Chapel Hill Public Library Launches New Digital Streaming Platform For Local Music

June 11, 2020

Local music lovers are now able to access a diverse collection of tunes from Triangle-area musicians via a new digital music platform. Tracks Music Library is streaming an inaugural collection that includes everything from indie rock and bluegrass to hip hop and electronica. A collaboration between Chapel Hill Public Library and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, the platform features commercial-free, curated music that is available for anyone to stream for free, with library card holders able to download music and create playlists.

The project aims to help music lovers find new bands to enjoy and to help local musicians connect with new audiences. The collection features over seventy musicians and bands from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill spanning a variety of genres. Some acts included in the platform are modern county duo Blue Cactus, Durham world music collective Triangle Afrobeat Orchestra, post-jazz instrumentalists dustlights, hip-hop ambassador and educator Kevin “Rowdy” Rowsey, and post-punk trio Fitness Womxn.

The inaugural collection was curated by Chapel Hill music leaders, including former Cat’s Cradle owner and legendary Chef Bill Smith, jazz powerhouse Lois Deloatch, and Motorco Music Hall talent buyer Glenn Boothe. Boothe says, “I think what makes the local music scene special is the quality of the musicianship, the diversity of styles being produced and the camaraderie of the musicians in the area to work together for a greater good. For all the musicians from this area that might also be known beyond the state lines, there are just as many that are equally great that are kinda like our little secret.”

With the launch of Tracks Music Library, Chapel Hill will join a small cadre of communities whose public libraries have created similar platforms, including Austin, Seattle, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. Libraries have long collected and circulated music, dating back to the days of eight tracks and cassette tapes.  Tracks Coordinator and Library Special Projects Manager Molly Luby notes, “These hyper-local music collections allow libraries to claim their place in the local music ecosystem, supporting both music lovers and bands in the discovery of new content.”

To celebrate the launch of the first Tracks Music Library collection, local media and digital platforms will be featuring Tracks artists and curators on Tuesdays in June.

  • Tune in to WCHL 97.9 The Hill (Chapelboro.com) each Tuesday in June from 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. for live interviews and on-air performances with Tracks musicians and bands.
  • Follow along with Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Public Library social media on Tuesdays for artist takeovers, features, and live performances.
  • Beginning June 9, visit tracksmusiclibrary.org to listen to the entire collection.
  • Download music and create custom playlists with a Chapel Hill Public Library Card. Orange County residents can obtain a library card for free at chapelhillpubliclibrary.org.

Follow Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture on Facebook (facebook.com/CHCommunityArts/), Instagram (instagram.com/chcommunityarts/) and Twitter (twitter.com/CHCommunityArts). Follow Chapel Hill Public Library on Facebook (facebook.com/chapelhillpubliclibrary), Instagram (instagram.com/chapelhillpubliclibrary/) and Twitter (twitter.com/chpublib).

More information on the project can be found at tracksmusiclibrary.org. This project was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-19-0034-19).