The Oberlin Review

Faculty Septet a Rare Treat for Jazz Lovers

Daniel Hautzinger, Staff Writer

March 1, 2013

“They used to kick people out of practice rooms for doing what you’re getting a degree for,” Associate Professor of Jazz Guitar Bobby Ferrazza quipped to an audience full of jazz students on Tuesday night. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Students now have the opportunity to learn jazz from professors who are professional musicians, nine of whom performed together on Tuesday in Finney Chapel. Since all of the jazz faculty are active musicians, it is unusual that they are all in Oberlin at the same time, and even more uncommon that they perform together. As such, Tuesday was an exceptional night, and not just because of the rarity of the occasion. These are intelligent players who are at the top of their...

Coltrane Show Offers “Escape” into Music, Dance

Julia Hubay, Arts Editor

November 9, 2012

A disembodied voice rang out in the darkened cavern of Warner Main Space: “May there be peace and love and perfection throughout all creation, oh God.” Slowly, musicians joined in with the repeated mantra, and the homage to John Coltrane swung into motion. Essence presented “Escape from New Babylon to the Sweet Music of John and Alice Coltrane” on March 9 and 10 with sponsorship from the African American Studies and Theater and Dance departments. Adenike Sharpley, artistic director for Dance Diaspora, performed beautifully expressive pieces in addition to directing the show. In the program notes she commented: “I didn’t want to give lip service to [Coltrane], rather I actually wanted to honor him by doing...

Oberlin Orchestra Makes Brilliant Comeback

Gabriel Kanengiser, Staff Writer

November 9, 2012

The Oberlin Orchestra returned to Finney Chapel in full form for its second concert of the season on Friday, Nov. 2 — performing works by Jacques Ibert, Peter Schickele and Claude Debussy. The playful program began with Ibert’s “Escales” (Ports of Call) in which the orchestra delightfully performed romanticized melodies portraying Rome and Palermo, Italy, Northern Africa and Valencia, Spain. In the first movement, solemn nostalgia and sweet memories of the Palermo country juxtaposed with the lively, festive, Roman urbanity. At times, the orchestra sounded like a soundtrack for the life of Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, alternating between eerie dissonances and sweeping ostinati. The second and third...

Anna Deavere Smith: “Shine a Light Through Broken Hearts”

Matthew Sprung, Staff Writer

October 12, 2012

Award-winning actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith spoke and performed in front of a full Finney Chapel as part of Oberlin College’s annual Convocation series last Saturday, Oct. 6. Best known for her one-woman plays Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles, both of which she wrote and starred in, Smith crafts material strictly from personally conducted interviews that illuminate social and political issues in America. Having recently broken her toe, Ms. Smith apologized for her footwear, but joked that she felt “right at home at Oberlin in Birkenstocks.” She went on to portray the characters and people she has interviewed, transcending the stage with her commanding and authentic performance. Fires...

Punch Brothers Make Bluegrass Fun, Relatable for a New Generation

Oliver Levine

September 28, 2012

When the Punch Brothers took the stage of Finney Chapel last Saturday they didn’t hold anything back. The progressive bluegrass group, fronted by Chris Thile and apparently backed by the bluegrass gods themselves, played to an audience as energetic as it gets. The set was long enough to give the band time to cover the highlights from all three of its albums without dragging on and losing the audience’s attention. The group paid its tribute to the Band’s Levon Helm, who died in April of this past year, and Earl Scruggs, who died in March. The show’s focus, however, was on the Punch Brothers’s most recent album, Who’s Feeling Young Now? released back in February of 2012. The new album addresses living in...

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