Jones Residential College hosts Dance Marathon benefit show

Michele Corriston

About 50 students attended musician Ezra Furman’s solo concert at the Jones Residential College’s Great Room Thursday evening, as part of a student-organized fundraiser. The event, opened by Northwestern musician Kara Ali Goldsmith and band The Main Men, was held as a Dance Marathon fundraiser by McCormick freshman Mitchell Serafin. Each ticket cost $5 and the concert took place Thursday from 8:30-1 p.m.

Furman usually performs with his indie rock band, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, which has released three albums since its formation in 2006. However, Furman agreed to the solo acoustic set after Serafin contacted his booking agent and managers through e-mails.

“He asked me if I could come play music, and I like to do that,” Furman said of Serafin. “Even if there’s just two people there, it’s okay, I can give a good show.”

Serafin said he met Ezra last fall at one of his shows.

“He’s been my favorite musician for quite some time now,” he said. “Ezra is giving us an incredibly low rate, especially considering he’s a professional musician who has toured the world.”

Although Furman was the night’s main attraction, attendees also enjoyed the opening acts. Weinberg junior Claire Lukens attended the concert with her roommate, a fan of Furman’s who saw the event on Facebook.

“They’re good,” Lukens said of the student musicians. “I didn’t even know they existed on campus, so it’s kind of fun to find out about Northwestern bands and students that I didn’t know were so talented.”

Awareness of student musicians is exactly what Goldsmith said she hoped her performance would create. Goldsmith has released two “folksy rock” CDs.

“There’s not a popular music scene here at Northwestern, and I think it’s time that we add that to the scope of what we do here,” the Communication junior said. “Hopefully the people that show up for Ezra will like my music also.”

Although Serafin said he “dropped the ball” and did not sign up to dance in Dance Marathon on time, he said he hoped to contribute the event’s funds to Jones’ Dance Marathon team.

“I really wanted to help out,” Serafin said. “It’s for children’s hearts and the Evanston community. Both are wonderful things.”

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