Patrons of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra will be graced on April 13-15 with the dulcet tones of the 1686 ex-Nachez Stradivarius violin, lent by John Constable and played by CSO Concertmaster Yuriy Bekker.

Bekker will perform the Bruch Violin Concerto on a program that also includes Beethoven’s beloved Symphony No. 7 and Charles Ives “The Unanswered Question. Music Director Ken Lam will take the podium.

Antonio Stradivari made many violins, violas and cellos, even a few guitars. Only 540 violins are known to exist, and most sell for millions of dollars. They are sought after by musicians, but most players can’t afford them, so they borrow the instruments from collectors.

The ex-Nachez, named for a previous owner, Hungarian violinist Tivadar Nachez, has been played by numerous people over the years, including soloist Ruggiero Ricci, Fred Fradkin, former concertmaster of the Boston Symphony, and Belgian violinist Victor Dardenne, who played in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra during the 1940s and 1950s.

—Adam Parker

N. Charleston hosts Speak Freely festival 

April is National Poetry Month and to celebrate, the Speak Freely Foundation is hosting its first poetry festival in North Charleston. 

The upcoming three-day festival was created to raise awareness specifically about the importance of poetry in the arts and to youth. It will be April 12-14 at two North Charleston locations and one Ladson location. 

The festival kicks off Thursday evening from 7-9 p.m. with The Poetry Show by South Carolina poets, along with an open mic night for those wanting to share, at Chill N Grill, 2810 Ashley Phosphate Road.

On Friday, a networking mixer with refreshments and a poetry recitation by Speak Freely Foundation founder Carlos Johnson, will be 7-9 p.m. at Nigel's Good Food in Ladson at 9616 Highway 78, Suite 11. 

The final day of the poetry festival is being dubbed "Speak Freely Saturday." It will include a poetry workshop led by Johnson, poetry recitations by students from Goose Creek High School's creative writing program, live visual art by Casso Creations and Quintin Chaplin and an interpretive poetry performance by Bria the Poet through martial arts. There also will be vendors on-site at the Harvest Point Center, 4780 Piedmont Ave. 

Donations will be accepted at each event.

The foundation, a nonprofit focused on a practical curriculum through performing arts to help stimulate positivity in local youths, was founded in 2007 in North Charleston.

For more information about the Speak Freely Foundation or its upcoming poetry festival, contact Krystal Yeadon at 843-608-9416 or Visit the Speak Freely Foundation website at

— Kalyn Oyer

Exhibit explores ‘hidden histories’

The City Gallery at Waterfront Park is presenting “Woke: Rattling Bones, Conversations, Sacred Rites and Holy Places,” an exhibit with occasional events curated by Ade Ofunniyin.

The show describes Ofinniyin’s Gullah Society organization and its efforts to preserve African-American burial grounds and historic sites. It also explores South Carolina’s “hidden histories” by displaying images of gravestone rubbings, a map of lynching sites, excerpts from slave narratives, two poems by Nia-Semone McIntyre, puppet installations by Orisanmi Kenhinde Odesanya that commemorate the Middle Passage and history of violence against African Americans and old photographs of lynchings.

Also included in the exhibit is a set of black-and-white photographs by Leonard Freed, all dated 1964 and all of scenes from Johns Island. The photographs of local African Americans were discovered and secured for the show by A Backpack Journalist, a nonprofit organization that offers extracurricular programming to students.

The photographs are of a Johns Island funeral, Christmas Watch Night service at Moving Star Hall, children gathered at a house and by a tree, and more.

The exhibit can been viewed through May 6.

—Adam Parker

Wes Anderson series slated for Music Hall

"I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about." —Sam Shakusky, "Moonrise Kingdom"

Last year, the Charleston Music Hall hosted "The Summer of Bill," featuring all Bill Murray films and artwork. This year, the downtown venue is staying somewhat on brand with "The Summer of Wes," a Wes Anderson film, music and art series that will stretch from June 2 through Aug. 22. 

The series will feature eight of Wes Anderson's films, along with more than 20 local artists' works in the upstairs gallery that fit the theme. In addition, the Music of Wes Concert will feature songs from all eight of the films performed by more than 10 local musicians. 

The free art opening reception will be 5-7 p.m. June 2, and the works will be on display through Aug. 22.

The Music of Wes Concert also will be on June 2 and will include Wes Anderson film score favorites, from The Rolling Stones and The Beatles to The Ramones and The Velvet Underground. Special guest Duda Lucena will be playing Seu Jorge’s David Bowie songs, and an accompanying video edited by Kevin Young will be screened.

In addition, Vinyl Countdown will be selling records from most of the artists on Wes Anderson's soundtracks in the lobby during the show. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will kick off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $17 the day of the performance. 

The eight Wes Anderson films being showcased are "Bottle Rocket" on June 13, "Rushmore" on June 19, "The Royal Tenenbaums" on June 27, "The Life Aquatic" on July 25, "The Darjeeling Limited" on July 31, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" on Aug. 8, "Moonrise Kingdom" on Aug. 15 and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" on Aug. 22.

The bar will open at 7 p.m. and the films will begin at 7:30 p.m. each night. Individual tickets are $8 or an eight-film pass, which includes a specialty poster, is available for $50. A dinner and film option is available for an additional $32. 

Eight artists were commissioned to design posters for each of the films. These will be available for purchase at the events and all summer long at the box office.

Get tickets for the concert or movies in advance at, by calling the box office at 843-853-2252 or by visiting the box office between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. between Monday and Friday at 37 John St. 

—Kalyn Oyer

McClellanville pals produce new book

A third collaboration between McClellanville-based poet, author and historian Billy Baldwin and photographer Selden "Bud" Hill, who also is founding director of The Village Museum, has resulted in a new book called "Carolina Rambling."

The book is an elegiac look at some of the Lowcountry's forlorn homes, barns, churches and cemeteries, as well as a portrait of the disappearing rice, cotton and shrimp industries.

"Carolina Rambling," which combines Selden's images with Baldwin's poetry, is produced by Class Publishing. A free book launch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14. at the McClellanville Town Hall.

—Adam Parker