Duke Performances

Image of Pat Cohen
Music Maker Tintype, Tim Duffy and Aaron Greenhood

The Music Maker Relief Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping true pioneers and forgotten heroes of the blues gain recognition as well as meet their day-to-day needs.

The foundation teamed up with Duke Performances to commemorate their 20th anniversary with a series of summer concerts.

N.C. musician Ari Picker tries his hand at orchestral composition.
Duke Performances

Ari Picker is best known as the front man for the acclaimed indie rock band Lost in the Trees, but the North Carolina native is now entering orchestral composition.

Inspired by the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, specifically Book of Hours, Picker has assembled a group of local musicians to debut his piece titled Lion and The Lamb

Composer and musician Jenny Scheinman wrote the score for a film comprised of 70-year-old archival footage.
Jenny Scheinman

North Carolina photographer Herbert Lee Waters created more than 200 films of people in communities across North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

He called the collection Movies of Local People, and he showed the films at small theaters so the subjects could see themselves on screen. 

Now, more than six decades later, his work is being revived as part of an experimental documentary project called Kannapolis A Moving Portrait.

Ruins in Charleston, S.C., from the album Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign
George N. Barnard / David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Duke University recently acquired two stunning sets of photographs of the Civil War. Now, Duke Performances has commissioned a leading guitarist to set the images to music. The result is an intimate perspective on the cost of war.

Ciompi Quartet Promotional Photos - 1


The Ciompi Quartet, Duke University's resident string quartet, opens its fall season September 20th at Baldwin Auditorium with guest pianist Awadagin Pratt

Over the Rhine
Darrin Ballman

Eight years ago, musicians and husband and wife Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler moved from Cincinnati to a brick farmhouse in rural Ohio. Linford had seen the house and loved it at first sight. Karin took a little convincing. But when she saw it, she was smitten: "Sure enough we rounded the bend in the road, and I saw it. It was an old, old brick house that looked like it had a lot of love in it at some point."

The space around the building was inviting and green with rolling fields. "It felt like home," Karin says.




War. The country has been engaged in it for the last decade, and yet the majority of the population knows it as little more than images on a screen.

Duke Performances

You may know Nick Sanborn as the bassist of Megafaun, but his musical influence in the Triangle spreads far beyond that.

DSA Chorus
Leoneda Inge

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are known world-wide for their flawless voices and performance of Negro Spirituals.  Paul Kwami is the choir’s musical director and is on a five city, high school southern tour to personally help young voices hone and preserve the songs that have inspired people of all cultures.

Kwami’s first stop: The Durham School of the Arts.