Sound Check: Oregon Symphony features Wyclef Jean


It's a one-of-a-kind mashup the Oregon Symphony is thrilled to bring to town

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It was a night of hip-hop and symphony in Portland Sunday, at a special concert the Oregon Symphony presented featuring Wyclef Jean.

Good music will always be good music. Jean, a multi-Grammy award-winning producer, actor, author, and hip hop guitarist, blended seamlessly with the strings in a whole new work of art.

“I’m a showman,” said Jean. “When I show up, it’s like the main reason I’m up there is to celebrate life and make you have a good time. And at the same time, take you through a journey.”

“All my fans hear a lot of music,” he said. “But they don’t know the person. It’s like the person hides behind the music, so when I’m on stage, it’s like I’m in a recording studio, so I share stories with you.”

It’s a one-of-a-kind mashup the Oregon Symphony is thrilled to bring to town.

“I love the diversity of everything we’re doing,” said Scott Showalter, President and CEO of the Oregon Symphony. “We are always looking to bring the joy of music to more people in new ways, and we do a lot of that by the choice of artist to bring onto our stage.”

And Jean hopes that makes a different for future musicians too. His childhood music teacher, Ms. Price, got to watch his performance. The former Fugees band member said it was her creativity when he was young that helped get him where he is today.

“He was hungry,” said Price. “And he wanted to learn, he wanted to know.”

“For me, my whole career has been about fusion,” said Jean. “I was born in Haiti. Brooklyn, then New Jersey—I’ve never looked at music like hip-hop, country. I understand that when I’m in the studio, it’s just music.”

There are more fun concerts on the way for the Oregon Symphony this year. In October, they’ll be performing Batman in concert with Danny Elfman’s award-winning movie score.

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