Spoleto Festival USA & Piccolo Spoleto Festival

Founded in 1977 by Gian Carlo Menotti, Christopher Keene and others as the American counterpart to Spoleto, Italy's annual Festival of Two Worlds, Spoleto Festival USA has firmly established itself as one of the world's major arts festivals. With an average attendance of 70,000-80,000 each year, Spoelto is an annual 17-day event that includes performances by renowned artists and emerging performers in disciplines including opera, theater, dance, and symphonic, choral, jazz, and chamber music. Spoleto Festival USA produces its own operas, specializing in rarely performed masterpieces by well-known composers, American premieres and traditional works presented in new ways, in addition to permanent festival fixtures include the Chamber Music Series, the Music in Time Series and the Wells Fargo Jazz Series. Piccolo Spoleto, the official companion festival to Spoleto Festival USA, is operated by the city of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs. Where Spoleto features artists and performers of national and international acclaim, Piccolo Spoleto highlights local and regional artists with more than 800 performances. Spoleto will wrap up Sunday at Middleton Place with the all-day Wells Fargo Festival Finale featuring Charleston's own Shovels & Rope. With gourmet picnic fare, a beer garden, and local and regional bands playing throughout the afternoon, the night will be topped off with a post-show fireworks display.

When: Through Sunday

Where: Various locations

Price: Prices vary depending on event

For more info: spoletousa.org and www.piccolospoleto.com

Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival

In its 10th year, the annual Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival is all about celebrating the Gullah-Geechee cultural heritage and provides "the most extensive showcase of sweetgrass baskets in the Lowcountry area." The event, named a Top 20 event in by the Southeast Tourism Society, will feature an assortment of unusual handmade arts and crafts, paintings, live performances and documentary films. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy entertainment that includes gospel songs and praise dance, storytelling and Gullah-Geechee skits, basket-making demonstrations, and the Adande African Drummers and Dancers. Attendees will also be able to check out a variety of authentic Gullah cuisine, classic barbecue, fish, chicken and beverages offered for sale by more than 15 Lowcountry restaurants and food vendors. A family-friendly affair (that means no alcohol), the festival will include events for children, including a waterslide. The festival will kick off with a special event Friday night at Memorial Waterfront Park called The "Real" Taste of Gullah ($50).

When: Noon-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park off Harry Hallman Jr. Boulevard

Price: Free

For more info: www.sweetgrassfestival.org

An Intimate Evening with Art Garfunkel

After taking a break from performing to "recover from a vocal ailment," Art Garfunkel embarked on a tour last month, a tour that will bring him to the Circular Congressional Church this weekend for an intimate show. Half of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel, his live set includes songs from the duo, solo hits, cuts from some of his favorite songwriters, readings from his new book and a Q&A. With a songbook that includes such hits as "Mrs. Robinson," "Scarborough Fair," "The Sound of Silence" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water," the show has the makings of one heck of a comeback concert.

When: Saturday, doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m.

Where: Circular Congressional Church, 150 Meeting St.

Price: $65

For more info: www.artgarfunkel.com or www.circularchurch.org

Moultrie News 50th Anniversary Concert

Celebrating 50 years covering the news across East Cooper, Moultrie News is hosting a birthday bash with live music by local favorites Plane Jane and The East Coast Party Band. Six local food trucks, including Lowcountry Creole, Outta My Huevos, Coastal Crust, Charleston Festival Foods, Dulce and King of Pops, will be on-site with refreshments available for purchase. The event will be held rain or shine and a portion of the proceeds will benefit East Cooper Community Outreach.

When: 5-10 p.m. Sunday

Where: Boone Hall Plantation, 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant

Price: $15 in advance, $20 at the door; bring a canned good and receive $2 off your ticket price at the door

For more info: www.eveningpostevents.com/moultrie-50th-anniversary


In 1990, keyboardist Bob James reunited with session drummer Harvey Mason (Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand, Notorious B.I.G.) to record James' "Grand Piano Canyon" album with the help of guitarist Lee Ritenour (Sergio Mendes) and bassist/vocalist Nathan East (Barry White, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins). Those sessions marked the beginning of what eventually became known as Fourplay, with James, East and Mason eventually pairing up with Larry Carlton and most recently Chuck Loeb to round out the foursome. Guitarist Loeb has been with Fourplay since April 2010 and made his recording debut with the group on "Let's Touch the Sky" in October of that year.

When: Saturday, doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m.

Where: North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive

Price: $44.50-$64.50

For more info: www.northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com

Skye Paige Album Release Party

Self-proclaimed "queen of the slide guitar," Skye Paige launches her new double CD, "What You Want," with a concert and all-star jam. Paige recorded the album in Charleston with backup musicians including Charlie Thompson on pedal steel, Juke Joint Johnny on harmonica, Louis Dixson on saxophone, J.R. Getches on guitar and Jeff Hodges on Hammond organ. The burlesque beauty queen plays blues rock with stylistic influences that range from Black Sabbath to the Carter Family.

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms

Price: $10

For more info: 886-8948 or www.skyepaige.net