On Wednesday, February 28, Chicago-based musician and Classics degree holder Joe Goodkin will be bringing the awe-inspiring tales of Ancient Greece to Conrad Grebel University College’s Noon Hour Concert Series. Performing as a modern-day Bard, Joe has previously toured the United States, performing his unique one-man folk opera retelling of Homer’s Odyssey. Now, Joe has moved his sights to Homer’s other epic: Iliad. Joe will perform a 17-song adaptation of the classic tale and transport his audience to the Ancient Greek battlefields filled with the horror, grief, and love of the Trojan War.  

the blues of achilles

In preparation for composing this retelling of the Iliad, Joe conducted multiple interviews with American war veterans to portray an accurate perception of the realities of war. Through these interviews, Joe’s version of Iliad sees war as a collection of short, quiet stories that are stitched together on the battlefield. “I felt closer to the characters, closer to being able to tell their stories truthfully,” he remarked. Joe has also performed at Veterans Affairs hospitals as part of recreational therapy for veterans experiencing PTSD and other war-related traumas. Sung from the perspective of Greek historical legends like Achilles, Joe will bring his insights of the realities of war to University of Waterloo Music students, UWaterloo faculty and staff, and other interested community members.  

Joe’s performance is part of the Noon Concert series offered by the UWaterloo Music Department at Conrad Grebel University College. The concerts are free to the public and present performances of local and international talent. Concerts take place on most Wednesdays, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, in Grebel’s Chapel from September to March, 140 Westmount Road North, Waterloo. This concert is produced together with UWaterloo’s Classical Studies Department. 

Read more on other upcoming Noon Hour Concerts.

By Jiho Mercer