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!

Musselman ARTS Triathlon Returns to the Smith Opera House

Saturday July 16, 2011 from 2:00 – 3:30pm: Music, Dance, and Art – CREATIVE FUSION! – all to benefit the Smith Opera House…it’s the third annual Musselman Arts Triathlon

The show will feature graduates from the Eastman School of Music and Ithaca Conservatory; contemporary dance companies from Rochester, NY; and performing arts-inspired painting!

Including performances by: Present Tense Dance Company, Biodance, Reina Apraez, Timmothy Baker, Kelly Covert, Donna Davenport, Mark Olivieri, and Greg Wachala.

The performance will begin with dance solos, followed by Present Dance Co. performing with violinist Timmothy Baker.  Finally, the Biodance Co. will perform with Mark Olivieri’s Jazz Ensemble.  HWS’s Reina Apraez will be creating a painting that is influenced by the performances throughout the afternoon.

2011 HWS Commencement – Audio Archives Posted!

Missed any of the 2011 Hobart & William Smith Colleges Commencement ceremonies broadcast?  Want to save it for posterity?  We’re here for you!  Audio archives are available via our sister station’s (WEOS) “Jukebox“.   We have the entire ceremony, plus excerpts of Patrick Corvington’s speech and Jessica Greger (WS Student Speaker) and Caleb Campbell (HOB Student Speaker).

We also have some nice pics of the ceremonies taken by WHWS’s own Greg Cotterill posted on our Facebook page.

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.

The Takeaway continues on WHWS!

Our experiment with airing The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee has been so successful that WHWS will be keeping the show on its airwaves indefinitely!  Yay!

Beginning Friday April 8th, you’ll hear The Takeaway every weekday morning from 8am to 10am.   Radio Bilingue will then be from 1am to 8am weekdays.   And remember that you can hear The Takeaway weekdays from 6am to 8am on WITH 90.1FM in the Ithaca area, too.

Celeste and John

And don’t forget that John Hockenberry will be speaking at the Hobart & William Smith President’s Forum on Thursday April 7th at 7:30pm, in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Student Center.  The Forum is free and open to the public, and it’ll be broadcast live on our sister station, WEOS 89.7FM.


Johan Galtung

Join us at the Fireplace Lounge in Scandling for a special Fridays at the Scandling Cafe.  Starting at 10:00am international Peace Studies scholar Johan Galtung will join us for an interview, broadcast live on WHWS.   Come over to Scandling to ask questions!

This interview is arranged through the HWS International Student Association’s Global Egalitarian Initiative, with special thanks to Martin Michaels.

(Galtung will also deliver a talk on Overcoming Structural Violence through Revolution in Arab Countries at 5 pm on Thursday April 7th in the Geneva Room of the HWS Library.  Structural violence is a term first used in the 1960s commonly ascribed to Galtung; it refers to a form of violence based on the systemic ways in which a given social structure harms people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs.)

EveryBODY is Beautiful – Open Mic Broadcast

Sorry – broadcast is cancelled due to our equipment going “missing”.  The open-mic night will still be happening, though – it just won’t be broadcast.  🙁

Join us on WHWS on Thursday Feb.24th from 8 to 9pm for an open-mic night at the Scandling Cafe for everyBODY is beautiful during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  Everyone who participates gets a 20% off coupon to the Bookstore!

Open mic will be in the rear seating area of the Cafe, not the Fireplace Lounge where WHWS broadcasts every Friday.  Make sure to follow the sound to the back of the Cafe!

Other events that entire week include:

  • Monday 21st  Tabling and screenings at Scandling 11am to 1pm.
  • Tuesday 22nd  Tabling and screenings at Scandling 11am to 1pm.  “Contextualizing the Pro Ana/Mia Movement Online” with Prof. Michele Polak (Hillcrest House at 7pm)
  • Wednesday 23rd  Tabling and screenings at Scandling 11am to 1pm.  Pasta Night with with NEDAW (Chaplin’s House 630 S. Main St, at 6pm)
  • Thursday 24th  Tabling with Adios Barbie Display at Scandling 11am to 1pm.  Open Mic 8pm!
  • Friday 25th  Tabling and “DNH8 On Your Body” Photo Shoot, Scandling 11am to 1pm.  Wear a white shirt!

It’s time to talk about it!  For more info call 315.781.3388 or visit

The Takeaway comes to WHWS 6-10am Weekdays

On WHWS 6am to 10am weekdays ’til April 7th!

The award-winning journalist John Hockenberry is coming to Geneva to speak at the HWS President’s Forum on Thursday April 7, 2011 at 7:30pm.

With Celeste Headlee, Hockenberry is currently co-host of PRI’s The Takeaway, a national morning news show that airs on dozens of stations nationwide.  In the past he has been a contributor to The DNA Files and The Infinite Mind as well as correspondent for NBC’s Dateline and host of MSNBC’s Hockenberry and Edgewise.  He is winner of three Peabody Awards, four Emmy Awards, and an Edward R. Murrow Award.

To give you a taste of why this will be one of the biggest speakers to come to Geneva this year, WHWS will be airing The Takeaway every weekday morning from 6am to 10am from now until April 7th!

We will post details of where exactly the Forum will be held and how to get there as we get them.