Music

Radio Made in Michigan
2:23 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Local band Lord Huron returns to Lansing

Ben Schneider’s band Lord Huron is playing at The Loft in Lansing tonight.
Credit Courtesy of Lord Huron

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.

Radio Made in Michigan
1:43 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Musician Kathryn Votapek discusses parents' influence on her life

Kathryn Votapek is a faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance.
Credit Courtesy of the University of Michigan

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.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:26 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Local musicians highlight Pumpstock American Roots Music Festival

Musician Elden Kelly of Richmond, Vermont plays his guitar and sings live in the Current State studio at WKAR.
Credit Scott Pohl / WKAR

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.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:29 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Pianist Sergei Kvitko recounts recent Carnegie performance

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:44 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Current State #74 | April 25, 2013

Today on Current State: Macomb county first in country with fraud database; new book on Detroit Lions;  Kathryn Gray on Michigan's transportation overhaul; and Earl Nelson Singers come to Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:38 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Lansing's Earl Nelson Singers Celebrate 50 Years

The Earl Nelson Singers are performing in Lansing this Monday.
Credit michiganhistory.org

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:21 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

MSU Wind Symphony performs as part of Latin IS America festival

The MSU Wind Symphony will perform at the Wharton Center at 7:30 p.m., on April 25.
Credit Courtesy of MSU College of Music

Latin IS America is a a celebration of the intersections between Latin American and U.S. culture. The festival started on April 15 and will close on April 27.

This Thursday, the event will feature the MSU Wind Symphony at Wharton Center. WKAR’s Peter Whorf previews the concert with MSU Director of Bands Kevin Sedatole.   

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:42 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Folk legend Tom Paxton discusses career and upcoming concert

Tom Paxton's decades-long career encompasses over 40 studio albums, a string of children’s CD’s and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
Credit Flickr

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:13 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Current State #69 | April 18, 2013

Today on Current State: MSU's renewable energy plan; critical bacteria research; the impressive career of WKAR's Dick Estell; and pianist Bob Baldori.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:42 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

'Boogie Bob' Baldori of The Woolies on career, new film

In 1964, musician Bob Baldori founded the rock band The Woolies.
Credit w.r. richards/WKAR

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.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Current State #64 | April 11, 2013

Today on Current State: Michigan Treasury reacts to tax collection criticism; preview of Latin IS America festival; and MSU and Lansing come together to cover Monteverdi's "Vespers of 1610." 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:23 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Lansing orchestra and Michigan State chorale play "Vespers of 1610"

Claudio Monteverdi composed the Vesper of 1610. His work marks a style transition from Renaissance to Baroque.
Credit via Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:33 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Rock keyboard legend Chuck Leavell talks sustainability and growth models

Known for his music and keyboard work, Chuck Leavell will join the Rolling Stones on this years 50 & Counting Tour.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

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.


Radio Made in Michigan
12:23 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

MSU opera theater presents 'A Little Night Music'

The musical is Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film 'Smiles of a Summer Night.'
Credit Via Flicker

  MSU Opera Theater presents the Stephen Sondheim classic "A Little Night Music," Friday-Sunday April 5-7.  MSU Opera Theater director and Associate Professor of voice Melanie Helston speaks with WKAR’s Peter Whorf.

Radio Made in Michigan
5:05 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Current State #54 | March 28, 2013

Today on Current State: mother-daughter duo discuss their political involvement; winning Detroit Tigers' influence in 1968; Stations of the Cross reenactment in Lansing; and flutist Sir James Galway.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:55 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

World-famous flutist Sir James Galway

James Galway will be joined by his wife, flutist Lady Jeanne Galway.

  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.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:57 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Detroit parade of shredding electric guitars ushers in spring

This years guitar parade will usher spring into the city of Detroit.

  Tomorrow morning, the spring equinox occurs just after 7 a.m Eastern Time.

Diverse cultures throughout history have marked the passing of the seasons with music and artistic expression.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:24 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

MSU cello professor Suren Bagratuni plays live

Suren Bagratuni, a professor of cello with the MSU College of Music, is the organizer of the Cello Plus music festival.
Credit Courtesy of MSU

The 13th annual Cello Plus Chamber Music Festival begins on March 17 at MSU. The festival will feature the music of Schubert, Beethoven, Bach and Brahms. 

MSU cello professor Suren Bagratuni details the line-up and plays live in studio.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:53 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Current State #34 | February 28, 2013

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:36 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

MSU music professor on the legacy of his friend, Van Cliburn

Pianist Van Cliburn was the first musician to be honored with a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan.
Credit Courtesy of Van Cliburn Foundation

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:38 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Opera star Renee Fleming in town for first time

Renee Fleming is a four-time Grammy winner, most recently winning an award in 2013 for Best Classical Vocal Solo.
Credit Courtesy of Renee Fleming

Concerts, Grammys, performing all over the world, opera star Renee Fleming has done just about everything, except for a concert in East Lansing.

Tonight, the soprano can check that off her list as well.

WKAR’s Scott Pohl speaks with Fleming about her latest album, singing for Queen Elizabeth II, and the program she has planned for tonight's performance at MSU’s Wharton Center.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Renee Fleming Sings At MSU's Wharton Center

Renee Fleming performs at MSU's Wharton Center Wednesday evening.
Credit Andrew Eccles / Courtesy/Decca Records

Concerts, Grammys, performing all over the world...opera star Renee Fleming has done it all.

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Music
3:54 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Hill Auditorium hosts the New York Philharmonic

The New York Philharmonic is back at Hill Auditorium since its last show there in 2009.
Credit Wikimedia commons

This weekend the New York Philharmonic comes to Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium.

Sunday’s program features an all-Russian lineup, with Saturday’s bill devoted to Mozart and Brahms.

This year marks the centennial of Hill Auditorium and WKAR continues to celebrate with the occasional series, “Hill at 100.”

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Arts & Culture
12:17 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Girl Groups featured at new Motown Museum exhibit

Motown's premiere "girl group," The Supremes, performed at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas in 1969.
Credit (Wikimedia Commons)

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.

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Music
11:26 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Ladysmith Black Mambazo still going strong after 50 years

Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in South Africa in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala.
Credit Courtesy of Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Motown Museum Exhibition Features Girl Groups

Allen Rawls is President and CEO of the Motown Museum
Scott Pohl WKAR

At the iconic Motown Museum in Detroit, a new exhibit honors the "girl groups" of the 1960's. 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 probably never heard of.

The exhibition remembers The Supremes, The Marvelettes, the Vandellas, and a proficient group of background singers known as The Andantes.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Coming To Wharton Center

Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Albert Mazibuko is on the far left.
Credit Luis Leal

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.

An interview with Albert Mazibuko of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

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History
12:47 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Radio legend Mike Whorf on life, love songs

Mike Whorf in his home recording studio.
Credit Peter Whorf

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.

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Music
1:31 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

MSU jazz professor Rodney Whitaker plays milestone concert Friday

MSU Director of Jazz Studies Rodney Whitaker and the Professors 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.

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Music
12:17 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

WKAR’s music team breaks down Classical Music Grammy nominees

The 55th Grammy Awards ceremony takes place Sunday night at 8pm on CBS. Millions of eyes and ears will be turned to some of the world’s most popular music that evening.

Classical music, as usual, will be somewhat of a sidebar. The classical Grammys are typically announced off-camera in a separate awards ceremony. But the fact remains that the breadth and depth of classical music leads to a large number of categories, nominations and awards.

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