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Arts and Entertainment

A rare blending of club and concert hall
One of their most popular songs asks "when will we get a break;" it could be now

Tim Rudell
Speedbumps and Symphony event poster
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A band called the Speedbumps, a 40-piece symphony orchestra, and what organizers hope will be a 15-hundred person audience are coming together in Canton’s historic Palace Theater.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on the mojo that comes with a different kind of collaboration.

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Erik Urycki is the leader and lead vocalist of the Speedbumps, a northeast Ohio band that will be performing its own original music in a joint concert with the Canton Symphony in two weeks. 

Urycki, Kevin Martinez, Sam Kristoff and Patrick Hawkins are getting ready, and talking about the rare blending of club and concert hall.  They’re at their “yellow” house, in Kent; and so is their “Mojo.”  As Urycki explains.  “That’s Patty’s dogie, that’s Mojo.   And Martinez adds, as the smiling pooch comes across the room, his collar jingling: “Mojo will show up at rehearsals too.  He’ll come down stairs and just hang out with us while we play.”  And, Mojo would be in proper attire for a formal concert since he has a silky black coat and white breast and cuffs.  

Asked how the idea of playing with the Canton Symphony got started, Urycki says it began with an email from the symphony’s executive director, Michelle Mullaly.  She said she was an admirer of their band and thought doing a joint concert might be a way to help celebrate the orchestra’s 75th anniversary.

Mullaly was named executive director in February and says she began then looking for ways to broaden the symphony’s reach among music lovers; and thinks the Speedbumps style and performance ability will be a draw for a new audience.

She also was delighted to find that one of the Speedbumps band members, Kevin Martinez has a Master’s Degree in composition and was able to write all of the arrangements for bring together the band and a 39 piece orchestra.  Martinez finished the task in about nine months which Mullayly says she found very impressive. 

The Speedbumps-Canton Symphony concert is set for 8 PM October 26th on the state of Canton’s historic Palace Theater.  And the performance will be dedicated to well-known Canton area teacher, coach, and community volunteer, Joe Hawkins who died earlier this year -- and whose son Patrick is the Speedbumps drummer.  

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