Haus of Music hosts Dustin Hatzenbuhler


Jacob Thomas photo

Dustin Hatzenbuler performing at the Haus of Music, put on by Campus Programming and Relations.

The Pioneer Haus hosted Dustin Hatzenbuhler, an aspiring musician and former contestant on the Voice, at their Haus of Music last Wednesday.  Hatzenbuhler played his set while using several different instruments with a Valentine’s Day theme. He included a mix of his original songs with covers of popular artists.

People filtered in and out of the Haus throughout the night, but there was a sizeable core crowd that stayed for the entire show.  Hatzenbuhler had great chemistry with this crowd, offering witticisms while exchanging instruments and jokingly saying after his rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that it was “another song that I wrote.”

Members of the audience, like Women’s and Gender Studies professor Dong Isbister, had a great time at the show.

“It was really touching, and created a very relaxing environment,” said Isbister.

Chi Jiang, a visiting scholar from China sitting with Isbister, offered her own impressions of the show, relating it to her experiences with similar events in China and elsewhere.

“It was a different feeling and had a very friendly environment.  The cafeteria was a different place, but it had a nice feeling to it,” Jiang.

After the show, Hatzenbuhler said he had a terrific time and offered to share his own experiences as a budding musician.

Hatzenbuhler said his career started when his high school choir director, Greg Douma, pulled him aside and told Hatzenbuhler that he had some real talent.  Inspired by this, Hatzenbuhler decided to seriously pursue music. He signed up for his high school’s musicals, and just after high school trying his luck on the hit NBC series, the Voice.

Hatzenbuhler was unable to turn any chairs on the show, but his audition was aired and, as he said, the experience “opened [his] eyes to the realities of the music business.”

While the loss was disheartening, Hatzenbuhler continued to pursue his music career, inspired by soul and R&B artists like John Legend and Smokey Robinson.

“I guess I idolize John Mayer, not necessarily his personal lifestyle, but his professional paths and goals.  To me, he has the perfect trajectory for a performer,” Hatzenbuler said when asked about his greatest inspirations.

As with many musicians, Hatzenbuhler’s career is an uphill battle. His fan base is steadily rising and he’s optimistic about his future.  He has released an album, “Fall,” with moderate success, along with several singles. He plans to continue touring and writing songs, with the hope of someday “making it big.”