Somi: a crush on jazz on a Valentine’s Day

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The set before the performance began

On Valentine’s Day of 2020, the jazz band Somi delivered an amazing performance at the Colwell Playhouse of the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts. Her beautiful voice, the amazing improvisation of different instruments, their collaboration, as well as the ideals of inclusiveness deeply ingrained in their music, made the audiences truly fall in love with the performance and the band.

Written by: Yushan Guo

The door of the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts

Somi gently engaged with the audiences that truly brought the audiences and the performers close together. She greeted the audiences, explained the story or dedications of some songs they performed, and introduced other members. When Somi was talking, she was like a classic story-teller: her voice was gentle and soft, and she kept her eye-engagement with the audiences. And when she started singing, however, her voice became much more powerful to deliver a variety of emotions. As an audience, the resonance of her voice was really powerful that it brought in rich imagery and reminded me of a distant past. And I could feel many emotions: joy, wrath, melancholy, hope, etc.

The collaboration between the performers is also a bright spot that cannot be neglected about this performance. There were lots of instrumental improvisations, as one of the defining features of jazz music. When the improvisations took place, she would move more freely on the stage. Sometimes she had eye contact with the other performers, while most of the time she danced along the groove of their improvisations. Those tiny interactions are always interesting to see, especially in a live setting. Although the type of music I like (progressive rock and progressive metal) has incorporated some extents of jazz music, being at this concert completely struck me: there were so many transitions and they worked smoothly and naturally. Their techniques and musical imaginations captivated me.

The ticket and the booklet of the performance

I think my favorite song of the performance would be Alien. I particularly like the structure of this song. The emotion and the theme of this song were realtively more accessible. It started quite peacefully with vocal and piano accompaniment. It felt like whisperings on a dark, peaceful night. The energy of the song gradually “accumulated” and made the song much more powerful and “aggressive” as other instruments joined the song. And in the end, other instruments stopped, leaving only the voice and the piano accompaniment which highlighted the inclusio pattern of the song.

For more information regarding this event or the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts, please visit: https://krannertcenter.com/events/somi

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