The University undoubtedly has a large student body, but it’s also true that once football season ends, it can be easy to forget the majesty of our collective presence. MUSIC Matters, a student club on campus, has made its mission to rectify this.


Today at 11 a.m.

J. Cole

Tonight at 8 p.m.
From $20

The club has generated about $100,000 in five months from sponsors — such as the Office of the President, the Office of University Development, UMS and LSA — in order to attract a major performer and organize a sizable event. This year, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital will receive proceeds from the event which will be headlined by J. Cole, who was nominated for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammys.

Phil Schermer, MUSIC Matters president and LSA sophomore, emphasized the club’s intention to draw the student body to this major “capstone” event. Today, MUSIC Matters will host this two-part event, dubbed SpringFest.

The first part, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, will feature student groups advertising their clubs to passing students in a setup similar to Festifall on the Diag. Unlike Festifall, though, the clubs will be accompanied by a capella groups and other student entertainers aimed to create a lively vibe to attract students to the Diag.

The second event, co-hosted by Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and MUSIC Matters, will occur tonight at 8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, as J. Cole brings his talent back to Ann Arbor.

But he won’t be alone. MUSIC Matters hosted a video competition between local dance and rap groups to determine the openers for J. Cole. On Sunday night, it was announced that the featured groups would be dance groups EnCore, funKtion and Dance2XS, as well as rap groups Fairytale Productions and D.S.B.

J. Cole described his support for local musical acts and lauded the benefits of including them in bigger concerts.

“It’s a great opportunity for local artists to come through and shine, and make some new fans by performing in front of a bunch of people who may not have heard of them before,” Cole said in an interview with The Michigan Daily.

Cole also said that his current tour would be his first with a full band. He will perform material from his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story and his previous mixtapes.

In speaking about his performance philosophy, it’s evident where his reputation for larger-than-life stage presence is generated. He talked about the importance of showing passion onstage.

“I try to put a lot of passion into my performance,” Cole said. “I feel that if I do that, people will naturally gravitate toward it. It sounds a little generic, but it’s really important. You’ve got to connect with the audience, whether it’s through eye contact or putting in a lot of energy.”

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