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Bluegrass with Classical/Jazz Influence

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Friday September 29, 2017

From The Oberlin Review

Punch Brothers Infuse Bluegrass with Classical, Jazz Influences
By: Julia Peterson

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 performances throughout the week. These included a panel on “Storytelling through Song,” a combined talk and performance on Bach and bluegrass, a talk on the history of bluegrass, a jam session with Conservatory student musicians, and a talk on the business aspects of the music world, to name a few. They also provided individual coaching sessions for many music students. The events had a wide appeal — people came from the Conservatory, College, town, and as far away as Cleveland to attend.

Andrea Kalyn, dean of the Conservatory, agreed that this wide appeal was a natural product of the Punch Brothers’ extraordinary musicianship, which has earned them extensive nationwide tours and glowing profiles in many publications, including The New York Times. She added that another dimension to their appeal was how the group plays with genre.

“They’re great artists, first and foremost, and people are compelled by great artistry,” Kalyn said. “[And] they work outside of genre. They play bluegrass music and they play new music with bluegrass instrumentation, but they approach their music as musicians first and genre second, at a very high level. I think that has a tremendous appeal across a wide range of audiences.”

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