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  • Writer's pictureDunn Pearson


CODE MAGAZINE June 2022 By: Leslie Logan

John F. Kennedy graduate becomes an award-winning composer and artist while working with some of the top artists in the country.

Dunn Pearson We all have a gift we’re given when we’re born. Some people honor that gift by pursuing the dream of working with their gift. Others develop a backup plan and fall short of their goals be- cause of the backup plan. For Dunn Pearson, Jr., the goal of becoming an award-winning musi- cian and composer was always his first choice. Pearson knew what he wanted to do as a small child growing up in Cleveland. From an early age, Pearson, Jr. started piano les- sons and always knew that music was life’s calling. Studying That dream led to Pearson working with some of the most talented people in the music industry. He has worked on pro- ject after project as a pianist, composer, and arranger. “Quincy Jones was my mentor, so I had the perfect person teaching me how to produce and compose music,” Pearson said. Under the tutelage of O’Jays founder Bobby Massey, Pearson was also a part of the Ponderosa Twins Plus One, an Ameri- can soul vocal group formed in 1970 in Cleveland. The group featured two sets of identical twins, Alfred and Alvin Pelham, and Keith and Kirk Gardner, along with Ricky Spicer. Later Kayne West would sample the B side of group’s hit, “Bound,” and the group would get a chance to experience fame all over again. Pearson is the recipient of the Decathlon of Music Award, lauded as one of the top African American music composers in an exclusive group that includes Quincy Jones and Bernard Drayton, who have major success in all genres of entertain- ment: movies, television, Broadway, music, and commercials. Angela Thompson music theory and orchestration at Kent State University set the foundation for a musical lifetime. Cleveland’s rich history of creating and making some of America’s greatest hits helped Pearson develop his skills. After attending Kent State University, Pearson joined the O’Jays orchestra which began his world touring legacy. From those experiences Dunn knew that he wanted to continue to make beautiful critically acclaimed music, so he went to where the best was playing and he set out to live his dream, New York City.

Professionally known as the “Black Beethoven,” Pearson’s scoring credits include the Orlando Film Festival award-winning best docudrama Unhinged, the theme for the Fox TV smash New York Undercover, the HBO movie Head Office, Columbia Pictures box office hit The Professional, Miramax’s Ride, Mario & Melvin Van Peebles’ Identity Crisis, the faith-based movie Iniquity, and the Cinecom Int. film starring Oscar-winner Geraldine Page and featuring Oprah Winfrey, Native Son. Pearson has Amassed 26 gold and platinum awards. He has produced fitness video stars Jody Watley, Joannie Greggains, and Denise Austin’s ESPN show Getting Fit. He has also met the commercial hurdle of Madison Avenue with over a dozen commer- cials for McDonald’s, United Airlines, and the highly acclaimed SUPER BOWL XXI Wendy’s “Chicken Nugget” commercial featuring Kool and The Gang. He also produced and arranged for Rock-n-Rock Hall of Famers the O’Jays, Grammy winner D’Angelo (multiplatinum album), Grammy winner Mary J. Blige, Tony Award- winner Melba Moore, Stephanie Mills, and Teddy Pendergrass. He orchestrated the Broadway musical Amen Corner and is the first African American composer to pro- duce a hip-hop commercial for McDonald’s, and he’s a CEBA award winner for Wen- dy’s and Kellogg’s. Pearson is currently serving God with Pastor Jeremiah Jermaine Paul (second season winner of NBC’s The Voice) as the Music Minister at Hamden Plains Methodist Church where they continue to expand their ministry music base. Dunn Pearson, an- other CLE STRONG member setting the world, and music industry on fire. ●


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