The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black


ELEW (Eric Robert Lewis), a revolutionary musician, introduced the Grinnell community to a new blend of music dubbed Rockjazz—a melding of ragtime, rock and pop created by the artist himself—to a packed audience at Herrick Chapel last night. Dressed in an unconventional outfit of coattails, combat boots, vambraces (part of a suit of plate armor), and a doubled tie, he filled the chapel with thunderous music—received by applause equally thunderous—on the piano, all while on his feet, sans piano bench, with boots straining from the upright stance.

ELEW in Herrick. Photograph by Kathlyn Cabrera

The set included Rockjazz renditions of popular songs such as “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, lush with special effects using traditionally unexplored areas of the piano. Sweat dripping from his forehead with each dramatic striking of the oft-discordant chords and wearing arrestingly eccentric expressions, ELEW awed all to a standing ovation.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *