Beat Boxing History & Workshop

Luke Harbur


Beatboxing, also known as vocal percussion, has the support of innovative technology to be transformed into a solo, main stage act. However, its origins can be traced to genres such as blues, ragtime, eefing, and African traditional music. But the word ‘beatboxing’ comes from the early slang names of drum machines, which became central to the spread of the hip hop music movement. Particularly in street rap battles, also called cyphers, a beatboxer would support the battle by providing the beat as the rappers spoke their verses. However, in the 1980s performers such as Doug E .Fresh, Rahzel, and Kenny Muhammad brought beatboxing to the commercial market. Today, some popular beatboxers include Tom Thum, who earned 59 million video views on his beatbox TEDTalk; Eklips, one ofFrance’s beatbox pioneers; and HIKAKIN, a Japanese beatboxer with 1 .9million  ouTube subscribers.

I first heard of beatboxing at age 12. After learning the basic three sounds of beatboxing, bass, cymbal, and snare drum, I decided to dive into the online beatboxing community and imitate what I saw on screen. As I’ve hosted beatboxing workshops at school assemblies, correctional facilities, and non-profit organization events, learning the basics of beatboxing has helped me live by this motto:

“There is a beat, a rhythm inside each of us. Bang the beat of your drum, and sync your beat to the rhythm of others. Then life can be music.”

In two presentations, I'll present a beatboxing history lesson and a beatboxing workshop, filled with participation opportunities.

Luke Harbur Biography

Luke Harbur, also known as SKIPPY, started beatboxing at age 12. Now 22 years old, his performances have ranged from coffeehouse open mic nights to 1,000+ seat venues. Off stage, he loves spreading and teaching the art form to anyone, anywhere.

After graduating high school from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts High School Drama Program, Luke decided to pursue journalism and graphic design for his college career. However, he never left performance. He sings and beatboxes i n Ithacappella, Ithaca College’s all-male a cappella group, and he will be releasing new music in May 2018.

If or when you meet Luke, you may notice his enthusiasm for life. At 11 months old he had a life-saving liver transplant. Each performance, each lesson, each moment is a second chance to show people they can be their truest, fullest selves. He hopes to share that energy, offer his knowledge, and share a talent that you may never forget.