Music showcases at the 20th annual Americanafest in Nashville, Tenn. will highlight North Carolina musicians, Come Hear North Carolina and the Americana Music Association announced Wednesday.
Multiple showcases are scheduled Sept. 10 to 15 in Nashville, allowing audiences to experience what North Carolina sounds like.
Come Hear North Carolina is an initiative of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the N.C. Arts Council. The state's presence will build awareness about its influence on American music.
The Americana Music Association, which produces Americanafest, has more than 3,000 members from around the world. The organization has strong ties to North Carolina’s music heritage that includes many sounds in the Americana umbrella from folk, country, bluegrass and more.
Musicians in the genre include Greensboro native Rhiannon Giddens, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Emmylou Harris, The Avett Brothers, Jim Lauderdale, Tift Merritt, Dom Flemons and Mandolin Orange, who performed during the announcement at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh.
Giddens has been nominated as 2019 Artist of the Year among the Americana Music Association 2019 Americana Honors & Awards nominees
North Carolina has an important place in the Americana genre, including being the home state of forefathers such as Del McCoury, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, said Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association.
Hilly also announced that Americanafest will feature a regional spotlight on North Carolina via panels on the state's musical history and showcases focused on the state's artists.
North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper hosted Chapel Hill's Mandolin Orange on Tuesday for the latest in a series of Music at the Mansion events taking place this year, speaking on the beauty and power that music has in reflecting the state's own diversity and creativity.
Following her remarks, Governor Roy Cooper made a surprise appearance to applaud his wife for her deep appreciation and love of music and the arts.
He then spoke about the importance of music education in the lives of North Carolina’s children, while also discussing the role of arts and culture in helping the state’s overall growth, particularly in business and industry recruitment.
Mandolin Orange performed songs including “Golden Embers,” “The Wolves” and “Mother Deer” from their new album Tides of A Teardrop, which debuted at No. 1 on four Billboard charts - Heatseekers, Folk/Americana, Current Country Albums and Bluegrass – after its February release on Hillsborough-based Yep Roc Records. They brought out another surprise guest, fellow North Carolina musician John Teer of Chatham County Line, for their final song “Wildfire.”
Come Hear North Carolina celebrates 2019 as The Year of Music with stages at major music festivals, livestreaming performances, filming concerts in community venues and educating citizens about the state with 365 Days of Music stories and educational programs.