Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
12:27 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Vincent Bowens

(Left to right) Saxophonist Vincent Bowens performs with Pierre Charles, Adam Olszewski and Ryan McMahon in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:58 am
Thu February 19, 2015

MSU Theatre takes on "the Scottish play"

The MSU Department of Theatre presents 'Macbeth' February 20 through March 1.
Credit http://theatre.msu.edu/

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Book Review: W. Bruce Cameron's "The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man"

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:43 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Non-music majors find outlet in MSU Concert Orchestra

Credit http://music.msu.edu/

The MSU Concert Band and Concert Orchestra perform tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Wharton Center.

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Arts & Culture
11:48 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Local author pens novel set in East Lansing and Afghanistan

Susan Froetschel's new novel 'Allure of Deceit' is a follow-up to 'Fear of Beauty'.
Credit www.froetschel.com

East Lansing novelist Susan Froetschel has published “Allure of Deceit”, a tale that takes place in Afghanistan and East Lansing. It’s the sequel to her well-received “Fear of Beauty”.

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Arts & Culture
12:52 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Lansing-based "Audio Air Force" revives theater of the mind

Credit Courtesy Audio Air Force

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Loving "Lucy" at Wharton

Euriamis Losada (left) plays Ricky Ricardo in 'I Love Lucy On Stage' with Thea Brooks as Lucille Ball.
Credit http://www.ilovelucylive.com/

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:43 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Bassist Whitaker leads Professors of Jazz performance

Rodney Whitaker is director of Jazz Studies at MSU’s College of Music.
Credit http://music.msu.edu/

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:19 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Artist, activist Harry Belafonte speaks at MSU

Harry Belafonte speaks on the MSU campus today, part of the Slavery to Freedom lecture series.
Credit Courtesy photo

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:12 am
Thu February 12, 2015

MI MUSIC SCENE: LSJ's Anne Erickson on Lord Huron, Grammys, upcoming concerts

Okemos native Ben Schneider (second from left) leads Lord Huron.
Credit Josh Sanseri

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:13 am
Tue February 10, 2015

"Okemos Brewing Company" serves up classic rock online

Dan Kelley, whose Okemos Brewing Company online radio program offers 'handcrafted quality rock 24/7'.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:18 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Photo exhibit explores China's changing landscape

Fredrik Marsh's 'Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China' is part of the new photo exhibit at the MSU Museum.
Credit courtesy MSU Museum

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:10 am
Mon February 9, 2015

MSU composers draw inspiration from local poets

Philip Rice (center) and Cindy Hunter Morgan (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Fri February 6, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Betty Joplin

Betty Joplin at the piano in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:21 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Book Review: Stephen King's "Revival"

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:29 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Singer-songwriter John Gorka brings road, studio experiences to EL

John Gorka's Ten Pound Fiddle concert is Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church in East Lansing, starting at 8 p.m.
Credit http://johngorka.com/

The next guest at East Lansing’s Ten Pound Fiddle is well-loved singer-songwriter John Gorka. He’ll be performing this Friday night.

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Arts & Culture
11:16 am
Tue February 3, 2015

MSU students take project from stage to screen

Director Mark Colson on the set of 'Theatre2Film'
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:17 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Headphones reveal hidden gems in Beatles songs

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:10 am
Fri January 30, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Sally Potter

Sally Potter performing live in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Ann Arbor Symphony celebrates Mozart's birthday

Jeanette Vecchione and Timothy Michling will be featured in Saturday's Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra concert.
Credit http://www.a2so.com/

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:25 am
Wed January 28, 2015

What do diners, bullfighting and hair salons have in common? Candacy Taylor.

Documentarian Candacy Taylor speaks in the RCAH Theatre in MSU’s Snyder-Phillips Hall, starting at 7 p.m.
Credit http://taylormadeculture.com/

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:39 am
Tue January 27, 2015

"Master Harold" tackles racism and relationships

The three principal actors in "Master Harold and the Boys" rehearse at the Wharton Center. The show runs January 30 and 31. From left: Gavin Lawrence, Shawn Hamilton, and Justin Dietzel.
Credit http://www.whartoncenter.com

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Tue January 27, 2015

GRSO plays Wagner

David Lockington leads the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra.
Credit http://grsymphony.org/

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".

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Fri January 23, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Rev. Robert Jones | WKAR

Rev. Robert Jones performing live from WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:13 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Book Review: Elizabeth Dutton's 'Driftwood' | WKAR

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:36 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Voices of Experience: 57 year MSU professor Mordechai Kreinin | WKAR

Professor Mordechai Kreinin retires this week after 57 years on the MSU faculty.
Credit http://econ.msu.edu/

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.

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Arts & Culture
11:35 am
Fri January 16, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Ray Kamalay | WKAR

Ray Kamalay is our musical guest performing live from Studio S today.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

It's Live Music Friday and today, Current State welcomes guitarist and bandleader Ray Kamalay. He performs “vintage music with style".

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Arts & Culture
12:42 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Violinist Gandelsman performs Bach cannon at MSU

Violinist Johnny Gandelsman performs the complete catalog of Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin tonight and tomorrow at MSU.
Credit http://johnnygandelsman.com/

Violinist Johnny Gandelsman was 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.

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Arts & Culture
11:56 am
Mon January 12, 2015

DESERT ISLAND DOWNLOAD: Lansing City Council Vice President Judi Brown Clark

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".

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Arts & Culture
11:46 am
Fri January 9, 2015

A visit with "Downton Abbey" composer John Lunn

The 'Downton Abbey' cast. The music of John Lunn has become a key component of one of public television's all-time biggest hits.
Credit Courtesy NPR

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.

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