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Artist borrows cello to perform

When Kendall Ramseur boarded his flight to Charlotte on Tuesday, he didn’t bring his cello. He didn’t think he would need it.

An accomplished cellist and Charlotte native, Ramseur is in town for his sister’s graduation. A friend notified the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture that he was in Charlotte, so they invited him to play a Mother’s Day concert 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The Violin Shoppe lent him an instrument for the event.

Ramseur lives in Boston, where he performs and records his own music. He was trained classically at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Boston University, and he just released his first album – T.I.M.E. – featuring a fusion of vocal tracks, cello, piano and choir.

Sunday’s concert will feature works from T.I.M.E., so he will play with tracks on his amplified cellphone. In Boston he performs with a band instead of the tracks. A few of Bach’s cello suites may also show up on the program along with Adele or Chris Brown covers.

A lot of the CD includes vocal tracks Ramseur authored, conjoined with melodies he wrote. The music is uplifting and meant to offer hope to those who have lost it, a philosophy Ramseur takes from his Christian faith.

“It’s my dream to really inspire people to pursue their dreams in spite of opposition and difficulty,” Ramseur said. “I feel that I’m able to touch more lives through the music that I write.”

Ramseur got his start playing the cello in fifth grade at Pawtuckett Elementary School.

He served as principal cellist for the 2008 Grammy Awards Orchestra and gave a private performance in poet Maya Angelou’s home on her 80th birthday.

The hourlong performance will conclude with a CD signing at the Gantt Center.

This article is part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance, a consortium of local media dedicated to writing about the arts.
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