Pierce Freelon

Afro-futurist professor, rapper and organizer

Pierce Freelon is a musician, professor and organizer with afro-futurist tendencies. Co-founder/host of the PBS web-series Beat Making Lab, Freelon has been an international ambassador of Pan-African art + activism. He used to work for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, where he brought Bebop to Hip Hop to youth, from South Central Los Angeles, to New Delhi. He has taught courses on music, black studies, and political science at UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. Front man of the genre-bending band The Beast, he has been hailed as a "natural, engaging blend of jazz and hip hop," by Jazz Times Magazine. 

Pierce runs a network of Pan-African community centers based in Durham and Chapel Hill, NC. These are multi-medium spaces for creating art and emancipating minds, where youth engage in beat making, video editing and radio production workshops free of charge. He lives in Durham with his wife and two kids.

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