North Carolina is known for its musical heritage. Here in Moore County we have many talented local musicians who get together and jam on a regular basis. But there is a taste for the more classical genre as well. There are many, many musical events throughout the year, but we’ve chosen to highlight just five that we feel represent the musical diversity of our county. We hope you will enjoy them as much as we do!
January – Raising The Roof
In the dead of winter, one constantly risks drowning in the doldrums. Such stagnation can blacken one’s spirits, a bad omen for the start of a new year. Luckily, there is a cure for this debilitating disease: live music. Raising the Roof, one of the Sunrise Theater’s most popular and enduring events, is a four-hour event featuring an eclectic assortment of local musicians that is sure to lift anyone’s spirits. Past performers include South Ridge Bluegrass; Patrick Fuller, a well-known local singer/songwriter who brings his special brand of folk blues to the theater; and Jo Gore representing the jazz genre. Since its start, Raising the Roof has been a concert event geared towards presenting a smorgasbord of musical talent and genres on the Sunrise stage.
February – Heart ‘n Soul of Jazz
In spite of its small-town location, Heart ‘n Soul of Jazz has continued to draw international and rising jazz talent for thirty years – from Marian McPartland, Shirley Horn and Ellis Marsalis to Karrin Allyson and Toots Thielemans. Named Jazz ‘n January until the event was moved to Valentine’s weekend in 2006, its passion and pizzazz have been inspired by the Schnell family of Pinehurst, who have served as its chairs since 1989.
September through February – Classical Concert Series
The Arts Council of Moore County strives to present programs representing an exciting blend of performing arts disciplines. The Classical Concert Series has brought many world-renowned musicians and ensembles to Southern Pines, including the Alexander String Quartet, Grammy-nominated concert violinist Caroline Goulding and WindSync, a sizzling new woodwind quintet that performs exclusively by memory and incorporates unique elements of staging into their concerts.
November – Sunrise Blue Crawl
The Sunrise Theater is the center of this “pub-crawl” inspired event that includes a variety of “juke-joint” venues and artists scattered throughout downtown Southern Pines – all within walking distance of The Sunrise. With an all-access wristband, participants can sample different Blues musical styles, while enjoying the libations and food of the unique restaurants, wine cellars, and pubs each hosting different bands. Previously held in July, this event has been moved to early November and expanded to include more venues. Past performers include Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen, Boo Hanks, Lightnin’ Wells, Cool John Ferguson, Sean Chambers, King Bees, and Seth Walker.
Year-Round – The Rooster’s Wife at The Poplar Knight Spot
Janet Kenworthy is the founder of The Rooster’s Wife, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing live music to the town of Aberdeen. When Kenworthy first began to host live music in 2006, the concerts were in her home. Since then, performances have moved to The Poplar Knight Spot and Kenworthy has opened the doors to a steady stream of national and local musicians, including Grammy Award-winning Texas swing band Asleep at the Wheel, Grammy-nominated jazz artist Kate McGarry, and North Carolina singer/songwriters Joe Newberry and Laurelyn Dossett. Over the years, Kenworthy has cultivated an audience that loves and respects live music as much as she does, and word has traveled that Aberdeen is worth a stop on any musician’s tour. At this Aberdeen venue, the rules of the coop are clear: It’s all about the music.