The Beast

The Beast

BandHip HopJazz

A fearless hip hop and jazz quartet from Durham, NC. Compelling lyrics, progressive compositions and a gripping live show make The Beast one of the most refreshing and versatile bands to emerge from North Carolina's burgeoning music scene.

Biography

Beautifully rebellious and refreshingly original, The Beast is one of the most imaginative bands to emerge from North Carolina’s burgeoning music scene. The Durham-based quartet fearlessly navigates worlds of hip hop and jazz with compelling lyrics, progressive compositions and a gripping live show.

The Beast developed its sound at UNC-Chapel Hill where pianist Eric Hirsh, drummer Stephen Coffman, and bassist Peter Kimosh studied jazz, while emcee Pierce Freelon developed his intelligent lyricism in classrooms and music venues across campus. The quartet joined forces after graduating in 2007.

The Beast is dedicated to education and cultural outreach. The group has developed workshops on creativity, improvisation, and the history of African-American music based on the Blackademics Hip Hop curriculum founded by emcee Pierce Freelon. A professor of African American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and NC Central University, Freelon’s workshops have reached a multi-generational audience from New York to New Delhi.

SANKOFA: AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC FROM SPIRITUALS TO HIP HOP
In this session, The Beast weaves the story of African American music into an interactive informance (information-performance). Performing original songs, as well as standards from the spiritual, jazz and Hip-Hop canon, The Beast will introduce students to a revolutionary new style of music while paying homage to the musicians who came before them. Students will participate in performances by playing percussion instruments with the band, engaging in call and response, and through interactive songwriting and improvisation.

IMPROVISATION REVOLUTION
Improvisation Revolution is an interactive lecture, which delves into the performance, practice and power of improvisation. Students will examine various types of improvisation, including - live performance, scatting, beatbox, freestyle, DJing and theatre -through a series of interactive workshops, video clips, and performance demonstrations.

GENRE-BENDING: A JAZZ AND HIP-HOP MASTER CLASS
Most college-aged students don't listen to Jazz, and their parents aren't into Hip Hop. Genre-bending offers students and faculty the opportunity to explore the many connections between both genres while looking historically at a rich history of progressive Jazz and Hip- Hop musicians. Utilizing interactive lecture, lyrics and coded language analysis, group discussion, live performance and improvisation this workshop introduces students to a new style that blends Hip Hop and jazz.

Discography

2008 - Belly (EP) - ft. YahZarah - Chakra Con Music
2009 - Silence Fiction (LP) - ft. Orquesta Gardel - Chakra Con Music
2010 - Freedom Suite (LP) - ft. 9th Wonder, Suede (of Camp Lo), Nnenna Freelon - Chakra Con Music
2011 - Guru Legacy (EP) - ft. Silent Knight, John Robinson, ?uestlove (of The Roots - intv) - Chakra Con Music