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See & Do

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SEPTEMBER 25 - THURSDAY
Considered by some -- including The Wall Street Journal of all people -- as "the original honky-tonk hero," Billy Joe Shaver keeps the tunes coming, his distinctive vocals leading into jaw-dropping guitar solos, and at the ripe old age of 63. Tonight he'll be in town for a show at the Neighborhood Theatre. Showtime is 8pm and tickets cost $15. For more info, call the theatre at 704-358-9298. (Farris)

SEPTEMBER 26 - FRIDAY
It's not unusual to see Rodgers & Hammerstein hits performed at Pease Auditorium. But in opening their 2003-04 season with A Grand Night for Singing, CPCC Theatre is going to zig when you expect them to zag. So everything will be more up-to-date in "Kansas City" than it was in R&H's Oklahoma! after some jazz licks are added. "Honey Bun" from South Pacific will swing, and "Wash That Man Right Out-a My Hair" will harmonize. New twists are promised on two dozen R&H faves as Jerry Colbert and Susan Roberts lead the assault on expectations through October 5. Call 704-330-6534. (Tannenbaum)

Touring in support of his latest release, Up All Night, jazz guitarist John Scofield makes a stop at Amos' SouthEnd tonight. With the new album, Scofield seems to be adding more tones and texture to his music...and it's a lot funkier, to boot. Doors open at 9pm, and tickets cost $15 in advance, $17.50 at the door. For more details, call the club at 704-377-6874. (Farris)

SEPTEMBER 27 - SATURDAY
Down in Surinam, "fra fra" means balance or a carefully concocted mix of different elements. Onstage at McGlohon Theatre, Fra Fra Sound will mean a seven-piece Afro-Caribbean band that embraces both world music and jazz. The men from South America cast a wide net, often beginning with big-band style arrangements, swinging and seducing, improvising and Afro-popping, combining funk, Latin soul, and a drop of the blues. As you'd expect from a combo that's been together for 23 years, Fra Fra has toured the world, working clubs, concerts, and jazz festivals. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

The 28th Annual International Festival will be held at UNC-Charlotte's Barnhardt Activity Center today from 10am until 6pm. The event, which is free to the public, features booths manned by UNC-Charlotte international students (representing some 50 nations), food, puppetry, artwork, a 19-foot high "Earth Balloon," dancing, storytelling, and more. It's a fun event, a lot of the food is great, and it's all in the spirit of international understanding which we could sure use more of these days. For more information on the event, call 704-687-6131. (Grooms)

The best free music at Charlotte Shout sizzles on the back burner at Gateway Village until the Hot Jive and Swing Finale begins at 7pm. Then the "UK's #1 Swing Band" takes the cookstand, bandstand, or whatever you want to call that far-out, high tech stage they have out there at Charlotte Shout's Culinary Arts Experience - with seven live cameras and a huge video screen. The Jive Aces have played Montreaux, they've rubbed elbows with Isaac Hayes and Lisa Marie Presley, and they embrace "Five Guys Named Moe" and "Minnie the Moocher" in their repertoire. Chow down and listen up! (Tannenbaum)

Navaratri, meaning nine nights, is one of the biggest annual celebrations in Hinduism. Every night features garba dances with a live band playing a distinct style of music with several singers accompanied by percussion instruments and keyboards. Colorful saris and youngsters in traditional clothing fill the auditorium while musicians entice the crowd to join in. Later comesthe Raas, a hugely popular dance that starts off at a moderate beat and gets progressively faster with each song as the singers' vocals soar and percussionists get louder. During the peak of Raas there may be a thousand people, in numerous little circles, twirling about in a trance well into the night. Local Indian restaurants and food vendors will be on hand to provide festive food prepped for the occasion. The big nights are at Grady Cole Center tonight and October 10-11, 9pm-1am. Free for members, $10 for non-members. For details call (704) 598-0007. (Shukla)

SEPTEMBER 28 - SUNDAY
After a nail-biting win over the Buccaneers in overtime two Sundays ago, the undefeated Carolina Panthers (feels good to say that) are back home to take on the Atlanta Falcons today at 4pm at Ericsson Stadium. According to the Panthers' website the game is sold out, but single tickets can be found at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 704-522-6500. Or by hanging around the stadium before the game. Official ticket prices range from $40-$54. For unofficial ticket sales, you're on your own. (Herman)

SEPTEMBER 29 - MONDAY
Cinefest, billed as "a celebration of the television, film and video industry in the Charlotte region," will be presented today through Saturday, October 4, at various locations. A fundraiser spearheaded by the Charlotte Film & Video Association (proceeds provide scholarships to the NC School of the Arts), the event is also under the Charlotte Shout umbrella. "Hands-on" film and video activities will take place at the corner of Trade and Tryon Streets from 11am-2pm weekdays, while local independent films will be screened Friday night and all day Saturday at different downtown locations. The event will conclude from 5-10pm Saturday at the corner of College and 8th Streets with a music concert and filmings of Survivor and American Idol takeoffs. All events are free, but copies of weekday activities will be available for purchase, and contributions from companies and individuals are encouraged. For more information, contact Peter Duggan at 704-378-4412 or Elyse A. Williams at 704-846-5801. (Brunson)

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