About the Artist
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. Pierce Freelon is an adjunct professor of African American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. He earned his BA in African American Studies and is MA in Pan African Studies at UNC and Syracuse, respectively. The Former Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Bebop to Hip Hop program, Freelon has educated internationally to a multi-generational audience in New York, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Accra. Pianist Eric Hirsh, Drummer Stephen Coffman and Bassist Peter Kimosh all earned music degrees from UNC with a focus on Jazz Studies.