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Listen up! Deaf performer Sean Forbes makes music and is on tour

Sean Forbes in action and on tour
Sean Forbes in action and on tour
Author's collection

Listen up.
This is exciting news.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is presenting deaf hip hop artist Sean Forbes, who performs at the Trust Arts Education Center (805-807 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh), March 6-7.
Forbes is deaf–and out to build a badly needed bridge between the music industry and deaf people everywhere. 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. He is a voice for not only his generation but deaf culture.
Forbes is the co-founder of D-PAN, The Deaf Professional Arts Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on translating popular artists’ songs into American Sign Language music videos for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. Through his videos and 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, is fascinated by his ASL translations of musical hits and is clamoring for more.
Since 2008, Forbes has also performed in more than 50 cities across the US; including college campuses, venues and at retailers such as Barnes & Noble. To date, Forbes has appeared in front of over 150,000 people. It has been said that “Sean Forbes is a musician on a mission. An accomplished and passionate drummer, rhythm pours out of him, when he breathes, walks, types at his keyboard or hits his drums. Music is in his blood, his cells; it’s just the way he is.”
Forbes is living 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.”
Student matinees will be held on March 6 at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.; tickets for these performances is a mere $10. Student matinee performances are appropriate for all ages. They include a 30 minute live performance from Sean Forbes & his band and then a 30 minute inspirational/motivational speech in which Sean shares his background as a deaf individual in the music industry and shares ASL music videos and hosts a Q&A session with the audience. One public performance will take place on March 7 at 7 p.m. Tickets to the public performance cost $20. Tickets are available at or by calling 412- 456-6666.

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