and playing piano at the age of three. She trained as a classical concert pianist at the Baku Conservatory in Azerbaijan, followed by studies in jazz performance at the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1998 she was invited to study at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Colony in Aspen, Colorado.

To hear some samples of this artist visit the site for WNC Jazz Society. Tickets are $35. If you are traveling to Asheville we offer special packages through these great hotels.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Haiti Benefit Presented By The Orange Peel & Asheville Pizza

In conjunction with Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, the Orange Peel announces a screening of world musician Bela Fleck’s award-winning documentary “Throw Down Your Heart,” on Thursday March 5th at the Merrimon Avenue location, at 7pm.

The film follows multiple Grammy Award-winning banjo player Bela Fleck as he travels through four African countries exploring their musical traditions and recording his new album, also entitled "Throw Down Your Heart," released in 2009. Along the way, Fleck searches for the banjo's early roots, which may have traveled along via the slave trade to America.

The album, released last year, just won 2 Grammy’s – for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Contemporary World Music Album – at the 2010 Grammy Awards. The documentary won the Audience Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the SXSW Film Festival in 2008.

Tickets for this event are only $5, and all ticket sales, as well as 10% of the bar and food proceeds collected, will be donated to the American Red Cross to aid in their earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

“We are psyched to partner with the Orange Peel on this event,” says Mike Rangel, owner and manager of Asheville Pizza and Brewing, “Viewers are getting a chance to see a wonderful film, knowing that they’re also doing something to help the victims of the disaster in Haiti.”

The following week, the Orange Peel is bringing the star of the film, Bela Fleck, to Asheville on Friday March 12th for his Bela Fleck: The Africa Project tour, featuring African musicians Bassekouye Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, and Anania Ngoliga with Guitarist John Kitime.

Tickets for the film are available in advance through the Orange Peel box office on Biltmore Avenue or online. They will also be available beginning the day of show, March 4th, at the Merrimon Avenue location of the Asheville Pizza Company.

Tickets for Bela Fleck’s concert at the Orange Peel March 12th are still available and can be purchased at the Orange Peel box office, or online.

For more information about other upcoming Orange Peel events please visit here.

Dine to Be Kind in Asheville

On Tuesday, February 23, join Animal Compassion Network and for the 7th Annual Dine to Be Kind event. Dine in or take out from any of the participating restaurants and they will donate a percentage of the day's dining to ACN's Spay/Neuter Assistance and Foster Programs. Since 2000, ACN's Betty Fund has funded the spay/neuter surgery for 10,000 pets belonging to low-income families, and the demand on the program has never been higher.

Please click on the restaurants below to find menus, directions, or hours!

Apollo Flame Bistro * Asheville Ale House * Battery Park Book Exchange * Blue Sky Cafe * Brixx Wood Fired Pizza * Bone-a-fide Bakery * Cafe Azalea * cafe ello * Cats & Dawgs * Charlotte Street Grill & Pub * Chorizo * Corner Kitchen * chai pani * Cucina 24 * Curras Dom * Dripolator Coffeehouse * Doc Chey's Noodle House * Filo Pastries * Frank's Roman Pizza * Green Sage Coffeehouse & Cafe * Grove Park Inn: Blue Ridge Dining Room, Horizons, Sunset Terrace Chophouse * Kilwin's Chocolate, Fudge & Ice Cream * Laughing Seed CafeLenny's Sub ShopMadison's Black Mountain * The Market PlaceMorning Glory Cafe * Mellow Mushroom * Mountain Brew Cafe & Bakery * Nine Mile IncOakie Dokie SmokehousePomodoros * Province 620Rise 'N Shine CafeRosetta's Kitchen * Roux at The HiltonSazeracSante Wine Bar * Sunny Point Cafe * Sunnyside Cafe * 12 Bones Smokehouse * Thai Basil * The Hop Ice Cream * Tomato Jam * Urban Burrito * Usual Suspects * Waggers Dog Depot * Wayne's Restaurant * Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe * West End Bakery Wine Studio of AshevilleWild Wing Cafe

Help us spread the word! Download an event flier from here and post in your office, school, church, community center, grocery store and any place else you go. Interested in being a Dine to Be Kind Advocate? Email Kelly Stoner for details:

Also, through the entire month of February, Sensibilities Day Spa will match any donations to ACN (up to $1000). Just bring your ACN donation to 59 Haywood Street or Two Town Square Boulevard in Biltmore Park, and help twice as many cats and dogs in need. Thank you, Sensibilities Day Spa, for all of the support you have given ACN and our rescues over the years!

If you're traveling from out of town, check out the Hilton which will be participating in this year's event.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Destino comes to Asheville

On Friday February 12 at 8:00 pm, Diana Wortham Theatre will host Destino, a trio of tenors, that fuse pop and opera to create what they dub as "popera". The three tenors had their own solo careers when they decided to merge their talents to form one group. They have been becoming an international success story ever since. From their website:

Destino is fast becoming Canada`s classical crossover sensation following the recent Canadian release of their critically acclaimed CD FORTE. Classically trained, award winning professional tenors Paul Ouellette, Joey Niceforo and Hans Munoz form Destino. Before collaborating as a trio, the three Canadian vocalists were in established solo careers, performing pop, opera, gospel, soul, R&B, jazz and musical theatre. Destino has received critical acclaim, selling out concert halls in Canada and the U.S. Their music is best described as 'popera' or 'pop with an opera flair,' that is sweeping musical charts thanks to internationally renowned recording artists like Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Mario Frangoulis, Russell Watson, and many others.

If you want to attend this show please visit the Diane Wortham Theatre website for more information. If you need a place to rest your head when the show is over check out one of these great Asheville hotels.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

WNC Bridal Party

If you're planning an Asheville wedding then this is one bridal party you do not want to miss. Forget those tacky, stuffy, and old-fashioned wedding events! Grab a bottomless martini on your way in and meet the people who will plan your special day.

Join us at the Doubletree Biltmore Hotel in Asheville on Friday, February 5th at 7 p.m. for WNC magazine’s The Bridal Party, a can’t miss opportunity to consult with Western North Carolina’s top wedding professionals in our area’s most exclusive event for those planning the ultimate mountain ceremony.

A one-of-a-kind fashion show, industry expo, and fabulous party all in one, The Bridal Party is essential for those getting married as well as anyone looking to host a top-tier event.

Five unique boutiques at the event allow you to meet one-on-one with the region's most distinguished wedding professionals as you move from room to room sipping martinis. Each salon has its own theme and features a group of five to seven professionals from different areas of the industry.

Tickets are $20 each if purchased by February 4th. Tickets purchased after February 4th or at the door are $30 each. Unbeatable hotel packages are available through Doubletree Biltmore Hotel and include admission to The Bridal Party as well as other exciting amenities.

This is also a great event for friends, family, and even grooms. Lure them in with the promise of great food and drink and wow them with an event like no other!


In addition to the great party and access to exclusive resources, a portion of the evening’s proceeds go toward The Health Adventure, which increases science literacy through participation, exploration, and fun. For more information on the raffle, please visit here.