Your Feedback: PLAYlist Audience Survey Is Live!

LOOK at these September and October photos by Lis Tyroler Photography. They’re snapshots of pure JOY at the second half of our 2021 PLAYlist Concert Series, presented in partnership with WNCU 90.7.
 
If you attended one, two, three or all four concerts (Al Strong-July 2, Vanessa Ferguson-August 6,  September: A Tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire-September 3 and Soul Understated ft. Mavis Swan Pool-October 1) please take a few moments to complete out our new 2021 Audience Survey or click the pop up, so we can learn what you like and what we can do better. Durham Magazine readers named Durham Central Park a 2021 Best Venue for Live music (large venue) in their annual Best Of Survey but we want to hear from you now that this season is a wrap.
 
Offering free, welcoming and inclusive programming is integral to Durham Central Park’s mission of Providing Space for Community. In addition to PLAYlist, our programming includes the Children’s Independence Day Parade and the annual Iron Pour.
 
Over the past 21 years, DCP has become a unique activity hub downtown. It’s a beloved community gathering space and some see it as a “sacred” place in the heart of Durham. Why? Because Durham residents and businesses have made an investment in creating, building and sustaining this wonderful urban oasis. None of this would be happening today without supporters like you.
 
As the non-profit that manages and programs the park, DCP, Inc. relies on your financial support. If you love our free programming or just the feeling that you get when visiting the park, please make a secure one time or sustaining donation at durhamcentralpark.org/donate. Or, mail a check to: Durham Central Park, PO Box 1526, Durham NC 27702.

PLAYlist Concert Series: Soul Understated ft. Mavis Swan Poole

Led by vocalist extraordinaire Mavis ’SWAN’ Poole (Lauryn Hill, Prince) and powerful yet melodic drummer Jeremy ‘BEAN’ Clemons (who has performed with Gregory Porter, Burning Spear, Jennifer Holliday and more), Soul Understated delivers a beautifully performed organic sound with stellar musicianship. They’ve appeared at such major festivals as The Blue Note Jazz Fest, The Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest, the Toronto Jazz Festival and the Capital Jazz Super Cruise, while Swan appeared in the HBO series Vinyl.

WNCU’s Friday night Funk, Old School and Disco show and its host, DJ Travis Gales, will simulcast live from Durham Central Park at 7 p.m.

PLAYlist Concert Series: September: The Triangle’s Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire

September: The Triangle’s Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire, features an all-star cast of local musicians sharp enough to pull off Earth, Wind & Fire mega hits, as well as deep cuts. The stakes are high because so many audience members, of multiple generations, will know these songs word for word and note for note. Who can pull this off? C.J. Baker (drums, music director), J.C. Martin (guitar), Peanut (bass), Al Strong (trumpet), Collin Williams, (saxophone), Brendan Williams (keys), Brevan Hampden (percussion), Mercel Anderson and Nathan Harris (vocals).

WNCU’s Friday night Funk, Old School and Disco show and its host, DJ Travis Gales, will simulcast live from Durham Central Park at  7 p.m.

PLAYlist Concert Series: Vanessa Ferguson, Theresa Renee and Le’Andra Williams

Greensboro’s Vanessa Ferguson is not just a Season 12 semi finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” (team Alicia Keys), she’s a songwriter, actor, producer and musician. Vanessa was raised by her grandmother and grew up singing with her family. She enrolled in piano lessons at age five and competed in her first competition in fifth grade. Prince, Sting and Jill Scott are just a few of her musical influences. 

Pianist, music educator, vocalist and NCCU graduate Le’Andra Williams serves as music director and keyboardist for this ambitious, never-before-seen project. Le’Andra’s talents began at the age of three. Like many, she began to play in her hometown churches as the Sunday pianist. The band: Theresa Renee (vocals), Sinclair Palmer (bass) Jasmine Best (drums), Emily Musolino (guitar), and Shaena Ryan Martin (baritone sax)

WNCU’s Friday night Funk, Old School and Disco show and its host, DJ Travis Gales, simulcast live from Durham Central Park at  7 p.m.

PLAYlist Concert Series: Al Strong

Music, specifically the trumpet, is Al Strong’s calling. He is known as the co-founder of Art of Cool Project and the Art of Cool Festival. Supporters saw in him an ability to synthesize the Triangle’s homegrown sound and merge it with his own life experiences. In January 2016, Strong introduced his debut album, LoveStrong Vol. 1.

Fast forward to 2020, a year marked by the pandemic and tragic killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. An only child who spent some years bouncing from shelter to shelter with his father, Strong knows all too well the struggle of Black Americans. From this, he channeled “LEVAS”. It’s his heartfelt arrangement of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the classic hymn also known as the “Negro National Anthem.” This rich and elaborate 8-minute odyssey, with its video love letter to Durham and black joy, was the lift the community, and the nation, very much needed.

WNCU’s Friday night Funk, Old School and Disco show and its host, Travis Gales, will simulcast live from Durham Central Park at 7 p.m., setting the Friday mood for the 4th of July Weekend!

PLAYlist Concert Series Returns July 2nd!

Durham Central Park and WNCU 90.7 Join Forces To Present PLAYlist Concert Series 2021!

Durham Central Park, a downtown destination for outdoor recreation, relaxation and cultural events is joining forces with WNCU 90.7, the Triangle’s jazz and NPR station, to present the 2021 PLAYlist Concert Series! Every first Friday, July through October, as the sun sets and the weekend begins, see North Carolina’s Al Strong, Vanessa Ferguson, Soul Understated and an irresistible tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire. Concerts are free, open to the public, all ages and rain or shine.

WNCU’s DJ Travis Gales will simulcast his funk and disco show live, from Durham Central Park, at 7 p.m., which is when local food trucks, craft beer and vendors begin serving. Bring your folding chair or blanket. Parking is free in the lot beside Durham Central Park. There are restrooms at DCP and the venue is wheelchair accessible.

PLAYlist has presented artists such as Rebirth Brass Band, Too Many Zooz, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Valerie June and Van Hunt to an adoring, often dancing, multi-generational audience since 2017. Last year’s series was fully booked, but had to be cancelled, due to Covid-19. Durham Magazine readers named Durham Central Park a 2021 Best Venue for Live music (large venue) in their annual Best Of Survey!

Admission to PLAYlist Concert Series is free, due to support from City of Durham, Downtown Durham Inc., North Carolina Arts Council, Durham Arts Council, Acme Plumbing, Resolute Builders, Foster On The Park and Morningstar Law. RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS.

Sustain PLAYlist Concert Series

If you specify your gift to support PLAYlist and our free programming, gifts of $50 or more will receive a PLAYlist t-shirt (see photo below– a variety of colors are available).
Offering free, welcoming and inclusive programming is integral to Durham Central Park’s mission of Providing Space for Community. In addition to PLAYlist, our programming includes the Children’s Independence Day Parade and Food Truck Rodeos. We also partner with other local groups to provide free, fun activities at the park, from yoga to the annual Iron Pour.
Over the past 21 years, DCP has become a unique activity hub downtown. It’s a beloved community gathering space and some see it as a “sacred” place in the heart of Durham. Why? Because Durham residents and businesses have made an investment in creating, building and sustaining this wonderful urban oasis. None of this would be happening today without supporters like you.
As the non-profit that manages and programs the park, DCP, Inc. relies on your financial support. If you love our free programming or just the feeling that you get when visiting the park, please make a secure one time or sustaining donation on our website at durhamcentralpark.org/donate or mail a check to: Durham Central Park, PO Box 1526, Durham NC 27702.

Order LocoPops Today (10/26) to benefit Durham Central Park

LocoPops is adored for their local, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free frozen desserts–flavors like Mango Chile Sorbet and Vietnamese Coffee. Have one, or treat the neighbors. Locopops will donate 10% of pre-tax revenue from online sales on Monday, Oct. 26 to benefit Durham Central Park! Place your order on Monday for pickup or delivery on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Visit https://ilovelocopops.com/ and click Order Online.

Did you miss getting to eat popsicles in the park this summer? We sure missed YOU and scenes like these at our food truck rodeos and concerts. Stock up on some Locopops and eat popsicles FOR Durham Central Park on Durham’s warm fall days!

NEW PLAYlist Concert Series T-shirts Are Here!

This summer, if you specify your gift to support PLAYlist and our free programming, gifts of $50 or more will receive a PLAYlist t-shirt  (see photo below– a variety of colors are available) and $10 voucher for food during the concerts. Gifts of $250 or more will receive the PLAYlist t-shirt, a $20 voucher for food during the concerts, and a pair of tickets to our fall fundraiser Trucks for the Park!
This is our third year presenting PLAYlist and tonight we welcomed Grammy award-winning artist Van Hunt to our stage! We offer the PLAYlist Concert Series to the community free of charge, family-friendly and welcoming to all. The concerts are every other Friday evening through September 20.  Local food trucks and craft beer vendors will begin to serve at 6 p.m. and the music will start at 7 pm. We certainly hope that you can join us for the fun! For more information about the series, visit durhamplaylist.org.
Offering free, welcoming and inclusive programming is integral to Durham Central Park’s mission of Providing Space for Community. In addition to PLAYlist, our programming includes the Children’s Independence Day Parade and Food Truck Rodeos. We also partner with other local groups to provide free, fun activities at the park. Every Saturday morning, Blue Point Yoga offers yoga classes (at no charge!) and every November, we collaborate with Liberty Arts on the annual Iron Pour.
Over the past 20 years, DCP has become a unique activity hub downtown. It’s a beloved community gathering space and some see it as a “sacred” place in the heart of Durham. Why? Because Durham residents and businesses have made an investment in creating, building and sustaining this wonderful urban oasis. None of this would be happening today without supporters like you.
As the non-profit that manages and programs the park, DCP, Inc. relies on your financial support. If you love our free programming or just the feeling that you get when visiting the park, please make a secure one time or sustaining donation on our website at durhamcentralpark.org/donate or mail a check to: Durham Central Park, PO Box 1526, Durham NC 27702.
Best,
Erin Kauffman
Executive Director
Durham Central Park
919-794-8194
Photo credits: Ryan Moeller, Photography Ken Demery

Songwriter VAN HUNT headlines Durham Central Park’s PLAYlist Concert Series

“Inspired by the music of The Delfonics, Parliament-Funkadelic, Pink Floyd and Billie Holiday, Hunt chronicles love, loss, and nostalgia through the sounds of original funk and old soul. He achieves the kind of heated, raw sound that has virtually disappeared in to much of today’s overly-manicured R&B and Hunt never loses sight of the past as he progressively forges his own way forward” –The Boston Globe. VAN HUNT headlines PLAYlist, Durham Central Park’s free, annual concert series Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.

A Dayton, Ohio-born musician, Hunt made his way to Atlanta where he drew acclaim for his production efforts and crafty songwriting, featured on recordings by such diverse artists as Dionne Farris and Rahsaan Patterson, as well as the platinum-selling soundtrack, Love Jones. 2019 marks the 15th anniversary of his own self-titled debut album.

It instantly established Hunt as a distinctive and original talent with its idiosyncratic melding of R&B, soul, funk, pop, and rock ‘n’ roll. Hunt received a 2005 “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” Grammy nomination for his breakthrough hit single, Dust featured on that album. 

Parking is free in the lot beside Durham Central Park, and there are metered spaces along Foster Street which change to free parking meters after 7 p.m.

Picnics, blankets and folding chairs are welcome. Local food trucks and craft beer vendors will be on site serving at 6 p.m. There are restrooms at Durham Central Park and the venue is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit https://durhamplaylist.com/

We need YOUR PLAYlist feedback–only takes 60 seconds!

PLAYlist is DCP’s 10 week summer concert series with shows every Friday night from 6-8 pm, rain or shine. 

Thank you to our 2018 artists (Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Laura Reed, Aztec Sun w/ StArt of Cool, Valerie June, Kamara Thomas, Mamis & the Papis, Gemynii, Joshua Gunn, Devon Gilfillian, Empire Strikes Brass, Al Strong & the Fresh Five, Jenn Bostic), sponsors, donors, vendors and fans. We’ll see you next summer! Please take a moment to fill out this 60 second PLAYlist survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V27GY6W