Bullhorn amplifies Durham, North Carolina-area music through play, performance, and possibility! We are an artist-led 501(c)(3), BIPOC and LGTBQIA2S+-affirming nonprofit founded in 2021. Some of our activities include hosting an annual festival of local sounds, offering sliding scale stringed instrument lessons, and supporting musicians in recording and releasing their work. Please let us know your sonic dreams at info @ bullhornarts.org!
The roots of Bullhorn run deep and wide, but we began officially in 2021. Durham musicians Nadeen Bir and Josh Zaslow had long sought greater connections to community through music when Josh met musician advocate Marty Khan in Robert Trowers’ capstone course on contemporary music at North Carolina Central University. Seeing an opportunity to realize some of their dreams of making music, aiding others, and having fun, Nadeen and Josh approached Marty to see if he could help them. After laying down the ground rules as only he can, Marty agreed and the three began work on Bullhorn in June of 2021.
After a few months of concentrated effort and with assists from the Terreiro de Arte e Cultura, Earthseed Land Co-op, Professor Trowers, the NCCU music community, Shadowbox Studio, the Durham Solidarity Center, Sammy Truong AKA DJ Yammy, 18 of the best local musicians, and countless other old and new friends, Bullhorn held its release into the wild at the First-Ever Bullhorn Fest in late August. Sammy played such an essential role at the event that we asked him to fill the third chair on our board of directors. Once again, we had the great luck of someone amazing saying “yes” to us. With a full complement of leaders, we gained federal tax-exempt nonprofit status in January 2022. Bullhorn received a generous Arts Catalyst grant from the Durham Arts Council and the NC Arts Council in 2022 to assist with its operation costs.
Board of Directors
Nadeen Bir – Nadeen is a natural-born entertainer and community builder with roots in Palestine, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Durham. She has worked with El Centro Hispano, Student Action with Farmworkers, Southern Vision Alliance, and currently directs HR and Finance at Press On.
Sammy Truong AKA DJ Yammy – A self-styled People’s DJ who has been serving sounds and bringing people together through music for over 15 years. He straddles the line between community and club DJ, supporting a range of diverse events from Latin music rent parties and sweaty-walled basement clubs to just about any occasion where people gather to struggle and live life through music and dance. In this way, his art is inseparable from his life and politics. Growing up as a second-generation Vietnamese-American immigrant in the arid Arizona desert, he found a connection to music through all-ages ska and punk shows buffered with hours and hours of after-school MTV. His musical influences include the 80s, of course, but also the holy trifecta — funk, soul, jazz — and all of its derivative soundscapes which can be found in the disco lofts, house warehouses and night clubs all across the globe.
Josh Zaslow – Josh has lived and played music in the Triangle for most of his life. He has served musicians and audiences by hosting open mics, organizing festivals and fundraisers, and teaching stringed instrument lessons. He has served the greater community through the Durham Solidarity Center, the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, and the Mental Health Association of Orange County among many other organizations.
Bullhorn 1-Year Plan
- Offer educational experiences for youth and adults in production, group music-making, and basic vocal and instrumental technique, and more.
- Continue creating opportunities for local artists to share their music with Durham
- Learn from Durhamites about how to best support their music making. Begin providing project-based technical and financial assistance for local artists who positively impact Durham’s social and sonic landscape
- Same as above, plus
- Start regular community music making sessions
- Begin offering performances and workshops in institutional settings such as prisons, hospitals, schools and nursing homes
- Create opportunities for regional, national, and international artists to share their music with Durham
- Same as above, plus
- Establish a brick and mortar facility to host workshops, lessons, jam and recording sessions, rehearsals, and performances