Hip hop artist Sean Forbes has been booked to appear at Kalamazoo Valley Community College on March 30, 2012. Forbes’ show begins at 7 p.m. in Dale B. Lake Auditorium at the Texas Township Campus. First he’ll talk and then he will perform. Tickets are now available through the Kalamazoo Valley bookstore and online at www.bookstore.kvcc.edu.
Forbes, who is deaf, grew up in Detroit and is co-founder of D-PAN, The Deaf Professional ArtsNetwork, a non-profit organization that translates popular artists' songs into American Sign Language music videos for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
In the spring of 2010, Forbes signed a record deal with Web Entertainment, the same label that discovered Oscar and Grammy award-winning rap artist Eminem. Forbes released his debut EP, music video titled “I’m Deaf” which includes the Latin dance-influenced song “Let’s Mambo” – and whose stylish new video features the acting and dancing talents of actress Marlee Matlin.
Forbes is an accomplished and passionate drummer. His parents, both musicians, filled their home with the sounds of the Motor City: Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger, the Funk Brothers and more. Despite losing his hearing as a baby, Forbes soaked up the beats and the vibrations, experiencing great music in his own way.
Inspired by what he calls “The Three B’s” (the Beastie Boys, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan), Sean started out making music videos in his basement and today is producing professional music videos with a focus on the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. A voice for his generation and also the deaf culture, Forbes attended Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies.
With his passion for music, Forbes has opened the door to musical expression – a world historically considered off limits to people in the deaf community. His dream of music for all has helped to transform the way deaf people perceive music. Through his videos and his outreach to deaf people everywhere – particularly young people eager to feel included in popular culture – music is being presented to them as a beautiful symphony of thought and expression, available to all. The hearing community, too, has been fascinated by his ASL translations of musical hits and is clamoring for more.
Since 2008, Forbes has performed in over 20 cities across the US including college campuses, live venues, the 2010 NASA sponsored TEDxNASA Conference and appeared in front of over 2,000 people.Forbes is proof that if you have enough passion and dedication, magic happens and dreams come true. “The world is run by those who show up,” he says, “And I’m showing up.”
Tickets to his Kalamazoo concert are $12 before March 28 or $15 at the door (if available). Tickets are $5 for children under 12; $10 for deaf, hard of hearing, students, and senior citizens over age 65. For more information about Forbes, go to www.deafandloud.com.