Celebrating The African American Music Trail
For at least a century, African American musicians from Kinston and the surrounding region have shaped the development of different styles of American music: jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel music. Kinston is often referred to as the birthplace of funk as five members of the legendary James Brown Band were from Kinston.
These photographs and the nearby Kinston Music Park (Spring Hill and South Queen Streets) celebrate the musical pioneers highlighted in the African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina guidebook, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council. The archival posters and photographs feature musicians from Kinston as well as musicians from several other North Carolina counties on the trail including Jones and Wilson counties.
This project is a part of the SmART Initiative, a program of the N.C. Arts Council focusing on transforming communities through arts-driven economic development. Kinston is one of four cities in the state that received this honor.