Do re mi fa sizzo lizzal dizzo – hip hop violin coming to Kobacker Hall

By Cassandra Shofar


The delicate, fluid curves of a violin, the glide of rosin on its bow and the smooth sound of vibrating strings is often associated with classical music.

But three contemporary musicians know how to jam on those strings.

The musical trio “Time for Three,” use their classical instruments to play anything from bluegrass and country/western to jazz, funk, and their own interpretations of Bach.

Playing tonight in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, the trio is part of the College of Musical Arts’ Festival Series and Deborah Fleitz, director of public events at the College of Musical Arts, is deeply excited to have them perform.

“I’ve heard great things about them … they are highly regarded in the music world” she said. “They play traditional instruments but not traditional music.”

The trio includes violinists Zachary De Pue and Nicolas Kendall, and double bassist Ranaan Meyer.

Fleitz, who booked the group almost a year ago, believes that with the variety of music they play, the energy and enthusiasm they bring and with youthfulness on their side, this trio will appeal to a broad scope of people.

“They’re all in their mid-20s,” she said. “They can really relate to the average college student.”

De Pue, a Bowling Green native, took a few music lessons at the University, and his father taught Composition and Theory for 35 years at BGSU.

He’s excited to have their group debut here on campus, and thinks he can relate to the students.

“[I like] seeing people that are almost the same age [as me], living their dreams, and not afraid to try to live them,” De Pue said. “We’re not much older and are just trying to use the tools we have to express ourselves, to open ourselves up.”

“Time for Three” not only contributes three distinct personalities to their music, but three distinct sounds as well.

De Pue explained how he brings a blue grass Appalachian sound to the music, that Meyer offers a jazz sound, and Kendall uses his percussion to emanate a bit of hip hop sound as well.

“[Kendall] picks up trash cans on the street and will just rock out,” De Pue said with a laugh.

The Dave Matthews Band helped get past the stereotype associated with classical instruments, added De Pue.

“These instruments, a couple of years ago, were thought of as [just] classical instruments,” he said. “The Dave Matthews Band opened a door.”

The three musicians met at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where playing together for fun turned into playing for an audience on tour.

“[Touring] was and still is a very organic process, it’s word of mouth,” De Pue said. “We play one gig at a time.”

De Pue said that when they all met, slowly but surely, the three began to play more and more together.

“Then all of a sudden, we’re playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra,” he added.

Staying “young and fresh” and relating to their audience are two main goals of the trio, De Pue said.

“[We want], as much as possible, to connect with a vast amount of people,” he said. “To connect on an emotional level of excitement.”

And with a sound that’s pegged as “quite rare,” ‘Time for Three’ is one of those special groups that’s tough to place a label on, said manager Eric Amada.

“I usually tell my clients and friends that all they need to do is trust me and listen for themselves for five minutes … ‘Time For Three’ has never failed to leave them awestruck,” he said.

Amada, who met the trio in 2004 while going to see a new client at a concert in Philadelphia, also found the link between their instruments and music unique.

“Don’t let their instruments fool you, ‘Time for Three’ isn’t your parent’s chamber music,” Amada said. “[They] constantly keep their audiences enthralled by unveiling layers upon layers of their personalities and diverse musical interests.”