Turtle Island Quartet and Nellie McKay to visit MSUM

by Darian Verdouw

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The Gaede Stage in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts will be hosting a unique music performance on Sept. 18 including the two-time Grammy winners Turtle Island Quartet with guest Nellie McKay.

McKay spoke highly of the upcoming performance. With her quirky personality, the show should prove to be whimsical and enticing.

A “phone number in a bar on a lucky day” is how she became acquainted with the Turtle Island Quartet. Her  colorful personality and intriguing musical background are projected powerfully in her performances. She studied jazz voice at the Manhattan School of Music, but did not graduate. She showcases her talents through her use of piano, mallets and ukulele.

Her music includes different genres, from jazz to rap to disco and funk. In her performance with the Turtle Island Quartet, the music of Billy Holiday, Billy Strayhorn, and the Weimer cabaret of the 1920s will be included on the set list.

McKay has a history as a stand-up comedian as well as an actor. Many may be familiar with her roll in P.S. I Love You as Ciara Reilly, sister of Holly Kennedy, played by Hilary Swank.

She is also an active member of PETA and in her song “Columbia is Bleeding,” issues of animal cruelty are brought to light. When asked what the perks of her success are, she said that she has the pleasure of being able to afford ‘an indulgence of vegan peanut butter cookies.’

“I imagine the seats will be filled and I’m sure the show will be enjoyed by many because this sort of band commands the audience’s attention,” said MSUM student Joseph Schwartz, a theater major excited to see Nellie McKay and the Turtle Island Quartet.

Schwartz is most looking forward to seeing how Nellie will incorporate her use of the ukulele.

MSUM music major Kyle Sperle said he loves that the university hosts a range of different cultural entertainment for the student body because the events are so diverse.

“It allows students to broaden their horizons. As a musician, watching people perform helps me look at music in a new way by helping me evaluate myself and it gives me inspiration,” Sperle said.

He most looks forward to how they are going to balance all of the different instruments and how they will blend together to create one sound.

Tickets to the event  are only $6 for MSUM students with an ID and can be purchased at the Gaede Stage desk. Tickets will also be available at the doors if the show does not sell out prior to the event.

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