Saxophonist Adrian Crutchfield returns to support the Dumas Project
by S. Rotan Hale
Once again it was show-time on Henry Street at the historic Dumas Hotel. A sizable crowd of music lovers filled the street blocked off outside the structure where the second annual Dumas Legacy Concert featuring saxophone virtuoso Adrian Crutchfield was held.
The beautiful Saturday evening sky, (6/30) coupled with occasional soft summer breezes provided the perfect conditions for such a night.
The stage was set for an evening of high-powered entertainment from Crutchfield who at age 33, has evolved as one of the area’s most gifted musicians. His artistry has allowed him to hit the heights and travel the world since leaving his hometown and relocating to Charlotte, NC.
The show was a benefit to generate funds for purchase of the Dumas Hotel–one of the last remaining monuments of local Black culture that thrived back in the day prior to gentrification of the Gainsboro area.
“This concert is for a great cause and I think it’s important that we preserve our heritage,” Crutchfield said. Unfortunately our heritage is not something taken seriously these days.
During an interview prior to the show, Crutchfield spoke about the elements that created the special bond that he and the mysterious genius (Prince) shared.
“Prince showed me support that was just unexpected,” Crutchfield added. “There are hundreds of musicians who have played with him but very few can say they had an ongoing friendship with him.”
“I loved Prince because he gave me a platform that literally no one else could give me,” said Crutchfield, when asked about his experiences working with some of the biggest names in show business as Lionel Richie, Alex Bugnon and others.
Regarding upcoming projects, the young prodigy said he would leave here for Europe for a 2-week gig with Ceelo Green, and shows in London and Moscow before returning to the US.
Backed by a quartet of top-notch studio musicians, Adrian hit the stage with a mixture of Smooth Jazz, Hip Hop, R&B and of course a Prince medley that closed this amazing show with “Purple Rain.”
Among others performing was Adina Howard an R&B recording vocalist and songwriter. Also 2 local acts: The Solacoustix fronted by Jo Jo Stockton and singer Chris Yeural, and Hip Hop artist Phat Rob.
During comments reflecting the proposed confirmation of the hotel’s acquisition, Martin Jeffrey, of the Dumas Hotel Legacy, Inc. spoke optimistically of several plans regarding the project’s development.
“This thing is about to happen,” said Jeffrey in reference to promising negotiations held recently with lenders and Total Action for Progress–the building’s owners.
“We’re bringing back the Dumas Drama Guild and hopefully the YO YO Players. Jeffrey also mentioned a collaboration with Theater 3, an organization presently located at the Dumas with major focus on promoting arts, music and improve… through “educational programs that teach crucial life skills using theater.”
“It was an absolutely phenomenal experience growing up in the environment during the days when the Dumas Hotel was thriving,” said Darthula Lash, aka “Baby Mac” Barlow, whose family owned the legendary hotel that will hopefully be a thriving mecca for diversity spawned from artistic endeavors.