What is the sound of a breaking heart? How do you grow a new one in the echo of loss? Celebrated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon is back with the second season of her award-winning podcast Great Grief. Each episode is a meditative and uplifting journey of story and song, exploring loss, love, and how to move forward with grief as a constant companion.
About Nnenna Freelon
Nnenna Freelon (host/creator) is a Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, music educator, arts advocate, producer and arranger who has achieved international acclaim in both recording and live performance. @OfficialNnenna
Click [here] to listen to Nnenna on NPR's Weekend Edition in May 2021.
And [here] to watch the music video for "Time Traveler" from Nnenna's new album.
And [here] to check out Nnenna in Essence Magazine from July 2021.
Meet the Team
Stacia Brown (producer) is a writer and audio producer. She's the creator of two podcasts: The Rise of Charm City, a docuseries on Baltimore's lesser-known Black history and Hope Chest, an audio diary that features her daughter, Story. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College's MFA Creative Writing program, Stacia has written about parenting, social justice, and pop culture for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic and several other publications. On Twitter @slb79.
Sean Roux (producer/engineer) comes from the pro-production houses and music recording studios of San Francisco, CA where he worked in radio, film and music. Those projects included people like Robin Williams, Patrick Stewart and artists like Santana, Dave Matthews, Stanley Jordan, Deftones and Metallica. Sean’s love of audio and video production followed him back to the East Coast where he has worked on music production and artist development with local acts like American Aquarium, King Mez, Inflowential (Kooley High) and Nick Hagelin. On Twitter @seanrouxmusic.
Lindsay Foster Thomas (executive producer) is a multiplatform journalist and audio storyteller, Lindsay is a graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism and Hampton University. Her expertise includes innovative audience engagement, live events and productions with an attention to diversity. On Twitter @LFTeveryvoice.
Andrew Berinson (musical accompanist) is a pianist, composer and educator born and based in Raleigh, NC. Andrew's debut album as a leader, Of Love, was released in April 2019. He performs with his own trio (THRIO) and as a musical accompanist on various projects. As a creator, he strives to be empathic and joyful through his art. Andrew studied music at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. Eagle Pride!
For many people, holidays are a time of celebration marked by family, faith, and food. This time of year can also be a period of remembrance. Yes, grief has a seat at the table. But grieving in the holiday season doesn’t have to be a solo or solemn affair. In this special, Nnenna invites you into her home for live music and an uplifting conversation with some of her closest friends that explores loss, love, and how to move forward with grief during the holidays.
Nnenna’s gotten well-acquainted with grief in the past three years… so much so that it often feels like she’s in conversation with her. When Nnenna talks to Grief, Grief talks back. In this episode, we hear from the voice of Grief herself… and she’s got a lot on her mind.
Grief is held in the body – including in our hair. For Black women, hair holds a lot: identity, memory, sexual allure and yes… grief. In this episode, Nnenna reflects on growing up in a beauty salon that her mother and her sister co-owned and tells a story about the complex relationship between loss and hair.
Six months after losing her husband Phil in 2019, Nnenna also lost her only sister, Debbie. It’s taken her a long time to process what that second, equally devastating loss has meant to her. In this episode, she tells the story of her sister’s life with breathtaking tenderness and love and explores what it means to be a sister.
Fall is a season of transformation and loss. Leaves fall, preparing for the long winter and the rebirth awaiting us all on the other side. In this episode, Nnenna contemplates falling as she returns to a once-familiar place for her and her late husband Phil: the Duke Cross-Country Course.
Combining music with powerful storytelling and interviews, Great Grief is an exploration of the changes to body, mind, and spirit that occur when we experience loss. New episodes of this award-winning show from host Nnenna Freelon and WUNC return to your podcast feed weekly starting on November 17.
How do we send messages across The Great Divide? In the final episode of Season 1, Nnenna and Phil try to communicate with each other in the same way that they've always loved each other: beyond space and time.
A visit to her dear friend, master quilter Marjorie Diggs Freeman, inspires Nnenna to piece together her own story quilt of love and loss and reflect on the significance of rest while wrestling with grief. | Learn more at greatgrief.com
Nnenna calls on the wisdom of a Black woman hemp farmer and makes new discoveries about grief and growth. | Learn more at greatgrief.com.
Though every meal feels different without her husband Phil, breakfast is the hardest in the months following his passing. Nnenna reclaims the most important meal of the day with a little help from an underrated pantry staple. | Love this podcast? Support it with a donation at wunc.org/give.