Center Stage: The Wavemakers Series with Gabe Lee

April 10, 2024 by Sandy Lerebours

Following the first Center Stage: The Wavemakers Series performance featuring Denitia, we checked back in with Grammy-nominated artist and “Color Me Country” radio show host, Rissi Palmer about what she looks forward to in the next performance featuring Gabe Lee.

Center Stage: The Wavemakers Series is a groundbreaking performance series dedicated to celebrating diverse voices and uncovering your next favorite artists. Presented by the Carolina Theatre of Durham, this innovative series spotlights emerging talents from a myriad of backgrounds, promising an eclectic mix of musical genres and exceptional artistry.

CTD: Now that there is one Center Stage performance behind us, how would you describe the performance, how it went, and how the series is shaping up?

RP: Our first Center Stage with Denitia was better than I imagined, and I had some pretty high hopes! The setting was intimate and Denitia was enchanting, and I believe everyone who was there left a fan.

Denitia performing at the first Center Stage: The Wavemakers Series show in January of 2024.

CTD: What’s something that people should know about this series?

RP: We aim to bring you the best of the best up-and-coming musicians. Artists that are right on the cusp and will have you saying “I remember when I saw them way back when!”

CTD: What can viewers expect from upcoming performers?

RP: For our next Center Stage we are welcoming Gabe Lee, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter in the tradition of John Prine, with his colorful, vivid storytelling. His critically acclaimed album “Hometown Kid” was named to Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2022 and Obama’s Winter Playlist. Not too shabby for a guy who went to school for Journalism.

Gabe Lee

CTD: What inspired you to select Gabe Lee for this series?

RP: I am a fan of Gabe Lee! The best part of curating this series is that I’m a fan of each and every one of these artists. These are people that I listen to, these are the people that are on my playlists, and these are the people that I’m excited about and that I want to know more about. I want to know the person behind the songs, and I want YOU to know the person behind the songs.

Rissi and Denitia in discussion

CTD: How do you decide on the questions you plan to ask performers?

RP: Using a format that is one part talk show, one part intimate conversation with a group of friends, I try to get the information that is beyond the bio, talk shop, and get behind the veneer, things that audiences really want to know, the things that endear you to them. Who are you when you walk off the stage? What’s your favorite childhood memory? What’s your guitar’s name?

CTD: How can the audience participate in these events?

RP: I encourage the audience to come up with questions of their own to ask at the very end of the show. This is a fully interactive show! You are part of the conversation.



Catch the next Center Stage: The Wavemakers Series performance featuring Gabe Lee at the Carolina Theatre on April 25. Tickets are available at the box office and the Carolina Theatre website.