The University of Nevada, Reno’s 2022-2023 Performing Arts Series season comes to a close with a show-stopping performance by the vocal percussionist virtuosa, Butterscotch.
On Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m., Butterscotch will mesmerize audience members of Nightingale Concert Hall as she effortlessly combines singing, beatboxing, rapping, looping, piano and guitar playing – often at the same time. With a voice reminiscent of Billie Holiday and verses comparable to Lauryn Hill, Butterscotch courageously sings about her love life, depression and daily struggles of being a biracial queer woman of color.
The Reno performance will feature two of her longtime collaborators Cameron Calloway on guitar and vocals and Brian Chris Rogers on bass. Butterscotch will also be joined for a song or two by student musicians from the University’s Program on Jazz and Improvisational Music. After the set, Butterscotch will sit down with the audience for a short question-and-answer session.
Butterscotch began her career in the underground male-dominated beatbox battle scene, where she was crowned the world's first female beatbox champion. Since then, she has used her powerful voice to defy social constructs surrounding gender and music. Her mission is focused on empowering and elevating people through music and compassion.
The compositions Butterscotch creates span various styles, including hip-hop, rhythm and blues, jazz and classical, as she’s influenced by many diverse artists including Chopin, Chaka Khan, John Coltrane and Stevie Wonder. She has opened for artists such as Erykah Badu, Earth, Wind & Fire, Thievery Corporation, Sergio Mendes, Wyclef Jean and other musical legends.
“Butterscotch’s performance is the perfect ending to a truly one-of-kind season that embraced extraordinary artistry, social justice and diversity. Her music reminds us that we are all interconnected and that music does have the power to shift perspectives, forge new connections and empower,” Shoshana Zeldner, Program Manager for the School of the Arts, explained.
Community members are invited to join Butterscotch for a free and open-to-the-public event on Wednesday, March 8 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Our Center (1745 South Wells Avenue, Reno, NV 89502). During this empowering evening, “Breaking the Binary: Butterscotch’s Journey as a Queer Artist in Music,” Butterscotch will speak candidly about her lived experiences while addressing challenges faced by queer youth and young adults. “Breaking the Binary” is presented in partnership with Our Center as well as the University of Nevada Reno’s Multicultural Center, the Queer Student Union, the Gender, Race and Identity Club and oSTEM.
“This free event has allowed us to connect the arts to new communities in a profound and impactful way. Butterscotch’s willingness to share such a vulnerable space with us is deeply connected to her drive to empower and elevate those who need it most, through music,” Zeldner said.
Individual tickets to Butterscotch are $36 (Adult), $34 (Senior/UNR Faculty and Staff) $16 (Youth) and $5 (University of Nevada, Reno students).
Advance tickets are available by phone through the School of the Arts (775-784-4278) or the day of the performance at the Nightingale Concert Hall Box Office (open one hour before the performance).
In addition to the Performing Arts Series, the School of the Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno presents the 2023 Reno Jazz Festival April 27-29 which includes three full days of jazz performances and workshops by leading jazz artists and educators. Featured performances include “Joel Ross + Manzanita Quintet and Marquis Hill: New Gospel Revisited.” For more information, please visit the Reno Jazz Festival website.