WMUK | Public radio for Western Michigan and beyond
A black-and-white group photo, apparently outside against a concrete background, of young men and women in formal wear.
Courtesy photo / Western Michigan University

WMU Graduates Allege Discrimination In Jazz Program

Two alumni of Western Michigan University say they faced racial discrimination while studying in the School of Music, and one says she was also treated unfairly because of her gender. The head of Western’s highly regarded vocal jazz ensemble, Professor Greg Jasperse, is at the center of their complaints. The university has cleared him of wrongdoing, but the students’ claims have caught the attention of the highest levels of Western’s administration.

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Artist and graphic designer Esan Sommersell

With 'Vibrations,' Jordan Hamilton Explores Instrumental Compositions, Improvisations

First Forrenland (2018), then My Thoughts Are (2019), then Vibrations (2021). That was the 3-album musical arch in Jordan Hamilton 's mind over several years, as the cellist/songwriter continued gigging, writing, soloing, collaborating, and producing. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Hamilton talks about why he wanted to make an all-instrumental album, and shares stories on how the new pieces on Vibrations came together, as they listen to "Diatomic," "Radiation," "Reflection," "Circuits" and "Tidal."

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Gordon Evans / WMUK

COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

COVID-19 vaccination is continuing throughout Michigan , Indiana and the nation. As of April 5th, all adults in Michigan are eligible for the vaccine. Find information from county health departments at the links below. Check back to this page for updates on vaccination clinics in the region and other events.

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Courtesy of the artist

Alexa Karabin doesn’t buy tubes of paint at the art store for her unique paintings. She makes her own pigments – and not out of the usual materials.


C. Lieurance

On Earth Day, April 22 at 7 pm, musicians Dede Alder and Josh Holcomb will perform live at La Luna Studios for online viewers who visit the Connecting Chords Music Festival website or a Facebook Live link. They bring a combination of talents to their original music, with Alder on marimba, piano and other percussion, and Holcomb playing a 5-string violin with effects.  They spoke with Cara Lieurance for a preview.


Transfer Of Bronson Park Stalls Again

Apr 21, 2021
WMUK

A plan to transfer ownership of Kalamazoo's Bronson Park from the County to the City is in limbo - again. County commissioners decided not to move ahead with the sale Tuesday.

People celebrate outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, after the guilty verdicts were announced in the murder trial against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash / Associated Press

Michigan organizers say the work is not done after a Minnesota jury returned a guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

A black-and-white group photo, apparently outside against a concrete background, of young men and women in formal wear.
Courtesy photo / Western Michigan University

Two alumni of Western Michigan University say they faced racial discrimination while studying in the School of Music, and one says she was also treated unfairly because of her gender. The head of Western’s highly regarded vocal jazz ensemble, Professor Greg Jasperse, is at the center of their complaints. The university has cleared him of wrongdoing, but the students’ claims have caught the attention of the highest levels of Western’s administration.


Noah Fortson / NPR

President Biden and Vice President Harris plan to speak following the guilty verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd.

kalfilmsociety.net

At 7 pm on Wednesday, April 21, the Kalamazoo Film Society will continue its series of Virtual Lobby Discussions, which were created during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow people to continue to engage in film chats. Rather than choosing a specific film as a topic, president Dhera Strauss says the Society decided to focus on the Academy Awards, which will be broadcast on Sunday, April 26. The Kalamazoo Film Society sponsored local showings of nearly all of the Best Picture nominees.


Updated April 20, 2021 at 5:37 PM ET

The jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all the counts he faced over the death of George Floyd. The trial has been one of the most closely watched cases in recent memory, setting off a national reckoning on police violence and systemic racism even before the trial commenced.

Chauvin, 45, has been found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

A dozen Central Americans in T-shirts that read Mujeres Luchadoras — Fighting Women — marched through a small Texas town last month toward the gates of an imposing private detention center where they all used to be incarcerated.

"Biden, hear us! Shut down Hutto!" they chanted.

They're referring to T. Don Hutto Residential Center, the former state prison in Taylor — just northeast of Austin — named after the founder of the private prison company that holds the contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Kalamazoo City Hall - file photo. Photo by Sehvilla Mann, WMUK
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

As the nation waits for the verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin , Kalamazoo City Commissioner Eric Cunningham is calling for reflection. The jury in Minneapolis heard final arguments Monday.

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