Raleigh — The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) is back with its summer season of outdoor concerts and movies.
The 22nd annual outdoor performing arts series will be at 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, and includes concerts presented with Carrboro-based Cat’s Cradle featuring Old Crow Medicine Show; Triangle-based performers Mipso, Tift Merritt and Chatham Rabbits; Courtney Barnett; the legendary Chaka Khan and more. The summer movie lineup includes "First Man," "The Hate U Give," "Roma" and celebrations of the 40th anniversary of "Alien" and 55th anniversary of "Dr. Strangelove."
Special movie parties, which feature additional activities, food, and art making before the movie screenings, include "Isle of Dogs," Academy Award-winning "Bohemian Rhapsody," "The Lego Movie 2" and the return of visitor favorite The Dude Abides "The Big Lebowski" party.
This year, one of the movies is a crowdsourced pick from a list of romantic comedy favorites. The winner of the “Battle of the Rom-Coms,” a bracket-style competition pitting romantic comedies from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s against each other, screens on June 7. Visitors can help pick the winner beginning on May 13, on the NCMA’s Instagram account at instagram.com/ncartmuseum.
Outdoor Concert Series
May 17: An Evening with Dawes. West Coast stars Dawes playfully experiment with roots-rock and the southern California sound while embracing soul hooks, R&B grooves, and swampy blues. Count on them to deliver one of the best live shows on the rock scene today. Their latest album, Passwords, defies expectations.
June 14: Steep Canyon Rangers with Chatham Rabbits. North Carolina is home to some of the nation’s finest bluegrass musicians, and Asheville-based Steep Canyon Rangers are among the very best of them. The Grammy-winning ensemble has gained fame through collaborations with comedian/banjo player Steve Martin. The band has been especially adept at melding its progressive bluegrass sound to elements of pop, country, and folk-rock.
June 22: Trampled by Turtles with Deer Tick. Trampled by Turtles, formed by rockers from northern Minnesota in 2003, brought an electrified sensibility to acoustic music. As the decade progressed, Trampled by Turtles began to win the hearts of the bluegrass community; their 2008 album Duluth peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s bluegrass chart. Their follow-up release Palomino (2010) continued the trend. Not many bands are as likely to take the stage at Coachella or Lollapalooza as at a bluegrass festival. Critics have called TBT’s latest album Life Is Good on the Open Road (2018) their best yet.
July 2: Courtney Barnett. Courtney Barnett is one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in indie rock, a singer-songwriter who mixes deeply insightful observations with devastating self-assessment. Accompanied by her own face-melting guitar and one of the best rhythm sections in rock, her increasingly unusual song structures, timbres, and moods hint at future ambition. Her glorious, feedback-heavy live show has eviscerated audiences on five continents.
July 13: Andrew Bird with special guest Tift Merritt. Andrew Bird is an endlessly creative singer-songwriter, violinist, and whistler whose work has ranged stylistically from old-time jazz and folk to the extraordinary Echolocations: River (2017), which AllMusic describes as a “unique experience, fusing ambient improvisations with chamber music and environmental soundscapes.”
July 23: Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers and Amos Lee. Bruce Hornsby’s work displays a creative iconoclasm that’s been a constant in his 25-year recording career. “The Way It Is,” the title track of his 1986 debut album, became one of the most popular songs on American radio. Despite his early mainstream successes, Hornsby has pursued a more idiosyncratic musical path, focusing on projects that spark his creative interests. His performance offers a glimpse of a restless spirit who continues to push into new musical terrain.
July 27: John Butler Trio+ with Trevor Hall. The John Butler Trio is an Australian roots-rock band led by the American-born guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter John Butler. The group broke through in 2004 with the platinum-selling Sunrise over Sea. Once considered the continent’s leading jam band, the trio has broadened its musical palette in recent years. Singer-songwriter Trevor Hall opens. Hall’s music, a blend of roots, reggae, and folk, reflects a deep love of Eastern mysticism. He has toured with Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti, and Xavier Rudd.
Aug. 7: An Evening with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. A singer, composer, and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel, and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers.
Aug. 24: Old Crow Medicine Show. Celebrating 20 years of joyful music making, Old Crow Medicine Show makes its first stop at the NCMA. The band received a major career boost early on from North Carolina legend Doc Watson, who discovered them on a street corner in Boone and invited them to perform at Merlefest. Old Crow Medicine Show is a not-to-be-missed in performance.
Aug. 29: Chaka Khan. She is a 10-time Grammy Award recipient who’s sold 70 million records worldwide. Aretha Franklin called Khan a “one-of-a-kind premier vocalist,” and jazz legend Miles Davis often said, “She sings like my horn.” Over a long and storied career, Khan has collaborated with the giants of pop and jazz, acted and sung in musical theater, including a stint on Broadway, and served various humanitarian causes. She continues to create and perform with boundless energy.
Aug. 31: Mipso. The Chapel Hill-based Americana band Mipso carries on its musical evolution with the great new album Edges Run. Rolling Stone called Mipso one of “the ten new country artists you need to know,” and the former UNC–Chapel Hill undergrads continue to impress the critics and gain fans.
Sept. 6, 7, 8: Paperhand Puppet Intervention. Paperhand Puppet Intervention marks its 20th annual puppet pageant with a new spectacle called We Are Here. As always, the special anniversary production features giant puppets, stilt dancers, shadow puppets, and original live music.
Sept. 14: Snarky Puppy. Formed by bassist and composer Michael League in 2003 with fellow jazz students from the University of North Texas, Snarky Puppy has grown into “a barnstorming, groove-centric instrumental act with a rabid fan base” (New York Times). The three-time Grammy-winning ensemble isn’t exactly a jazz or fusion band, and definitely not a jam band.
Sept. 25: Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi. The prodigiously talented Rhiannon Giddens returns to the NCMA in a remarkable collaboration with acclaimed Italian pianist and percussionist Francesco Turrisi. The unlikely partnership was sparked by a chance meeting between the two musicians in Ireland, where they discovered that early American banjo and Sicilian tamburello (tambourine) rhythms are surprisingly compatible. Their performance will span multiple musical genres, including gospel, jazz, blues, country and folk.
Outdoor movie tickets go on sale the Friday before each movie screening date. Tickets are on sale now for special movie and party combinations for the films Isle of Dogs, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Lego Movie 2, and The Big Lebowski.
June 1: Movie Party with screening of "Isle of Dogs." Bring your best friend (your dog!) to this special movie party featuring a photo booth with Pawww Snap!, free doga (dog yoga), a vendor fair, a splash zone, a nap zone, and more. The first 750 dogs in attendance get a Sit, Stay, NCMA! travel water bowl.
June 7: Battle of the Rom-Coms Winner. Movies will be pitted against each other, battling for the best romantic comedy, starting May 13, on Instagram.com/ncartmuseum.
June 8: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." Audio description for this film for people who are blind or have low vision is provided for this film by Arts Access Inc.
June 28: "Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (55th anniversary). More commonly known as just "Dr. Strangelove," the film is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States.
June 29: Movie Party with "Bohemian Rhapsody." Come early to join PopUp Chorus and sing one of your favorite Queen anthems with the crowd. Pose like Freddy and enjoy some other rock royalty activities.
July 19: Movie Party with "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part." Show us your Lego master building skills, try your hand at some inventing, and join our dance party! Costumes encouraged.
July 20: "First Man" (50th anniversary of the first moon landing). Audio description for this film for people who are blind or have low vision is provided for this film by Arts Access, Inc.
Aug. 2: "Alien" (40th anniversary). In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel.
Aug. 3: "Captain Marvel." Follows Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot whose DNA is fused with that of an alien during an accident. The resulting alteration gives her with the superpowers of strength, energy projection, and flight.
Aug. 9: "Free Solo." Professional rock climber Alex Honnold attempts to conquer the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan's 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.
Aug. 10: The Dude Abides Movie Party with "The Big Lebowski." “Careful, man, there’s a beverage here!” White Russians flow at the reignited “Dude Abides” movie party! The celebration is back with a costume contest, trivia, and a rug to tie the room together. Audio description for this film for people who are blind or have low vision is provided for this film by Arts Access, Inc.
Sept. 20: "The Hate U Give." Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. Facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.
Sept. 21: "Roma." Follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City in the 1970s.