Community Arts Group to Hold 8th Anniversary Celebration on Dec. 8

Source: Ray Shell
Source: Ray Shell

By Ray Shell

Dulamaes and Taip Lab present a celebration of eight years with The Real Friends of the Barn on Saturday, December 8, 2018, starting at 7pm.

The celebration will be held at The Imagination Station, 224 Nash Street E, Wilson, North Carolina.

Pat Smith Jones with her husband, Charles Eric Jones, are the Artistic Directors of Dulamaes, a community arts and education company. The couple is also the founders of The Real Friends of the Barn, a jazz, gospel, pop musical performance group.

Bonded eight years ago over a pure love of music and performance, The Real Friends Of The Barn members are:

  • Faye Williams on piano
  • Eddie Atkins on saxophone and vocals
  • Derek Carter and Pat Smith-Jones as featured vocalists

Together and separately, The Real Friends of the Barn are important, artistic motivators in Wilson’s black community as well as in Wilson’s mainstream arts community.

The entertainment on December 8th will be a tasty smorgasbord of musical and dramatic talent produced in association with Taip Lab, whose Artistic Director, Ray Shell, is Pat Smith-Jones’ cousin. Joining The Real Friends of the Barn in performance will be the Wilson cast of the Broadway bound, gospel-blues musical, StarboyStarboy was developed and recorded at Barton College under the direction of Adam Twiss, and featuring Yolanda Rabun, Lessette, Penny Bennett, Mikea Tefnut El, and Starboy creators Ray Shell and Chris Van Cleave.

Another musical highlight of the evening will be Chris Van Cleave performing original songs from his international cabaret show and Ray Shell, accompanied by Dexter Ruffin, performing a couple of numbers from his hit show Phoenix, which he performed earlier this year at the iconic Joe’s Pub in New York City.

Dulames and Taip Lab have a surprise for their guests to close out this special evening: The two companies along with Brotherside Productions, will give the first public showing of a rough cut of Grayhound — a television series about homelessness in small town USA and big city Europe. The series was shot by S. Zachary Knox and directed by Ray Shell in Wilson, North Carolina and London/Manchester UK. Grayhound stars Wilsonians Janet Conner-Knox, Charles Eric-Smith, Hannah Slaughter, Rakim Laquan Matthews, Jerome Smith and Sam Johnson along with Londoners Mark Gillham, Vanessa Fisher, Leee John, and Wire star Clarke Peters.

The attire of the evening is semi-formal, tickets are $15. Food and refreshments will be served… You do not want to miss this fantastic pre-Christmas celebration. To reserve tickets, email


TAIP stands for Total Artist in Production. For more information on TAIP Lab in Wilson NC, visit Ray Shell’s Facebook page, where announcements are posted routinely.

Organizer Ray Shell studied acting, literature, and mass communications at Emerson College, Boston MA. He graduated with a BFA in 1974. Along with TV and theatre experience, Mr. Shell served as the Vocal Coach for BBC Television Series The Voice 2012. He also was Voice Coach for Jahmene Douglas, an X-Factor finalist that year. More information on Ray Shell is available online, including this information from the Internet Movie Database (IMDB):

The Real Friends of the Barn are on Facebook at


Source: Ray Shell
Source: Ray Shell


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