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Chippewas share passion for performing

Progressive soul-pop band stays connected to alma mater

Music meets innovation with the Paddlebots, a band formed by Central Michigan University music alumnus Haruki Hakoyama and Detroit senior and neuroscience major Kortez Buckner.

They play alongside CMU music alumni Andy Wade, Dominic Bierenga and Mike Olney; Mount Pleasant music senior Zak Sadir; and Alpena English and history double major Ethan O'Brien.

The band uses a combination of technical skill and creativity in creating a genre of music Hakoyama defines as progressive soul-pop.


Progressive soul-pop draws elements from a variety of other genres, such as jazz, but is mostly influenced by the passion and personalities of the band members, Hakoyama said.

“It’s interesting going through the CMU School of Music program and then pursuing this type of music, because it’s not necessarily the type of music you learn,” Hakoyama said. “But, the things I learned through my trumpet lessons and my jazz lessons are all things I apply within my music all the time.”

The Paddlebots performed at CMU June 21 during the CMU Summer Music Institute, a one-week camp for high school musicians.

“I hope that they see how much fun we have playing music and pursuing music,” Hakoyama said.

The band performs regularly throughout Mount Pleasant.

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