It’s a Live Music Friday again here on Current State, and today, we’ve been enjoying the saxophone of Vincent Bowens. This week, Bowens has been spending time with students in the MSU College of Music Jazz Studies program as part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program, along with drummer Tim Froncek.
The MSU Department of Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s "Scottish play" begins tomorrow night at Fairchild Theatre. Full of abuses of power, political wrangling, and outright murder, it hits home for audiences even 400 years after Shakespeare wrote it.
Literature is filled with stereotypes about us Michiganders. If, for example, a character in a book is from Ann Arbor, you can expect them to be smart. If they are from Detroit, they probably grew up rough and tumble in the inner city. They might be tough, but they will have a hidden heart of gold. And if a character is from northern Michigan or the UP, they’ll be poor, struggling, and have a strong attachment to hunting and beer. Also flannel. There will be lots of flannel.
When you think of the golden days of radio, you might think of fancy productions like “The Lone Ranger” or “The Shadow”. These programs have often been referred to as “theater of the mind.”
One local radio veteran is starting up a new troupe that he hopes will stage live audio-based productions for fans of not only the old-time shows, but more modern efforts like “A Prairie Home Companion.” It’s called the Audio Air Force. There’s an organizational meeting at 7 p-m tonight at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.
One of the icons of TV’s early days is Lucille Ball. Her shows, most notably “I Love Lucy”, have endured for decades. This weekend, a stage production based on the smash hit sitcom will be at MSU’s Wharton Center.
Rodney Whitaker is professor of double bass and director of Jazz Studies at MSU’s College of Music. He’ll lead the Professors of Jazz in an 8 p.m. performance tonight at MSU’s Cook Recital Hall. Current State's Peter Whorf got together with Whitaker this week to talk about Friday’s performance and some other jazz events in the coming months.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This interview has been edited from its original airing on 90.5 FM and AM 870 WKAR.
He was born in Harlem, but he had a voice that came straight from Haiti. He’s won three of the entertainment industry’s Big Four: three Grammys, an Emmy and a Tony. A star of the stage and the studio, and a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He's the legendary Harry Belafonte. Today, he’ll speak at Michigan State University about his passion for civil rights.
Every month here on Current State, we get an update on the Michigan music scene, with the latest news on upcoming releases and concerts. Current State's Scott Pohl speaks with Lansing State Journal Things To Do reporter and music columnist Anne Erickson about the upcoming release of the second Lord Huron album, Beck's surprise Album of the Year Grammy Award, and the big Michigan concerts for January.
Radio has many attractive qualities: its immediacy, its scope, its personal touch. Others in our profession feel that way, too, and some have even made that passion their hobby. Dan Kelley, technology manager with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, is one of those people.
Economic, environmental and cultural changes are transforming today’s China. These ideas are central to the new photography exhibit at the MSU Museum entitled, "Seeing China: Photographic Views and Viewpoints". MSU Professor of Photography Howard Bossen is one of the curators.
Plenty of musicians have drawn inspiration from famous poems. “Golden Slumbers” by the Beatles, for example, was based on a lullaby by Elizabethan poet Thomas Dekker. But while lots of musicians have been inspired by writers like Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson, they probably never got a chance to actually talk to them. A new collaboration between the Center for Poetry at MSU and the MSU College of Music is giving musicians a chance to actually interact with their poetic muses.
On Sunday, the Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan will hold its sixth annual JAMM Tribute Concert. This year’s honoree is Grammy-award nominated singer Betty Joplin. The show is from 3 to 6 p.m. at Troppo in Lansing, and it is sold out.
I never got the whole Stephen King thing. Growing up in the 80's, it was impossible to avoid him. Everyone seemed obsessed with King’s books and a new one seemed to hit the shelves each month. Of course, it wasn’t just the literary world, there was also always a new television mini-series or film in the works too. Stephen King was everywhere.
The Michigan State University Department of Theatre has launched an ambitious project involving students, faculty and several other departments on campus. A student-led production in being staged on campus through this weekend, and later, the same story will become a movie.
There are hundreds of books about the Beatles, but a Michigan author has published a new book that’s different from all the rest. In its pages, you’ll discover the tiniest of audio treats you’ve never heard before, no matter how many times you’ve heard these classic rock songs.
Today’s Live Music Friday guest on Current State is Sally Potter, a well known folk musician and promoter in mid-Michigan. Sally has the big job of scheduling all of the acts that come to town for Ten Pound Fiddle concerts most Friday evenings.
The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra celebrates Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthday week this Saturday at the Michigan Theatre. 90.5FM broadcasts the concert live at 8 pm. The all-Mozart program showcases the great composer’s talent in everything from opera to symphonic form.
MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities continues its Wednesday Night Live series tonight. Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and documentarian for the Library of Congress. She owns Taylor Made Culture, a company that produces multimedia projects that examine culture and identity in America.
The Wharton Center at Michigan State University is preparing to host its next theatrical production this weekend. “Master Harold and the Boys” by Athol Fugard is a story of friendship, racism, and hope. The play will be performed Friday and Saturday at Wharton Center.
David Lockington, Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra music director, is passionate about the music of Richard Wagner. Wagner’s work is the focus of this weekend’s Grand Rapids Symphony performance, "Inspired By Wagner".
It’s another Live Music Friday here on Current State, and all this hour we’ve been enjoying hearing from Rev. Robert Jones. Along with Josh White Jr., he'll perform at tonight's Ten Pound Fiddle concert. It’s called “Black Fathers of Folk Music: Josh White and Leadbelly”. The show includes the songs of these two pioneering artists, with Josh and Robert in character…Josh as his father.
Literature has always loved a good road trip. From Homer’s "Odyssey" to Tolkien’s adventures in Middle Earth to Kerouac’s "On The Road", the storyline has never left us. These road narratives often follow the same themes. The trip is usually a metaphor for growth and self-discovery. And when the hero returns home, he is a stronger person, more resolute, and ready to take on problems that would have vexed him before the trip.
We all know Michiganians we feel are extraordinary for their memorable life experiences or their sacrifices. Maybe for their success, or their service, and for the insights that result from those experiences. Getting better acquainted with extraordinary people is the focus of Current State’s ongoing series, Voices of Experience. This week, long-time Michigan State University economics professor Mordechai “Max” Kreinin officially retires, ending a 57-year career on the MSU faculty.
Violinist Johnny Gandelsmanwas born in Moscow into a family of musicians. His father Yuri is a professor of viola here at Michigan State University. His mother Janna is a pianist, and his sister Natasha is a violinist as well.
Johnny Gandelsman is well known for his roles in the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, and the multi-faceted Silk Road Ensemble, two of today’s notable stereotype-defying music groups.
Today, we’re feature another Current State “Desert Island Download.” It’s a chance for music lovers in the Lansing area to talk about a piece of recorded music they consider indispensable, music they’d want with them on the proverbial "desert island".
For those who missed out on Sunday’s Downton Abbey season opener: It’s “advantage Tony” where Mary is concerned; the wily Barrow once again snatched victory from the jaws of defeat; and the surprise star of Season 5/Episode 1 was Moseley’s hair. The runaway PBS hit from England continues to captivate US TV audiences.