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Great Grief with Nnenna Freelon

What is the sound of a breaking heart? How do you grow a new one in the echo of loss? From the mind of celebrated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon comes Great Grief, a podcast about love, loss and the ultimate shape shifter known as Grief. Listen to music and stories designed to help us meet the mourning and embrace the living.

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 the Content Director at WUNC. 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!

  • 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
  • Nnenna calls on the wisdom of a Black woman hemp farmer and makes new discoveries about grief and growth. | Learn more at
  • 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
  • Nnenna's walk with Grief is just beginning and she wouldn't mind some company. The journey continues as new stories return on August 6. | Don't forget to subscribe to Great Grief so you never miss an episode.
  • July 9 is a significant day for Great Grief host Nnenna Freelon. The date marks the anniversary of Phil Freelon's passing and Nnenna has chosen to commemorate the occasion with an original song called "July." | New episodes coming August 2021.
  • When death does you part, does marriage truly end? Following the passing of her husband, Nnenna contends with — and resists — the concept of transitioning from wife to widow. | Support this show with a donation at
  • Nnenna looks at the interplay between light and shadow much differently since her beloved Phil, a photographer and architect, taught her about the connection. Those lessons guided her through the highest and lowest moments of his ALS journey. | Enjoying this podcast? Support the show with a donation to
  • A darkening sky slowly shadows the story of time traveling lovers Nnenna and Phil. | Learn more at
  • Grammy-nominated musician Nnenna Freelon invites you on a walk with Grief, destination unknown.