Deaf rap-artist Signmark to perform at Purdue's Slayter Center

April 19, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Deaf rap-artist Signmark will perform at 3:30 p.m. Sunday (April 22) in a free public concert at Purdue University's Slayter Center.

The event is sponsored by the Purdue American Sign Language Club, which received a grant from the Student Organization Grant Allocation Board, and additional funding from Indiana Relay and Sorenson Video Relay Service (InTRAC), for the concert.

Signmark (also known as Marko Vuoriheimo) is the world's first deaf person to receive an international record contract, his website ( states. He signed with Warner Music in 2009. The 34-year-old Finnish artist released the sign language hip-hop DVD, "Signmark," in 2006, and in 2010 released the album "Breaking the Rules." 

Signmark says he hopes to spread the message around the world that the deaf are not handicapped, but are a linguistic minority with their own culture, history, community, and heritage.

At concerts, Signmark, who was born deaf, raps his lyrics using American Sign Language while another hip-hop artist, Brandon Bauer, vocalizes the lines in English. Signmark says his lyrics are based on his experiences growing up with language oppression. He wants to break this barrier through his music and promote appreciation for the beauty of sign language, he says.

A strong, amplified bass line helps Signmark keep the beat as he signs.

Concertgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to the outdoor event. In case of rain, the concert will be at the Purdue Armory, 812 Third St., West Lafayette.
Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711,

Source: Lora Jill Lestina, American Sign Language continuing lecturer,