North Carolina is home to some of the best music festivals in the country! Here’s a list of long-standing festivals for the music-enthusiasts and travelers looking for quality music experiences. The festivals listed are supported by the North Carolina Arts Council through our grant program, are featured on our cultural trail, Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina or components of the festival are being sponsored by Come Hear NC. This is an evolving list that the Come Hear North Carolina team will continue to update throughout 2019.
Saturday November 30 & Sunday December 1, 2019, Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Winston-Salem Symphony is delighted to kick off the holiday with a festive celebration blending Appalachian harmonies with the sounds of the Season. Join us for a joyful concert featuring North Carolina’s Laurelyn Dossett (Polecat Creek), Joe Newberry (Big Medicine), Mike Compton (O Brother, Where Art Thou), and April Verch (April Verch Band). Listen for original songs including “String of Pearls” and “Redbird Lullaby,” as well as traditional Christmas tunes. And no Carolina Christmas is ever complete without a visit from Santa Claus and a holiday sing-along!
December 4-December 8, Durham, NC
Longstanding institutional barriers prevent many musicians from accessing the resources needed to live and make music. For 25 years, Music Maker Relief Foundation — a groundbreaking nonprofit organization based in Hillsborough, NC — has ensured that the voices of hundreds of extraordinary and unheralded blues and folk musicians are not silenced by poverty and time. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Music Maker collaborates with Duke Performances for a weeklong music series and exhibition at The Fruit in downtown Durham that spotlights pioneering contributors preserving the rich musical traditions of the South.
Thursday December 26 to Sunday December 29, Winston-Salem, N.C.
It’s the day after Christmas.You have family visiting. Do you have cabin fever and nothing to do? Not anymore. Start a new family tradition with Old Salem! Make plans now for the “Old Salem Winter Fair”. Every day, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we will be hosting special hands-on workshops (for all ages), family-friendly activities in each historic building, and craftsman & cooking demonstrations. With a bit of chill in the air, come, sit by a fire and visit Old Salem with all of your family and friends. Folk & Traditional Appalachian live music will fill the historic district as we celebrate the new year.
Keep coming back every day so that you and your family always have something to do! These tickets will make great Christmas presents. TICKETS WILL GO ON SALE SOON!
Friday January 31 & Saturday February 1, 2020, Charlotte, N.C.
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will perform "Si Otsedoha (We're Still Here)" by William Britelle, featuring the Cherokee Chamber Singers as guest artists. Cherokee Middle and High School students, under the guidance of the Cherokee Chamber Singers participants, conceived the idea for the musical, which documents the past, present, and future of the Cherokee people who have lived in the mountains of Western Carolina for several thousand years. The singers perform the work in the Cherokee language. The weekend's program will also include Copland's Appalachian Spring and Barber's Adagio for Strings.
Saturday February 29, 2020, Lenoir, N.C.
The Western Piedmont Symphony crosses genres in this concert that features a blend of classical music and bluegrass when the Kontras Quartet return to their N.C. roots to perform with N.C. bluegrass trio, The Kruger Brothers. The two groups will perform a piece titled Appalachian Concerto, written by Jens Kruger for banjo, bass, guitar, and string quartet. This uniquely American composition reflects the cultural history of the Appalachian region and features titles such as "Morning at Deep Gap" and "E Pluribus Unum."
Saturday April 4, 2020, Asheville, N.C.
Cellist and singer-songwriter Shana Tucker exudes musical magnetism, making fans from critics wherever she goes. With a deep respect for lyrical storytelling, her breathtaking, often intimate performances are steeped in a sound uniquely her own, a new genre the rising star calls chamber-soul. Both on and off stage, she charms her audiences, weaving melodies together from a mix of music — classical and jazz, strong hints of soulful folk, acoustic pop, a touch of R&B — creating a musical tapestry with distinctive rhythmic patterns. Often described as a blend of Dianna Reeves, Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman, with a complexity reminiscent of Bill Withers, Shana’s style and sound is internationally renowned by fans of all genres, touted as a talent “whose imprint and vitality has already been quite visible,” in JazzTimes Magazine.
Saturday June 20, 2020, Durham, N.C.
Hear the sounds of today’s North Carolina with chamber music of contemporary NC composers. World premiere of Kenneth Frazelle’s “Through the Window” Song Cycle (Mallarme commission), J. Mark Scearce – “Keeping Things Whole”, T.J. Anderson – Spirit Songs, Caroline Shaw – In Manus Tuas.