Artist Spotlight

Molly Wilson

For all you out there of the freshman persuasion, the name Dario LaPoma might be a new one, but give him another week and he’ll probably be on your radar. This senior double-degree student in piano performance and Spanish has played in jazz combos, jam sessions, student recitals and, of course, Fatbook.
LaPoma has just returned from a term in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He chose Buenos Aires thanks to musicians’ recommendations of the music scene there, and it seems to have been the right choice.
Said LaPoma, “I got to improvise in a music therapy session and it definitely fed a kind of creativity you don’t learn from just studying hard.”
It would seem that LaPoma’s background clearly encouraged creativity: Though neither of his parents are trained musicians, his mom sang Joni Mitchell around the house, while his dad played in a Zimbabwean marimba group in their hometown of Eugene, Ore.
There was a piano in their home. LaPoma said, “I just started to improvise and play the music I heard on the radio… so mostly Bonnie Raitt.”
In fourth grade, he began taking piano lessons, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Right now he tells us he’s mostly working on getting his general education requirements done and he’s issued a strict warning to the young Lawrentians to get those done early … and then he remembered all the other things he’s doing.
Currently a member of the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble, LaPoma is getting ready to perform alongside Bobby McFerrin in the upcoming concert Feb. 20, when LUJE will be performing a musical suite titled “Migrations,” which is by Fred Sturm.
If you can’t hold on until then, Fatbook is playing the night of Saturday, Jan. 16 at Tanner’s Bar & Grill in Kimberly, starting at 9 p.m. Oh, and he’s also offered to go on a bike ride with any of you Lawrentians, once it gets warm outside.