The five best Arts & Life music stories of 2014

Jan. 7, 2015, 10:33 p.m.
Brad Mehldau. Photo by Michael Wilson
Brad Mehldau. Photo by Michael Wilson

From interviewing musicians, to reviewing concerts, to investigating the state of practice pianos on campus, here’s a look at five of The Daily’s best music stories from 2014.

1. Jazz Pianist Brad Mehldau discusses his craft by Managing Editor Alexandra Heeney

Managing editor Alexandra Heeney got the chance to interview legendary jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, who visited Bing Concert Hall on December 5, 2014. They discussed everything from Taylor Swift to his love for his Steinway grand to his artistic collaborations with Chris Thile and Joshua Redman. Heeney’s probing questions produced lively answers and insight that jazz lovers will appreciate.

2. Poor pianos, poor practice: low quality pianos point to a deeper problem by Music Desk Editor Marisa Lin

This article was the first investigative piece published by The Stanford Daily Arts & Life section, detailing the state of the practice room pianos in Braun Music Center and how their substandard quality pointed to a deeper problem of lack of resources in the Stanford Music Department. The article featured perspectives of undergraduate students, both music majors and non-music majors, who all agreed that the pianos “are just not up to par.”

3. Pomplamoose returns to the Farm: a Night of Surprises by Music Desk Editor Marisa Lin

When pop duo Pomplamoose, consisting of Stanford graduates Nataly Dawn ‘09 and Jack Conte ‘06, made a homecoming visit in November, music desk editor Marisa Lin was there to cover it all and bring the spontaneity alive in her review. Their delightful performance included pop hits such as “Single Ladies” and “Royals,” as well as original covers such as “Bust Your Kneecaps.” Other highlights included Conte’s playing of the audience (read it and you will understand) and the finale when the entire audience joined the duo in a powerful rendition of “We Will Rock You.”  This interactive performance easily tops the list as the most entertaining —and memorable.

Jonathan Clay of Jamestown Revival at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Photo by Gabriela Groth.
Jonathan Clay of Jamestown Revival at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Photo by Gabriela Groth.

4. Jamestown Revival brings Americana to California by Music Desk Editor Gabriela Groth

Music desk editor and photographer Gabriela Groth traveled down to Los Angeles to see and interview Jamestown Revival, an Austin-based band specializing in southern folk and bluegrass-inspired rock. Groth’s skillful weaving of quotes, descriptions, and vibrant photos together produced a poignant piece that highlighted the importance of intimacy and “making a connection” with the audience to produce a genuine shared experience.

5. Violin Virtuoso Joshua Bell Dazzles Bing Audience by Elizabeth Woodson

Earlier this year, internationally renowned violinist Joshua Bell gave a “thrilling” performance at Bing. Writer Melissa Wood captured the spirit of the concert in her review that lauded Bell’s technique, presentation, and passion. Far from offering trite praises, Wood splendidly details the qualities that continue to make Bell one of the top artists of our generation.

Contact the Arts & Life editorial staff at arts ‘at’

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