Concert Review: Turkuaz & Organ Freeman

By Laurel Brown

This past Thursday, March 24, I had the opportunity to see two amazing powerfunk-jazz groups perform at The Haunt, a small bar and concert venue located in Ithaca, New York. Turkuaz, the headlining group, sold over 170 presale tickets alone – quite the feat for a band of their status.

A 9-piece powerfunk group from Brooklyn, NY, Turkuaz finds their inspiration at the intersection of pop, R&B, soul, and funk. According to their website, they sound like “the musical love child of Sly & the Family Stone and Talking Heads.”

Each member dressed in a unique color (imagine someone in all blue, another in all purple, another in all white, etc.) while rainbow stage lighting flashed through the foggy, crowded room, creating a fun, high-energy atmosphere for an audience with fans of all ages.

The band played songs from their last album Digitonium, released in 2015, as well as new songs that will be on their forthcoming album, which should be out in late 2017.

Throughout their two-hour set, Turkuaz remained groovy and synchronized, layering vocals for a soulful vibe backed by a hard-driven brass section. Some songs sounded more like classic rock and others kept up with a wavy funk style and powerful horns, but each tune undeniably kept the crowd dancing, smiling, and drinking.

Organ Freeman, an electric funk-jazz band from Los Angeles.

However, Turkuaz was not the group that grabbed my attention Thursday night. It was in fact the opener, Organ Freeman, that I was thrilled to have witnessed perform. A bluesy, funky, jazz trio out of Los Angeles, the openers took the stage at 9 and played a solid hour of unapologetic electrified jazz.

Powered by a hard-and-fast-hitting drummer and weepy guitar shreds, Organ Freeman took rock and jazz to new levels with such scattered techniques I find it hard to pinpoint their genre, or even narrow down their musical influences.

Wah-wah pedals and jazzy organ runs took place of any vocals or lyrics, and the guitarist doubled as a solid bassist too, walking lines that kept up with remarkably quick tempos from the drummer. In homage to true jazz form, the members tossed control of the songs back and forth, each taking the melody on completely new runs.

The percussion instruments added perfect variation to each 8-12 minute song, including a cowbell, tambourine, and several giant cymbals. A combination of Travis Barker’s speedy flicks and Louis Vecchio’s hard-hitting, high-energy style, Organ Freeman’s drummer expertly maneuvered each song and maintained such quick time throughout their set that he clearly stood out as the backbone of their live performance.

While they had no lyrics, their song titles were entertaining and random, some of which included “Putin and I Get Along Just Fantastic,” “Go By Richard, Not By Dick,” and “The Green Green Grapes.” Organ Freeman was passionate and loud, definitely earning a spot on my Do-Not-Miss-Them-Live list.

Thanks to Turkuaz and Organ Freeman, the audience was overwhelmed with a high-energy night and endless jazz tunes wrapped up with pretty lights and good company. Check out The Haunt’s website to learn about upcoming concerts!

MOVED TO SUNDAY! The Big Fein Daddy Benefit Concert!

Saturday April 16th at 2:30pm 
SUNDAY APRIL 17th @ 1:30pm
on the HWS Quad it’s the Big Fein Daddy live benefit concert featuring The Chris Nathan Band.   Now at a new date/time due to rain in the forecast for Saturday.

It’s an incredible concert in memory of Hobart Lacrosse legend Jon Feinstein, whose passion was finding ways to make life better for children in need.  $5 donations are appreciated, proceeds will help provide medical care to children without health insurance, treated at Geneva General Hospital.   Featuring the Chris Nathan Band, music director Michael Mancini and the “Fein Daddy Horns” – the amazing members of the horn section from Southside Johnny, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, led by Tommy Labella.

Find out more at or call (315)787-4050 or (315)781-3513.

"Merry Christmas George Bailey!" Old Time Radio Theatre

Seneca Falls celebrates the “real” Bedford Falls made famous in It’s a Wonderful Life with a special four-show runs of Merry Christas, George Bailey!, an old time radio play based on the 1947 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast…complete with live sound effects and street actors!  Performed by the Seneca Community Players, at the “Bedford Falls Bijou Theatre”, 100 Fall St. in Seneca Falls.

Tickets can be purchased for $6 at WomanMade Products, 91 Fall Street, (315) 568-9364.  More information about the slate of events all weekend is available at:

Sun. December 5  @ 6pm
Thu. December 9  @ 7pm
Sat. December 11 @ 6pm
Sun. December 12 @ 1pm

WHWS will record the December 5th 9th performance for broadcast on Tuesday December 14th @ 3pm

(we had technically difficulties with recording on the 5th, sorry!)

Ra Ra Riot plays The Cracker Factory in Geneva!

The band with their first album
THE RHUMB LINE at the WHWS Studios

On Saturday September 18th @ 7:30pm Geneva’s own Ra Ra Riot will play live at the newest venue in town: The Cracker Factory in north Geneva (35 Lehigh St near Club 86).

Former Gym Class Hero guitarist Milo Bonacci formed RRR in 2006 with vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Matthieu Santos, cellist Alexandra Lawn, violinist Rebecca Zeller and drummer Gabriel Duquette.   They just released their sophomore album The Orchard last month and gearing up for their latest tour!   You can hear a Ra Ra Riot track as a WHWS Featured Artist at the top of every hour.

For more info and tickets,  
click here!

Special Announcement: tune in to WHWS Saturday night to hear Ra Ra Riot LIVE on 105.7FM!!!!!

"Welcome Back Students" Show Featuring Shwayze!

Photo by Greg Cotterill

HWS Campus Activities Board is putting on a FREE SHOW on the Hobart Quad in the Bristol Field House on Saturday September 4th at 7:00pm featuring SHWAYZE and opening act Charm Face!

One word: AWESOME!!!  Probably just as well the show was moved to the Field House.  While the rain never really fell, it was pretty windy and it got downright cold out that night, with temps dropping to the low 50’s.  But it was plenty hot in the Field House with Charm Face rocking a solid set and Shwayze whipping the crowd into an ecstatic frenzy! 

We’ve been told there were over 1000 people at the show, and we have some pics for YOU!  Check out our Facebook page for ’em all!

And props to all the folks who showed up wearing the new WHWS lime and purple t-shirts!!!  🙂


Every hour from 11am to 12mid you’ll hear a track from Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra. Why? Because they’re our featured artist and they’re coming to The Smith Opera House to play live on Saturday April 23rd at 8pm…that’s why! 🙂

Tickets available at or call (315) 781-LIVE

Formed October 1980 in Amsterdam, NY (just west of Albany – fellow upstaters!) this 11 piece orchestra is led by the Bronx-born bassist Alex Torres. They have been presented by hundreds of festivals, performing arts centers and events annually to perform their original blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms such as Salsa, Merengue, Cha-Cha, Bomba, Plena and Latin Jazz.

Boiled in Lead – FEATURED ARTIST!

Join us at The Smith Opera House on Saturday April 10th for Boiled in Lead! They’re also the WHWS Featured Artist – hear them every hour at the top of the hour from 11am – 12mid every day!


Rock’n’reel. Punk-folk. Country music from many countries… just some of the ways to describe this band. Boiled In Lead is fiddle, guitar, bass and drums with loads of power and emotion.

BiL are innovators in bringing “folk music” to rock audiences (and vice versa). The band’s many instrumental dance tunes incorporate global influences, rhythms, and melodies that are guaranteed to keep the feet moving. Original songs stick in the mind long after the concert is over. The players improvise freely yet stay in sync, playing a vital mix of original and traditional material. The group and the individual musicians have won over 20 Minnesota Music Awards, and toured throughout the US and in Europe.

Rusted Root comes to The Smith!

Friday Sept.25 @ 8:00pm

Rusted Root has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide. Formed in Pittsburgh by singer/guitarist Glabicki in the early ‘90s, Rusted Root’s worldly style quickly charmed fans of roots music and world rock.

After debuting in 1992 with the self released Cruel Sun, Rusted Root signed with Mercury Records and released the 1994 platinum selling breakthrough When I Woke, which featured the hit songs Send Me On My Way, Ecstasy and Martyr.

Not long after, the band scored on tours with Toad the Wet Sprocket, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, The Allman Brothers Band, HORDE Festival and, perhaps most notably, the highly coveted support role on the landmark Jimmy Page/Robert Plant reunion tour. Learn more about the band at

Also presenting guest artist “The Kin”

CLICK HERE to buy tickets to The Smith Opera House Or call (315)781-LIVE, or come to the box office at 82 Seneca St, Geneva, NY.