The Oberlin Review

La Yegros Kicks Off U.S. Tour at Oberlin

La Yegros Kicks Off U.S. Tour at Oberlin

September 26, 2014

Energetically taking the stage in white-winged shoes and a bright green headpiece, Mariana Yegros, the conservatory-trained lead singer of the Latinx group La Yegros, kicked off her band’s inaugural U.S. tour at the Cat in the Cream this past Sunday. The group, who performed on campus in honor of Latinx month, received national recognition after appearing as part of the experimental theater De la Guarda. Having already performed in front of an audience of thousands, the group plans on continuing...

Coltrane’s Life Work Honored in Student Concert

Coltrane’s Life Work Honored in Student Concert

September 26, 2014

Late jazz legend John Coltrane would have been proud Tuesday evening when a collective of Jazz majors assembled at the Cat in the Cream to pay tribute to the saxophonist with a celebratory performance featuring many of his works. The student musicians skillfully captured Coltrane’s dynamic and colorful repertoire, and more importantly, their candid performance displayed the enrapturing effect of Coltrane’s music. Michael Odé, a Conservatory sophomore Jazz Percussion major who organized the...

Cajun Band Carries on Rich Musical Tradition

Cajun Band Carries on Rich Musical Tradition

September 26, 2014

“This song is about how life’s too short to sit at home on your computer on Facebook and tweeter... Tweeter? Twitter?” drummer of the Pine Leaf Boys Drew Simon mused as he introduced the band’s first number, “La Vie est Trop Courte,” at the Cat in the Cream Sept. 19. Simon’s slipup underscored the Pine Leaf Boys’ anachronistic vibe as they played a nearly two hour-long set of Cajun tunes. Cheerful front man and accordionist (Cajun accordionist, to be specific) Wilson Savoy was...

Organ Pump Excites Late-Night Audience

Organ Pump Excites Late-Night Audience

September 26, 2014

An Oberlin tradition began again on Sept. 19 when a large crowd poured into Finney Chapel for the first Organ Pump of the year. By the start of the show at midnight, the room was packed with a mixture of new and returning students, all waiting expectantly for the debut of the Organ department’s performing cast. The house lights dimmed and the emcee of the evening, Conservatory sophomore Jay Yau, dressed in a pink trench coat, large sunglasses and heels, stepped on stage to begin the show. Yau’s...

Eubanks Traces, Explores Unconventional Sounds

Liam McLean, Staff Writer

September 19, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Music

Bryan Eubanks, despite what some listeners may assume, does not aim to transgress. His intention is not to push boundaries. Instead, he describes his development as an electronic artist as an organic evolution from his original work with acoustic instruments — primarily the soprano saxophone — to his current style, an elusive concoction of trance-like electronics, integrated acoustic sounds and ambient noise. Beginning at 8 p.m., Fairchild Chapel’s resonant dome became an echo chamber for a zealous hubbub of around 30 students. Two tables supported an eclectic array of electronic instruments. The front table was reserved for Eubanks and boasted an open-feedback synthesizer, a computer for samples and a transducer,...

SZA Delivers Vibrant, Playful Performance

SZA Delivers Vibrant, Playful Performance

September 19, 2014

A $15 ticket can be tough to justify on a college budget, but at 10 p.m. last Friday, 20 minutes before the ’Sco doors were set to open, tickets to see the altR&B and neo-jazz singer SZA had already sold out. Perhaps the young New Jersey native’s association with independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment and her friendship with platinum-selling labelmate Kendrick Lamar — whose 2011 ’Sco performance cost a mere $10 — justified the price of admission to the nearly 500 attendees....

On the Record with Alumni Band SUN SPEAK

On the Record with Alumni Band SUN SPEAK

September 19, 2014

Guitarist Matt Gold, OC ’13, and percussionist Nate Friedman, OC ’13, who perform as the band SUN SPEAK, performed together in Clonick Hall Thursday night. Before their performance, the duo, who were excited to debut some of their latest work from their new EP, Light Blue Light, spoke with the Review about Vietnamese food, Coltrane and returning to campus. What is it like being back on campus? Nate Friedman: All of the same people but none of the same people. Matt Gold: It’s all o...

Zimbabwean Soundscapes Captivate

Colin Roshak

September 19, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Music

A world-famous musician performed in Kulas Recital Hall Monday night, yet you may not have know about it. Mbira virtuoso Fradreck Mujuru and his collaborator Erica Azim took the stage, delivering an evening of Zimbabwean music that transported concertgoers to a country with a rich musical history. Having played the instrument since the tender age of eight, Mujuru confidently displayed exactly why he is considered one of the best mbira players in the world. Azim is also a veteran performer, having studied the music of Zimbabwe for more than 30 years. Most striking, however, was not the pair’s considerable technical proficiency, but their unwavering ability to build upon and reciprocate each other’s energy. The...

Baroque Concerts to Aim for Authenticity with Historical Instruments

Aviva Blonder

September 12, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Music

The Conservatory will be taking audiences back in time this Saturday with two faculty recitals that feature two instruments actually produced in Beethoven’s own period. In Kulas Recital Hall at 4:30 p.m., Marilyn McDonald, professor of Violin and professor of Baroque Violin, and David Breitman, professor of Piano, will be recreating Beethoven’s sonatas as concertgoers would have heard them at the time of composition. A second concert begins at 8 p.m. in Fairchild Chapel, where Webb Wiggins, professor of Harpsichord, will perform works composed by a range of German composers from the 1600s to 1700s on organ and harpsichord. This weekend, the instruments themselves will be featured just as much as the performers....

Understated Opening to Standing Ovation: Faculty Recital Kicks Off Series

Jarrett Hoffman, Staff Writer

September 12, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Music

Around 9:30 p.m., Sept. 4, Conservatory faculty members emerged from the backstage of Warner Concert Hall to a near-rockstar reception. A swarm of students had gathered in the hallway around the hall’s exit to shower their professors with whoops of adoration for the strong performance that they had just given, a concert of Mozart and Brahms quintets to open this season’s Faculty Chamber Music Series. Rarely performed — a forgotten third-stringer getting called up for the big game — the first work on the program was Mozart’s String Quintet No. 2 in C Minor. This piece was no slouch, however, and was certainly up to the task of kicking off the series. It is one of Mozart’s six “viola” quintets, each...

Vandaveer Contrasts Murder Ballads with Humor in Showcase

Vandaveer Contrasts Murder Ballads with Humor in Showcase

September 12, 2014

Mark Charles Heidinger and Rose Guerin, known together as Vandaveer, entered the Cat in the Cream stage last Friday the fifth looking slightly frazzled. Heidinger, with his guitar in hand, surveyed the packed space, while Guerin, with a peasant blouse and a wreath of flowers in her blonde hair, took her place by one of the mics. There was a bit of fiddling on the stage, and then a quiet comment by Heidinger: “One more second. We’ll avoid calamity,” followed by, “Hello Oberlin College.” The...

Punch Brothers Meet, But Don’t Exceed, High Bar

Punch Brothers Meet, But Don’t Exceed, High Bar

March 14, 2014

When popular bluegrass band Punch Brothers turned out a last-minute show at the Cat in the Cream last semester, the raucous, enthusiastic concertgoers were treated to a hit parade culled primarily from the band’s crowd-pleasing last two albums. The clean acoustics of the small venue perfectly accentuated the show’s plunky, less bluegrass-heavy than usu­al set list. To be clear, it was one of the best concerts Oberlin has seen this year. But when the Punch Brothers took the Finney Chapel stage...

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