Don’t let the word “acoustic” mislead you into thinking of sleepy, quiet music—last Friday’s (August 27, 2010) Kollaboration Acoustic 4 kicked off the evening with exciting, energy-filled performances from some of Asian America’s most talented musical newcomers. There were no back-flipping dancers or record-scratching turntablists this edition of the annual Kollaboration talent show; KA4’s performers roused the audience with their vocal talents alone and minimal accompaniment. From the sultry jazz sounds of Lily Bee’s ukulele-backed croon and Esna Yoon’s soulful charge to the earthy hip-hop of Flowethics, the night’s program was the perfect way to spend a cool California evening beneath the trees at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Audience members swayed to the music of talented young performers Sorah Yang and Brian Fang, Johnny Le and Iris Leonardo, Justis Kao, and trios Misscarolinexoxo, and Hippie Hippie Hoorah. Quirky musical duo Alex and Jackie led the crowd with a fun tune about ducks, while guitar-playing songstress Peony gave a knockout performance with her ethereal folksy-blues sound. The winner of the night’s $1,000 prize was perennial favorite Dawen, the uber-talented young soul/R&B singer, who led a rousing and humorous piano-backed rendition of a new song about shoes and booty (in that order). Closing off the night was a comedic musical guest appearance by Kollaboration founder Paul “PK” Kim, as well as guest judge/headliner Marie Digby, whose own charming guitar-vocal talents shot her from Youtube talent to star of her own www.ABCmusiclounge.com series.
Marie Digby’s peformance
Dawen – winning performance of Kollaboration Acoustic
–Emily C. Chang