Kohoutek Preview: Jorf’s Egg

Two Pitzer College sophomores will greet music lovers from the 5Cs and beyond as they roll onto the Pitzer Mounds for the second day of Pitzer’s 40th Annual Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival Saturday, April 20.

Jorf’s Egg, consisting of Jeff Berger PZ ’15 and Shaban Ayala-Torres PZ ’15, is set to kick off tomorrow’s portion of the festivities at 2 p.m. The duo will trade off between electric guitar and drums throughout the course of their set. The band’s music consists of punk and garage, while mixing in a little extra something.

“There’s some noise in there, but it’s also fun,” Ayala-Torres said.

“It’s a little funky,” Berger clarified.

The group has a hard time defining their music, since they are still developing their sound after forming late in fall semester of 2012. They wasted little time before testing their chemistry with live performances, playing numerous times at the Grove House since their recent inception.

“We’re playing new stuff on a show-by-show basis. Our first show, we had five days to create a set. It was fun, and we just decided to keep the band going. And it’s been that way ever since,” Ayala-Torres said.

The band writes most of its own music, sometimes throwing together new songs just days before performances. And while it has some plans for tomorrow’s performance on the big stage, the set list was still in flux during the week leading up to the show.

“We have a lot of surprises coming, but we’re still planning them,” Ayala-Torres said.

That frantic, fast-paced approach has become anything but a detriment to the band, instead effectively mirroring their musical style. 

“I love the process we’ve developed getting ready for shows,” Berger said. “We always have a lot of fun throwing it all together the week before we play.”

Jorf’s Egg won the opportunity to play at Kohoutek when they emerged victorious from Pitzer’s Battle of the Bands at the Grove House March 8. Picked by the audience and the Kohoutek Committee, the duo grabbed one of just four coveted slots for student bands to play at the festival.

Berger and Ayala-Torres also have the good fortune to experience Kohoutek from the backstage as members of the Kohoutek Committee themselves. They were particularly excited when they found out they would be opening in the same lineup with headliners King Kahn and the BBQ Show.

“To get to play in front of all these other names is really exciting,” Berger said.

While both band members are certainly excited to be playing alongside better known acts, Kohoutek offers more to Jorf’s Egg than the opportunity to gain visibility from playing the eagerly awaited festival. The group relishes every chance to perform in front of their peers; Kohoutek, with its hundreds of student attendees, provides an ideal concert experience.

“It’s a fun festival, and we like to have fun as a band, so we just like getting our friends out there to our shows,” Ayala-Torres said.

Ayala-Torres and Berger are particularly excited to be the first band to take the stage on day two. As the youngest student band performing, the group noted it might be nerve-wracking to be the first ones out there, but they are looking forward to setting the tone.

“We are kind of the young ’uns, so they just put us first … And I have no problem playing first. I think that’s pretty fun actually, to kick the day off,” Ayala-Torres said.

This will be the first Kohoutek and the first large festival the band has played. It also marks Berger’s first foray into Kohoutek with any group, although Ayala-Torres played last year’s Kohoutek with the Sweet Nothings, a now-defunct group whose other members have since graduated.

When asked if they could give any hints as to what their set might contain, the duo responded cryptically.

“You might end up coveting something,” Ayala-Torres said.

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