Bill Myers, Dick Knight and Maceo Parker performing at Da Loft

For the past five years, Choci Gray has hosted the Chitlin Circuit: an annual community event in Kinston that features stellar performances by some of eastern North Carolina’s most celebrated Black musicians. A year ago in February, three North Carolina Heritage Award recipients performed a set together at the Chitlin Circuit, Volume 5: Maceo Parker, Dick Knight, and Bill Myers. It was a full-circle moment for Gray, who had fallen in love with the music those artists make when she was a child. 

The Hamiltones performing at the Governor's Mansion in front of a crowd that includes Governor Roy Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper

Nearly a year ago, J. Vito, Tony Lelo, and 2E—known to the world as the Grammy-nominated trio The Hamiltones—made their way from the greater-Charlotte area to Raleigh to kick off the second season of Music at the Mansion. Close to 100 people packed into the golden parlor room of the North Carolina Executive Mansion that night and were treated to an hour of the group’s songs, jokes, and stories of North Carolina soul music. 

Dasan Ahanu, Rowdy, J. Gunn, Troya, and Jooselord

From negro spirituals to the blues, Black Southerners historically have relied on music to document the social ills of America and resist state-sanctioned violence against Black bodies.


Latest from the blog

Black Hip-Hop Artists Showcase New Wave of N.C. Protest Music

Come Hear NC

Come Hear NC and the N.C. Arts Council team up with North Carolina hip-hop artists for two multimedia discussions of race, music, and social injustice. 

Peach colored background with white text that reads "Singing on the Land"

From Historic Halifax in the east to Horne Creek Farm in the west, many state historic sites will be backdrops for Singing on the Land, a new virtual music project highlighting treasured North Carolina landmarks. 

A collage of Three Lobed Records titles. Established in 2000, the label has released more than 100 titles and has become one of the country’s premier syndicates for experimental rock and folk music.

Grayson Haver Currin

For 20 years, one of the country’s premier psychedelic labels, Three Lobed Recordings, has hidden away in the suburban Greensboro basement of a business lawyer.


A group of young surfers in Kure Beach, Hanover County,  NC, on July 25, 1965. Photo from The News & Observer.

Come Hear North Carolina

On September 24-27, Come Hear NC is presenting Surfalorus, a three-day film festival showcasing the year’s newest surf films. The pandemic interfered with our plans to present music programming at this year’s festival, but we curated a playlist of surf-inspired music from North Carolina artists with our partners at Surfalorus.

Photo of the Steep Canyon Rangers sitting in an auditorium with their instruments

Sandra Davidson and Samuel Gerweck

After five months on hiatus, the Steep Canyon Rangers reunite for three nights of free drive-in concerts in western North Carolina on Thursday, August 27, through Sunday, August 29.