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.
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.
Like all of his colleagues, Caleb Caudle is stuck at home now, deprived not only of the touring income he depends on but also of the constant motion he acclimatized to over the past 10 years. This summer, Caleb spoke about tobacco memories, the lonely grind of the road, and the unpretentious essence of North Carolina musicians.
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.
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.