Ed Stephenson and the Paco Band

Elissa Sanci

The Jazz Entertainment productions presented artist Ed Stephenson and the Paco Band Thursday, Nov. 8, in Dodds Hall Lobby. Students and faculty alike came to Dodds Hall to enjoy the Spanish and Nevo Flamenco music and to gain a new cultural experience.

The University of New Haven Music Department, in collaboration with the Freshman Music LLC program, sponsored the event. “We’re trying to globalize and bring different kinds of music here to UNH,” Chris Reba, a faculty member in the Music Department, said. “Stephenson and the Paco Band performed last year and were hit, so we asked if they’d come again this year.”

“I really love how the UNH music program brings in different music groups from diverse backgrounds,” freshman Sammy Bowers said. “It exemplifies UNH’s commitment to experimental learning.”

Ed Stephenson is a Liscio recording artist and an internationally-acclaimed virtuoso guitarist. Stephenson was joined by the Paco Band, which included percussionist Cat Albanese, guitarist Craig Hilton and bassist Ryan Johnson.

The band played a mix of original virtuosic guitar compositions and covers of the music of Joaquin Rodrigo, Isaac Albeniz, Chick Corea, Paco de Lucia and even Led Zeppelin.

Students sat at small tables set up around the makeshift stage area and on the steps in the lobby, creating a casual, laid back environment; it was a night of relaxing and enjoying some good music.

“I love the live music situation,” said freshman Jeff Eckhardt. “The setting is very casual, and it’s great to be able to watch the band from so close up.”

“Events like these really brings the school together. It also brings cultural diversity and covers of Led Zeppelin songs!” Tom Stringer added.

The night gave a new perspective to many students, introducing them to a different type of music that they normally would not hear.

“I haven’t heard anything different in a while, so this is a nice change,” sophomore Clarris Jilan said. “It’s not mainstream, and it introduces kids to something new.”

“You never know what you really like until you try out everything,” she said.