By Brittany Ward
Nov. 21, 2018
In the next couple of days, people will be overstuffed, the brave will be taking their chances with holiday shopping and, later that night, the fun seekers will be heading down to The Zoo Bar. Out of New York, COCOMOFO will headline at The Zoo Bar for the first time, with Lincoln’s Möbius joining the bill for a night filled with jazz, jams and good times. COCOMOFO consists of Caroline Brammer, Xavier Brown, Miles Wilkins, Shachar Halevi and Léon Sierra.
Wilkins is a Lincoln native and is no stranger to the Zoo Bar stage. He has performed on the stage with his previous band, Hi-Res Platypus, but it will be his first time as a headliner.
The five met while attending The New School in New York and have worked together in various ensembles and classes but the group officially formed about 6 months ago. For the band, naming the group was their least favorite part but when they started writing music and performing, a name became necessary. COCOMOFO started out as a joke but after seeing it written out, it stuck.
Though the band is young, they are taking advantage of every minute on this tour. Going into the tour with no expectations has made the whirlwind of experimenting, learning and being immersed in music scenes of other communities is the most rewarding.
“Favorite place so far was the college town, Swarthmore, outside of Philly. We played a house show there and the community was so welcoming and appreciative. It was a great experience of musical camaraderie between us and the people we met and played with there,” said Brammer.
This five-piece brings their individual style to the stage in their improvisational-jazz performances with influences from Herbie Hancock and Weather Report to Kendrick Lamar and Erykah Badu.
“On this tour, we’ve been exploring the gap between written and improvised music. We plan out parts and songs but each time we play them they come out a little different. Instead of improvising as soloists, we try and improvise together,” said Halevi.
“The audience should expect that not even we know what is going to happen on stage. The music changes based on the venue and the audience in ways that can’t be premeditated,” said Sierra. “No one gets to see the same show twice.”
Brittany Ward is an editorial intern with KZUM.