Tom Knific

Merling Trio

Western Michigan University's Merling Trio and bassist Tom Knific will appear at the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck this week to perform a program of favorites by Brahms and Mozart, and new additions to their Great American Songbook project. Starting two years ago, the trio began commissioning arrangements for piano, violin, cello (and sometimes bass) of songs by composers like George Gershwin and Harold Arlen, and up to Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson. Gene Knific, the son of Tom and Renata Knific and a versatile young composer, wrote the new arrangements for the group.

The Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck concerts are Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm at the Saugatuck Woman's Club.


genebertoncini.com

The much-lauded jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini, who has made significant contributions to music in a career spanning over 60 years, joined Cara Lieurance in the studio to preview his concert with longtime friend Tom Knific, the chair of the Western Michigan University Jazz Studies Department. Beginning at 7:30 pm, the performance will also feature singer Sunny Wilkinson, and will be held in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at WMU.

The conversation touches upon a few of his favorite collaborators over the years, and Gene reveals his near-miss career path: he studied architecture at Notre Dame University.

WMU School of Music

Three musicians from Under One Sun, a critically acclaimed jazz and world music all-star band, do their best to explain what the audience can expect when they take the stage tonight in the WMU Dalton Center Recital Hall at 7:30 pm, in their Michigan debut. Drummer/percussionist Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, Esperanza Spalding, etc.) calls the group "aspirational" - the collected talent is so strong and so diverse, it embodies unlimited potential. Composer/saxophonist Billy Drewes, whose music served as the focus for Under One Sun's 2016 album, says he chose to write several new pieces for the project, but also found some works to bring back from the last 40 years of his compositions.  Salar Nader, who was drawn to drums from the time he could crawl, demonstrates the language of syllables that correspond to drum patterns - a memory and practice tool that allows drummers in his tradition to become masters of complex rhythm.

Tickets and more information here.

dafnison.com

Tom Knific, director of jazz studies at Western Michigan University, outlines the career highlights and talents of jazz drummer Dafnis Prieto, who makes a one-time appearance in west Michigan on Tuesday at 7:30 pm on Tuesday night in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Knific says Prieto, who won the MacArthur "genius" grant in 2011, turned into a musical chameleon when he arrived in New York City from Havana, Cuba. Prieto will perform many of his original pieces with his sextet on Tuesday night. 


The second album for the award-winning Western Michigan University Latin jazz group Mas Que Nada  will be released on Monday, January 30 at The Union in Kalamazoo. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, vocalist Monica Pabelonio and WMU director of jazz studies Tom Knific talk about the making of the album and share some music highlights.


Pages