Andrew Robins / WMUK-FM

Art Beat: Confections With Convictions

The only crime on your mind when you walk into Confections with Convictions , the handmade gourmet chocolate shop on Crosstown Parkway in Kalamazoo, may be one of indulgence. There are truffles, rose-honey caramels with salted pistachios, and dried strawberries.

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Keith Hall

Jazz Currents: Michigan Jazz Stalwart Steve Talaga

A greatly respected Michigan jazz artist, Steve Talaga says although he was tempted to uproot himself at times to pursue music, it turned out that Michigan was a wonderful place for him to play thousands of concerts, record albums, compose music, and teach the next generation of players. In a studio session at WMUK with Jazz Currents host Keith Hall , Talaga reminisces about the people and projects that have defined his career, which includes two decades as a faculty instructor at Hope College. Herbie Hancock is probably his biggest musical hero, he tells Hall, saying it would be a dream come true to share tunes with the master. As a teacher, he admits he learns as much from his students as they do from him. Talaga is a prolific songwriter. He's appeared as a sideman on dozens of albums, and has released five solo albums under his name, filled with original material. In the WMUK studio, Talaga plays five solo versions of original tunes: "Comes the Dawn," "And Then Again," "Sacred Gifts," "Spikey," and "Country Dog."

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Employment Opportunity

WMUK 102.1 FM is seeking qualified candidates for a Director of Content Operations and Audience Development position.

Andy Robins / WMUK

Kellogg Arena and more places in Battle Creek are open for people to get out of the heat. Michigan’s Secretary of State seeks members for the new redistricting commission. The Growlers and Bombers both lose their first games after the Northwoods League All-Star break. 

Cooling centers open in Kalamazoo as temperatures rise. Michigan’s jobless rate remains unchanged. A former WMU coach and administrator is remembered as a trailblazer in women’s athletics. 

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Kalamazoo resident Joetta Carr says the Southwest Michigan chapter of the Extinction Rebellion wants candidates for mayor and city commission to develop a climate policy for Kalamazoo. She says they are also working at the state level, and planning to go to the debates in Detroit for candidates running for the Democratic nomination for President. 

Carr was interviewed for a story in Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave. It’s part of the On the Ground Series telling stories from Kalamazoo’s neighborhoods. The project is now focused on the Vine Neighborhood. On the Ground Kalamazoo Project Editor Theresa Coty O’Neil says political activism, including around global issues is one of the things that stands out about the Vine Neighborhood.


A free public concert at Davis Street Park in the Vine Neighborhood. Photo Taylor Scamehorn
Taylor Scamehorn / Southwest Michigan's Second Wave

Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave On the Ground Kalamazoo Project Editor Theresa Coty O’Neil says the Vine neighborhood is different in many ways from the others featured so far. Over the next several weeks, O’Neil will report on the people, business, non-profit groups and more in the Vine Neighborhood.


Joy Rhine Photography

The Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck continues this week with festival co-directors Jennifer Walvoord and Drew Le joining Grand Rapids Symphony musicians Leslie Van Becker and Alicia Eppinga in a program of Piazzolla, Mozart, and Schoenfield. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Le introduces his fellow musicians and shares his thoughts on Piazzolla's "Spring," from Four Seasons in Buenos Aires, Mozart's Piano Quartet No. 1, K. 478, and Paul Schoenfield's Café Music. He also shares the news that he and his family are moving to Ohio, where he will be an assistant professor of piano at Kent State University. They will return each summer to direct the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck.


Capitol Hill - file photo by Svetlana Larina, iStock
iStock/Svetlana Larina

West Michigan Republican Fred Upton and Independent Justin Amash join Democrats in voting for a resolution condemning President Trump’s racist tweets. The Attorney General’s office will have attorneys on both sides before the state Supreme Court. A recall election is set in Albion.

Andy Robins / WMUK

This week, the Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments on a debate that started during a contentious and busy lame duck session last year. Whether or not the state’s highest court will actually step in with a ruling remains to be seen.


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

A report finds state corrections department workers face high risks of depression and PTSD symptoms. A Kalamazoo City Commission resolution calls for allowing undocumented residents to get driver’s licenses. Some Michigan hospitals report low blood supplies.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo County has a plan for reducing domestic violence. It’s working toward launching a “Trauma Court” for repeat offenders that would seek to change their behavior, not just punish it.


Kalamazoo Kids In Tune

The Kalamazoo Symphony and Kalamazoo Public Schools' after-school music program, Kalamazoo Kids in Tune continues beyond the school year, offering six weeks of summer programming. Artistic director Ben Gudbrandson says it's a time when the skills they built might otherwise get rusty, and just as importantly, kids benefit from the familiar routine of rehearsal and performing. Craig Freeman, a leading brass instructor for KKIT, added a jazz unit to the program this summer, and alongside the orchestra and its chamber ensembles, Kalamazoo Kids in Tune will give two public concerts this week.

On Tuesday, July 16, the orchestra will play at the Portage Public Library at 1 pm - 1:30 pm. On Thursday, July 18, they'll be downtown on the Kalamazoo Mall from 11:45 - 12:15 pm. 


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