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Last Acoustic Coffeehouse

April 7, 2012   

This past Thursday marked my last acoustic coffeehouse as coordinator. Thankfully, I could think of no better way to end my reign than with a glass of warm hot chocolate, a chocolate chip cookie, and a wonderful performance courtesy of Marîa Volonté, the headliner, and Jennah Bell, the opener. 

Students complain about obscure artists of whom they seldom know; unfortunately, this coffeehouse was no different. Although Marîa is a Latin-Grammy nominee and a recent performer at SXSW, she does not yet have a strong following amongst American youth. The same goes for her harmonica accompanist. However, I think her performance at Hamilton definitely broadened her youth support basis.  Maria’s performance was unique in that her songs were mostly sung in Spanish, an idiosyncrasy that encouraged the audience to focus more on the rhythms and movements than the words themselves. Moreover, I found out that the harmonica player went to my high school in the Bay Area! He went to Yale for a year then dropped out. He also said that Hamilton’s food was much better than Yale’s (you can see where our priorities lie).

Jennah Bell was equally wonderful. She also happened to be from Oakland! It was indeed a reunion of East Bayers. Jennah is only 23 (perhaps the prettiest 23rd old ever) who sings sweetly and melodically. She isn’t the typical indie singer/songwriter that sings softly about fondling a loved one in a field of tall grass. Rather, Hamilton students loved her because she commanded a strong stage presence.  In some respects, she was more popular than Maria. 

Despite students’ complaints of obscure artists, the acoustic coffeehouse series is about the atmosphere and discovering new talents. The candle-lit tables and acoustic allures create an environment that is conducive to relaxation.I will miss being the coordinator because I find great gratification in creating this atmosphere.  Hopefully next year’s coordinator can do the same, dare I say better. I guess you’ll just have to come and see for yourself though.