Everyone in Harmony; connecting with the black roots of barbershop singing

By Andrew Dundas

April 2, 2020

Editor’s Note: The Barbershop Revival, originally scheduled for March 27 and 28 at North Carolina Central University, has been postponed until fall. Barbershop singing likely brings to mind an image of four old-timey white men in striped suits and little straw hats. While that image has been fairly accurate for much of barbershop’s history, Andy […]

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Durham music program virtually connects kids amid coronavirus

By Matthew Audilet

Despite school closures and government-issued stay-at-home orders, the Durham Kidznotes program is working to make sure their students and teachers can continue learning and teaching music in a virtual setting. “It’s been a really interesting and honestly kind of invigorating time for Kidznotes,” Nick Malinowski, the executive director of Kidznotes, said. The program, which partners […]

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African dance class creates lively community at Hayti Heritage Center

By Anthony DeHart and Matthew Audilet

For more than 15 years, a group of dancers and drummers – some experienced, some not – have come together once a month at the Hayti Heritage Center on Old Fayetteville Street for its Hayti Rhythms dance class. The class offers community members the chance to practice movements from the African diaspora and listen to […]

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‘See you next week:’ 23-year-old Wednesday night open mic going strong

By Andrew Dundas

February 13, 2020

“Our first rule is…?” Brett Chambers called over packed tables painted in dim lights from the stage. “Have fun!” the crowd shouted in unison. And fun they had. Laughter and conversation filled The Blue Note Grill, 709 Washington St, for over an hour before any performance. When the music did start, people grooved in their […]

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Hayti Heritage Center celebrates jazz drummer Max Roach

By Victoria Johnson

January 30, 2020

Jazz legend Max Roach’s drums beat again Saturday night when five local musicians interpreted his rhythms to about 50 listeners at the Hayti Heritage Center. The concert, called “Freedom Day: A Tribute to Max Roach,” celebrated one of the most important drummers in modern jazz history, the Hayti musicians said. A North Carolina native born […]

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John Gattis’ hit musical ‘Swing School’ returns to Hillside High

By Will Shropshire

February 27, 2019

After 47 years, “Swing School,” a community favorite production for many decades, returned to the stage at Hillside High School. The Hillside High School Drama Department – under the direction of Wendell Tabb –  put on four performances of its new adaptation, called “Hallelujah! Swing School,”  from Feb. 15-17. The production has long been a Hillside […]

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Durham’s black community shines at Black History Month parade and party

By Johnny Sobczak

February 13, 2019

  On an unseasonably warm Saturday morning, Fayetteville Street was even busier than normal as hundreds of Durham residents showed up for the 17th Annual North Carolina MLK Black History Month Parade & Block Party. The event, presented by Spectacular Magazine, is held on the first Saturday of every February. For entertainment columnist Tameka Nichole, […]

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Students raise scholarship money with tributes to Queen and Aretha Franklin at DPAC

By Natasha Townsend and Celia McRae

The words, “You can do it” reverberated through Tiffany Agerston’s head. She never forgot those words of encouragement, spoken by her chorus teachers when she was younger in an effort to get Agerston to share her singing talent at the annual “An Evening of Entertainment” (EOE) put on by the Durham Public Schools. Agerston eventually […]

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Kidznotes performance in ‘Carmen’ tests the bounds of vocal range

By Diane Adame

January 31, 2019

Kidznotes musicians used their opera voices to tell the dramatic French love story of Georges Bizet’s “Carmen.” The students performed as the children’s chorus alongside the stars of the North Carolina Opera on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27 at the Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh. The opera performance featured hypnotic choreography, human drama and popular hit […]

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Threehouse Studios celebrates community through yoga, music, dance

By Keeley Gay

January 30, 2019

The white, vine-covered building situated along Durham’s American Tobacco Trail is more than it appears. What used to be an old, small Piggly Wiggly has been transformed into a community-focused dance, yoga and music studio. Threehouse Studios opened their doors to the public on Oct. 22, 2017. The idea of a multipurpose studio was developed […]

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Kidznotes’ free Winter Concerts this weekend

By Cindy Chen

December 14, 2018

  Kidznotes, the Durham-based non-profit music program devoted to giving kids a passion for music, is back with their annual Winter Concerts. This year’s first free concert will be held Fri., Dec. 14, 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Fayetteville Elementary School located at 2905 Fayetteville St. The second concert will be presented in the same […]

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BlackSpace and The Revenge of the Afronauts

By Isaiah Ball

October 22, 2018

  Located on 212 West Main Street is a unique recording studio. The “BlackSpace” is an Afro-futurism digital creation space home to Durham’s youth. This makerspace offers the youth a “wokeshop” series offering personal training in the digital and creative arts including videography, spoken word poetry, puppetry, coding, 3D printing and electronic music production. Kids, […]

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Go79Man getting noticed

By Tiara Bell Sanders

April 16, 2018

  The Chicago-born rapper who calls Durham home, “Go79man” (pronounced Goldman) Walter Gilmore is making big strides with his signature sound that steals the show every time he is on stage. When the crowd hears his raspy signature sound, they go wild. During his rap career, Gilmore started from the bottom like every other rapper […]

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Kidznotes wins a regional Emmy for “The Music Inside”

By Kelcie Frye

February 28, 2018

  Nick Malinowski is in the profession of changing lives through music. He never imagined that his job would land him on a stage in Nashville, accepting an Emmy Award on Kidznotes’ behalf. Malinowski, the executive director of the Kidznotes program, is a North Carolina native who has a passion for kids and accessible music […]

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Durham’s Professor Toon brings together NC artists at “Release Party”

By David Fee

December 4, 2017

There is no denying that North Carolina is on the come-up in terms of hip-hop, and Durham is in the heart of it. Baltimore-born, Durham-bred rapper Toon Rice, better known as Professor Toon, had his EP Release Party for his new project “Release,” Dec. 2, at Motorco Music Hall in Durham. “He’s a lively person […]

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Behind the music: the faces of Kidznotes

By Allison Tate

November 8, 2017

Over the years, the VOICE has told the stories of Kidznotes’ students and events. But, in looking back, there’s some stories that we haven’t shared yet. Since its start in 2010, Kidznotes has boasted influential and talented instructors and volunteers who have had a desire to make a difference through music. With that in mind, […]

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Pharoahe Monch reflects on PTSD, performs with PitchBlak Brass

By Gabby Bulgarelli

The day after his 45th birthday, Queens-based rapper Pharoahe Monch settled into his seat in the Duke University Forum for Scholars and Publics. Monch is no stranger to Durham, his most recent visit being last spring when he performed at Art of Cool Fest. This time, however, his purpose was greater: a week in residence […]

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“Tell ’em that it’s human nature”

By Yizhou Jiang

October 18, 2017

On a clear and sunny Saturday afternoon, many Durham locals chose to join the second anniversary celebration of the LGBTQ Center of Durham. The event was held on the Rigsbee Avenue between Geer Street and Corporation Street in the form of a family-friendly block party free to the community. The LGBTQ Center of Durham, along […]

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Is Durham hip-hop in renaissance?

By Gabby Bulgarelli

October 4, 2017

With a highly successful Kickstarter Campaign, and sponsorship from companies like Toyota and Bull Durham Beer under its belt, Beats ’N’ Bars hit the ground running to produce something special in its second year. The festival took over the section of Main Street along Corcoran Avenue on Sept. 22-23, occupying the Pinhook, Parking Lot #20, […]

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Musical duo Meek Noise brings joy to senior center

By Avery Rodriguez

April 19, 2017

  For almost six years, Durham residents and close friends Noah Goyette, 40, and Sloan Meek, 29, have entertained seniors at the Durham Center for Senior Life. Meek and Goyette arrive every Tuesday and Friday at noon to play a variety of instruments for onlookers. “Noah jokes that we’ve outlasted three center directors and seen […]

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Drama director Wendell Tabb sets the stage for Hillside students

By Mckenna Lea

April 5, 2017

What is your dream job? Is it to be a world-renowned chef, actor or maybe the CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Wendell Tabb has been living his dream for the past 30 years helping others reach their full potential. As Hillside High School’s, Drama Director Tabb has cultivated a thriving theater program, helping the […]

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Poise and passion: celebrating black women in performance

By Catherine O'Neill

Ajua Arnette may only be 7 years old, but give her a microphone and a costume and she commands the stage. A first-grader at Sandy Ridge Elementary, Ajua was one of the many performers at Hayti Heritage Center in Durham for Wimmin@Work 2017—an afternoon of artistic performances in honor of “Wimmin’s History Month” celebrated on […]

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Church pianist uplifts congregation’s spirits

By Brian Shurney

March 1, 2017

Willis Brown playing an improvisational piece at Antioch Baptist Church. (Recording by Brian Shurney) At the age when most kids start going to school, Willis Brown was already on his way to becoming an accomplished organist. Brown is a musician and composer who has played in churches for all of his life. He’s most proficient […]

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Hillside hosts drumline competition

By Kaitlyn Knepp

April 16, 2014

Drumlines from across North Carolina competed in the 2014 Mike Tilley Drumline Competition at Hillside High School on March 22. The competition was held in honor of former Hillside band and drumline member Michael Tilley, who died in 2005 from suicide. Greensboro’s Grimsley High School took top honors, with T.W. Andrews High School and Warren […]

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