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Tracks Music Series comes to downtown through September, featuring local artists

VSPTRN, a DJ and producer from Durham, performing at the Tracks Music Series concert in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. VSPTRN is known for infusing hip-hop, techno deep house, and afrobeats into their DJ style.

A variety of musical artists performed at this year's first installment of the Tracks Music Series on Thursday at the Rosemary and Columbia St. Parking Lot in downtown Chapel Hill. 

Magic Tuber Stringband, a folk duo, kicked off the event with a duet on guitar and violin. Their performance was followed by DJ and producer VSPRTN and the concert concluded with rapper GODRIC.

Two more concerts are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 15 and Thursday, Sept. 22 at the same location, both from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The concert series invited indie rock duo Bonies, rapper Alicia Marie and Venezuelan Appalachian folk fusion duo Larry & Joe for the Sept. 15 show. The event on Sept. 22 will feature hip hop artist Luren Grotto, DJ jstory and punk rock band Bangzz.

The concerts are organized by Tracks Music Library, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, the Town of Chapel Hill and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.

Tracks Music Library is a commercial-free streaming service that curates music from local artists. Tracks is a collaboration between Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and the Chapel Hill Public Library.

“The main aim with Tracks Music Series is to give music lovers an opportunity to discover new music and new artists,” Melissa Bartoletta, marketing & communications coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, said.

The Sept. 8 event was the first Tracks concert that took place in downtown Chapel Hill. Last year, the event was held in a parking lot at University Place.

“We have small public spaces in general in downtown, and there's a lot of competition for them,” Matt Gladdek, executive director at the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, said. “So we thought it was the best space that met all the needs without having to shut down the street, which can cause a lot of confusion and difficulty for businesses.”

As a digital hub that connects the Town’s art partners and artists, Bartoletta said Tracks encourages musicians in Chapel Hill and the Triangle to upload their music to the library. 

There are certain requirements for artists to be featured on Tracks, however. 

Musicians intending to upload their songs must first provide three samples for consideration. If selected, they will be required to submit an album created in the past two years that has at least 5 songs.

Selected musicians will receive a $200 honorarium once they sign a license agreement with the Town. 

The Community Curators of Tracks make the selection. According to the website, there are eight curators who "listen to music with an ear for quality, diversity, and connection to the Chapel Hill scene.”

Marco Cervantes Garcia, a Chapel Hill resident — who came to the concert with his sister, brother-in-law and three cousins — said he enjoyed the experience. 

“The sun’s going down – not as much rays on you,” he said. “I like the music: the bluegrass in the beginning was nice during the sunset.”

Angela Bonner, a Hillsborough resident who brought a friend to the concert said it was a great, relaxed outdoor community-building event. 

UNC first-year Hailey Baldwin said she received an email from UNC Campus Health about the event and decided to go with two of her friends. She said they played Connect Four and were planning to eat ice cream and play Jenga.

Jane Rudenko and Tamiyah Braswell, communications specialists at UNC, also said they saw the advertisement for the concert and came to hang out. They said they thought they would enjoy the concert because of the cool September weather and good company.

“It's really nice to see the Town of Chapel Hill providing opportunities for the community to come out and engage with each other and hang out,” Rudenko said.


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