February 7, 2020 was a perfect Friday night at the Colwell Playhouse in Kranner Center for Performing Arts. A spectacular performance entitled “ Step Afrika ! : Drumfolk” shared the story that took place when South Carolina passed The Negro Act of 1740.
The performers of Step Afrika! gave an unforgettable performance that allowed the audience to reflect on the history of America through the cultural significance of the beat.
Written by Grace Chen
Step Afrika performed their new show Drumfolk on Friday, February 7th at the Colwell Playhouse in the Krannert Center of Performing Arts. The performers captured the attention of the audience with its exciting beats and eye-catching dance moves. They also told the history of black Americans and the fight for their rights.
The Jim Pryor Trio performed a series of Jazz music on Stage 5 during Krannert Uncorked on November 21.
By Wai Chuen Chan
On November 21, the Jim Pryor Trio performed a series of vibrant Jazz stylings of music on Stage 5 in Krannert Center for the Performing of Arts. Jim Pryor who is a piano specialist, joined by his fellow musicians with the instruments of violone and drums.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and it was an absolute delight to see and hear! The performance featured individual performers as well as the entire ensemble and played a wonderful blend of fast-paced, energetic songs and slower pieces.
Totally memorized and jazzed up by the Wynton Marsalis
I really love how they incorporate both solo and group showcase in the performance. It is absolutely sensational when they played their pieces. It was really a huge chemistry among the entire jazz how everyone will pull back right on the dot to showcase each solo from every jazz performer.
For the solo piece, each solo is approximately a minute long!! It is really amazing how they are able to remember each note that is played and also the emotions they put in as they played their instruments.
For the jazz band, they are extremely tight. Especially with
a super-fast tempo and not having a conductor to coordinate everyone, it is
With the balance between the solo and group showcase, it really gives so much more flavor in the entire performance. You got a huge variety of performances to watch and you will always be entertained.
Unfortunately, I did not attend the Chris Botti performance
so I cannot do the comparison.
One thing that really stood out for me is how the front row performers have more than 2 instruments to play. What struck me is that during one song they will change it simultaneously from one instrument to others. On top of it all, they play each instrument tremendously well.
By playing so many instruments in that one song, it gives a
whole new sound to the piece.
Using an analogy of a cake, the drums and cello is like the base of the cake and then the icing of the cake is all the extra instruments such as the flute and clarinet. Making the whole cake delicious!
Another stupendous moment for me will be the guy playing the
saxophone. Ooooo he really plays with style, groove and emotions. The way he moves
his body as he plays with the saxophone release such an appreciation to the
music he is playing. As he grooves by swaying side to side, I myself start to
sway side to side with him. I was so connected to his music!
Overall, this jazz performance was absolutely stunning.
Definitely recommend others to go and hear their music.
Wynton Marsalis has crafted music for over thirty years not only alone but with his diverse ensemble. Bringing together some of the best jazz soloists together to form a group that really develops and hones their compositions to bring together something that really allows the audience to listen and appreciate what they have mastered. In this 2 hour performance, accompanied by a 20 minute intermission in between, we were presented with various compositions, both original and pieces added with a unique flavor, that really showed why Wynton Marsalis and his ensemble have achieved as much as they have.
Chris Botti blows away the crowd at the Tryon Festival Theater!
Although I was sick, and was unable to stay the entire show, Chris Botti’s performance was a spectacle to behold. My favorite part of the performance would probably be the drummer. I always have respect for people who have range within their instruments, and the quiet, subtle beats that the drummer was able to produce set against his moments of intense and creative drum solos was spectacular. Another aspect of the drummer that I liked so much was that he looked like he was genuinely having fun on stage. Between the intimidatingly stylish Botti and his beautiful and calm violinist, the drummer stood out to me as someone who was there to have a great time doing what he loves.
The grammy award-winning trumpeter shows Champaign-Urbana his talents
Written by Edward Huang
On a calm Saturday night, the guests of Krannert Center for Performing Arts waited eagerly for the appearance of Chris Botti, the renowned trumpeter, to make his way onto the stage. I watched as he made his entrance, but I was caught off by the number of other musicians that he brought along with him. As an appreciator of all music styles, I was excited to see what they had in store.
On September 14th, Chris Botti performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with a group of talented jazz musicians. The powerful music filled Tryon Festival Center and took a variety of tempos, tones, and styles to transform this performance into something special.