Halfway through our interview, Brett Chambers recalls a friend once telling him, ‘You can’t run from your music. You can try to run from it, but you can’t outrun it. It will always catch you.’
Brett teaches mass communication at the North Carolina Central University (NCCU), and his journalism career spans more than thirty years. Brett is an example of loving what you do, being exceptional at it, and appreciating the service it provides. His career shows that you can be recognized for executing your craft well, and then share that craft with the next generation of professionals.
But he couldn’t run from his music.
“Music has been my best friend throughout my entire life… I always make a joke that it’s my therapist, but the best part about it is that I don’t have to make an appointment.”
Brett’s Open Mic reflects a collaborative spirit. Mutual respect between the audience and musicians makes the performance reciprocative. “Music itself is a communal event,” he says, citing the supportive environment he cultivates. As the audience, “either you’re clapping or you’re listening.”
Now every Wednesday at Beyu Caffe, Brett’s Open Mic is a Durham institution. Last week, it turned twenty-one. It has endured venue changes, an evolving downtown, and even the passing of the house band’s bassist. Brett recalls his friend and bandmate and pauses to compose himself.
“The story unfolds on stage,” he says. As Durham grows, we’ll see how this narrative continues to develop.