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WSHA Hosts Freelon Benefit Concert

September 13, 2013 – An Evening with Nnenna Freelon, a one-night only live benefit concert, will take place on Saturday, September 14 at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts. A world renowned Jazz singer, composer, producer and arranger, Freelon will host this special concert to raise funds for Shaw University’s WSHA radio station - Shaw was the first black college in the nation to own a radio station.  Along with Freelon’s anticipated showcase, The Beast + Big Band will perform as the concert’s opening act beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Freelon is a six-time Grammy Award-nominee who has earned a reputation as a captivating live performer. She has appeared at several events such as the Democratic National Convention Media Day, Asia Pacific Economic Summit at the White House, and also teamed with Opera Superstar Jessye Norman and The Roots at the Hollywood Bowl. Along with Freelon’s live performances, she has made appearances on the big screen with TV appearances including PBS’s The Charlie Rose Show and NBC’s Weekend Today. Freelon was awarded the “Legend Award” from North Carolina’s YWCA in 2011 and the 2010 “Woman of Substance” award from Bennett College.

The Beast is a Durham based band known for their effortless sound of blending hip hop and jazz. The band was formed after pianist Eric Hirsh, drummer Stephon Coffman, bassist Peter Kimosh, and emcee Pierce Freelon (Nnenna’s son) graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where they all studied jazz. Big Band is the band’s larger ensemble that includes the addition of horns, strings, guitar and percussion to create the orchestral “big band sound” melded with hip-hop and jazz.

Tickets for the concert are $45 and can be purchased from Ticketmaster or directly from the Duke Energy Center Box Office.

This story was written by Khloe Washington, a senior at Shaw University.