Thursday, March 23 at 7 pm
Jeff Brassell is a self-made singer songwriter, usually writing in moderate to slow tempo homespun music. He is a Lima Ohio native raised in Bluffton Ohio, and describes himself as a blue collar “regular kind of guy” and strives to reflect everyday life in his music.
Community is what makes Ethan Setiawan tick. Music can take on many faces, and for the Indiana born, Boston based musician and mandolinist that face is creative collaboration with others. For Setiawan, the passion lies in the synergy that happens when a group of unique individuals come together. The combination of vulnerability, courage, and openness that collaboration requires, while a lot to ask, can result in something totally fresh. This search for the next border and the experiences that create this space is essential in Setiawan's work.
Growing up in the Mennonite tradition was instrumental in the growth of this love of community and collaboration. Singing four part harmonies for hymns is a vital part of the Mennonite tradition. This experience is not limited to church; morning gatherings, evening potlucks, and meals with friends can all involve singing in rounds and parts. Time spent singing harmony with two hundred other people spoke to the young musician. The sound of so many voices together creates a strong feeling of togetherness within that group of people. It’s truly an experience that actively creates community.
While first and foremost an acoustic mandolin player, Setiawan also performs on mandocello and electric mandolin. Deeply invested in making the mandolin a larger part of music that it’s not normally found in, he’s situating funk and jazz on wooden instruments; one such outlet is the Ethan Setiawan Band, a group of musicians from Goshen performing Setiawan’s music as well as “music not meant for the mandolin”. He’s also a member of Boston based bluegrass groove band OctoPladd. During high school, Setiawan was a member of several bands in his hometown of Goshen, IN and in 2014 won the National Mandolin Championship. These days, you can find him dividing his time between Boston, where he attends Berklee College of Music on a full ride scholarship, and his home community of Goshen Indiana.