Rissi Palmer’s Why

January 16, 2024 by Sandy Lerebours

We interviewed, Grammy-nominated artist and “Color Me Country” radio show host, Rissi Palmer about why it was important for her to curate the upcoming Center Stage: The Wavemakers Series at the Carolina Theatre.

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.

Palmer Discusses Why She’s Curated Center Stage: The Wavemakers Series

What made you want to curate the Wavemakers series?

RP: I wanted to curate this series because I know the difficulties that come with being on the climb in your career. Every artist knows that there is a climb period, a peak, and eventually, a descent in your career. When you are on the climb, you’re somewhere between playing for 10 people and 100 people. You’re fighting for fair compensation, or being compensated at all. You’re fighting for the few spots on gigs that will be transformational. I wanted to make that accessible, while also exposing the Carolina Theatre audience to artists they may not have heard about for a few more years.

How has your experience in the music industry influenced your decision to be involved in the series?

RP: I know the importance of having someone advocate for you and how it can often lead to a breakthrough. I’ve had people step up and advocate for me at every stage of my career and that’s how I’ve been able to maintain for almost 25 years in this business.

What is your favorite part of curating the series? 

RP: Choosing the artists. I love finding someone I’ve never heard of before and being excited about it.

Denitia is the first performer in the series. Why was Denitia one of your choices to be a performer?

RP: I first heard Denitia’s album about a year ago and loved it. The writing was solid and her voice was so soothing and beautiful. I immediately wanted to know more. I think that Denitia is the total package and someone who could and should have a long-lasting career.

What made you want to partner with the Carolina Theatre for the series? 

RP: Carolina Theatre is one of my favorite venues in town. It’s classic and respected. This is the type of venue that artists dream about performing in.

What impact do you hope the series has in the community?

RP: I hope that this series will perpetuate the Carolina Theatre’s reputation of being a venue that brings premiere talent to Durham and I hope to introduce new artists to the market.


Catch the next upcoming artist performing in Center Stage: The Wavemakers Series at the Carolina Theatre. Tickets are available at the box office and the Carolina Theatre website.