Michigan State University football fans look forward to hearing Spartan touchdown cheers resound on the banks of the Red Cedar tomorrow, as University of Michigan faithful hope to repeat last year’s victorious performance.
A boisterous documentary about boogie woogie music featuring Michigan musicians continues to pick up accolades. “Boogie Stomp!”, featuring Okemos pianist Bob Baldori and partner Bob Seely, has won awards at preview screenings around the country.
In the early 1960’s, Mary Wells was the "Queen of Motown." But her life was not always so glamorous. She grew up in Detroit, in the Black Bottom and Cass Corridor neighborhoods, yet she was determined to find a way into the music industry.
Today on Current State: Cristo Rey Community Center's new Executive Director; Public Poetry Announcement; MSU Symphony opens new season; Voices of Experience series with 'Eternal General' Frank Kelley; and Banned Books Week.
The MSU Community Music School is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this month. We're joined by the school's executive director and associate dean for outreach and engagement, Rhonda Buckley. Also joining the conversation is of the school's bassoonist, Andrea Worful.
And live music throughout the show was provided by CMS performers Andrea Worful (bassoon), Cassandra Hibbard (clarinet), Maggie Gambill (flute), and Tess Miller (flute), Marissa Olin (flute).
This summer, MSU assistant professor Etienne Charles debuted his fourth album, called "Creole Soul." It’s received favorable reviews from The New York Times and NPR, and spent some time high up on the jazz charts. Charles, who is also one of the MSU Professors of Jazz, will be playing some of his music at the Broad Art Museum on Thursday night.
Elvis Presley will be in Ionia this weekend, at least in spirit. The Michigan Elvis Presley Fan Club has arranged “a concert for the King” with several Elvis interpreters at the Ionia Theater on Sunday. Today is the 36th anniversary of Elvis' death. Yet many years on, he continues to attract devoted fans. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke with Jennifer Thede, one of the fan club's co-founders.
Coolio got his start in the Los Angeles rap music scene in the late 80s and early 90s, and he hit it big when the producers of the movie “Dangerous Minds” chose his song “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the soundtrack.
It went to the top of the charts and win the Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance in 1996. In all, he’s sold 30-million records worldwide. He’ll be in Lansing for a concert at The Loft Thursday night.
The loss of folk music in the face of popular music is happening worldwide, yet there are still young musicians who find their way into the genre. The East Lansing based band The Bard Owls is composed mostly of college students and recent graduates. They play old time folk music, as well as original songs. We sat down with the group to discuss their upcoming album “No Tracks.”
Ben Schneider, Mark Bary and Tom Renauda from Okemos, along with Miguel Briseno of Eaton Rapids and Californian Karl Kerfoot have been making waves with their band Lord Huron. Now based in Los Angeles, Lord Huron is touring to support their album "Lonesome Dreams."
Current State's Scott Pohl spoke with Ben Schneider about his music, and growing up in a media savvy household with his parents, well-known Lansing PR executive Sharon Emery and longtime Lansing State Journal columnist John Schneider.
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.
A notable Lansing-area choir is observing its 50th anniversary this year. The Earl Nelson Singers are celebrating half a century of spirituals with a concert in downtown Lansing on Monday. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark checked in with the director of the group and her husband, who’s a member, for some of their musical memories.
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.