Ahamefule Oluo: Stitching a Story

Originally published in Earshot Jazz December 2012

“This place feels haunted at two in the morning,” Ahamefule Oluo says. He sits center stage at a Steinway grand piano, under Town Hall’s stained glass dome, surrounded by concentric semicircles of original, century-old wooden benches that slope up and away from the stage like an ancient Greek or Roman amphitheater. He plays and meditates on musical themes getting to know how the space reacts to his pieces and thinking about the stage setup. “Here I have the time to integrate the performance space. Usually you just have to rush through a sound check. I even know where the light switches are.” Oluo continues, “I can do something that is only possible here. I will combine talking and music while respecting their unique art forms. I don’t want to show either in a bad light.”