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Jean’s father was a minister, and the young man honed his skills playing in church bands. That experience, coupled with the influence of Caribbean music, has always featured into his mix of hip-hop and R&B, whether solo or with the Fugees. That diversity and musicality make him the perfect artist for “A Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop.”
“He definitely has a melodic sensibility,” said DPO Artistic Director Neal Gittleman. “A lot of hip-hop is more melodic now than it was when the artform was just starting out. He, especially, has always had a real flair for and an interest in the melodic side of things as well as the content and rhyming.”
While some subscribers to the Rockin’ Orchestra Series may not think of themselves as hip-hop fans, Gittleman hopes they’ll keep an open mind.
“I hope they’ll come check it out and learn a little bit about other kinds of music than what they’re most familiar with,” he said. “There are a lot of people who are Wyclef fans and hip-hop fans who will be interested in seeing what happens when you put Wyclef with an orchestra. It’s going to be a little bit of stretch for everyone, but it’s going to be very exciting.
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“It’s a real sort of a different twist,” Gittleman said. “A lot of our audience, and probably a lot of our musicians, are not very hip-hop savvy — but Wyclef is an amazing performer. He has an amazing story so it will be great for us to play with him. It’s always nice to stretch our ears. I’m really looking forward to it. It should be a memorable evening.”
WANT TO GO?
What: "A Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop" with Wyclef Jean and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8
More info: 937-228-3630 or www.ticketcenterstage.com
Artist info: www.wyclef.com