Jittery's Brings Jazz and Pop-Punk to Campus

Becca Demante '17 Staff Writer

Run by the Student Events Committee, Jittery’s Live! is a concert series that happens every other Thursday night in the CC TV Lounge at 9 p.m. This semester, the series has seen a slew of talent, including pop pianist Rachel Platten, local indie band Lux Deluxe, and songwriting duo Jim & Sam. On Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, the series will wrap up with two highly talented singer-songwriters, Elizabeth Ziman and Allison Weiss.

Elizabeth Ziman is the lead singer of indie folk-rock band Elizabeth & The Catapult, which has toured with pop legends such as Sara Bareilles, Greg Laswell and Lenka. But before taking on her current role as lead songstress, Ziman attended Berklee School of Music, where she intended to use her training as a classical pianist to pursue film score composition. However, in 2002 her career headed in a different direction, as she was asked by legend Patti Austin to sing background vocals on an 18-month Ella Fitzgerald tribute tour. With this new jazz influence, she began to collaborate with fellow Berklee student and jazz artist Esperanza Spalding before forming the trio that would become Elizabeth & The Catapult.

After a successful debut EP release in 2006, Verve Records signed Elizabeth & The Catapult. On this record label, the band released two full-length albums to great acclaim: “Taller Children” and “The Other Side of Zero. A blend of folk, jazz and indie pop, these two albums certainly paved the way for the band’s ultimate success. “Thank You For Nothing” from “The Other Side of Zero” even garnered attention from Anne Hathaway while she was filming the famous hair-cutting scene in “Les Miserables.” Rather than film the scene in complete silence, Hathaway revealed that she listened to Elizabeth & The Catapult’s “Thank You For Nothing” to get her through the scene. If that wasn’t enough, Hathaway even cast Ziman as one of the street musicians in an upcoming movie about the NYC music scene.

Ziman came Smith College to perform songs from her latest album released in January 2014, “Like It Never Happened.” With its catchy piano riffs, endearing melodies, witty lyrics, and even some guitar, the songs will surely entertained everyone who attended.

If you didn’t make it to see Ziman tonight (or even if you did), Jittery’s will also host indie singer-songwriter Allison Weiss on Dec. 4. Weiss has toured with the likes of Jenny Owen Youngs and Bess Rogers, but wasn’t always a superstar guitarist. The Georgia native only picked up guitar at age 14, and with it, she began to write pop-punk inspired tunes about the craziness of high school relationships. Six years later, she released her debut EP, “An Eight-Song Tribute to Feeling Bad and Feeling Better. But perhaps she is more famously known for her successful Kickstarter campaign in 2009, where she was able to raise enough money to fund her debut full-length album in just 10 hours. That album was of course the highly successful … “Was Right All Along,” which lead Weiss to hold the prestigious position of SXSW panelist in 2010.

In 2013, Weiss signed with No Sleep Records, where she released her third debut album, “Say What You Mean.” Paste magazine raved, “Following in the footsteps of the pop-punk-tinged indie rock of earlier Tegan and Sara records, Weiss sets herself apart from many of her contemporaries (and her earlier material) on “Say What You Mean” by adding more energy, greater diversity and sleeker production.” The album is filled with catchy melodies, thought-provoking lyrics and intricate musical arrangements. But Weiss just didn’t finish there. This past July, she released “Remember When,” her sixth EP. The EP has lyrical depth and musical range, but perhaps my favorite is Weiss’ hauntingly beautiful rendition of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.”

After a successful summer run on the Vans Warped Tour, Ziman made her debut at Smith College.