Local Music

Hear interviews with guests on music programs produced here at WMUK, as well as program news.

The Merling Trio

On Friday, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival will close its festival with a concert by the Merling Trio, the esteemed ensemble-in-residence at Western Michigan University. With the addition of bassist Tom Knific, the group will premiere three new works, by Adam Schumaker, Gene Knific, and Tom Knific, as part of an extended arrangement of J.S. Bach's Italian Concerto, BWV 971. The three composers each took one movement of the concerto, and created a jazz-inspired companion movement to go with it. 

To close the concert, long time friend and former student of Renata Artman Knific, Mialtin Zhezha, will join the Merling Trio and bassist Tom Knific to perform Schubert's Quintet in A, D. 667, "The Trout.


Kalamazoo Kids In Tune

Kalamazoo Kids in Tune will hold its free Gala Finale from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, at Chenery Auditorium, featuring the youngest symphony orchestra in the state of Michigan. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Liz Youker, Vice President of Education and Community Partnerships with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, highlights some of the program's accomplishments over the last seven years, paying special attention to the contributions of Eric Barth, known to students as "Dr. Rick," who recently stepped down as artistic director. Ahmed Tofiq, who founded Orchestra Rouh as a program for children from refugee families, says the children he teaches have grown in confidence and ability as they practice and perform.

Both Orchestra Rouh and Kalamazoo Kids In Tune will continue their programs this summer, offering music instruction, group activities, and an all-ages event called Community Day.


courtesy of the artist

The Kalamazoo Bach Festival will feature five of Michigan's finest players of global traditions in the Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet (with special guest Elden Kelly) on June 6, at Kalamazoo College's Dalton Theatre at 7:30 pm.  In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Dave Sharp and percussionist Carolyn Koebel discuss the connections and community that brought them together, and their shared love of music that invites the musicians to improvise.   ​ 

Members of the group will lead an improvisation workshop on June 6, at 2:45 pm in same venue. The Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet are: Dave Sharp, bass; Igor Houwat, oud; Henrik Karapetyan, violin; and Carolyn Koebel, percussion.

C. Lieurance

When she saw the show on Broadway, Denene Mulay Koch thought she had found a role that fit her incredibly well: the character of Francesca was the right age, was also Italian, and the songs were in the right range for her voice. Additionally, it was a chance to work with her husband, actor Jeremy Koch, who was perfect for the role of Robert Kincaid, the photographer who upends Francesca's life while her husband and children are away at the state fair. Francesca's children? They could be played Jason and Carly Koch, the couple's two real-life children. There was one more family member to add to the mix: Kathy Mulay as director. The Bridges of Madison County, a musical adapted from the book by Robert James Waller, which won the 2014 Tony for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, comes to Farmers Alley Theatre on June 8 in the Little Theater on Oakland Drive. Jeremy Koch and Denene Mulay Koch joined Cara Lieurance to talk about this contemporary musical with music by Jason Robert Brown.


jazzandcreative.com

*UPDATE* The concert will now be held in the Dalton Center Multi-Media Room.

Formed last October by director Benje Daneman, the 18-piece Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra will finish its season with a live concert and recording session featuring special guest saxophonist Andrew Rathbun, at 7 pm in Western Michigan University's Dalton Center Multi-Media Room on Wednesday night. Benje Daneman and Ashley Daneman, who co-founded the Jazz & Creative Institute, say their expectations were exceeded with the response to the KYJO, which spawned a second lab band, and attracted students from 12 different schools in the region. Hear the Danemans talk about the first year of the program and their ideas for the future.


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