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The $25K phone call, Whippoorwill Arts Festival, Duke Performances and Rolling Stone–a smokin’ hot August for Kamara Thomas!

Duke Performances presented Kamara Thomas (represented exclusively by Sonic Pie Productions) as a part of Music in Your Gardens, a free eight-week online concert series showcasing nationally renowned artists who call Durham and the surrounding area home. The series brilliantly shifted Duke Performances’ longtime summer series, Music in the Gardens, normally held outdoors at Sarah P. Duke Gardens on Duke’s campus, to an online format in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Filmed by: Saleem Reshamwala, John Laww, and Ismail Abdelkhalek. Audio recording and mixing: Ryan Pickett Audio technician: Christopher Scully-Thurston Production: Suzanne Despres and Sibyl Kemp

The $25K Call From California

Imagine getting to pick up the phone and share THIS news with your artist, like SPP CEO Tess Mangum did a few weeks ago…”An out-of-the-blue phone call that quickly leads to a $25,000 grant for a little-known musician sounds too good to be true. North Carolina singer-songwriter #KamaraThomas wasn’t sure at first if it was a prank, but her scheduled appearance at the Whippoorwill Arts Festival of Americana Music this weekend is proof that the Bay Area organization is an all-too-rare bright spot for Americana performers contending with shuttered venues and a dearth of gigs”
San Francisco Chronicle

If it weren’t for Covid-19, Kamara would be in California right now, for the festival, along with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Brittany Haas, banjo-forward songwriter Snap Jackson and more. “Go” to the festival via YouTube or Facebook livestream or check out the schedule of workshops.

Black Equity in Americana: A Conversation

If you missed Black Equity in Americana: A Conversation, sponsored by the Americana Music Association featuring panelists Marcus K. Dowling (moderator), Adia VictoriaRev. SekouLilli Lewis

Kamara Thomas Music, and Jason Galaz of Muddy Roots Music Festival watch the Zoom. Or, read the review in Rolling Stone Magazine. Microaggressions, stereotypes and judgement calls, at best, are a frustrating distraction from the real art and business of expressing yourself. At worst, they costs artists millions of dollars in lost wages and can make you want to quit the biz altogether.

SPP Newsletter: HippieFest, Parade logistics, Mambo, Golden Belt, Drink Local and Shows We Love

Late FALL still had that summer fun vibe–what’s on the horizon for 2019?
See this covered stage, called SummerStage and a 100+ year-old smoke stack? This is the historic, newly-unveiled Golden Belt Campus in Durham, and a view you can’t see from Main Street. There are residential options, dozens of artist studios inside, Hi-Wire Brewing just opened, parking is plentiful and Cicely Mitchell of So When Do I Clap? is curating this stage next year!
Less than a month after AfroPunk reviewed a video from her forthcoming albumGood Luck America, Kamara Thomas traded her trademark “Cosmic Americana” comfort zone to channel Aretha Franklin last weekend. (Phil Cook’s Given Family/Chosen Family project at Motorco Music Hall.)
Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba open for Weedie Braimah Wednesday, December 12. Click here for $15 tickets to this all-ages 8 p.m. show at Pinhook. Braimah, a phenomenally talented and highly sought-after Djembe Fola whose vision is to build a reverence for folkloric West African music in hopes of it evolving and being placed in the world musical arenas of jazz, funk, fusion, world music, and hip-hop, is a new face of African percussion both nationally and internationally. Kaira Ba is also closing out 2018 with a BANG. They’re playing both the early countdown and late night stage at First Night Raleigh, New Year’s Eve.
Batalá Durham and Paperhand Puppet Intervention led a people’s parade on November 30 from American Tobacco to CCB Plaza to light a huge tree across from the Unscripted Hotel. Downtown Durham Inc. contracted Sonic Pie Productions for a 2nd year, to curate talent, provide sound production services and assist with logistics.
Shows we love/gossip/drink local: did you hear Sam Bush AND Taj Mahal are playing Isis Music Hall in West Asheville? (No, not the same night, silly) It’s a gorgeous, intimate venue.

Do you like to “drink local”? Have you tried Mystic bourbon or Oak City amarettoyet? They’re about $25 a bottle, Triangle-based, hand-crafted and SO good, especially on the 29 degree nights.

Sonic Pie Productions is THRILLED to have signed a 2nd-year sound production services/modular staging contract with Hippie Fest. We’ll be returning to Ohio, South Carolina and Salisbury, NC in 2019!

Third Friday Durham, Durham’s monthly “gallery crawl” continues with a winter branding for January-March 2019. THANK YOU, EVERYONE, FOR A GREAT 2018!

OTHER UPCOMING SPP CONCERTS & EVENTS