Dolio Durant: Zip Code Wilmington's Hidden Musical Talent & Lead Technical Instructor

09/02/2021

There is a belief that people favor either the right hemisphere of our brains which controls the more creative, conceptual thinking, or the left hemisphere controls more of the concrete, computational intellect. But if you meet someone like Dolio Durant, one of Zip Code Wilmington’s technical instructors, who hails from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), you’ll throw this notion out and see that people can successfully command both left and right-brain attributes. 

Case in point – Dolio’s band, Gangstagrass, was recently featured NBC’s America’s Got Talent (AGT), where he showed off his musical prowess with his four bandmates. Gangstagrass is a diverse bluegrass-hip hop band composed of founder Rench (guitar, vocals, production), Dan “Danjo” Whitener (Banjo, mandolin, vocals), Brian Farrow (Violin, bass, vocals), Dolio the Sleuth (vocals), and R-SON the Voice of Reason (vocals). For the past decade, they have toured the United States and abroad spreading their music and messages of hope, community involvement, and political and environmental consciousness through their subject matter and work.

Dolio’s musical talents started when he was a young boy with a passion for music and arts, but as he grew up, he gravitated toward the sciences, building things and making machines. He thought architecture was in his future, but eventually moved into mechanical engineering.

Dolio now has concurrent decades of experience both in music, having performed around the world, and in tech, having worked in as a software developer and educator. When asked about the connection between Gangstagrass and Zip Code Wilmington, Dolio responded, “The connection I see is in perhaps in the way we have found ways with Gangstagrass to connect traditional music in non-traditional ways, opening doors that wouldn’t have been opened otherwise. Likewise, Zip Code Wilmington takes a non-traditional approach to our delivery of curriculum to students to open doors that would traditionally have been closed.

So, if you’re curious to know if you should focus on one talent or another, the answer might be to explore them both, at the same time! 

“Coding is a lot like sculpting, building, or making music,” said Dolio in a recent conversation at Zip Code Wilmington. “You’re able to easily edit if you mess up or want to add different elements to it. I don’t look at coding or the arts as a right brain versus left brain thing, but rather which side is turned on at that moment in time.”

In a previous Zip Code Wilmington blog post, we introduced readers to Dolio when he joined the Zip Code family in 2017. Nearly five years later, we get a chance to see a different side of our adored instructor. We offer our congratulations for his recent appearance on AGT, and we are excited to see what his musical future holds.

gangstagrass dolio durant

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