Oaklander Hotel invites Pittsburgh guests to use recording studio
PITTSBURGH – Here’s a hotel amenity you rarely see: Guests of the Oaklander Hotel can now record a song in an on-site studio.
They will enter a professional sound booth near the lobby and sing, or perhaps play a musical instrument. A professional sound engineer will produce the track which will be presented to the guests in digital form.
“We provide them with a unique customer experience,” said Chuck Kitts, operations manager at The Oaklander on Bigelow Boulevard, one block from the Cathedral of Learning and the University of Pittsburgh campus.
The recording studio and upcoming open-mic nights in the Oaklander’s 10th-floor lounge, Spirits & Tales, are three-and-a-half-year-old hotel efforts to tie in with the neighborhood’s rich musical past.
The vacant lot next to the Oaklander once housed the Syria Mosque, one of Pittsburgh’s premier concert halls where legendary artists from Duke Ellington and Miles Davis to Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and the Ramones performed.
Once the home of the National Negro Opera Company and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the mosque was demolished in 1991 despite a public effort to save the site for its historical significance.
The Oakland pays homage to this storied musical history with the launch of the “Rock ‘n’ Oak” program featuring the on-site recording studio for hotel guests, who can take home recordings of their music, and a increased emphasis on live performance. in the upstairs living room with its sweeping views of the Oakland neighborhood.
Upcoming shows feature an indie-folk vocalist Grace Campbell of West Virginia and Noa Jordan, singer-songwriter and native of Pittsburgh based in Nashville. Jazzy rockers The Castronauts of Bradford, Pennsylvania will play a Halloween jazz brunch on October 30 and again on the last Sunday in November.
Campbell made his Oaklander debut on October 14 and took the opportunity to record some original material in the hotel studio.
“I think it’s really great” Campbell said. “It really gives artists an opportunity to stay and practice their work, especially when there are more artists who are going to be in this building. It’s like, ‘Oh, are you here for a show? Follow some things in the studio and having a good time.’ It’s late and in the middle of the night and you can’t sleep and you’re excited for a show, come to the studio and practice and record some stuff and develop some new ideas.”
Even non-guests can set up a time to use the studio, built by sound engineer Peter-Michel Nathan, for $75 an hour.
The Oaklander Hotelis at 5130 Bigelow Blvd., Pittsburgh.
Scott Tady is entertainment editor at The Times and easy to reach at [email protected].