Artists Weekly: Gen Palmer

Courtesy of Gen Palmer

Courtesy of Gen Palmer

Mary Windsor
  Staff Writter  

Raleigh native Genevieve Palmer’s passion for the arts began early in life.

She began playing violin in the third grade.

Then, in middle school, she started playing both viola and bass. Palmer played in orchestras and jazz combos when she was in high school.

Palmer’s love for music has since followed her to UNCG where she studies the double bass as a jazz studies major.

“I haven’t found anything else that I am this good at,” Palmer reflected. “Everyone has that moment when they think to themselves they should be doing something else, but I’m glad I’ve stuck with music.”

Palmer’s musical experience in Greensboro has been different than when she was performing in Raleigh.

“I had kind of made a name for myself there without having to be a student,” Palmer mentioned. She went on to explain that in Raleigh, she made connections with other musicians as an equal, fellow musician, rather than as a music student.

In addition to her studies, Palmer finds time to continue performing around the Triangle Area and hosts local gigs every Wednesday at the Common Grounds coffee shop with her band, The Palms.

“It’s not named after me, I swear,” she laughed.

The Palms is a three-person band, which consists of Palmer, guitarist Eli Wittmann and percussionist Scott Johnson.

“We all got together one night in April and jammed. It was one of the most amazing nights of my life musically. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that excited about the potential of us as a group,” she recalled. “I really like playing as a band. I don’t enjoy solo performances as much as playing in a group.”

The Palms doesn’t have an official musical genre, according to Palmer. However, there are many cultural influences that shape their original sound, including Latin American and West African rhythms.

Palmer explained that the band’s music also has some “funk and punk influence – even surf punk.”

This Friday, Aug. 21, she will be hosting a performance at Tate Street Coffee House with The Palms.

Although Palmer is known for her musical talents, her visual artwork is also being showcased at Tate Street Coffee House during the month of August.

Palmer’s intricate pieces normally take around 10 hours to complete.

“I would start on a Friday afternoon and just take the drawing with me wherever I went that night and weekend,” Palmer said as she described her artistic process.

Her work has been displayed before, but never in the Greensboro area.

“Hanging up my art while the shop was still open was so nerve-racking. I see my artwork as glorified doodles I put in frames,” she shrugged. “I’m not an artist by any means. I just did this for fun and somebody convinced me it was good.”

M.C. Escher has been an important creative inspiration to Palmer in not only her drawings but her music as well. When she was younger she would scour through books of his work. “I try to mimic his flow and circularity of things,” Palmer explained.

As of right now, Palmer has plans to focus on The Palms and her junior recital, which she will perform at the end of her third year.

In the upcoming months, The Palms will collaborate with other local musicians to create and release an EP album.

Categories: Artist Weekly, Arts & Entertainment, Mary Windsor

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