Nneena Freelon’s concert benefits SeeSaw Studio


by Zenzele Barnes
Teen Editor-in-Chief
the Durham VOICE
thedurhamvoice@gmail.com

Famous jazz singer Nneena Freelon performed at the Durham Arts Council Sept. 18th at a benefit concert for the local youth art studio, SeeSaw Studio.

At the gala jazz event on Sept. 18, Seesaw Studio Executive Director Michelle Gonzales (right) is joined by WLFL-TV/MYRDC Marketing Director Donna-maria Harris (center) and local visual artist and Seesaw volunteer Beth Palmer (left). (Photo by Alex Nelson)

At the gala jazz event on Sept. 18, Seesaw Studio Executive Director Michelle Gonzales (right) is joined by WLFL-TV/MYRDC Marketing Director Donna-maria Harris (center) and local visual artist and Seesaw volunteer Beth Palmer (left). (Photo by Alex Nelson)

Nneena, a five-time Grammy nominee, performed with her band and provided the audience with soulful jazz music in a very intimate environment. She is still belting out notes with the same vigor she had when her professional music career first began.

Nneena expressed her happiness to be back in the Durham community and released the news that she and the band would be recording their forthcoming album right here in Durham.

The group’s energy radiated off the stage as they performed a set with songs from her upcoming album and past hits.

As a thank-you to SeeSaw for hosting her, she also showcased her shirt, which was an original design by SeeSaw youth designer Salima Taylor.

In an addition, her son, Pierce, performed a moving rap about issues in the African American community.

Nneena enthralled the audience of over 150 SeeSaw supporters with a very memorable performance, and the benefit concert was a complete success, bringing in in excess of $10,000, according to SeeSaw Studio Executive Director Michelle Gonzales.

We couldn’t have asked for a better benefit concert for SeeSaw Studio,” said Gonzales. “The performance was spectacular; the teens did a great job at the event, and of course we had fantastic support from our community.”

SeeSaw Studio is a free after-school program that teaches teens art skills to create their own companies that sell marketable artwork and design services.

Over the last 11 years, SeeSaw Studio has served over 100 teens in the Triangle with arts education workshops and services. Located in the lower level of the Trotter Building at 410 West Geer St., the studio is open from 3-6 p.m., Tues-Thurs. Their Web site is www.seesawstudio.org

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