By: Jesse Rosenberg
The University of Nevada, Reno’s 2023-2024 Performing Arts Series season continues with the incomparable touring project and ensemble, Krakauer & Tagg’s "Square Peg Throwdown."
On Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m., “Square Peg Throwdown” will grace the stage of Nightingale Concert Hall, in a performance that is sure to delight audience members through the group’s commitment to the retelling of traditional roots music by way of amalgamating both innovation and respect to tradition.
“Square Peg Throwdown” was cultivated by Grammy-nominated clarinetist David Krakauer and multi-instrumentalist/producer Kathleen Tagg. Kindled by the socio-political climate of the 2020 pandemic lockdowns, the project aims to be a source of musical camaraderie in the face of cultural polarization. Aware of the great power that laughter and kindness wield, the group’s personality and ethics are transparent in all that they do, as their music highlights the humorous juxtaposition of celebration in the midst of destruction.
The touring project is unique in the sense that it encourages audience members to not simply sit and listen to their music, but rather be an extension of the ensemble itself. Listeners will find it challenging to remain still when “Square Peg Throwdown’s” all-embracing soundscapes invite the audience to dance and partake in the beauty of their pancultural musicianship and celebration of universal goodness.
In addition to the talents of Krakauer and Tagg, “Square Peg Throwdown” features bassist and vocalist Jerome Harris, rapper and vocalist Sarah MK, guitarist and oudist Yoshie Fruchter, and percussionist Martin Shamoonpour. With instrumentation that is as varied as the group themselves, “Square Peg Throwdown” combines traditional Klezmer music, electronica, and one-of-a-kind instrumentation to provide a deeply human musical experience that unites us all.
Krakauer & Tagg’s “Square Peg Throwdown” individual tickets are $40 (Adult), $38 (Senior/University of Nevada, Reno Faculty and Staff), $16 (Youth), and $5 (University of Nevada, Reno students). University student tickets can be purchased online or at the box office the night of the show (which will open one hour before the performance).