Tryon Palace to Offer Free Jonkonnu Workshops

Workshops held in the Waystation auditorium every Tuesday from June 17–Aug. 5 

NEW BERN, NC –June 17–Aug. 5, 2014

Tryon Palace will host free Jonkonnu workshops every Tuesday from June 17 through Aug. 5. Workshops will be held from 1-3 p.m. in the Waystation auditorium, located on the corner of George and Pollock streets. A celebration of music, dancing, and colorful costumes, Jonkonnu offers a chance to experience the culture of African Americans that lived in eastern North Carolina during the 1800s.

Jonkonnu is the African American holiday celebration that combines singing, dancing, and drumming into one lively performance. Celebrated during the 1800s and then lost at the turn of the century, Jonkonnu has been brought back to life at Tryon Palace.

At the weekly workshops, students will learn about the skills of Jonkonnu, including dancing techniques, drumming methods, and choreographing movements to music. Students will also learn about Jonkonnu’s cultural importance to enslaved African Americans. Youth ages 7 and up are invited to attend these workshops.  

“It’s an exciting event to be a part of, either as a dancer or musician, or as a viewer,” said Sharon Bryant, African American outreach coordinator for Tryon Palace. “Jonkonnu is a lively, fun celebration of the culture and history of African Americans here in eastern North Carolina, it’s unique to our area, and it’s something that everyone can enjoy.”

Tryon Palace invites all to attend a free public performance of Jonkonnu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. The celebration, performed by the students, will include music, dancing, and costumes as a showcase of the skills students learned during the workshops. 

For more information about the Jonkonnu workshops, call Bryant at 252-639-3592. 

Tryon Palace Media Contact
Craig Ramey
Marketing and Communications, Manager
Phone: (252) 639-3511

About Tryon Palace

Tryon Palace, located in New Bern, NC, is part of the Office of Archives and History, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Tryon Palace is one of North Carolina’s most significant historic sites. It is the home of the Governor’s Palace, North Carolina’s first colonial and first state capitol, and includes historic buildings, gardens and the North Carolina History Center, which revolutionizes the visitor experience through use of the latest interactive  technology. The History Center includes galleries, a performance hall, the museum store and a waterfront café. Tryon Palace’s mission is to engage present and future generations in the history of North Carolina from early settlement in 1710, the development of statehood and into the mid-twentieth century. It is dedicated to collecting, interpreting and preserving objects, buildings, landscapes and events that enrich understanding of the making of our state and nation.

Tickets and visitor information are available at Tryon Palace, 529 S. Front St., New Bern. For directions and further information about special events, programs or group tours, employment and more, visit our web site: or phone (800) 767-1560 or (252) 639-3500.

About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of State Archives, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.

NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit