Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Downtown Durham Inc Hires Tess Mangum Ocaña to Launch New Downtown Summer Concert Series

The reemergence of Downtown Durham as an arts and culture destination has been gathering momentum for years, and it just got another big boost. Local music luminary and Durhamite Tess Mangum Ocaña has been hired by Downtown Durham Inc (DDI) to start booking a new concert series to start this summer.

Running from May to August, shows will be on Thursday nights from 7:00 PM - 8:30PM on CCB Plaza right in the heart of Downtown.  The shows will feature musical acts from around the Triangle area.

Tess is a seventh generation North Carolinian. Though she grew up in a musical family (her grandmother, Kate Mangum, taught Randy Travis how to play guitar and still lives in Union County and great-uncle Homer Briarhopper was fortunate to call Doc Watson a fan), she always felt her role in the family business was behind the scenes.

From 2002-2012, she served as Concerts Director at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, a 355 seat non-profit performing arts center, where she developed the critically-acclaimed American Roots Series. This series helped launched the careers of the Avett Brothers and Durham-based Carolina Chocolate Drops, as well as shine a spotlight on American music legends such as Dr. John and Mavis Staples. For her long-term commitment to enhancing the cultural resources of this region, Tess was the recipient of the 2012 Indy Arts Award.  "I'm very excited to join the Downtown Durham, Inc. crew, especially at this time in my hometown's history, and to craft a fantastic, fun, free concert season for the Spring and Summer," said Mangum Ocaña.

“Tess brings the experience, passion and vision we felt necessary to make this concert series entertaining and successful from day one,” says DDI’s Matthew Coppedge.  “We can’t wait to launch the series for the entire community to enjoy!” Tess lives in Durham, with her husband and their two sons. When not talking, reading, writing or thinking about music, she likes to make a run for the nearest whitewater kayaking spot.

For more information about free things to do or music events in Durham, visit the Durham Events Calendar

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