black lives matter

File photo of Law Enforcement During Proud Boys March in downtown Kalamazoo August 15, 2020
John McNeill / WMUK

Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas says the Proud Boys wanted to create a stir when they came to Kalamazoo last month, and “they did it.” 

File photo of Law Enforcement During Proud Boys March in downtown Kalamazoo August 15, 2020
John McNeill / WMUK

The disruptive visit by the Proud Boys this weekend was the focus of Tuesday night’s Kalamazoo City Commission meeting, with plenty of blame to go around, and promises that the mistakes made would not be repeated. 

Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas addresses weekend protests during a Sunday news conference Photo by John McNeill, WMUK
John McNeill / WMUK

Nine people were arrested after members of the Proud Boys hate group and counter-demonstrators scuffled Saturday near Arcadia Festival Park, but Kalamazoo city officials say it could have been much worse. 

John McNeill / WMUK

Members of the white nationalist group the Proud boys clashed with counter demonstrators in downtown Kalamazoo on Saturday. 

matthewfries.com

Matthew Fries is looking forward to performing in the Wellspring Theatre at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Jul 22, with his friends John Hébert on bass and Keith Hall on drums. It will be streamed online at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival website, as part of its Virtually Gilmore series. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Fries says he plans to play a number of his own compositions, some written years ago, some just weeks ago. 

Fries is the professor of jazz piano at Western Michigan University. In late March, he had to switch to online teaching when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the school to close its doors. Fries "had to re-think" how to teach, overcome technical issues, and provide assistance to students without access to pianos at home. When many of his students became active in the Black Lives Matter protests, they challenged the status quo to the faculty in new, and sometimes uncomfortable, conversations. Fries says that the WMU jazz department is "seven white guys in love with a music that is 100 percent the result of Black culture." He plans to be more vocal in support of his students' concerns. "There's hope in the energy behind this," Fries says.


Pages