Therese Ferrara, Staff Writer
“We’re gonna start things off nice and slow, but we don’t do things nice and slow here, so we’re gonna start nice and slow and end things nice and rough.” This was the statement that set the tone for the funk band on Wednesday September 24. Located at the Black Oak Tavern, the weekly SUCO music night was packed, serving as a haven for many musically inclined Oneonta students to let loose, perhaps enjoy a brew and best of all, support fellow students and faculty members.
The show started at 10:30 p.m. and the first group opened with a cover of the rock-influenced jazz standard, “Cold Duck Time.” The ensemble covered rhythm and blues to jazz and featured classic songs, like “Acid Rain,” as well as the more modern, “Toxic.” While the wildly gifted group played together in perfect harmony, a highlight of the night was the funky rendition of Amy Winehouse’s, “Valerie.” The incorporation of the sultry voice of SUNY Oneonta senior, Eliza Shillieto paired with the refined saxophone solo, was incredible and hair raising. Other members had equal control and mastery of their instruments, having adeptly played a groove with rhythmic accuracy, while incorporating their own technique and style. The freedom of group composition, however, allows for improvisation, which adds a dynamic aspect to the band’s sound.
If there is one thing the town of Oneonta is known for, it’s the incredible music scene. Open to all ages and musical styles, there are countless opportunities for musicians and singers alike to gain experience and experiment with their sound, as well as for students to expose themselves to new genres. Funk night, or any musical night, located in town is no different. The local show allowed the Oneonta Funk band, an actual class offered at Oneonta, to showcase their skills. They are led by no other than Oneonta professor and skilled muscician Jeremy Wall. Previously the founding member and pianist of the landmark jazz-fusion group Spyro Gyra, Wall’s passion and talent are evident in the way he actively conducts the Funk band. Wall also incorporates interesting song choices, which highlighted each member’s strengths. As the first performance of the semester, the funk band set the bar incredibly high; Oneonta students alike are excited to see their growth and development in the coming months.