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  • By Shelbi R. Ankiewicz

Nation Beat: Showing CCU a side of Brazil

Coastal Carolina University’s Percussion Society hosted the band Nation Beat at CCU on Wednesday, Feb. 26, during Nation Beat’s 2020 Winter Tour.

The group consists of five members: Scott Kettner (drums/percussion/bandleader), Joe Correia (sousaphone), Mark Collins (trumpet), Paul Carlon (tenor sax/arrangements) and Tom McHugh (trombone). The band’s music is instrumental, but with the energy brought to the stage, there’s no need for a singer.

“[The band] brought it up a bunch of different level... it was great,” said Harveste Cobb, a CCU freshman.

Kettner, the bandleader, founded Nation Beat’s sound after living in Brazil. He was inspired by the music played at the Brazilian Carnival, so much that he decided to bring a taste of it back to the states. In 2017, Kettner merged his sound with tenor sax musician Paul Carlon, who contributed a New Orleans vibe. Between the two of them, Nation Beat established its funky, jazz styled music that they play today.

Each member of the band portrays themselves distinctively. Joe Correia, the sousaphone player, is lively, bouncing around the stage. Tom McHugh, the trombone player, is a very stationary performer, yet he seemed emotionally connected to the music. The show was mesmerizing as viewers watched the band members show their colors.

The performance consisted of an exciting set, including audience participation and musical solos. One of the songs they played was titled “Paper Heart.” The song was inspired by the communal aspect of Brazil — everyone was singing, dancing and coming together as one. Kettner wanted to bring that same connection to his audience.

“I think my favorite part of the performance was the ending with all the Coastal kids coming in. I thought that was very interesting and I liked how it was a song we could all relate to,” said Kayla Tynan, CCU freshman.

To wrap up the concert, Nation Beat invited some of CCU’s band members on stage to play with them. They proceeded to march around the theater, up the stairs and into the crowd. At that point, everyone was clapping and humming along to the music.

Nation Beat certainly delivered one thing to Coastal: The sweet culture of Brazil.

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