Artist Profile: Marilyn McDonald, Professor Of Violin

Asked to describe her career, Marilyn McDonald, violin professor at the Oberlin Conservatory for the past 45 years, began by saying “I just wanted to play the violin.” A founding member of the Smithson Quartet and the Castle Trio, McDonald reflected on her versatility as a soloist, orchestral player, and a chamber musician, in situations ranging from membership in the Smithsonian Institution’s Axelrod Quartet and worldwide chamber music tours in repertoire from Baroque to contemporary, to solo engagements with the Milwaukee Symphony. 

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EP Review: A Date Night with Lucky Daye

Lucky Daye’s new album Table For Two, released on February 12, 2021, is his widescreen vision of R&B. Daye emerges with a signature sound of his own, painting his life story about growing up in a cult and surviving Hurricane Katrina, as well as making music in Atlanta. Now based in Los Angeles, the singer-songwriter remains the synthesist of traditional and progressive R&B modes while staying true to his foundation in classical soul. It encompasses everything from the explosive, funky bombast of seventies favorites to the vibrant swagger of late nineties classics.

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Senior Recital: Natsumi Osborn – memories and sentiments

Writing a piece with sentiment and care for a dear friend and hearing it come to life just might be the most rewarding and enriching experience a composer can have. COVID-19 took away many opportunities for artists to enjoy each other’s company and share their passion for music. But on April 29, composer Natsumi Osborn will showcase collaborative works with other Oberlin Conservatory students, including the Contemporary Music Ensemble. Her 7:30 pm senior recital will offer a snapshot into Osborn’s creative world and her development as a composer during the past four years.

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YOASOBI Album Review

Yoasobi, a Japanese music duo composed of Vocaloid producer, Ayase, and singer-songwriter, Ikura, became the biggest hit of the year in the country. The group formed in 2019, releasing their debut single, “Racing into the Night,” which topped the Japanese Billboard charts for three consecutive weeks in June 2020. Their popularity was sealed with an attention-grabbing animated music video that created a bonafide sensation and their notoriety has only gotten stronger throughout the course of the year.

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Rusty Burge With The Cleveland Orchestra Jazz Trio @BOP STOP

The critically acclaimed vibraphonist Rusty Burge joined The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra on March 6, 2021 at 7:00 pm for an unforgettable performance. livestreamed from the BOP STOP. The evening showcased the all-star rhythm section from the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra including Jim Rupp on drums, Aidan Plank on bass, and Jackie Warren on piano.

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A Celebration of Black Artistry: Oberlin Faculty Recital

Throughout February 2021, the Oberlin College and Conservatory honored Black History Month. A series of events underscored Black contributions to classical music and highlighted the distinguished work of often overlooked Black composers.

On Sunday afternoon, February 28, the faculty concert featured the works by  William Grant Still, Jefferey Mumford and Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint Georges performed by violinists Francesca de Pasquale and David Bowlin, cellist Darrett Adkins, pianist James Howsmon, and harpsichordist Mark Edwards. The concert concluded the series, “A Celebration of Black Artistry,” and was live streamed on Oberlin Stage Left, the Conservatory’s virtual programming platform.

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Junior Recital: Jackson Wu

Jackson Wu, a jazz guitarist from Needham, Massachusetts, will take the stage on March 2, at 7:30 pm at Oberlin’s Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse for his Junior Recital. A double degree student in the College and Conservatory, Wu is pursuing his studies in Computer Science, as well as Jazz Guitar under the mentorship of Bobby Ferrazza.

Wu’s extravagant program will include a wide range of genres, featuring works by Cedar Walton, McCoy Tyner, Johnny Mandel, and Wu himself. He will be joined by his quintet, Noah Kawaguchi on tenor sax, Abe Gold on piano, Kamran Curlin on bass, and Tim Voet on drums. 

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