The roots of American music run deep in North Carolina

From Thelonious Monk and Link Wray to Doc Watson and Nina Simone, North Carolinians have made groundbreaking contributions to many of America's most important musical genres. Today new generations of North Carolina musician are building on this legacy by making their own mark on music.

Welcome to Come Hear NC: a celebration of our state's music

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. 

A collage of musicains who participated in the Under One Roof N.C. Artist Benefit Concert

Presented by Come Hear North Carolina, “Under One Roof,” a three-day, three-hour virtual music festival, raised $50,000 to support artists across North Carolina whose work has been disrupted by COVID-19.

Downtown Asheville Skyline | Photo Credit: Explore Asheville

A return to normal concert experiences is still a way off; the Asheville Symphony has elected to delay the start of its concert series until February 2021. Like so many other art and music organizations, the Asheville Symphony is taking the hiatus as an opportunity to try out new ways to share its art form in people’s homes.

Image of J. Cole with article title: North Carolina Music Copes with the Coronavirus Crash by David Menconi

To varying degrees, everyone involved in North Carolina’s music community is trying to figure out what to do to deal with life coming to a full stop. Stages are dark; clubs and record stores are closed; tours are canceled.

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. 

Arts and COVID-19

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African American Music Trails
Blue Ridge Music Trails
NC Symphony