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Maria Howell, jazz singer and actress, will perform Friday July 5th and Saturday July 6th at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Known for her sultry, smooth voice and mixing R&B, gospel and soul in her renditions of jazz classics, Howell will sing a variety of jazz standards like Nat King Cole’s “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” the Gershwins’ “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” and Van Morrison’s “Moondance.” Accompanying Howell will be a Bechtler visitors’ favorite, the Ziad Jazz Quartet.

Howell, a Gastonia native, is probably best known for her role as choir soloist in the 1985 Oscar-nominated film “The Color Purple,” but in recent years she has acted in the TV shows “Revolution,” “Army Wives” and “Vampire Diaries,” while her film credits include “The Blind Side” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” In November of this year, Howell will perform the role of Seeder in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

The concerts begin at 6 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m., and seating is first come, first serve. Friday’s concert is already sold out, but fans and jazz enthusiasts can still buy tickets for Saturday’s concert. Tickets are $12 for non-members and free for members, but everyone must reserve a ticket prior to the concert by calling 704-353-9200 or going online. Appetizers will be available from e2 Emeril’s Eatery.

Maria Howell. ©MH Productions

Maria Howell. ©MH Productions

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art: 420 S. Tryon St., Charlotte; 704-353-9200; www.bechtler.org

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