Summer concerts planned at CCB Plaza

Downtown Durham hires Ocaña to create series
Feb. 27, 2013 @ 06:10 PM

Downtown Durham Inc. has hired Tess Mangum Ocaña, a local arts producer, to create a new summer music series.

The free concert series will feature a wide range of musical acts from around the Triangle. The series will run from May to August and will be on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on CCB Plaza.

Ocaña 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. Ocaña said she always felt her role in the family business was behind the scenes.

From 2002-2012, she served as concerts and facility rental coordinator for The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. There she created the American Roots Series, which helped launch the careers of the Avett Brothers and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

For her long-term commitment to enhancing the cultural resources of this region, Ocaña 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," Ocaña stated in a release.

She lives in Durham with her husband, a citizen of Spain, and their two young, bilingual sons. When not talking, reading, writing or thinking about music, she likes to make a run for the nearest whitewater kayaking spot.

“Tess brings the experience, passion and vision we felt necessary to make this concert series entertaining and successful from day one,” stated Matthew Coppedge of Downtown Durham Inc.