PineCone was founded in 1984 by Wayne and Margaret MartinRon Raxter, and Beverly Young. These four friends were looking to build a scene to support bluegrass, old-time, clogging and square dancing in their home town of Raleigh. They all shared a love for the music and had experience learning the traditions informally through visits with older musicians and dancers in North Carolina. They also were each deeply fascinated by the history of the music and its roots in the Piedmont region. The early days of PineCone focused on local musicians at concerts, dances and jam sessions.

The organization has since grown into a 501c3 non-profit with a full-time professional staff based in downtown Raleigh. PineCone is now a resident company at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and the producer of Raleigh’s signature downtown festival, IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC.

PineCone also creates opportunities for amateur musicians of all ages and abilities to make music together. Through open jams, workshops and youth camps the nonprofit works to preserve traditional music of the region by inspiring more people to play.

Pinecone’s founding was inspired by folk music’s deep roots in and around Raleigh. Pictured here are participants in Raleigh’s first Fiddlers’ Convention held Labor Day, 1905. Participants include, standing (L-R): S.S. Ransdell Jr., S.S. Ransdell, Nat Warren, Judge (possibly B.F. Dixon), William “Buck” Andrews, C. E. McCullers, J.W. Sauls; Seated (L-R): H.E. Ford, A.A. Parrish, R.C. Page, R.A. Chappelle