Everyone who’s anyone ( who goes to SUNY Purchase ) knows what Culture Shock is…
It’s that time of year again. Where everyone is drowning in finals, the weather has no idea what to do, and Culture Shock weekend is upon us! If you do not go to SUNY Purchase, culture shock is a two day music festival held on our campus. There’s live music almost all day, carnival rides, food trucks, tons of activities, and free shit (my fav).
Along with the main stage acts, which are posted above, Culture Shock also has a side stage!
Located at Whitson’s in The Stood (student center) on campus, many of Purchase’s finest will be taking the stage to share their music with their peers! Among the line up posted above, is the amazing band Cherry. As a member of Purchase’s Arts Management Club, we are planning to start a blog series focused on artists on Purchase’s campus for the following academic year! To start things off with a teaser of what the blog is going to look like, I had the awesome opportunity of sitting down and talking with Marina Espinet who is the lead singer and creator of the band Cherry, who will be playing tonight!
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NYC based singer-songwriter Espinet attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. In high school, Espinet wasn’t sure how to put her band together especially with the idea of having a full band to play her music. An old friend gave her the push to find the players that would then make up her band Cherry.
The name of the band was inspired by a few very important things to Espinet. Pin-up fashion played a large role in Espinet’s fashion and lifestyle when she discovered it at the age of 15. One symbol of pin-up fashion is a cherry, so it only seemed fit to include that in her band. Another inspiration was Amy Whinehouse’s song Cherry, about her acoustic guitar. Hesitant with the name at first, she finally decided to stick with it when she realized the success of other one word named bands/artists. “If an artist like Future can be come successful, then Cherry can to.” claimed Espinet in my interview with her.
Pulling music and vocal inspiration from artists such an Amy Whinehouse, David Bowie, and Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground, she enjoys portraying her self unapologetically whether it’s being a badass or showing her more vulnerable side. Though she doesn’t put her music into one genre, Espinet believes Cherry falls under the Rock genre with sub genres like funk rock and blues rock. With jazz and pop influences as well, she enjoys the sound of todays mainstream radio with artists like Hiatus Kaiyote and she feels her music is able to spread a wide field of genres.
Through her music, Espinet looks to tell an “untold story of a woman” and always uses honesty in her lyrics. She looks to connect with those who identify with femininity and celebrate who she is as a woman. Main singer and leader of the band, Espinet enjoys the company of her talented musicians and loves to receive help of her band. Current members include Marco Gill on drums, Carey Ozmun on trumpet, Eial Kestelman on trombone, David Millen on jazz guitar, and has worked with bassists such as Sean Power, Evan Lawrence, and Colin Dooman. Though currently a studio composition major, Espinet is grateful for the time she spent as a jazz student as well. Along with the theory she learned, the number of connections she made through the conservatory and through other schools was unparalleled and something she will always be thankful for.
Along with her supportive friends, Espinet is grateful for all the support given to her by teachers such as Beatriz Martiz-Ruiz, Peter Malinverni, Charles Blenzig and Rebecca Haviland through her time in the Music Conservatory.
Her latest project Like a Lady dropped in August of 2016 and is available on sound cloud currently and will be available on all streaming services soon. But in the mean time, check them out live at a couple of their upcoming shows!
May 4th – Acoustic Set at the Planned Parenthood benefit at SUNY Purchase
May 4th – Taco’s Shack in New Paltz, NY
May 5th – Steer Roast at MIT in Boston, MA
May 12th – Temple Fest @ SUNY Purchase (check Facebook for upcoming details)
May 19th – The Bitter End @ 11:30 in New York, NY
Catch Marina and her band Cherry tonight on side stage in The Stood at 8pm!
I’ll be there, will you?
See ya soon,