Best Venues to Watch Local Bands in Durham, N.C.

North Carolina isn't the state most people think of first when thinking of music, but we've produced our fair share of nationally-respected artists, we host a few music festivals, we have a well-established jazz culture, and we're home to a strong local music community.

Below are some venues for watching local bands in Durham, N.C.:

The Shed Jazz Club
The Shed is a zero-commission performance venue for local and touring, original, up-and-coming jazz groups. North Carolina has long had a thriving jazz community, and The Shed aims to contribute to the community by offering a performance venue, recording services, promotion, and a music-first environment, where artists can start their careers and audiences can engage in music and art. During the week, the club also serves as a coffee shop and used bookstore.

MotorCo Music Hall
MotorCo Music Hall, in conjunction with Parts&Labor Restaurant, is an event space and performance venue that features both local and national musicians, educational events, comedy, and films. Customers can enjoy the restaurant and bar, take advantage of the patio, or buy a ticket ($5 - 40) to a show.

The Pinhook
The Pinhook sits right in the middle of downtown Durham and provides a venue and safe space for all types of people to watch local and national bands, regular weekly shows, drag shows, trivia nights, open mics, and more. Grab a beer or cocktail and watch a local band, like Anonymous Jones, or Pena Ajena.

Brightleaf Square
Less a venue and more a small village within downtown Durham, Brightleaf Square began as a collection of tobacco warehouses for the American Tobacco Company, and is now a square of boutiques and restaurants. The square in the middle features patios and space for live, local music.

Nick is an ex-musician (clarinet and piano) now-freelance-writer in Durham, N.C., who mainly writes about food at his blog, The Kitchen Klutz Blog.