January 10th, 2014 @ 8pm in Hansen Student Center
Omid Singh is a nationally touring stand-up comedian based in Los Angeles. He can be seen in comedy clubs across the country, appearing with comedians such as Maz Jobrani (Axis of Evil) and Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond). In 2012, Omid performed at over 40 colleges, and made his acting debut as a terrorist in the Academy-Award winning film for Best Picture, Argo, which finally made his immigrant parents proud. Singh is a multicultural comedian—half-Indian, half Persian—who grew up internationally, living in over a dozen different cities across three continents. From the suburbs of Orange County to Texas to Dubai, his unique upbringing (and rapid growing facial hair) has influenced his comedy, making him a diverse performer who enjoys connecting with every type of audience.
Calise Hawkins wears her heart on her microphone. If anything makes her cry, she will find a way to make it funny. She has appeared on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”, “Russell Simmons Presents Stand Up At The El Rey”, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon’s “Nick Mom’s Night Out”, and on Nick Jr’s “Parental Discretion”. She’s been featured twice on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and soon she will be performing on the second season of TV Guide’s “Stand Up in Stilettos”. She is a writer for MTV”s “Totally Clueless,” “Girl Code,” Nick At Nites “What Was Carol Brady Thinking”, NickMom.com, and Playboy Comedy’s “The Smoking Jacket”. Calise believes that whatever gives you pain or embarrassment can also give you perspective on life…if you can figure out how to laugh about it.
Seabird's songs were recently heard on Pushing Daisies , Numb3rs , and Grey's Anatomy . Seabird's song "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" was featured at the beginning of the Ghost Whisperer Season 5 episode On Thin Ice.
Started by brothers Aaron and Ryan Morgan in '04, Seabird generated a simmering street buzz with their EPs Spread Your Broken Wings and Try and Let Me Go On. Signing with Credential Recordings, the Heroes, Jars of Clay, Barcelona, Meese, David Crowder Band and did their own 15-date college tour. The band also performed at major music events like South band made its national debut with 'Til We See the Shore and its lead single "Rescue," which spent multiple weeks at No. 1 on TVU's "Most Wanted," appeared on mtvU's "The Freshmen" and became the soundtrack for the lead promos of ABC's 12-time Emmy- nominated "Pushing Daisies."
Out on the road, Seabird toured with NeedToBreathe, Fiction Family, House of by Southwest, MOBFest 09, Forecastle Festival and even headlined the opening night of the MidPoint Music Festival.
"You always want your friends to be there for you, and in the same way, we want our music to be there with whatever you need, be it inspiration, laughter or even tears," remarks Morgan. "It's our goal to make our music as reliable as a good friend."
February 22nd, 2014 @ 8pm in Hansen Student Center
Renfroe shows up early on campus and goes door to door, personally inviting students to attend his concerts. He is MTV’s #1 indie pop artist.
It’s sometimes hard to combine the spirit of a soulful songcrafter and the energy of a concert artist, but Austin Renfroe brings both to the page and stage. The Atlanta native is quickly making his mark as one to watch! With the release of his first album in 2008 – Stuck in Your Head – followed by his buzz-producing Unexpected EP in 2010, Austin has garnered critical and fan acclaim, as well as selling hundreds of thousands of digital downloads and streams, creating an even bigger platform for this up and comer to reach his audience. Renfroe continues to grow his fan base by playing at an assortment of venues from local coffee houses to college campuses to large arenas, including hometown Phillips Arena. With his unique way of telling classic tales of love, loss, and life, he connects with his audience on a personal and intimate level.
March 22nd, 2014 @ 8pm in Hansen Student Center
A Lebanese American born in Oakland, CA, Sammy Obeid applies his UC Berkeley double major in Business and Mathematics into bringing laughter to the nation. Recently appearing on NBC's America's Got Talent, advancing to the Las Vegas round, Sammy's style has been described as 'intelligent', 'inspiring', and 'a youthful perspective that reaches all ages.' Blending his education and love for being the life of the party, Obeid discusses 'hip' social trends in a critical yet hilarious way, making him a favorite at colleges. As the youngest member both of the national tours, CoExist Comedy and the Axis of Evil New Generation, Sammy has worked with Robin Williams, Russel Peters, Dana Carvey and more. He is also the founder of his own comedy enterprise, KO Comedy, as well as the first comedian to ever appear on the Food Network telling jokes.
Sammy is currently on a streak to perform comedy 1,000 days in a row, already holding the world record for consecutive days and reaching 1,000 in September, 2013.
March 28th, 2014 @ 8pm in Hansen Student Center
Undercover 24, featuring guest host/musician, Dan Henig, will take place in the Hansen Student Center. Undercover is the semesterly event where all interested students are invited to audition for the chance to compete and peform on dual stages in front of a live audience of their peers. Each of band or singer/musician performs two of their favorite cover songs and the audience along with a panel of judges, vote for the best performance. The top three winners receive prizes. We look forward to seeing you out at the Hansen Student Center on Friday, March 28th for Undercover 24. Undercover will be hosted by Dan Henig
Dan Henig’s tracks evoke the radio friendliness and sing-along-ability of mainstream music stars John Mayer and Sara Barailles. But listen deeper and you’ll find behind the euphonious hooks - a lyrical depth –and at times - darkness more suggestive of Leonard Cohen, one of Henig’s influences.
Henig spent his formative years in England, when his father – a Ford Motor Company engineer – was transferred overseas for work. The family spent 6 years in the UK. There, Henig discovered his passion for music - first playing Cello, than Trumpet, and eventually trying “every instrument I could get my hands on!” Drawn to the guitar, it wasn’t until Henig’s family returned to Michigan that he struck a deal with his Mom to get his first guitar. “I told her I could figure out how to play any song within 5 minutes at the store. It took me 10 minutes, but she bought me the guitar anyway!”
Armed with his own axe, Henig began honing his playing – and songwriting skills. At 18, he enrolled in the music school at Chicago’s Columbia College. “Turns out I learned more about music from playing shows and writing in my bedroom than I did from a classroom so I quit school, moved back to Michigan and kept creating.”
In 2010 Henig hooked up with acclaimed producer (and now member) of the Platinum selling rock band Sponge – Tim Patalan. Taking Henig under his wing - Patalan worked with the young artist - culling 6 songs from the 20 he had written – and recorded Henig’s stunning self-titled debut album at his Loft Studio in Saline, Michigan.
With festival appearances at Ann Arbor’s Top of the Park, and Midwest tour dates in Chicago, Ohio and Metro Detroit under his belt, Henig is set to bring his accessible sound to as many people who will listen. “Nothing beats the adrenaline rush of playing live. If I could – I would tour the world forever!”
April 4th, 2014 @ 8pm in Hansen Student Center
With more than 250 stops a year on their touring calendar, they’re arguably one of the busiest professional bands in the country, along with being the voices behind TV and radio Cool Whip commercials. They have toured with Sugar Ray, Jessica Simpson, and Hootie.
Following in the path of classic harmony groups like Boyz II Men, The Temptations, and Take 6, with a mix of the classic and the contemporary, the five-member vocal band Ball in the House brilliantly blends a wide range of influences, from classic R&B to pop, hip-hop & gospel. With their extensive tour schedule (averaging 250 dates a year), Ball in the House reaches millions and is arguably one of the hardest working, most successful indie bands today. They have performed with such artists as The Beach Boys, Gladys Knight, The Jonas Brothers, Jessica Simpson, Fantasia, Blondie, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, KC & The Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang, and numerous others. All a cappella, but a sound that will astound and amaze you. 5 Guys, 5 Voices, THAT'S IT... A review from the Boston Globe put it very succinctly - "Ball in the House has everything you would expect to find in a successful pop/rock band....the one thing it doesn't have is instruments."
April 21st, 2014 @ 5pm in Memorial Center
Brent & Co. has crafted a unique sound by mixing rock, soul, reggae and funk. By combining a guitar, saxophone, bass and kick drum, this trio brings unique flare to any campus.
Brent & Co. is the musical project of Washington, D.C.-based singer/songwriter Brent Peterson. With musical leanings ranging from reggae and rock to country and funk, the band successfully straddles multiple genres without losing sight of its acoustic rock beginnings.
Last year was a busy year for Brent & Co., with 217 full band and acoustic performances in promotion of their latest EP, “Not How We Dream.”
Recorded in lead singer and rhythm guitarist Brent Peterson’s adopted hometown of Washington, the EP taps into the deep talent pool in the nation’s capital. Produced by Jarrett Nicolay (Virginia Coalition), “Not How We Dream” spans several genres while still holding onto the band’s signature groove-based acoustic rock sensibilities. The rhythm section, comprised of Dominic Fragman on drums and Joey Mitchell (Swamp Candy) on bass, provides much of the album’s strong foundation, and Frank Mitchell & Dave Finnell (Thievery Corporation) bring the complementary horn work. The soulful fiddle playing by Pat McAvinue (candidate for the IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year) ensures that even the group’s expansion into a country sound remains authentic. With this EP, Brent & Co. has found its voice.
Having cut their teeth performing in regional bars, restaurants, and wineries, and even the occasional wedding and European tour, Brent & Co. looks forward to further expanding their geographic reach, and to bringing their energetic show to new audiences including Illinois Wesleyan.