Hip-hop group Jurassic 5; jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood; and rock group Guided by Voices will headline this year’s Summer Breeze concert on May 22 in Hutch Courtyard. The Major Activites Board (MAB) will host this concert, the third MAB show of the school year.
This year’s Summer Breeze marks the second year in a row that groups from three different musical genres have performed. Last year featured Ok Go, Talib Kweli, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. MAB board members say variety is an important factor when booking groups for Summer Breeze. MAB in the past has secured up-and-coming and mainstream artists for the popular spring festival, including Method Man in 2002, Eminem in 2000, and Moby in 1998. This year, MAB procured three established bands.
Mara Stankiewicz, a fourth year in the College and a former Voices editor for the Maroon, is the talent buyer for MAB. She helped book all the bands this year, and was looking for a mix of bands as successful as last year’s show.
“In the case of past Summer Breezes, for example, when we had Eminem, this is much different because we are no longer trying to catch artists on the rise in hopes that their new album won’t bomb,” Stankiewicz said. “It is too risky for the amount of money we’re dealing with. Instead, we are interested in musicians that are already established and that we can rely on to put on a truly good live show. Bands like this are hard to come by these days, and we are very proud of the lineup we managed to pull together this year.”
“I’ve only heard Jurassic 5 out of all those bands.” said Jason Esperitu, a first-year in the College. “And they should be alright. I only know one of their songs.” Esperitu said that maybe he would go to Summer Breeze’s concerts to check it out.
“We wanted it to be diverse, and I think we definitely achieved that this year,” said Clair Mazur, a volunteer coordinator and second-year in the College. “Also because hip hop currently has a large draw, we wanted to get a hip hop group and we did a good job of that with Jurassic 5.”
The first act of Summer Breeze, Guided by Voices, will present a hybrid style of pop and punk. The group is best known for the indie records it released in the 90’s. A group with a more underground than mainstream following, Guided by Voices most recently released Isolation Drills, which has received strong reviews.
Jurassic 5, strangely enough, has sixnot fivemembers. Hailing from Los Angeles, the group was formed as the combination of two rival crews, Rebels of Rhythm and Unity Committee. After producing a well received EP, the group released Quality Control in 2000 and Power in Numbers in 2002.
The final, Medeski, Martin & Wood, emerged in the early 90s in New York. They are known for both their improvisation and accessibility. “With Medeski, Martin & Wood, it was nice to have something different,” Mazur said. “They have a jazzy feel and we haven’t brought in a jazz act in a long time.”
Reactions to the band choices have been mixed. “I’m confused to as why they brought in Mediski, Martin & Wood,” said fourth-year in the College Milosz Metter. “I can’t imagine that they have any kind of following on campus. It would have been nice to have Kanye West. Or Kelis would have been nice.”
Fourth-year in the College Evelyn Pollins was more excited about the upcoming concert. “I’m psyched to see Bob Pollard [lead singer of Guided by Voices] get shitfaced,” Pollins said. She was especially excited that Guided by Voices is from her homestate of Ohio. “Go Dayton!” she said.
Others, like first-year in the College Eric Sitz, had a more subdued response. “I can’t remember the last time I listened to the radio,” he said.
Tickets will go on sale May 12 in the Reynolds Club and are $15 for students and $20 for faculty, staff, and lab school students. Doors open at 5:00; the show starts at 6:00.