Jalil Pack is Finding the QC Creative Beat
“One of the bad things is that although Charlotte is thriving in the local music scene, it seems as if it’s enclosed to certain people. I know personally, I could do more, when it comes to getting that time and exposure to the music scene. But if there were more opportunities available, I think we’d be further along.” – Jalil Pack
It’s no secret that this year, particularly the past several months, has been a daunting challenge for the creative community here in Charlotte. (Okay. That’s a HUGE understatement.) Over the past few weeks, places to gather to play music have been silenced. Galleries have been closed. Theatres are dark. It’s been incredibly tough for seasoned creatives, and even harder for the younger artists trying to establish themselves in the Queen City.
This week, we want to lift up one emerging artist — Jalil Pack — and share his story about how he’s making it during COVID-19. Jalil (AKA “Mr. JVY”), percussionist extraordinaire and Charlotte native, is an established artist in his own right. A year ago, he graduated from Catawba College and is trying to navigate COVID-19. It was the culmination of a long journey. Now, he’s working hard to find the beat in post-graduate life.
“The purpose of this photographic documentary is to create awareness in those who have not yet taken this situation seriously, but above all, to thank those who are fighting against this virus so that this pandemic does not get out of control, doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. To all of you. THANKS A LOT.” – Ernest Moren
The Biscuit and The Charlotte Ledger have partnered up to present our new photo series, “Visions of the Not Normal” — offering views of neighborhoods and communities across the city through the eyes (and lenses) of local photographers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This week, we’re seeing Charlotte through the eyes of Charlotte photographer, Ernest Moren. In twelve photographs, Ernest takes us around the city with full-color and black-and-white photos of what he found of the community navigating in a world of social distancing.
HUGs and Bolts: 14 Creative Charlotteans Honored
Each month, with the help of OrthoCarolina and The Savage Way, we present a #BoltOfInspiration — beautiful moss art bolts — to Charlotteans who are working to help make the Queen City a more vibrant and loving place.
This month, we honored Charlottean and Davidson College alum, Liz Clasen-Kelly, executive director of the combined Men’s Shelter of Charlotte/Urban Ministry Center, recently renamed “Roof Above.” In addition, we were also able to award 13 other creative projects in Charlotte with a HUG micro-grant. Read more about them here.
A Poet for Uncertain Times
Charlotte’s own Jay Ward is a poet and teaching artist who has read and performed in venues across the country. He won the National Poetry Slam in 2018 and the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2019. On this batch of the Biscuit Blitz, he chats with Matt Olin about an impressive array of projects he’s undertaken during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Poet Up Podcast and starting a self-guided MFA program.
Bonus! Jay shares his thoughts on the future of live events and watching the Bad Boys trilogy in reverse. Watch their 5-minute chat.
Reimagining Education & Helping Ashley Park Now
If there was ever a time for fresh, innovative thinking about education … that time is now. Thankfully, Greg Schembeck and his team at Schermco are on the job. On his second tour in Charlotte, Greg is challenging the notions of what school is and the incomparable importance of teachers.
Tim Miner and Greg talked about the need to reimagine, Schermco’s work to redirect grants to help Ashley Park residents with their daily financial needs … and how much product Tim had to use to make his hair look acceptable for the interview. Enjoy their conversation.
Betsy Hauser at Packard Place Public House Tonight
Zoom Meet-Up – 4:30-6:30pm
Grab a beer. Click that link. And hit the Packard Place Public House when Betsy Hauser of Tech Talent South pops the cap on a six-pack of knowledge. Tonight’s online event will feature remarks from Betsy, as well as social time to meet other tech creatives and entrepreneurs. Register for the free event here.
Guitarist John Cozayk Serenades Us with “Y Como Sin Ti”
“To every single creative spirit living in Charlotte, remember that even though our bodies are confined to a physical space for the time being, the art you create is and will ever be global and it transcends borders. The work that create today will inspire future artists and even now, your own fellow creators.” – John Cozayk
In anticipation of Charlotte SHOUT! later this year, we’re asking Charlotte musicians to film themselves performing songs within earshot of the neighbors. In this edition of “SHOUTing from the Rooftops,” guitarist John Cozayk plays and sings to us in Spanish from his front stoop.
Planting the Seeds of Hope in South End
Charlotte mural artist, Nick Napoletano, just finished a new mural at the corner of Rampart Street and Hawkins. Nick used silver and gold paints, so our pro tip for photographers would be to make sure to shoot it in that gorgeous morning light. We took this one a 7:41am. See more photos we took here.
BONUS: You can walk one block to see Sharon Dowell’s new mural (and more) at Hub South End. You can see it on the left side of the picture.
Tomorrow (May 28) is National Brisket Day. Time to celebrate all you omnivores! What better time to strike up the grill and BBQ pretty much everything you can get your hands on. Hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken are great, but those are for amateurs.
If you want a challenge and want to impress your family and friends, try your hand at brisket. A good, smoked brisket is like cutting butter, but you better be prepared to wait. This is a marathon, not a sprint and this is not something you decide to make at 3pm for a 6:30pm meal. You are going to need to let it marinate in all the spicy goodness at least overnight and then smoke 12-18 hours (of course, you can cut this down to about 9 hours if you do this in the oven, but we promise, it will not be as good as if you smoke it on the grill). To help you on your way, here is a recipe from Carolina Meat and Fish Co. to celebrate summer the right way.
And, for our vegetarian and vegan friends, check out the YouTube channel of our pal, Ben’s Plant-Based Kitchen.
Last week, we shared a photo of a giant shoe that was once the base of a float in Charlotte’s award-winning Thanksgiving Day parade. We gave you a clue to where you could find it — near the mural on the North side of the Hal Marshal Annex — BUT we never showed you the mural itself and it’s a much prettier sight than a big ‘ol boot.
Buildings that hold county offices aren’t usually the most exciting thing to look at but Gleo, a Colombian street artist who has pieces all across the globe, flipped the script at the Hal Marshal Annex.
Prior to the mural, visitors of the Annex were greeted by a drab two-story windowless brick wall of nothingness. Now, that same wall is a head-turning, car-stopping, “I gotta pull in and see that” explosion of paint and color.
Gleo painted her “Inner World” mural as a part of the 2019 Talking Walls Festival. In our humble opinion, the orange, yellow, and red tones make this mural really pop during sunrise and sunset. And, we’d be more than happy to start (or finish) our day looking at this stunning work of art.
This Queen City exploration is powered by OrthoCarolina.
Directions: 618 N College St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Explore other “Where Are We in CLT?” destinations here.
Don’t go ’round hungry. If you missed the last batch of The Biscuit, don’t worry. We’ve kept it warm for you. This batch features:
- A COVID-19 photo series by Kriska Woods
- A Biscuit Blitz with Darryl Gaston, the “Mayor of North End”
- A #CreativityInCaptivity story about a game of Jenga that fell apart
- A new SHOUTing Match video from Caroline Calouche and Courtney Lynn & Quinn
- Some surprising discoveries we found driving around Charlotte
- A tribute to the Manor Theatre
Click here to dig in, y‘all.
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