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Classical 101 and Bach Bach Bach at Hot Chicken Takeover with the VIVO Music Festival

World-class chamber music in a hot chicken joint.

Well, why not?

That's what Classical 101 thought, and that’s why we emceed and livestreamed the 2018 VIVO Music Festival's annual Beer & Beethoven bash at Hot Chicken takeover in Columbus’ North Market Friday night.

Beer & Beethoven is all about spontaneity and fun. The festival musicians decide more or less as the might goes on what they want to play, and then they play it. The result is a night of fun-tastic, free-spirited music making. And beer.

Musicians and audience members responsibly enjoyed beer throughout the evening, but there was no Beethoven all night, except for the fleeting moment when a cellist played the now-iconic opening four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony as an understated tipping of the hat to the event’s other namesake. Everyone laughed. Then we moved on.

Beer & Beethoven became Beer & Beethoven & Bach, in honor of the featured composer of this year’s VIVO Music Festival – J.S. Bach. Friday night double bassist and former Upper Arlington resident Nate West paid tribute to the baroque master with a quicksilver performance of a movement from one of Bach’s cello suites. This was the only performance of Bach’s music, but the silly Bach-plus-chicken jokes (Bach Bach Bach!) filled the void.

The musicians also slammed down a Mozart flute quartet and Andrew Norman’s Music in Circles. Violinist Siwoo Kim, formerly of Westerville, and violist Matthew Lipman gave a dueling banjos-style rendition of the fiery Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia. And at the end of the evening, a bunch of players added a fourth B to the lineup with performances of trumpet Brandon Ridenour’s jazzy arrangements of hit songs by The Beatles.

And the fun continues! Check out a bit of VIVO's Beatles performance from our Friday night livestream:

INSERT VIDEO CLIP OF BEATLES PERFORMANCES HERE

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.