Category Archives: Music

West African Drumming and Dance Concert

From the CFA:

Featuring choreographer and Artist in Residence Iddi Saaka joined by his students, guest artists, and drummers, this invigorating performance showcases the vibrancy of West African cultures through their music and dance forms.

Date: Friday, December 1
Time: 8 PM
Place: Crowell Concert Hall
Cost: $6 Wesleyan students, youth under 18; $8 all others

Usdan Jams: Pastability by Lorde

It was late for a Usdan night, approaching the 7:30 mark. The only people left getting dinner were the night owls, squinting in the bright Marketplace lights. It is at this time of night that Usdan becomes very simple; gone are the lines that make cheesesteak night or Pastabilites so urgent and the air has taken on a new tone. As the first blue notes of Lorde’s “Liability” flowed through my earbuds, it was matched with another sound:

“Go ahead!”

I looked up, and something clicked. How had I not seen it before? The signs were all too obvious. It had been hidden in plain sight. Somehow, somewhere, Lorde’s healing anthem was connected to Wesleyan’s own Pastabilities. And, since Pastabilities is Tom the Pastabilities Guy, somehow he and Lorde are connected.

“Go ahead!” I hadn’t realized it was my turn. I was too busy staring into Tom’s eyes, trying to figure out when/how he had hurt Lorde, or perhaps vice-versa. After apologizing profusely and getting my alfredo with white (sauce first, I wasn’t that distracted), I ate with haste and went back to my dorm to do my research, window shades down, glasses on.

For the Love of Bach!

An announcement passed along from the post-grad ghost of kitab, a short and sweet concert for your listening pleasure:

Please join us for a splendid evening of Bach on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Memorial Chapel located on 221 High Street, Middletown, CT.

Under the direction of Nadya Potemkina, AD HOC BACH Choir and Orchestra present:

J. S. Bach, Cantata “Ich habe genug,” BWV 82
William Doreza, bass

J.S. Bach, Cantata “Gott, der Herr, ist Sonn und Schild,” BWV 79
Anna Apostolidis, soprano
Carli Poisson, alto
William Doreza, bass

J. S. Bach, Suite No. 1 for [non]Cello Solo, BWV 1007
Libby van Cleve, oboe
Nadya Potemkina, viola
Alex Waterman, cello

Date: Thursday, November 30
Time: 7pm
Place: Memorial Chapel
Cost: Free!

Catalina Release Debut Single

Taking a semester off is starting to sound like a really productive decision. Eric Poretsky ’18 took a Wesleyan hiatus this semester in order to, among other things, finish and release his debut EP as Catalina, a duo project with Wes defector Jakob Shaw. Click past the jump to listen to the lead single they released today.

The Return of Rhys

These days, Rhys Langston ’16  spends most of his time paying fealty as a vassal to the Estate of Langstónia—a purportedly earthly domain which is located, as far as I can tell, somewhere between Los Feliz and Phuket. This weekend, he returns to perform at the alma mater from whose generous womb he recently walked into what some call reality. Last month saw the release of Rhys’s long awaited album, Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous, which features a few familiar bangers from Eclectic shows of yore amidst plenty of new material. Listen to the tape and read more after the jump.

Professor Tyshawn Sorey Wins MacArthur “Genius” Grant

The list of 2017 MacArthur fellows was released today. I found out in the opening moments of my seminar on creative music this morning—just before we discussed Weather Report, Snarky Puppy, and the misnomer of jazz fusion—that my professor, composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey MA ’11, is on it. Read more and find links to his work after the jump:

Somi

Somi in the Studio, Brooklyn, New York

From our friends in the CFA:

Superb jazz chanteuse Somi blends modern jazz, African music, and the singer-songwriter tradition, combining the musical and cultural worlds that resonate with her as an African and American woman. An Illinois-born resident of Harlem, she is the daughter of immigrants from Uganda and Rwanda. Highly regarded as both a scholar and artist, Somi is a TED Senior Fellow and the founder of New Africa Live, a nonprofit that champions African artists.

Date: Friday, October 13
Time: 8 PM
Place: Crowell Concert Hall
Cost: $28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students, youth under 18 (reserved seating)

WESU Fall Record Fair

WESU, our friendly community radio station, writes in:

WESU’s (Wesleyan’s college radio station) will be hosting our annual fall record sale on October 8th in Beckham Hall. There will be record vendors from all over the Northeast selling everything from vinyls to concert memorabilia. Live DJs will be spinning vinyl all day!

Date: Saturday, October 8
Time: 11 AM-4 PM
Place: Beckham Hall

Music Department Colloquium

From the Music Department:

Author and mridangam virtuoso Douglas Knight ’70 will discuss Balasaraswati: Her Art & Life– one book in three editions, for three audiences. The book has appeared in three different editions: an American edition published by Wesleyan University Press in 2010; an English language edition published in India by Westland Books in 2011; and a Tamil translation published by Cre-A Publishers in May 2017. Each edition was intended for a distinct readership, and elicited different responses. He will reflect on how the writing, editing, and publishing of these three editions transformed his understanding of the significance of Bala’s story as it “came home.”

The 41st annual Navaratri Festival of Indian music and dance at Wesleyan University opens with this talk hosted by the Music Department.

Date: Thursday, September 28
Time: 4:30 PM
Place:  Ring Family Performing Arts Hall

Listen: Goo releases Under the Electric Blanket

Goo, the trio of Beck Zegans ’18, Sam Friedman ’18, and Bram Wollowitz ’19, released a 4-track album yesterday – the result of a few summer sessions in Bram’s bedroom. Though not all of its members are on campus this semester, the band reunited last night for a secret, sweaty release show at 66 Home.

We’re looking forward to Goo’s official re-entry back into the music scene next semester, as well as any other spontaneous shows that pop up in the interim. In the meantime, check out Under the Electric Blanket on Bandcamp (embedded after the jump), which features three recorded songs, one conversational interlude ft. a few very special guests, and album art by Seamus Edson ’18.