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MUSICIAN: Steeped in Traditional Jazz with essence of Funk, Soul and World Music, Dawn's music is truly beyond the box. Flutist, Vocalist and Composer, She grew up in the Los Angeles area, nurtured by a musical family. Largely self-taught until college, she began playing flute and singing in the public school system. After graduating with Honors from Wellesley College with a major in music, she later attended Columbia University, where she earned a Masters in Musical Composition (Western) and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology. While conducting her doctoral research on the thriving underground hip-hop scene of New York City, she also discovered an equally vibrant jazz scene. Throughout the 1990’s, she “paid her dues” in the smoky jazz clubs and was blessed to work with some of the top musicians of her generation as a respected band-leader and side musician. She was selected to join the Musicians' Roster of the Los Angeles City Arts Commission, 2011-2014. (The roster serves as a resource for Presenters of Free Concerts in Public Sites, exemplifying the city's rich and diverse talent.)
EDUCATOR: While pursuing an artistic career, “Dr. Dawn” has been a musical educator and advocate for quality public arts program for youth. She is a Teaching Artist with the Music Center; a member of Grammy-winning songwriter, Bunny Hull's theater troupe, Dream A World Education, Inc.. and gave a presentation on jazz to public school teachers at the Skirball Cultural Center. With a 5-piece ensemble, she has performed her concert-lecture, "Women, Protest and Song" at the Grammy Museum, Skirball Cultural Center, and California African American Museum. Dr. Norfleet considers it a joy and privilege to train the next generation of musicians as a professional vocal coach and woodwind instructor. She launched an on-going mentoring program for the prestigious NAACP youth initiative, known as “ACT-SO” for the Beverly Hills-Hollywood branch. She has taught and/or given lecture performances at UC San Diego, University of Virginia, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Grinnell College (as a Scholar in Residence), UC Santa Cruz and Spelman College.
WRITER: Dr. Dawn authored an entry on hip-hop for the second edition of "African American Music: An Introduction" (Routledge 2013). She also pitched, researched and co-wrote and article on building a home recording studio for Black Enterprise Magazine, and served as Music Editor for the Quarterly Black Book Review.