North Carolina’s rich tradition in music spans the magnificent mountains of the Blue Ridge to the sandy shores of Eastern North Carolina. In between, there are world-class musicians and composers, as well as music industry innovators.
American music icons Doc Watson, John Coltrane, Elizabeth Cotton, Shirley Caesar, James Taylor, Roberta Flack, Thelonious Monk, Earl Scruggs, Randy Travis, Nina Simone, and Maceo Parker have shared the sounds of their home state with the world. The state’s musical legacy continues today with more than five American Idol finalists and top 12 contenders from The Voice.
North Carolina is also nationally recognized for our deep rooted craft traditions, literary legacy and world-renowned film and music festivals, such as Full Frame Documentary Festival, Merlefest and World of Bluegrass, held as part of the International Bluegrass Music Association.
The North Carolina Arts Council celebrates the state’s rich musical traditions and many musical distinctions with two cultural tourism projects: Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina: A Guide to Music Sites, Artists, and Traditions of the Mountains and Foothills and African American Music Trails in Eastern North Carolina.
To make it easier for you to find out about arts and cultural experiences make www.NCArtsEveryday.org your first stop in planning arts and authentic North Carolina experiences. Explore the state’s other rich, diverse traditions in craft, folk arts, painting and literature, along with a dynamic contemporary art scene, makes North Carolina the Creative State.