Marshalltown’s BahfÜn looks to entertain, but have fun too

The word fun is part of Bahfn – one the newest bands to break into Marshalltown’s music scene.

And fun is what the trio is having now, be it at a living room rehearsal or on stage.

Robert Mancieri, 63, his son Severio Mancieri and Trace Ohrt, both in their late teens, and all of Marshalltown, make up the band, which practices once weekly in the Mancieri’s living room.

“We like to have a lot of fun,” Robert said.

The band’s unique name, complete with the umlaut over the u, came to be after Robert’s wife jokingly commented that the trio, were once acting like bafoons.

A New Year’s party provided a setting for Robert to suggest as the name.

“I picked Bahfn and not buffoons,” Robert said. “These guys are too talented to be buffoons.”

Severio and Ohrt, who are seniors at Marshalltown High School, truly are talented, as evidenced by their play in concert band, jazz band, marching band and pep band.

Ohrt, who has been playing percussion for many years, will be joining Iowa State’s marching band this fall.

He plays the Cajon – a box drum which originated in Cuba – while the Mancieri’s play guitar.

“He (Ohrt) can make all kinds of sounds with it,” Robert said. “It is fun.”

Severio has been playing guitar for approximately seven years, and also plays the mandolin, piano and saxophone.

Robert called Severio the musician in the family, but refers to himself as a “ham.”

Providing vocals is his key contribution, he said.

Robert is a retired professional photographer, but does do some photography work for the local Hy-Vee store and corporate office.

The band is so fresh that it performed its first paying gig recently at a local nursing home.

Previously, it was a lot of practicing, followed by free performances.

Their first appearance as a band was one free show at the Albion library in January.

Robert described the band’s music as “folk-rock” with a lot of improvisation.

“We never do anything exactly the same way twice,” Robert said. “We are not real slick, but we are fun.”

Bob Dylan, specifically his music from the 1960s and 1970s, is one musical influence, followed by the Beatles and Eagles, among others.

Robert played in a band while living in Minnesota a number of years ago, and remembered his repertoire, which has come in handy, but new songs are being worked on as well.

Tom Lura, a senior at Marshalltown High School student, will soon be joining Bahfn as a bass player.

He also knows how to play cello.

Meanwhile, the band is getting ready for another paid gig March 14 at the Blue Cactus/Totem Bowl in Marshalltown.

The fun will continue, Robert said.

“If I took myself seriously, these guys would walk away,”he said.

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Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com