Arts concert review

A concert for the soul

Sam Trump and Harold Green perform their Soul and Stanzas at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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Sam Trump performs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Thursday.
Victoria Dzieciol–The Tech

Sam Trump and Harold Green
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Sept. 26

Sam Trump and Harold Green make for a surprisingly remarkable duo in concert.

The show opened with NwaSoul, a Boston-based jazz/rock/hip-hop band that immediately set a lighthearted mood for the night. Vocalist Tricia Reed danced around the stage every moment she wasn’t singing, and the group showed off each other’s talents by giving each member a solo, most notably Craig Hill’s dynamic saxophone solo that went on for minutes.

After a brief intermission during which audience members got to know each other, the Soul and Stanzas program began. Throughout the night, Trump showed off his mastery of a wide range of music styles: upbeat, beachy songs on the ukulele; passionate ballads about love; sophisticated jazz featuring his energetic trumpet solos. Green let his genius with words shine through metaphors and stanzas that left the audience snapping. 

Alternating between Trump’s music and Green’s poetry was more natural than you’d expect — with common themes, rhythms, and emotions, the two blended together until it was hard to tell them apart. Together, Trump and Green tackled real issues that resonated with the people watching, including acceptance, peace, and love. But they did it in their own way: in an extended analogy, Trump sang about how love is similar to different cakes; Green told a story through math concepts. As they went back and forth performing for the audience, the two crafted an overarching message of positivity and empowerment that took any worries off the minds of the audience. 

Not only were their performances uplifting, but their relationship was as well. Taking turns being supportive and bragging about each other to the audience, Trump and Green displayed such a cute friendship that it was hard not to smile.

And more than being friends with each other, the pair established an extremely close connection with the audience. They cracked jokes, asked questions, and included the crowd in the show. At one point, Green invited a woman onto the stage and recited his poetry to her. Trump’s songs had viewers dancing, singing, and nodding their heads in unison. By the end of the night, it felt like everyone in the room was a family.

Trump and Green are performers you have to witness live because their personality is not something you can experience any other way. Despite a few technical missteps like Trump’s microphone being off for the first few lines of a song, the sense of community fostered by their performance earned them not one but several standing ovations, each. For a night of good music, good poetry, and good vibes, I highly recommend checking out Trump and Green.