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Postmodern Jukebox swings into Iowa City’s Englert

Sarah Stortz, [email protected]

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Scott Bradlee sits hunched in front of his piano, steadily placing his hands on the keyboard as he plans to take his audience decades back with his piano. Along the journey, Bradlee is accompanied with a group of singers covering songs the audience members may frequently hear on the radio.

The Englert, 221 E. Washington St., will host a concert featuring the musical collective Postmodern Jukebox at 7 p.m. Feb. 11, making it the second year in a row the group has performed in Iowa City.

Postmodern Jukebox’s roots can be traced back to 2011 on YouTube, with humble beginnings as a project among a group of friends. Since then, the project has garnered more than 912 million subscribers with its innovative approach to covers. Following its success, the group was named one of the *9 Best Viral Cover Videos of 2015* by *People Magazine* in 2015.

A few of the vast artists Postmodern Jukebox has covered throughout the years include Beyoncé, White Stripes, Outkast, and Strokes.

Among the several talented singers that have contribute their voices to the group’s videos, LA-based singer Sara Niemietz is featured prominently.

Niemietz’s passion for singing began relatively early in her life — she was raised a musical family.

Her “stage début” was at age 4, when she attended a B.J. Thomas concert with her family. Thomas invited her to sing on the stage. At that moment, she thought to herself, “Oh my gosh, I have to do this,” she said.

Niemietz eventually moved to California to pursue a professional music career, consistently performing Broadway theater performances. Because of having a history of singing jazz-style music, Niemietz felt at ease when she began working for Postmodern Jukebox.

“It’s something I’ve known for a long time, so it was the perfect opportunity when I discovered [Postmodern Jukebox],” Niemietz said.

She was a fan of Postmodern Jukebox’s project before emailing her audition tape to Bradlee in 2015.

“We got together, and it was great fit,” Niemietz said. “[Bradlee] invited me go on tour with him.”

Postmodern Jukebox has toured globally since 2016, visiting five continents since then.

All of the time Niemietz spent touring the world allowed her room to blossom as a musician.

“It’s just a gift to share what I love to do with so many people in such a fun way,” she said. “I would always set aside time to write music of mine.”

Some of the songs Niemietz has led for Postmodern Jukebox include “Love Yourself,” by Justin Bieber, “I Will Survive,” by Gloria Gaynor, and “Scars to Your Beautiful,” by Alessia Cara, some of which have received more than 1 million views online.

Of the covers featured, Niemietz’s personal favorite is her cover of “This Must Be the Place,” by Talking Heads.

“With this different arrangement, [the song] takes on a whole different light,” Niemietz said. “I feel like I discover the meaning of the song after rearranging it.”

Although Iowa City was recently struck with snow and freezing temperatures, Niemietz said she hopes residents can catch their fiery performance this upcoming weekend.

“I hope people can come out and see this show,” Niemietz said. “We’re going to bring some heat to the cold.”


When: Sunday Feb. 11, 7 p.m.

Where: Englert, 221 E Washington

Admission: $46.50-$146.50




About the Writer
Sarah Stortz, Arts Reporter
Twitter: _ssto
Sarah Stortz is currently a digital producer and arts reporter at the DI. She is a junior at the University of Iowa, studying journalism & mass communication with a certificate in nonprofit management. She has been at the DI since January of 2017, previously working as a news reporter during her freshman year. She worked in the arts section during her sophomore year, eventually becoming the assistant arts editor.
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