It should come as no surprise that Kathryn Votapek is a musician, as both of her parents are pianists. Her father, Ralph Votapek, was the first winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
But Kathryn and her musician brothers chose other instruments, and her career path led her to the music faculty at the University of Michigan, where she is a lecturer in violin.
This weekend is the fourth annual Pumpstock music festival. The annual gathering in East Lansing’s Bailey Park features live American roots music and local food. Festival coordinator Dudley Smith, more commonly known as “Smitty,” and performer Elden Kelly joins Current State host Mark Bashore.
For 15 years, Lansing-based Sergei Kvitko has been playing the organ at Lansing’s First Presbyterian Church. He also fills the roles of critically acclaimed pianist, composer, audio engineer and producer.
He's wrapped up a tour that ended with a Carnegie Hall appearance on May 23.
Folk singer Tom Paxton recently said that he enjoys songwriting more than ever. That’s especially noteworthy since he’s been doing that since the 60’s. Then, Paxton was at the center of America’s folk revival, performing in Greenwich Village with the likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and others.
Tom Paxton talks about singing, songwriting and his eventful musical career with Current State.
Pianist Bob Baldori's musical career has led him to countless gigs with the likes of Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.
In recent years, “Boogie Bob” has spent a lot of time playing boogie woogie piano music around the world with Bob Seeley. Their time together has been documented in the movie Boogie Stomp, which the East Lansing Film Society is screening this month.
This Sunday, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra joins MSU’s University Chorale for a performance of one of the first great “mega works” of classical music, Monteverdi’s “Vespers of 1610.” The performance is in downtown Lansing at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke with David Rayl of the MSU College of Music about the concert. He’ll be conducting the orchestra and chorus Sunday.
The U.S population is expected to increase by 90 million in the next 30 years. According to the book "Growing a Better America: Smart, Strong, Sustainable," now is the time for the Untied State’s to plan for that growth. The books author, Chuck Leveall, is a conservationist, confounder of the Mother Nature Network, tree farm owner and rock-n- roll star. He’s toured with Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison and many others. Leavell discusses his thoughts on growth models, conservation and music.
World-renown flutist James Galway comes to Michigan State's Wharton Center Thursday, March 28. The legendary musician will bring his unique blend of classical, Irish and jazz-influenced repertoire to mid-Michigan fans. WKAR’s Peter Whorf previews the concert and talks with Sir James about his musical and personal interests.
Today on Current State: February's biggest news stories; a Public Poetry Announcement with local poet Diane Wakoski; a friend remembers pianist Van Cliburn; and a Detroit Tigers' season preview with Mario Impemba.
In 1958, a young American musician arrived in Moscow to give the concert of his life. Classically trained pianist Van Cliburn was a 23-year-old Texan who stunned a team of Soviet judges with his flawless execution of pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. Cliburn’s tour de force performance launched a successful musical career and a string of visits to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Van Cliburn died yesterday at age 78.
At the iconic Motown Museum in Detroit, a new exhibit honors the female contribution to the 1960s era. It’s called “Girl Groups: The Grit, The Glamour,The Glory.” Included are records, photos and memorabilia from all of the groups you remember, and one you have probably never heard of.
WKAR’s Scott Pohl toured the exhibit with the president and CEO of the Motown Museum, Allen Rawls.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is coming to Wharton Center to perform their signature South African Zulu-style choral music. They began singing in competitions in the 1970s, and rose to worldwide fame when they appeared on Paul Simon’s album “Graceland” in 1986. They’ve recorded over 50 albums, and their latest tour has a stop in East Lansing.
WKAR’s Melissa Benmark speaks with one of the longest-singing members, Albert Mazibuko, about the group's longevity.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is coming to Wharton Center Wednesday to perform their signature South African Zulu-style choral music. They began singing in competitions in the 1970s, and rose to world-wide fame when they appeared on Paul Simon’s album “Graceland” in 1986. They’ve recorded over 50 albums, and their latest tour has a stop in East Lansing. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke to one of the longest-singing members, Albert Mazibuko, about the music his group performs.
Mike Whorf is known to countless Michigan and Midwestern radio listeners as the long-time host of WJR's Kaleidoscope. The daily program which aired from the mid-1960s to the late 90s won the coveted Peabody Award in 1968, as well as numerous other statewide and national honors.
MSU Director of Jazz Studies Rodney Whitaker and theProfessors of Jazz play at Cook Recital Hall in the MSU Music Building on Friday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. The concert happens to coincide with Prof. Whitaker's birthday.
WKAR’s Melissa Benmark speaks with the musician about the milestone performance.
On today's Current State: Local efforts for immigration reform, Michigan prison breakouts, a musical celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the hometown competitors in this weekend's U.S. National Figure Skating Championships.
Mid-Michigan has a strong folk music tradition. The annual Great Lakes Folk Festival held in East Lansing each August has attracted international attention, and you can hear folk music on 90.5 FM WKAR every Sunday night.
One of the genre's most famous performers will appear in Ann Arbor on Sunday. Peter Yarrow formed the folk super group Peter, Paul and Mary with fellow singers Paul Stookey and Mary Travers in 1961. Their music was part of the soundtrack of the civil rights era.
WKAR's Kevin Lavery asked Peter Yarrow about the current state of folk music.
The Great Lakes Folk Festival is getting under way in East Lansing, with the music, dance, and cultural activities that have been a such an essential part of summer in mid-Michigan for 11 years. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark has the story of one of the Festival’s Heritage Award Winners.
The fifth season of 90.5 Community Concerts airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on 90.5 WKAR. Hosted by Jody Knol, the series highlights performances by area orchestras and soloists. It is also streamed on 90.5 WKAR and on WKAR Classical on WKAR.org and repeated on the WKAR Classical stream Saturday at 6 p.m.