What do Bach and the Beastie Boys have in common? You’d be surprised. Local cellist and Cincinnati Arts Ambassador Fellow, Nathaniel (Nat) Chaitkin, is offering a set of non-traditional cello performances to reveal just how classical composers and modern musicians have more in common than meets the eye. “All good musicians use the same tools to make their music,” says Nat. It shouldn’t be surprising that classical masterpieces share so many similarities with today’s chart toppers, and Nat will teach participants how to recognize the musical tricks of the trade through his new series: Bach and Boombox.
Nat, who teaches cello and chamber music at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, knows that a concert hall performance can be very formal. Though he has performed in many prestigious venues, including Lincoln Center, the White House, and Cincinnati’s own Music Hall, Nat holds comfortable and informal performance spaces near and dear to his heart. “Great music belongs everywhere. I love to play for people where they are completely at home, and where we can talk about it, too.” Through his Cincinnati’s Arts Ambassador Fellowship, he hopes to declassify the classics and bring participants the same great music they would experience at Music Hall to Clifton Cultural Arts Center’s more accessible, intimate setting.
The sessions will consist of Nat performing short pieces by Bach and other classical composers and then comparing them to famous recordings by Miles Davis, Tito Puente, James Brown, and many more, during discussions in between pieces. He’ll share stories about Bach and other famous musicians, alongside tales of his own experiences, including as a member of the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. Believing music should be shared, Nat has added a second key component to the series: all attendees are encouraged to bring along music they love (iPods, phones, etc.) so that the group can discuss together what makes it tick.
Held at the historic Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC), the three-week series, “Bach and Boombox,” will take place April 9, 16, and 23 from 7-8:00 p.m. Thanks to Nat’s grant from the City of Cincinnati’s Artist Ambassador program, this series is completely free of charge, but participants must secure a seat ahead of time. To reserve a seat, visit www.cliftonculturalarts.org or call CCAC at 513-497-2860.