Vortex Noise: Interview with Vortex Coordinator Jack Katze

By Bailey Louise Davis

Vortex is a one night music festival being held this Saturday at 9 p.m. DKs is going to be turned upside down.  The music will be crawling up the walls. Dancing is not an option; it is necessary.  This Saturday, hang loose and have a great night out.

Round Table: Can you tell the readers of The Round Table a little info about each band playing this weekend?

Jack Katze: Sure, I just want to make one note that the event is beginning exactly at nine. I know C-Haus events can start late. Keep that in mind. T’Bone are three people who grew up in Cedar Rapids. They have been best friends from a young age. The drummer and the guitarist were the rhythm section of the group, Wayne Western.  Samuel Breslin was the guitarist, who went to Beloit. I call them mathpunk, it is sort of a blanket term for music that involves a lot of tapping on the guitar and odd time signatures. They actually played Vortex two years ago.

The next group is a hip-hop group called Kooley High. I would classify them as golden-age hip-hop because they use old funk. They don’t have that modern edge to them that you hear on the radio and stuff.

Kings Go Forth sound a lot like Curtis Mayfield. They’ve got that old soul sound down pat.

RT: How were these bands picked to play for Vortex?

JK: I wanted to go with one band that I knew would work well with the crowd [T’Bone]. BreAnn McCord recommended Kooley High. Xenofon Kontouris took care of the booking. My friend, Spencer Bible, told me about Kings Go Forth. I figured that funk and soul music completes that realm of the genres going on.

RT: How is the show organized in Pearson’s?

JK: It has always been in Pearson’s, I originally wanted it to happen in the Flood arena (old track in Sports Center), but in order for it to sound good, we didn’t have a big enough budget for that.  It was originally in the flood arena and was a public event. It didn’t work out this year. It is in Pearson’s because it has a bigger capacity than C-Haus.

RT: What are the key tasks of being the Vortex coordinator?

JK: I was kind of the overseer person of booking. I tied up everything. I’m pretty experienced with that from C-Haus because I book a lot of the shows there. I organized the schedules for the volunteers. There are actually 20 student official volunteers. Grace Smith designed the volunteer shirt.  I have been trying to involve a whole range of students, they are all friends of mine and I really admire their work.

RT: Is this your first year coordinating Vortex?

JK: Yes, this is my first year. I volunteered for it in the past.

RT: At this point are there any major concerns or is everything running smoothly?

JK: Yes, everything is running smoothly. Jennie Hartzheim, Director of Student Activities, has been a lot of help, I’ve met with her often and received a lot of guidance from her.

RT: Is this something that you would like to turn into an occupation or is this a hobby?

JK: I would strongly consider it as a job. I feel like I am good at bookings. I know how to deal with bands. They want to play, get their stuff out and they are excited. They [Bands] like colleges because people [at colleges] have open minds.

RT: What should first years and new students expect of Vortex?

JK: You can see more of your peers. It is the equivalent of Folk ‘n Blues but in the Spring.

RT: Anything you would like to add?

JK: Show up on time! It begins at 9 and ends exactly at midnight. Interested students should consider volunteering. It is in every student’s power to book a band.

RT: Favorite band right now?

JK: Deerhoof is my favorite band of all time. Lately, I have been listening to “Sister” by Woom.



One thought on “Vortex Noise: Interview with Vortex Coordinator Jack Katze

  1. Point of information, Vortex has never been held in the Flood Arena. It has always been in Pearsons. I organized it for its first two years – it was definitely in Pearsons, even back in ’04.

    Posted by M'ris Berlin | March 11, 2012, 11:48 am

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