‘Corky Has A Band’ to perform with guest ISU Faculty clarinet Gregory Oakes

Devin Wilmott

Iowa State faculty clarinet Gregory Oakes will perform along side Corky Has a Band  at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall. The concert is free to all ages.

Corky Has a Band is a New York City based performance duo featuring pianists David Broome and Amir Khosrowpour who find many ways to “brutalize a piano” through improvisation. 

“They do a lot of really cool things. I’ve heard some of their recordings and they’re very innovative, funny, exciting, and interesting.” Oakes said. “Here’s a chance for people to hear something they’ve never heard before. … There is literally nothing that I know of in Iowa happening like this at all this year.”

Broome, Khosrowpour and Oakes will not use any written music on Wednesday. Instead, they will use their knowledge of music to guide them.

The show will be entirely improvisation with a “corky” twist. Not only is the audience unaware of what to expect, but so are the performers.

“It’ll be some of the energy you expect when you go to a rock show or a jazz club, but it [the show] is also infused with some ideas that come from classical music, as well as ideas that come from theater,” Oakes said. “It’s not an easy thing to categorize.”

Broome and Khosrowpour have named themselves Professor Tickles and Sergeant Whiskers and the duo is known to have eclectic, unpredictable, humorous, heart-warming and sometimes crass shows.

Their shows consist of games, skits and songs all under improvisation. The duo explore the depths of the absurd, leave a lasting impression on their audience, and strive to make a show they will never forget.

“We want to create an atmosphere for a moment, we want to draw people in with the character we are creating,” Oakes said. 

Gregory Oakes has played the clarinet for 32 years and continues to balance both a performance and teaching career. He works with a lot of composers that write the music he plays.

“I really enjoy playing music of our time and what people are writing right now,” Oakes said.

Oakes defines himself as a contemporary musician who has a real love for what he does. His versatile and flexible style has brought him to perform in prestigious venues around the world.

“I just knew this is what i wanted to do” Oakes said.

Oakes has released his most recent solo CD, “New Dialects,” and continues to teach solo clarinet here at Iowa State.

The trio are excited for the concert and ready to give their audience a good time.

“We want people to feel very comfortable. We want people to feel like they have a good relationship with what’s happening. It should be something recognizable and enjoyable to everyone,” Oakes said.