On Friday, September 17th, Edinboro University held “Mojatuba: Tuba and Dance Fusion” at the Cole Auditorium. Hosted by Dr. Daniel Burdick, we welcomed Velvet Brown on the Tuba, Dr. Anthony Leach on piano, Dr. Jimmy Finnie on percussion, and Kikora Franklin and company dance group that lit up the stage. The audience consisted of Edinboro University faculty, staff, students and alumni who celebrated the unique ensemble.
The deep sounding tuba of Velvet Brown was the perfect match for Dr. Leach’s beautiful numbers on the piano. Most of the songs were portrayed with great emotion through the dancers who swept across stage with grace. Dr. Leach’s powerful, steady voice was the perfect accompaniment for the running scales of the piano. If tuba, beauty, grace, and piano aren’t your thing, the song “Mambo-Cha” is sure to knock your socks off! The electrifying energy of the swift dancers combined with Dr. Finnie on the djembe had the entire crowd bobbing their heads and smiling.
MOJA is an acronym for Modern Dance, Original Works, Jazz Styles, and African Influence. All influences were very present throughout the concert. This particular style is extremely versatile and revolutionary. The performers were very passionate and meticulous of their work; the arts is a way of life for them, not just a job. The audience is very lucky to have Mojatuba to perform for them, broadening their perspective on music and performing arts. I particularly enjoyed the fast pace “Mambo-cha.” The piece reminded me of the time I joined in a drum circle during Erie’s Jazz Festival and had the time of my life. Combining such harsh, jarring sounds, with the harsh, jarring yet, exact movements of the dancers becomes a powerful and exciting spectacle.