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Customers who brought their early-morning faces into Common Market at SouthEnd last Friday were greeted by the surging jazz-fusion sounds of the Jordan Klemons Trio.
Klemons’ band and poet “Mania,” (aka Travis Rosen) were the entertainment for the latest installment of Crossroads Charlotte’s Art in the A.M. series.
The roving free arts performances have found a roost for the rest of the summer at eclectic Common Market, 1515 S. Tryon Street. Additional Art in the A.M. events are scheduled for every third Friday of the month until further notice.
Quentin “Q” Talley of On Q Productions hosted the performances, noting that live music and a stirring poetry recital are a great, if unorthodox, means of helping people greet the day.
“It’s a way to shake things up,” Q says. “It’s a way to introduce people to art in a new way and at a new time.”
Common Market offers a whimsical setting for the event. In addition to coffee and exotic teas, the café offers rows of novel items from microwaveable corn on the cob and wax lips to an impressive array of beer and wine, including sake and a black ale called “Old Engine Oil.”
Café owner Chuck Barger says he loves the concept of exposing his patrons to art first thing in the morning.
“It helps people interact and introduce themselves,” says Barger, who has hosted Art in the A.M. events in the past. “People can meet each other and get a little culture at the same time.”
Klemons’ describes his music, all original numbers, as a blend of jazz fusion and funk. Hearing it reverberate through Common Market evoked the nuanced meanderings of Jeff Beck with the thump and bump of NRBQ.
“I’m not usually a morning person, but this is pretty cool,” says Klemons, who was joined by drummer Curtis Wingfield and bass guitarist Ron Brendle. “We may have to play a little loud and obnoxious to wake ourselves up.”
Rosen’s poetry included some heavy musings. One poem, “Chemical Dependants,” shredded pharmaceutical companies and the medical community for unnecessarily addicting society to mind-numbing prescription drugs. Another was called “Broken,” a heartfelt love poem that included the line “I don’t feel right when you’re gone.”
Rosen, in black T and camo paints, says he started writing poetry when his preferred writing instrument was the crayon.
“I started writing before I knew what writing was, and it never left me,” he says.
Scott and Kate Dailey brought their boys, Liam, 2, and Luke, 10 months. Liam slurped up a bowl of cereal while mom and dad sipped coffee and nibbled fresh melon.
“This is great for families who like live music but find it hard to get out with young kids,” Scott Dailey says. “This way, everybody’s happy.”
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