City Sunsets Concert Series
Updated: May 22
Every Saturday, June 3 - August 26
Center City Park Oval Lawn (see map below)
This program is supported by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty
Our favorite summer concert series is back with a stellar lineup of musical artists from around the region! Bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket (and your dancing shoes) for nights of awesome live entertainment in Center City Park. Enjoy concessions from local food vendors or bring a picnic as you enjoy a series of summer serenades.
This is a FREE program, and no tickets are required.
2023 City Sunsets Performer Lineup:
6/3 - MikeWawa & Geigespazz: Two artists looking to push the boundaries of culture and medium decided they wanted to create a unique sound. The Electronic/Funk mix and the classical acoustic violin find a common language, delivering familiar sounds with profoundly new meanings. MikeWawa & Geigespazz's style is something that fans of all ages can appreciate. Key performances include the opening act for multi-platinum artists Michael Ray, an ACC Tournament halftime show, a TEDx talk, and other festivals.
6/10 - Triangle Afrobeat Orchestra: The Durham, NC based Triangle Afrobeat Orchestra (TAO) is a diverse, multi-generational, multi-ethnic band founded in 2018 by bassist/composer Vattel Cherry. The members include: a former firefighter; a professor of dance; a prison physical therapist; a newspaper journalist; two doctors of pathology, as well as full time musicians, who have toured and recorded internationally.
TAO takes its inspiration from: Afro Funk pioneer, Geraldo Pino; AfroBeat creator Fela Kuti; pianist/singer Nina Simone; trailblazing queen of Funk Betty Davis, and activist/revolutionary Fred Hampton.
TAO has performed at: Francis Marion University (Florence, SC); New Belgium Brewery (Asheville, NC); Snug Harbor & Petra's (Charlotte, NC); Motorco Music Hall & Fullsteam Brewery (Durham, NC); Cat's Cradle (Carrboro, NC); The Pour House Music Hall & Kings (Raleigh, NC).
Genre Description: Afrobeat is a music genre which involves the combination of elements of West African musical styles such as Fuji music and highlife with American funk and jazz influences, with a focus on chanted vocals, complex intersecting rhythms, and percussion.
6/24 - Tre. Charles: Tre. Charles is a Alt/ Soul Singer-songwriter who dives into the depths of his soul and invites you into his world with an expressive blend of warm and soulful undertones, simplistic and powerful lyrics, and emotive crooning; all of which helps you navigate your way through the encompassing experience. Growing up along the East Coast from city to city, Tre. Charles has been exposed to a myriad of different cultures. It is from these experiences that he has cultivated a sound of his own which pays homage to his nomadic upbringing. With hints of avant-garde R&B, modern/indie rock, and ambient soul, Charles’ honest & powerful music has a lot of people listening.
Tre. Charles has been compared to musicians like Frank Ocean, Moses Sumney, Sampha, and James Blake to name a few but this artist has a sound all his own. Tre. has acquired many cosigners along his artistic journey, his most recent being that he is now endorsed by the world renowned guitar company D’angelico Guitars as an official artist, a product endorsement with Clock and Colours premium jewelry and Blundstone footwear. He has also been recently nominated for the Best R&B artist for the Carolina Music awards(2022), winner of the Virginias Favorite Award at RIFF(Richmond International Film Festival)(2022), as well as dubbed as the future of music at the 2022 NXNE music festival in Toronto.
Tre. Charles has performed in venues all across the US. From being featured on CBS and NBC programming to performing at a myriad of festival stages such as Carolina Jubilee, Dominion Energy Riverrock, North X Northeast festival, Blacktoberfest, D.C. National Cherry Blossom Festival, Charlotte Boom and many more. His artistry has a unique way of making any setting intimate and personal. Charles has performed for numerous CreativeMornings sessions(international conglomerate) as well as numerous Sofar Sounds; he also made his New York debut at the legendary Rockwood Music Hall and the renowned Pete’s Candy Store to a captivated audience. His debut singles (Stressin.) and (Lately.) which gathered major buzz from publications such as NPR, INDY Week, Wearesoul, Iggy Magazine and many more will be followed up by his debut E.P. which is scheduled to be released this year(2023).
7/1 - Wake Moody: Chapel Hill, NC artist Wake Moody plays a strange game: his music - built on old-school R&B, rock, and modern pop - stays focused on good vibes, while the lyrics often deal with something more conflicted. “Most of the songs,” he explains, “are ‘almost-love songs’” – songs where, if one detail was different, everyone would be happy. “So 90% of the situation is great,” he says, “but that last 10%, the deal-breaker, the problem, means you need to let go. But you won’t because the good parts are too good.” Songs like “Shivers” and “Won’t Let Go” mine this territory, though he admits it isn’t always apparent on first blush. “Everyone tells me the songs are feel-good. If it makes you feel something, somehow, that’s all I need - I said what I needed to either way!”
Sonic inspirations range from Daniel Caesar to Lianne la Havas, from Frank Ocean to Earth Wind and Fire. “My childhood was sound-tracked by my parents’ favorite R&B, classic rock and soul records,” he explains, an influence apparent in his band’s soulful live shows, featuring hypnotic grooves and vocal harmonies. The band’s debut EP, Shivers, released March 2019. In 2022, Wake Moody was awarded an Artist Support Grant by the Durham Arts Council. The band's past performances include Eno River Festival, the NC State Fair, The Pinhook, Local 506, and more.
7/8 - Fifth Floor: Fifth Floor is a group of friends who met and formed in a practice room at Guilford Technical Community College in High Point, North Carolina. You could describe their sound as a combination of pop meets rock meets indie. The band is musically influenced by everything from 5 Seconds of Summer to the Dave Matthews Band and from Paramore to Stevie Wonder, just to name a few.
Each member of the band has a different taste and background in music, but the chemistry when they play together is insane. So, when asked if they wanted to form a band the answer was absolutely. There was a very long discussion about what the band name should be. Eventually, Ryan said “what about Fifth Floor?”, and the name just stuck. In addition to working in the studio, which is really just Ryan’s garage, Fifth Floor is working on kickstarting a career by playing all around the Triad area in North Carolina at places like the The Lab in Winston-Salem, The Flat Iron in Greensboro, Porchfest in Greensboro, the Cultural Arts Center in Greensboro, and The Roar in Winston-Salem. The band also is working towards writing and releasing an EP in the upcoming months.
7/15 - Ashley Virginia: From Greensboro, North Carolina, Ashley Virginia is an artist who has gained attention for her unique songwriting style of introspective poetry and interesting harmonic structure. Her sound has been described as "raw, contemporary angst" by Americana Highways. Like the spiritual daughter of Stevie Nicks and Gram Parsons, her style falls somewhere between '70s Country cool, West Coast cosmic Americana, and ‘60s Rock ‘n’ Roll. While attending a masterclass in Greensboro, 14-Grammy award winning songwriter, Emmylou Harris, categorized Ashley Virginia’s writing as “unique and unusual”. In 2021, she released her debut album, "And Life Just Goes On Living" tackling themes of mental health, healing, and social-political commentary. Ashley Virginia is currently in post-production for her second full length album, which is funded in part by the North Carolina Arts Council.
7/22 - Emanuel Wynter: Hailing from Charlotte, classically trained violinist and songwriter Emanuel Wynter is taking ears and stages by storm with a distinctive sound and a lively, high-spirited stage presence that is infectious to everyone in the room. Taking influence from artists such as Anthony Hamilton, Leon Bridges, and Gary Clark Jr., Emanuel’s sound is a unique, vibrant, and expressive blend of R&B and Rock that manages to be raw in emotion and refined, sonically. He finds a way to sing, not only through rich and soulful vocals, but through his electrifying violin playing that is, at times, quite reminiscent of electric guitar. With dynamic musicianship and sincere lyricism, Emanuel Wynter is sure to keep your toes tapping and your soul singing.
In past years, Emanuel played a supporting role as auxiliary violinist in other NC-based groups, such as 9daytrip, Stick & Stones, and many more, but 2018 was the year in which he introduced himself as a songwriter and artist with the release of Cosmos. That ultimately led to his first EP release in early 2020, titled These Past Two Years, that Delaney Clifford from CLTure described as “an album that refuses to be overlooked.” In the year of 2022, Emanuel has been hard at work, writing and recording music that begins the next chapter of his professional career, starting with the release of his next single, Stranger, in early 2023.
7/29 - Couldn't Be Happiers: The name says it all. Energetic and quirky, Couldn't Be Happiers is a folk-rock duo that clearly enjoys every moment of their second chance at happiness, and it’s contagious. Described by Doug Davis of Flytrap Studios as Violent Femmes meets Johnny and June, this married songwriting duo mixes up rock, pop, bluegrass, and folk into a Carolinian succotash you need to taste to understand. Their songbook includes stories about the obsessive drive of a Bigfoot hunter, the life cycle of a plastic bag, the untold perspective of the first woman hanged in North Carolina,
and the acrobatic feats of strength performed
by a Cajun burglar feeding his gambling habit.
But aside from the stories, what you’ll notice first is the voices — and in particular the beautiful homespun harmonies. Those voices will take you from church to holler to club to Opry and back again all in one song, thanks to the exhilarating power of Jodi’s vocals and the smoothly classic twang of Jordan’s. With Jodi on drums, Jordan on guitar, and now backed by local legend Michael Bennett on bass, Couldn’t Be Happiers roll out an incredible sound, a set of great original songs, and a live show that all but dares you not to enjoy yourself.
8/5 - Mint String Quartet: The Mint String Quartet seeks to promote and strengthen community bonds that celebrate cultural richness through music. Founded in 2020, what started as four music students longing for a rekindling of musical connection grew into a vision that became a forward-thinking passion project. Since then, Mint String Quartet has participated in masterclasses with the Sphinx Virtuosi, The Lark Ensemble, and Deborah Barrett Price of The Chamber Music Connection. In Spring 2022, the ensemble performed in the chamber music presentation led by Carolyn Huebl at the American String Teachers Association National Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia. In Spring of 2023, Mint String Quartet completed a 3-month artist residency with Music For a Great Space, where they put on numerous public performances in varying genres and visited local public schools.
The musicians of the Mint String Quartet are thrilled to continue their commitment to the cultivation of a diverse and inclusive environment for all community members, and creation of opportunities for individuals to learn about music in a welcoming and supportive space. As a collective of musical backgrounds ranging from East African traditions, to the Blues, to Irish folk tunes, Mint is dedicated to expanding the audiences and boundaries of what chamber music can be.
8/12 - Dubfire Reggae Band: Dubfire Reggae Band is an 8-piece American Reggae band from North Carolina. The band formed in 1996 from a collection of Respect Roots Rockin Reggae who met through the love of music. Playing with different bands, the group met at different venues and/or through friends and family. Bonding over a shared love of Bob Marley, Augustus Pablo, Lucky Dube, just to name a few. With their unique brand of entertainment fuses mixed cultural sounds and chimed vocal harmonies. Dubfire Reggae Band's feel good music makes you want to dance and relax with it's surprising set changes.
8/19 - Awen Family Band: Awen Family Band is a nationally touring world boogie collective founded by singer-songwriter and coddie-wompler Tim Husk in 2019 after departing a 3-year run with Asheville's Freeway Revival. Awen Family played their first show at Kings in Raleigh, NC in June of 2019 and has since performed at festivals and venues around the country featuring an ever-changing all-star cast of artists who believe that we are moving the message from one plane to another, we don't create the art, but are vessels for the great spirit to move through us, to inspire and to be inspired by the life around us. Awen Family has featured members of Toubab Krewe, Big Something, Reliably Bad, Dr. Bacon, Charlie Hunter, The Kind Thieves, The Fundamentals, Self Help, TUB, Firewater Tent Revival, Custard Pie, Mellow Swells, The Moon Unit, FRUTE and many other acts. Blending roots music from around the globe such as Zydeco, Bluegrass, Afrobeat, Wassalou (West Africa), Old Time, Swing and Psychedelic Boogie topped with lyrics spreading the message for all who seek to hear.
8/26 - Colin Cutler and Hot Pepper Jam: Colin Cutler is a Greensboro-based singer-songwriter toting a banjo, guitar, and harmonicas, with his musical roots drawing from the breadth of Americana—from Appalachian oldtime to gospel to country to roots rock.
His 3 albums and EP have landed plays on NC and Virginia public radio, the BBC, and
community and college stations around the region, a British zombie film, and mentions in No Depression, Americana Highways, and the Alternate Root, and have taken him to gigs from the NC Folk Festival and Martha Bassett Show to the City of York Folk Festival and the Romanian National Museum of Literature--but he cut his teeth at farmer's markets around the North Carolina and Virginia Piedmont and never strays far from those musical roots.
Our 2023 City Sunsets concert series is made possible by the generous support of Community Sponsor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Yost & Little Realty