Wednesday “nooner” concert features local band Erica Ambrin & The Eclectic Soul


Kamelia Varasteh

Erica Ambrin & the Eclectic Soul Project perform at the University Union on Feb. 9. Artists from left to right: Jayson Angove (electric guitar), Erica Ambrin (vocals and acoustic guitar), Jay Myers (drums), and Josh Krage (electric bass guitar).

Kamelia Varasteh

The Union Network for Innovative & Quality University Entertainment (UNIQUE) hosted the first “nooner” concert of the semester Wednesday, Feb. 9, featuring local Sacramento group Erica Ambrin and the Eclectic Soul Project.

Erica Ambrin, the group’s lead vocalist, said that the band’s sound changes often, since it does not have any permanent members.

“What the Eclectic Soul project is is a collective of musicians from all over, that I know and that I play with,” Ambrin said. Sometimes I have three horns, sometimes it might just be two of us.” 

Wednesday’s collective of artists consisted of Ambrin on vocals and acoustic guitar, Jay Myers on drums, Jayson Angove on electric guitar, and Josh Krage on bass guitar. 

“This is my main core group that I work with,” Ambrin said.”It was kind of born out of necessity to always be able to have musicians and to create a collective where we just have a safe space to just play and have fun.”

Erica Ambrin and The Eclectic Soul Project perform at the Redwood Room in the University Union on Feb. 9. The group played several original songs by Ambrin, along with a few covers from other artists such as Erykah Badu. (Kamelia Varasteh)

Ambrin grew up in Los Angeles, and her love for music began at a young age through her church and evolved into her musicianship today. The California native also lived in Sacramento for ten years before moving to Sonoma during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When asked about musical inspiration, Ambrin said that life influences her music.

“Relationships, friendships, trials and tribulations, just everything,” Ambrin said. “I find inspiration from nature, everything. Life in general.” 

The Eclectic Soul Project’s set for this show included Erica Ambrin’s original songs “Clarity” and “Paper Crown,” as well as covers of songs by artists like Erykah Badu. 

Ambrin said she is working on two upcoming projects, one including the Eclectic Soul Project, as well as a hip-hop single.

UNIQUE program adviser Ajamu Lamumba said he was looking forward to enjoying and hosting more live performances after .

“Last year we were doing all of our performances through Zoom,” Lamumba said on the shift from online to in-person concerts. “That is just difficult.” 

UNIQUE features artists and events twice a week, on Wednesdays at noon in shows called “nooners” and on Thursday evenings. Leila Cormier, a political science major at Sac State and UNIQUE volunteer, said she appreciated being able to highlight a Black artist with one of their events. 

“I really loved the music, especially for Black History Month,” Cormier said. “I thought it was important to have Black artists come to campus.” 

Sacramento State student Elias Reed and his girlfriend enjoy the performance at the University Union on Feb. 9. The pair said they attend UNIQUE concerts frequently, mostly to see alternative and pop artists, but came out anyway to enjoy the R&B show.

Elias Reed, a film production major, said he attends UNIQUE concerts regularly, mostly to catch concerts for alternative and pop artists. 

“Pretty much everything about it was phenomenal and I’m glad I got to check it out,” Reed said.

Ambrin took time throughout the show to express her gratitude for her supporters and everyone who came out to see her perform. 

“You can always count on music, you know, just to have a moment in that space,” Ambrin said. “I find that if someone takes the time to sit down and listen to your story, and watch you have fun, that’s special. So I appreciate that.”