Copyright & Music Collaboration

The Copyright & Music course is a community collaboration between the law school and local musicians and academicians. While students gain a foundation in Copyright  law, they also hear the music and experiences of the professionals Copyright Law benefits.  The following are profiles of contributing community members.

AL Strong

Al Strong’s musical foundation was laid in Washington, D.C. where he was raised by his grandparents. Music became an integral part of his upbringing and his earliest memories date back to his grandmother’s involvement in the church. On an international trip with the Duke Ellington School, Strong was recruited by the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) jazz ensemble, who also happened to be touring Europe at the time. Dr. Ira Wiggins, Director of Jazz Studies at NCCU presented him the opportunity of a lifetime, a full-tuition scholarship to study jazz at the University, in Durham. Strong continued to advance his education by attending Northern Illinois University to study with renowned saxophonist and professor Ron Carter. Receiving instruction in both classical trumpet and jazz trumpet playing, Strong earned a master of Jazz Performance/Pedagogy. In the fall of 2011, Strong teamed with statistician, Cicely Mitchell to create a non-profit, jazz presenting organization titled, the Art of Cool Project. The non-profit’s mission is to expand the audience for jazz, initially through presentations in non-traditional spaces. Key project initiatives include an annual music festival located in Durham and jazz summer camps for at-risk youth (stArt of Cool). Recently, the Huffington Post coined the Art of Cool Music Festival as “the Coachella of Jazz.”

Robert Trowers

Robert Trowers was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. His family contained many musicians and lovers of the art form. This fostered a love of and appreciation for music at an early age. After the mandatory piano lessons during early childhood, he developed an interest in the trombone from listening to the music of the “swing era”. Among the bands that sparked his interest in jazz were those of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw. Most recently, Robert has been on the faculty of North Carolina Central University, which boasts an award – winning jazz faculty and a jazz band that has consistently had a high percentage of its members in the H.B.C.U. all -star band. Professor Trowers is also known for presenting the “David Walker Appeal.”

Chris Turner

Born into a musical family in London, England, Chris Turner learned harmonica and recorder as a child. He has been playing professionally since 1967 working in a variety of idioms including Folk, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, Early and Avant-garde music. While traveling extensively in Europe and Africa, he assimilated many different musical styles. Early in the 1970’s, Chris studied composition with Christopher Small and improvisation with John Stevens. In 1975, Chris Turner was recognized for his virtuosity when he was awarded the European Harmonica Championship.

Baron Tymas


Markis Javur Tillman

Markis Javur Tillman is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, and actor. Born in Raleigh, North Carolina he was involved in his church choir and a gospel group with his siblings before deciding he had more to say. One day he finally decided to take his talent to the next level by persuing a career in secular music. Tillman is also a recording engineer.


Pierce Freelon

Pierce Freelon is a professor, musician and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of Blackspace, a digital makerspace for Afrofuturists. He is also the co-founder/host of Beat Making Lab, an Emmy Award winning PBS web-series. Freelon also founded Blackademics, an online community of young black thinkers and is the frontman of Jazz and Hip hop group the Beast.

Lois Deloatch ( Jazz Singer)

Lois Deloatch

Lois Deloatch’s career spans nearly three decades in the arts, philanthropy and community service. As an artist, Deloatch is noted for her rich contralto voice and expansive repertoire of classic tunes and original compositions. With five recordings as leader, she has appeared in concert throughout the United States and internationally.

Brett Chambers (Trompetist)

Associate Professor Baron Tymas

Associate Professor of Music Baron Tymas was a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the Person and Society at Concordia University (Montréal, QC) in Fall 2015. Since 2001, he has taught primarily jazz and guitar courses at NCCU. His student ensembles have earned national recognition.

Professor Tymas has performed, lectured and taught around the world, and is privileged to have played with many internationally known artists and groups. Tymas has released two CDs as a leader: Insight at Midnight (2009) and Blues for the Tribe (2007). He won an NC Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship in 2008.