Definition of METAL: a visual art exhibit featuring Tom Dawson, Al Frega, Joe Galas, Jackie McLeod and Renee Leverty @ Pleiades Gallery
Feb 13 – Feb 25 all-day

Pleiades Gallery in Durham presents Definition of METAL, a visual art exhibit featuring Tom Dawson, Al Frega, Joe Galas, Jackie McLeod and Renee Leverty; 2. Metal – of various opaque, fusible, ductile, and typically lustrous substances that are good conductors of electricity and heat, form cations by loss of electrons, and yield basic oxides and hydroxides. This exhibit runs February 1-25. Join us for the reception Friday, February 16, from 6-9 pm. In addition, this will be a reception for Electric Avenue. What do the words “Electric Avenue” bring to mind? Bright lights? Big cities? Or perhaps the early 1980’s hit song written by Eddy Grant in response to a south London riot. The Pleiades artists are aglow as they present works inspired by the concept of “Electric Avenue.” This exhibit runs from February 8- March 31, with public receptions from 6-9pm on February 16 and March 16.

Hours for Pleiades Gallery are Thurs., noon-7, Fri., noon-8, Sat., noon-8, and Sun., noon-3.

Durham Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday @ Motorco
Feb 13 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

It’s Mardi Gras time in Durham! The Triangle’s original Mardi Gras celebration is still the biggest and still the best. We’ve got the finest musical lineup ever, great food, great costumes, and those quirky traditions that put the Durham in Mardi Gras. Read on for all the details of what’s going on where and when.

Here’s a quick schedule, see below for details:

Motorco (723 Rigsbee Avenue; Durham, NC 27701)
7:30-8:30 Boom Unit Brass Band
9:00-11:00 Bulltown Strutters

The Blue Note Grill (709 Washington Street)
8:15 – 9:30 The Wiley Fosters
10:00 – 11:15 Coleslaw

Fullsteam Brewery (726 Rigsbee Avenue)
8:00-9:15 The Tan and Sober Gentlemen
9:45-11:00 The Ragweed Brass

The Pit Authentic Barbecue (321 W Geer Street)
8:15-9:30 The Cajammers
10:00-11:15 Shamu Garcon

The Bar (711 Rigsbee Avenue)
9:30 The Mardi Gras Drag Show

One thing that’s new this year is that the streets are being taken over by ‘krewes’, as they are called in New Orleans. These ‘social and pleasure clubs’ take it upon themselves to create costumes, performances in the streets, marches around the city, and generally bring festivity and happiness to all. Anybody from New Orleans will tell you that krewes are a big part, if not the biggest part, of what Mardi Gras is all about down there, and we want them to become a big part in Durham, too. To that end, we’re letting the krewes show us what they’ve got and run the streets in lieu of us organizing a formal parade. Some krewes haven’t told us what they’re doing. So…we’ll find out! Even though we’re not organizing them ourselves, we’ll list krewe events as part of your Mardi Gras – because they are!

Now here’s some more info on those events:

Motorco will have a menu of New Orleans and Louisiana favorites and, as every year, it’s the place to get your hurricanes. Mardi Gras specialties can also be had at: The Pit, The Blue Note Grill, and Geer Street Garden.

Boom Unit Brass Band (Motorco 7:30-8:30)

BUBB’s popularity has taken off and they have risen up to become the area’s premiere New Orleans style brass, funk, and party band. Modeled after top contemporary New Orleans acts such as The Soul Rebels and Rebirth Brass Band, they mix soul, jazz, funk, hip-hop, rock and pop into a unique gumbo with a New Orleans twist. They’ll do everything from old-school New Orleans classics to classic old school hip-hop. They’ll hit you with their own brand new originals and they’ll put their own spin on some unique arrangements that will make you say, “I had no idea a brass band could do that!” With some of the areas’ top horn players, fiery solos and unbeatable energy, this music will have you up and dancing!

Check this out:

The Bulltown Strutters (Motorco 9:00-11:00)
Durham’s beloved and quirky Bulltown Strutters have been in it since the beginning as the original and forever host band of Durham’s Mardi Gras. They were living it up New Orleans style and pulling out all the stops on Fat Tuesday long before every town around decided they’d try to copy Durham’s Mardi Gras. Way back, when even in Durham, Fat Tuesday was more like Just Another Tuesday; they marched through the streets of Durham with their Big Bass Drum and into Motorco with 500 people in tow, much to the surprise of the two poor bartenders behind a quiet Motorco bar. Ever since that day, hanging at Motorco with the Strutters has been the place to be on Fat Tuesday. If you haven’t seen this goofy, fun-loving and be-sequined band of Durham eccentrics, come find out why they have such a devoted following.

Check this out:

The Wiley Fosters (Blue Note Grill 8:15-9:30)
The Wiley Fosters have been the kings of the Hillsborough music scene for several years now, and it’s easy to see why. We thought it was about time to lure them over to Durham from their home base in Mystery Brewing Company.

This band has more star power than maybe any group around. Its members draw from an astounding number and variety of North Carolina’s greatest groups, past and present, including The Squirrel Nut Zippers, Tres Chicas, Hazeldine, Curtis Eller’s American Circus, The Wusses, Skidaddle, Archbishops of Blount Street, Boom Unit Brass Band, The Bulltown Strutters, Katharine Whalen’s Jazz Squad, and many more. Any one of them would be the star in any other band, but here, they’re just part of the constellation. Led by the indefatigable William Dawson, formerly of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, this ever morphing collective puts on a completely different show every time, with different tunes, different singers, different instruments and a new theme every show. No matter how many times you’ve see them you will always be blown away by something new. It’s probably no surprise that this time the theme is Mardi Gras!

A while back, somebody even did a documentary about how it all began:

You might as well watch this instead of a clip of a past show, because hey, it changes every time!

Coleslaw (Blue Note Grill 8:15-9:30)
Hillsborough’s Coleslaw has been gathering an ever larger following for their enthusiastic and energetic performances across the area. Much as the Mardi Gras festival hosts The Bulltown Strutters have embodied Durham’s eclectic eccentricity and funneled it through the lens of New Orleans second line music, Coleslaw takes Hillsborough’s quirky character and channels it through North Carolina’s bluegrass and folk. They started off with the traditional instruments – bass, banjo, guitar, and mandolin – but then they kept growing. They added drums, trumpet, sax and a saw. They even pulled in the town’s blacksmith, who started welding until he came up with just the right sounding musical sculpture to whack the hell out of. He is not your grandfather’s percussionist and it’s not your grandfather’s bluegrass either.

Here’s an early video, back when they were smaller:

The Tan and Sober Gentlemen (Fullsteam 8:00-9:15)
We’ve gotten more buzz about this band than just about any other this year. Those who’ve seen them will tell you that once you show up, you’re in for a ride. As far as folk music goes, or any music for that matter, they’re about the best drinking and dancing band you’ll find.

Born and raised in the North Carolina backcountry, The Tan and Sober Gentlemen began taking in the songs, stories, and tunes that make up their beloved state’s heritage before they could talk. They’ve toured the East Coast from Boston to Savannah, gracing such stages as the Haw River Ballroom, Cat’s Cradle, and festivals such as Shakori Hills.

The band aims to explore the Celtic roots of North Carolinian music, and to play it with a fire and intensity they feel is lacking in much of today’s folk music. The result is Scotch-Irish hillbilly insanity they dub “Celtic punk-grass.” If you’re looking for high energy insanity, look no further.

Check it out:

Take a peek of what you’re in for:

Ragweed Brass (Fullsteam 9:45-11:00)
Ragweed Brass takes listeners back to the days when jazz, blues and folk music were forming together. With a vocal-driven repertoire that blends original tunes with classics of the jug band and old N’Orleans days, Ragweed Brass springs up from the ground to make folks hum and clap, dance and tap their toes. The lineup features Dave Henderson, vocals, guitar and banjo; Jesse Jordan, vocals and strings; Ernie Renn, percussion; Jim Henderson, soprano sax; George Allen, trombone; and Mark Daumen, tuba.

You can take a listen here []

The Cajammers (The Pit 8:15-9:30)
Cajammers is a North Carolina band that has been playing an exuberant mix of Cajun, Zydeco, and swamp pop since 2012. Unique to the group is a trio of female fiddlers who adore sharing their love for Louisiana-inspired tunes with the audience. Every year the Cajun dancers arrive en masse to strut their stuff, and a lot of them can be found over in The Pit at the Cajun Stage, making the beautiful wood floors creak in rhythm. This is the place to come to work off those extra king cake calories!

Members include Heather Henry (fiddle), Dianne Freund (fiddle), Christine Westfall (fiddle), Cathy Pratt Davis (Cajun accordion), Mel Dejesus (bass), Joe Galas (keyboard), Elvis Latiolais (guitar), Tony Matthews (guitar and mandolin), and Kathy Parry (percussion).

Check ’em out:

Thank you for making the Cajammers debut at The Blue Note fun and successful. Special thanks to Bill, Michael, the staff and the dancers! Thanks also to Joyce for getting me started with editing our first video.

Posted by Cajammers on Friday, July 28, 2017

Shamu Garcon (The Pit 10:00-11:15)
Shamu Garcon are another long-time favorite on the Cajun dance scene. Featuring seasoned musicians Chris Mankoff (fiddle), Tim Wells (guitar, fiddle, harmonica, tit fers, and banjo), Joe Galas (accordion, keyboards), Harold Brady (bass), and Billy Alphin (drums), Shamu Garcon is considered by many to be one of the finest traditional Cajun bands around. Don’t miss doing a Cajun two-step or waltz (someone will show you how) with this band.

Take a listen:

The Mardi Gras Drag Show (The Bar 9:00-???)
Can you believe it that some people have never seen a drag show? Or maybe you’re even one of them. Well, whether you’re a seasoned drag show veteran or drag show newbie, when better to drop by for a taste of feather boa than Mardi Gras? The Bar has been putting on the Mardi Gras Drag show, not to mention plenty of others, for long enough that you can rest assured they are the experts. Featuring Storie Daie, Spray Jay and Jada J Wess. Watch the drag queens strut their stuff, then strut yours at the dance party right after.

70th Annual USWCA National Bonspiel @ Triangle Curling Club
Feb 14 – Feb 18 all-day

The United States Women’s Curling Association (USWCA) was formed to promote and conserve the best interests and the true spirit of the game of curling. The USWCA unites women’s curling clubs throughout the United States to cultivate friendly relations among its members and their clubs, to promote international friendships, to preserve the tradition and literature of the game and to hold women’s curling events each year.

The National Women’s Bonspiel is an annual event attended by women from all member areas. The location of the event rotates among the four geographical areas: East, Central, Wisconsin, and West. Triangle Curling will be hosting the United States Women’s Curling Association’s National bonspiel for 2018. 32 teams from across the country will come to Durham to compete. We are looking forward to hosting these ladies. There are sure to be teams from as far as Fairbanks and Seattle in the West and across the country to Boston in the East making for a diverse group of ladies, many of whom have never been to the Triangle.

The format is 10-end games with thinking time and a 4-game guarantee.

Come out and watch what is sure to be some entertaining and competitive curling!

Valentine’s Date at Local 22 @ Local 22 Kitchen & Bar
Feb 14 all-day

Still looking for the perfect spot to celebrate your special someone this Valentine’s Day? Spoil your sweetheart at Local 22! On Wednesday, February 14 we will be offering our a la carte menu as well as a special 3-course prix-fixe menu for $45 per person (tax & gratuity not included). And of course in our true kitchen & BAR fashion we will be offering up a selection of swoon-worthy craft cocktails! Advance reservations are recommended as this tends to be a busy night, so call or reserve online today!


$45 per guest (tax & gratuity not included)

FENNEL & PEAR SALAD mixed greens, gorgonzola, almonds, red wine vinaigrette
SHRIMP SKEWERS herb marinade, brussels sprouts slaw
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH pepitas & sweet chili vinaigrette
LAMB CHOPS hummus, artichoke, & olive tapenade

ROASTED DUCK BREAST warm beet salad, arugula, and blood orange dressing
GRILLED LOBSTER TAIL yukon potato puree and charred broccolini
BEEF TENDERLOIN pan roasted with a boursin crust, asparagus, sauce espagnole
WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO baby greens, parmesan, gouda, truffle oil


Valentine’s Week at Parizade @ Parizade
Feb 14 – Feb 16 all-day

During the week of St. Valentine Parizade will have a variety of ways to spoil the one you love with all your favorite Mediterranean flavors and the romantic backdrop that is the whimsical Cafe Parizade.

To kick off festivities we will exclusively offer our decadently delicious special a la carte menu for our dinner service. (see offerings on our website)

We will of course be hosting the sensual Spanish Guitar tunes of Alex Gordez from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

As a finale to our Valentine’s week we will enjoy the seductive serenades of the lovely Jo Gore on Friday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm!

To ensure your seats to celebrate these special evenings with please call the restaurant or visit our reservations page.

Valentine’s Day Food Drive @ Ponysaurus Brewing Co.
Feb 14 all-day

Spread the love this Valentine’s Day by showing your affection for your community!
Enjoy a pint in the taproom and bring a non-perishable canned good for PORCH-Durham.

-shelf stable, single serving sizes of milk (Walmart is a great place to get these)
-small cans of vegetables with pop-top lids
-small cans of fruit with pop-top lids
-cans of tuna with pop-top lids
-cans of chicken with pop-top lids
-microwavable single-serving meals (chef-boyardee pastas with meat; instant mac-n-cheese; Hormel Compleats)

More about PORCH-Durham:
PORCH-Durham began collecting food donations for Durham children in need in January 2011. A year later, PORCH-Durham received their 501(c)3 federal charity status. The mission of PORCH-Durham is to support the BackPack Buddies and School Pantry programs in Durham, North Carolina. The aim is to reduce food-insecurity among in children in Durham by organizing monthly food collections through neighborhood-based volunteers and donors. PORCH-Durham provides over 300 weekend backpacks of food and supply 12 school and community pantries with twice monthly delivery of fresh fruit and one monthly delivery of 4-6 large boxes of nonperishable food items. Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 individuals are supported each month through the school and community pantries that PORCH-Durham supplies.

Valentine’s Day Omakase @ Dashi
Feb 14 @ 5:30 pm

Join us for a one-night omakase meal at Dashi! We are now taking reservations for our Valentine’s Day omakase!

Surprise your loved one and celebrate Valentine’s Day at Dashi! Enjoy an evening of romantic Japanese dishes and drinks with the special person in your life.

Please visit to reserve a table! This dinner is reservation only!

What is an omakase?
Omakase entrusts your order to the chef – it is essentially a chef’s tasting menu. Chef Billy Cotter will send out the freshest and most delicious dishes of the day. Dining omakase is a way for Dashi to showcase our finest ingredients and techniques!

Unscripted Durham & Bedlam Vodka present: A Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiac Tasting @ Unscripted Durham
Feb 14 @ 6:00 pm

Join us for a five-course tasting accompanied by molecular mixology cocktails prepared by Bedlam Vodka. Sounds by DJ Mic Check and photography by NINE19.

Heartland Baroque Concert: Baroque’n Hearted: A Valentine’s Love Letter to 17th-Century Italy @ Ackland Art Museum-UNC Chapel Hill
Feb 14 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Heartland Baroque is thrilled to perform a concert on the upcoming 2018 North Carolina HIP (Historically-Informed Performance) Music Festival, “Baroquen-Hearted: A Valentine’s Love Letter to 17th-Century Italy,” a program which celebrates the passion and allure of Italy in the middle of the 17-Century. While some folks may associate Valentine’s Day with hearts, flowers, candy, and champagne, Heartland Baroque, along with guest artist, Soprano Margaret Carpenter Haigh, is excited to enchant you with a rich and varied musical “box of chocolates!” Heartland Baroque members Martie Perry and David Wilson, baroque violins, Keith Collins, dulcian, Barbara Krumdieck, baroque cello, and William Simms, theorbo, along with guest artist, Margaret Carpenter Haigh, soprano, pay tribute to this forward-thinking musical world of 17th-Century Italy in a program of instrumental and vocal music full of deep delights from composers that include Marco Uccellini, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Isabella Leonarda, and Barbara Strozzi.

Thomas Rhyant’s Sam Cooke Soul Revue Valentine’s Special @ The Bullpen
Feb 14 @ 8:30 pm

Music Maker and the Bullpen present a special Wednesday night Valentines Day show at the Bullpen with Thomas Rhyant’s Sam Cooke Soul Revue! Soul singer Thomas Rhyant serenades all the lovers and lonely hearts out there with classic Sam Cooke hits from the golden era of soul and R&B.


FREE showing of CANE – Feb 15th @ Duke University's Rubinstein Arts Center
Feb 15 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology announces the revival of CANE, a responsive environment dancework to be performed February 15 and 16, 2018.  The February 15 performance is free and open to the public.

Inspired by Jean Toomer’s experimental 1923 text of the Harlem Renaissance, CANE explores memories of African American sharecropping held by a technologically-devised canefield. Created by technologists, dancers, and visual artists, CANE suggests possibilities of shimmering mediated histories mixed in real-time via a specially-constructed responsive environment.

The sound environment for this work manipulated audio files from the Library of Congress archive of Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938. Processed through software programs Supercollider and Max to respond to their own recurrences, these voices of memory became actors to interact with the live performers and prepared soundscape for the work. Live video processing adds to the layered experience of the event.

DeFrantz joined the faculty at Duke in 2011, after twelve years on the faculty at MIT. He teaches courses in Performance and Technology, Contemporary Performance, and African American Studies. He has previously taught in the MFA program of the American Dance Festival, and served as President of the Society of Dance History Scholars. Wideman-Davis dance, founded in 2003, explores contemporary performance in relation to history, memory, gender, and identity.

In all, CANE suggests ways to rethink how environments hold history, and how technologically- mediated environments can tilt simultaneously toward what has been, and what is yet to be.

Performed by Tanya Wideman, Thaddeus Davis, Petra Morgan, Maria Maccaroni, John Green II, and Jade Curtis. Conceived and Directed by Thomas F. DeFrantz, Visual Design and Programming by Eto Otitigbe, Music by Tara Rodgers, Sound Programming by Jamie Keesecker, Additional Programming and Sound Discoveries by Jung-Eun Kim and Peter Whincop. Lighting by Jesse Belsky, Costumes by Marissa Erickson. Production Dramaturg: Jules Odendahl-James, Production Management Shireen Dickson.

Public Reception for Definition of METAL, a visual art exhibit featuring Tom Dawson, Al Frega, Joe Galas, Jackie McLeod and Renee Leverty @ Pleiades Gallery
Feb 16 all-day

Pleiades Gallery in Durham invites the public to a reception for Definition of METAL, a visual art exhibit featuring Tom Dawson, Al Frega, Joe Galas, Jackie McLeod and Renee Leverty. Metal – of various opaque, fusible, ductile, and typically lustrous substances that are good conductors of electricity and heat, form cations by loss of electrons, and yield basic oxides and hydroxides. This exhibit runs February 1-25. Join us for the reception Friday, February 16, from 6-9 pm. In addition, this will be a reception for Electric Avenue. What do the words “Electric Avenue” bring to mind? Bright lights? Big cities? Or perhaps the early 1980’s hit song written by Eddy Grant in response to a south London riot. The Pleiades artists are aglow as they present works inspired by the concept of “Electric Avenue.” This exhibit runs from February 8 – March 31, with public receptions from 6-9pm on February 16 and March 16.

For more information, contact Renee Leverty. Hours for Pleiades Gallery are Thurs., noon-7, Fri., noon-8, Sat., noon-8, and Sun., noon-3.

Durham Arts Council February Third Friday Artist Reception @ Durham Arts Council
Feb 16 @ 5:00 pm

Once more, with feeling!
Join the Durham Arts Council at our February Third Friday event – this RESCHEDULED opening reception was originally planned for January, but was postponed due to inclement weather. Our February arts night puts the spotlight on exhibits in the Allenton Gallery, Semans Gallery, Ella Fountain Pratt Legacy Gallery, and the Durham Art Guild’s SunTrust Gallery. Also featured are dance performances by Huepa Culture & Arts Institute, live music, family friendly crafts, refreshments and wine bar!

Happy Hour at Vert & Vogue as part of Third Friday Durham @ Vert & Vogue
Feb 16 @ 5:30 pm

Join us Friday night for Happy Hour at Vert & Vogue, as part of Third Friday Durham! This month UNC professors and life partners of almost 23 years, Marcie & Bill Ferris, will join us to share their work and writings on the American South.
PS – As always, drinks are on the house! #VVxHappyHour

Exhibition Opening: “Hotel Theory” by Bill Thelen @ 21c Museum Hotel
Feb 16 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Please join us for the opening celebration of Bill Thelen’s Hotel Theory. Hotel Theory is located in the Vault Gallery and will be on view until Summer 2018.

In 2016, Bill Thelen headed to the Obracodobra artist residency in Oaxaca, Mexico. The residency is housed within Casa Colonial, which also functions as a hotel. Thelen brought two seminal texts with him: the 19th-century French Symbolist novel A Rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain), by Joris-Karl Huysmans, and contemporary critic Wayne Koestenbaum’s Hotel Theory, a philosophical meditation on hotel living.

These books became launching points for works in which Thelen investigates identity and influence, history and the environment. Immersed in the colors and textures of the Oaxacan landscape, and facing middle age, Thelen was inspired to create a new body of work dominated by two prominent colors (el naranja and el turquesa), which, he says, “conceptualizes and cross-pollinates ideas about the interconnectivity of states of being with the environments that influence them.”

Set within what Thelen describes as “the unrestrained environment” of 21c’s vault gallery, Hotel Theory includes individual drawings, collaged works on paper using watercolors, ink and graphite drawings, and wall painting, along with a new wall drawing and a fiber piece that utilizes fabrics sourced from Raleigh Denim.

Bill Thelen is an artist, curator, and educator living in Raleigh, NC. He is the co-founder and former Director of Lump, a non-profit, project space located in downtown Raleigh. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, and has been reviewed in Frieze, The New York Times, Art in America, Time Out London, Sculpture, and other periodicals and online journals.