Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Punch Brothers Infuse Bluegrass with Classical, Jazz Influences

Punch Brothers Infuse Bluegrass with Classical, Jazz Influences

September 29, 2017

The Punch Brothers — a bluegrass band consisting of mandolinist Chris Thile; fiddler and violinist Gabe Witcher; banjo player Noam Pikelny; guitarist Chris Eldridge, OC ’04; and bassist Paul Kowert — returned to Oberlin this week for their fall residency, which culminated with a sold-out concert in Finney Chapel last night. Known for their genre-bending music that incorporates elements of classical and jazz in a bluegrass aesthetic, the Punch Brothers gave a variety of talks and performanc...

On the Record with Fabian Almazan

On the Record with Fabian Almazan

September 22, 2017

Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Fabian Almazan performed at the Cat in the Cream Thursday night with his band Rhizome, featuring Camila Meza on voice and guitar, Linda May Han Oh on bass, and Henry Cole on drums. Almazan, originally from Cuba and currently based in New York City, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and was voted “#1 Rising Piano Star” by the Downbeat Magazine critics’ poll in 2014. Almazan has also composed several film scores for ...

On the Record with Pianist Vijay Iyer

On the Record with Pianist Vijay Iyer

April 14, 2017

Vijay Iyer is a world-renowned jazz pianist and composer who has also written music for various classical and electronic ensembles. Iyer visited Oberlin last weekend to attend a workshop performance of his new violin concerto, titled Trouble, by Oberlin Sinfonietta ahead of its worldwide premiere at Ojai Music Festival June 8. The piece featured violin soloist Jennifer Koh, OC ’97. Iyer and Koh also held a residency that included several master classes and discussions. Iyer graduated from Yale Universit...

Lorenzo’s Jazz Night Connects Conservatory, City

Lorenzo’s Jazz Night Connects Conservatory, City

April 7, 2017

When Conservatory senior Jared Hochberg arrived in Oberlin from Chicago and realized there were few outlets in town for jazz jam sessions, he decided to create one. Jazz Night, now a monthly event at Lorenzo’s Pizzeria, was born. Hochberg plays a 90-minute set with double-degree sophomore Ari Smith and Conservatory sophomore Matthew Frerck to start each show, followed by an improv jam session open to musicians of all skill levels. Four years after establishing the series, Hochberg will perform ...

First Church, Family Promise Host 11th Annual Homelessness Benefit

Quentin Nguyen-Duy and Daniel Markus

March 31, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Features, Music

Family Promise of Lorain County has partnered with the Conservatory for more than a decade to host annual classical music concerts to raise money for the county’s homeless population. This year, the series’ 11th installment, taking place this Sunday at the First Church in Oberlin, will feature a quartet of notable Oberlin jazz musicians instead of the typical classical ensemble. Lois Pozega, the organization’s executive director, said the shift was made as part of a concerted effort to revitalize the event. “Last year the attendance was down, so the [planning] committee got together [and] asked, ‘What can we do differently?’” The result was a decision to change the event’s typical program, which ha...

Fundraiser Jazzes Up First Church

Carol Longsworth, Nicki Memmott, Concert Planning Committee

March 31, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Your readers will surely be interested in the Afternoon of Jazz event being offered on Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m. at First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ, located at the corner of Main Street and Lorain Street in Oberlin. Jazz professionals Bobby Ferrazza, guitar; Dan Wall, piano; and Paul Samuels, drums; all members of the Oberlin Conservatory Jazz Department, will be joined by accomplished bassist Aidan Plank. All these musicians are highly regarded professionals, known throughout the Cleveland area and well beyond. Admission is free. Donations are strongly encouraged and needed for homeless families served by Family Promise of Lorain County. For more information, see familypromiselorai...

On the Record: Jennifer Hoock, OC ’83, Cat in the Cream Founder

May 6, 2016

Jennifer Hoock, OC ’83, aided in the re-establishment of the Cat in the Cream with roommates Charissa Smith, OC ’82, and Cheryl Serrone, OC ’83. She graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine and earned her MPH at the University of Washington. In addition to being associate director at Group Health Family Medicine Residency in Seattle, she is a founding member and director of development at Guatemala Village Health, a nonprofit organization that promotes education, better health car...

Feature Photo: A Mighty Good Time

Feature Photo: A Mighty Good Time

March 11, 2016

The High and Mighty Brass Band blasts a jazzy tune at a packed Cat in the Cream. Though the audience was sitting at the beginning of the nine-piece band’s set on Friday, nearly every attendee was standing and dancing by the end of the fun-filled performance. The HMBB boasts a sound that combines classical big band jazz with hip-hop and R&B. The band covered a number of popular, recognizable tracks in its performance, displaying the influence of contemporary musical genres on its style...

Feature Photo: Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet

Feature Photo: Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet

February 26, 2016

From left, pianist Sam Harris, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Justin Brown play compositional jazz at Joseph R. Clonick Recording Studio Sunday. Attendees filled the Studio past capacity, receiving the musicians — who performed as the Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet — fervently. Akinmusire, who has collaborated with jazz luminaries like Steve Coleman and appeared on rapper Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly, was born in Oakland...

Con Opens Doors to College Musicians with New Jazz Ensemble

Sam Rueckert

February 19, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Music

As an aspiring musician who has recently committed to taking every possible musical opportunity, I now realize that I have very little experience with auditioning. Yesterday I went to my second real audition since I’ve gotten to Oberlin. My friend Justin invited me to audition to drum in a jazz combo for which he is the pianist. The combo is a new experiment for the Conservatory: It’s the first Conservatory-sponsored jazz ensemble consisting of only College students. I knew I would be competing against my friend Cole for the place in the combo. Having seen Cole drum before, I was pretty certain that I wouldn’t have much of a chance at winning the spot. I’ve practiced a lot this year and have gotten confident...

Feature Photo: PI Series Guest Recital with Ingrid Jensen

Feature Photo: PI Series Guest Recital with Ingrid Jensen

December 4, 2015

Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, left, performs alongside College sophomores Amal Ghulam and Daniel Gonzales, Conservatory junior Jared Hochberg and Artist Diploma student Theodosia Roussos. The Cat in the Cream hosted Jensen, who collaborated with these students and others, at a PI Series guest recital Tuesday. A North Vancouver, BC native and Juno Award winner, Jensen is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has worked with artists such as Professor of Jazz Percussion Billy Hart, Bob Berg, Frank...

McFerrin Melds Jazz with Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop Beats

McFerrin Melds Jazz with Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop Beats

November 20, 2015

Almost everyone at Taylor McFerrin’s show last Thursday danced through the night. Warmed up and ready, McFerrin had no difficulty energizing dancers with neo-soul and hip-hop beats. The Brooklyn-based DJ, producer and singersongwriter certainly proved that he does not need to ride on the fame of his father, vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin, to achieve success in the future. If Taylor McFerrin ever grappled with living under his father’s shadow, he definitively stepped out of it with the...

Established 1874.