- Deaf Artists Sean Forbes, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Mandy Harvey Headline Groundbreaking Concert at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall Featuring Collaborations from Motown Arranger Paul Riser and Hometown Composer Jake Bass
(NOV. 12 – FERNDALE, MI) It is a musical alliance never before seen, heard, nor felt as classical music meets hip hop, pop and world class percussion when Eminem publisher 8 Mile Style Music presents The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience, starring a trio of world renowned Deaf artists performing a first of its kind concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Sunday, December 16, 7pm, at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall.
Grammy and Polar Music Prize winning percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, America’s Got Talent finalist Mandy Harvey, and hip-hop star Sean Forbes, all three of whom happen to be Deaf, headline a fully immersive orchestral experience to benefit the Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN), the Detroit based non-profit created to make music and culture accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing community. D-PAN was co-founded in 2006 by Sean Forbes and Detroit music producer Joel Bacow (Martin).
The entire concert will be accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing, with performances given in American Sign Language (ASL) accompanied by large screen videos with lyrics to each song as they’re performed.
Grammy Award winning Sly5thAve will conduct arrangements of Detroit-centric hits by hometown composer Jake Bass, with performances by Grammy and Academy Award winning musicians Jeff Bass and Luis Resto. The Motown Museum is sponsoring a special set of Motown classics, arranged by music legend Paul Riser.
Immediately following the concert, a Silent Disco will take place, with a vibrating dance floor, and headphones for invited ticketholders from the Deaf community, creating a full communal sensory experience.
The idea for The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience arose after Evelyn Glennie read a story in the Washington Post about Sean Forbes and invited him, along with his long-time collaborator Jake Bass, to her home studio in the UK. (See the full story here.) The next steps became bringing in other Deaf artists and approaching the world renowned Detroit Symphony Orchestra to help create a full-fledged groundbreaking experience.
“The DSO prides itself on being the most accessible orchestra on the planet, so we were eager to collaborate on the very first Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience when the idea was brought to us,” said DSO Vice President and General Manager Erik Rönmark. “It’s a one-of-a-kind event with outstanding musicians who happen to be deaf, and we are excited to see it come to fruition here in Orchestra Hall.”
D-PAN’s Bacow added, “We’re always looking for new ways to increase musical and cultural access to the Deaf community, and this concept, The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience fits right in.”
The DSO event follows the introduction recently of DPAN.TV, an online streaming channel seen worldwide, with news, videos and information, all in ASL, with over 100,000 subscribers and growing. Based in Ferndale, Michigan, it employs 25 individuals, all Deaf or hard of hearing.
For Sean Forbes, the gratification of The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience is multiplied. “I want people to experience music the way I’ve always presented it - performing it in American Sign Language, with visual lyrics behind me, and of course, loud and fun,” the rapper said. “And I also get to do this in my hometown, with the famed DSO, and on stage with legends and dames.”
The event will be live-streamed on select PBS affiliates through Detroit Public Television.
Tickets for The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience are available on the DSO website here, or by calling 313.576.5111.
For inquiries, or requests for interviews CONTACT:
In 2006, The Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN), a registered 501(c)3, was founded to make music accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Since then, D-PAN launched DPAN.TV - The Sign Language Channel - making news and information truly accessible online to everyone. D-PAN is now a household name in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, as well as to hearing people who are interpreters, educators, students, parents and family.
About the DSO
The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. The DSO makes its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, celebrating its centennial in 2019-2020. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.