Oskaloosa.com

Local News

May 26, 2014

Chamber musicians jam at Smokey Row

OSKALOOSA — A large crowd gathered at the Smokey Row Coffee House and Restaurant to listen to great musical performances by classical musicians during a jam session Friday night.

Ben Davis has been participating in the jam session for the last five years.

“It started in 2010 and we have been coming back each year for the Smokey Row concert,” Davis said. In addition to the event at Smokey Row, the band also plays at First Presbyterian Church the following day. Davis said that there have been occasions where they played well into the night at Smokey Row.

“There was one time where we played until 1:30 a.m.,” he said.

Davis emphasized what he enjoys most about the festivities is the fact that the event is casual and informal. The audience had an opportunity to request songs from a sheet. The atmosphere was friendly and the place was filled with energy and excitement.

“People can have a conversation and enjoy their coffee, and the music is completely unrehearsed and unplanned,” Davis said.

Davis added he has done freelancing related to music. However, he made it perfectly clear that he was not doing this for the money, he was doing it for fun.

“We do this for fun on our own and we collaborate with great people,” he said.

Although Davis said most of the music was classical in nature, he did add there would be some jazz embedded as well as requests to play certain themes from popular musicals.

There was another performer that Davis has worked closely with over the years. Erika Blanco, who plays the violin, has attended the event at the Smokey Row for three years. She seemed just as passionate when describing the atmosphere in the room, in addition to her love for music. Blanco has been interested in music since a young age.

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