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Eclectic Mix of Local, Regional Talent Showcased at SpringFest

March 22, 2001

[ O.A.R. Photo ]DELAWARE, OHIO -- An eclectic mix of local and regional talent will be showcased at SpringFest 2001 on Friday, April 20, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Selby Stadium parking lot.

Two Ohio Wesleyan faculty members -- Dr. David Pengra, assistant professor of physics, and Sean Kay, assistant professor of politics and government -- will open the music extravaganza under their apt stage name, The Two Professors.

Next will come the two headlining bands: O.A.R. and ekoostik hookah. O.A.R., also known as ... of a revolution, is made up of five Ohio State students: bassist Benj Gershman, rhythm guitarist and lead singer Marc Roberge, drummer Chris Culos, lead guitarst Richard On and saxophonist Jerry DePizzo. Roberge and Culos have known each other since kindergarten. They, along with Gershman and On, arrived at Ohio State from Maryland. DePizzo was a featured guest artist on the band's first albums -- The Wanderer and Souls Aflame -- before he became a regular group member last fall.

In addition to the previous "homemade" recordings, which have sold more than 35,000 copies, O.A.R. released its first "proper" CD in Feb., Risen. O.A.R.'s popularity continues to rise through authorized bootleg distributions of their concerts, as well as campus tours throughout Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

[ ekoostik hookah Photo ]ekoostik hookah is known for its lucid, improvisational treatment of psychedelic rock 'n' roll, blues, funk, jazz and bluegrass layered with rich harmonies. The Ohio-based band began jamming during weekly open-mic nights when vocalist/keyboardist Dave Katz, lead guitarist Steve Sweney and bassist Cliff Starbuck had full-time gigs with popular bands. The ensemble quickly found a following that led to their first recording, Under Full Sail. Drummer Eric Lanese, who joined in 1993; Ed McGee, who assumed singing, songwriting and rhythm guitar duties in 1996; and the newest member, Johnny Polansky on percussion, round out the band's line-up.

The sextet has since released five more albums -- selling more than 75,000 copies in all -- and played at venues in more than 30 states, including New York's Wetlands Preserve, Chicago's House of Blues, Atlanta's Variety Playhouse and San Francisco's Great American Music Hall. ektoostik hookah was also invited to play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Their acclaimed annual hometown show, Hookahville, has featured music legends David Crosby, Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson.

Tickets are free for OWU students with ID if they reserve them by April 19 in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. A limited number of general/public admission tickets will also be available for $10 each, which is the same cost for OWU students who do not reserve tickets by April 19. Tickets can be purchased by sending a check or money order made out to Ohio Wesleyan University (with SpringFest written in the Memo section), along with a note including a contact phone number, to:

Student Activities Office

HWCC Room 143

Ohio Wesleyan University

Delaware, OH 43015

Please note that credit cards cannot be accepted for payment. Also, tickets will not be mailed. Instead, they will be held at the "Will Call" ticket area at the show. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $10, but OWU cannot guarantee availability.

For more information, call 740-368-3188, e-mail the Campus Programming Board at cpb@owu.edu, or visit CPB's SpringFest 2001 Web site.