Every Friday, we highlight three great shows from local performing artists that you can see this coming weekend.

Nextango Argentinian Tango Music Night
Friday, February 21st at 8PM at Unity Center of Peace


Tango is the Argentinian national dance, right? That thrillingly romantic dance of circling and dipping, right?

Except that’s only half of tango. They’re not dancing in silence, after all. Tango is also the music that matches the dance, a rhythmic and lilting melody built from the same marriage of European and native American tradition as the dance itself. On Friday night, Chapel Hill gets a chance to experience the dance half of tango, thanks to an exciting new venture. Nextango is a group of six Triangle-area musicians, many of them born in Buenos Aires. Two singers join a four-piece band centered around the bandoneon, the uniquely Argentinean accordion that gives tango music its authentic sound.

It’s a rare chance to hear gifted local musicians playing the under-appreciated half of one of the tango. Then again, if the music is good enough, you may be moved to get up and add the other half yourself…

American Legion Marathon Jam
Saturday, February 22nd at 1PM at American Legion Post 6


There are jam sessions, and then there are jam sessions. The American Legion is throwing the mother of all jam sessions this Saturday, with a musical get-together that stretches all day and into the night. Local rockers and pickers from all genres will drop in, and you can even show up that day to join in playing.

But the Marathon Jam isn’t just for the fun of playing together – it doubles as a fundraiser for a very worthy cause. Every dollar contributed will go to Fisher House, a place at Fort Bragg where the families of injured soldiers can stay while their loved ones are receiving treatment. All the musicians have lined up sponsors, and anyone who comes by to hear the music is encouraged to give as well. So you’ll know that you’re doing more than just enjoying music: you’re also helping American veterans and their families. It’s the heart of the American Legion’s mission, and it’s a recipe for a fun and entertaining day.

One Song Productions Presents: Feb 48
Sunday, February 23rd at 7:30PM at the ArtsCenter


How long does it take to make a play? A few weeks or months to write the play, sure. Another few weeks to select a director and designers, cast the actors, and secure a theater, of course. And then a few more weeks to rehearse everything before an audience arrives.

But what if you had to do all of that in 48 hours?

That’s the challenge the young artists at One Song Productions have set themselves this week. They’ll meet up on Friday night to form teams, and go off to create fully-realized short plays on Sunday night. It’ll be a whirlwind of activity all weekend, but by the time you show up at the ArtsCenter on Sunday, all you’ll see is the fruits of their labor.

It’s an invigorating experiment from a group entirely made up of local high school students. Chalk it up to the enthusiasm of youth, but it should make for an exciting evening of on-your-toes entertainment. The clock starts…now!

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