Courtesy Photo/Steep Canyon Rangers

Actor-comedian Steve Martin also plays the banjo. He’ll play with the Steep Canyon Rangers Sunday night at MSU.

Courtesy Photo/MSU College of Music

On Sunday, the Michigan State University College of Music lets the general public in on a huge project to improve the Music Building Auditorium.

Now known as the Cook Recital Hall in honor of benefactors Dee and Byron Cook, the performance space has been upgraded for both acoustics and comfort.

brizzle born and bred/flickr

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.

GLFF To Honor Bluesman Johnnie Bassett

Aug 10, 2012
Photo of blues guitarist Johnnie Bassett
Ronald Eggleston

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.

Classical Tuesdays with 90.5 Community Concerts

Jun 15, 2012

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 and repeated on the WKAR Classical stream Saturday at 6 p.m. 

Courtesy Lisa Marie Mazzucco

One of classical music’s most famous contemporary musicians is coming to East Lansing.  Last May, violinist Joshua Bell was named to succeed Sir Neville Marriner as music director of the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields.  Bell and the academy will perform at Michigan State University’s Wharton Center this Saturday on one leg of their first tour together.

WKAR’s Jody Knol recently spoke with Joshua Bell and reminded him of the lengths he went to in order to make his last concert at Wharton Center back in the winter of 2009.

Highlights from the third season.  Premiere Thu. Apr 19 at 10p on WKAR HD/23 | Sat. Apr 21 at 8p on WKAR WORLD | Sat. Apr 21 at 11p on WKAR HD/23 | VIEW IT ONLINE NOW

The soulful blues guitar powerhouse from Saginaw comes to BackStage Pass.
airs Thu. Mar 29 at 10p on WKAR HD/23 | Sat. Mar 31 at 8p on WKAR WORLD | Sat. Mar 31 at 11p on WKAR HD/23

An evening of chamber music from Mozart and Faure.
First aired 3/22/12

Lansing Symphony to play MasterWorks IV

Feb 23, 2012
Courtesy / MSU College of Music

WKAR's Melissa Benmark talks with Lansing Symphony Orchestra music director Timothy Muffitt and MSU professor of Tuba and Euphonium Phil Sinder about the next Lansing Symphony Orchestra concert. Sinder is the soloist in a Tuba Concerto by TV and film composer, Bruce Broughton.

Matt Hallowell / WKAR

Celtic-American mash-up from a Michigan favorite.

Matt Hallowell / WKAR

Dueling piano boogie from Michigan rock and blues legends.

Matt Hallowell / WKAR

Watch it online now.
Crunching funk and smooth jazz from Grammy-honored Lansing bassist.

Matt Hallowell / WKAR

Uplifting folk/pop songs with a message from award-winning northern Michigan duo.

Gregorian Previews MSU Symphony Concert

Jan 27, 2012
Courtesy / MSU College of Music

WKAR's Melissa Benmark spoke with conductor Leon Gregorian about the next MSU Symphony Orchestra concert, which features a new Tuba Concerto by MSU professor Ron Newman.