Let's Hear It | WMUK

Let's Hear It

Harry McFann/Ryan Paternite

Darius de Haas draws upon his early immersion in the world of jazz and theater on Chicago's South Side, his college training in Chicago and New York, and his professional experience in hundreds of roles in music theater productions on Broadway and beyond.  In an interview with Cara Lieurance, he says his formal and informal training allows him take advantage of serendipitous moments, like when he was contacted by the producers of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

photochem_PA, via Flickr. All Creative Commons license

Music director Tom Evans admits that planning a holiday concert in July while "cooking brats on the grill" is heavy lifting for his imagination, but by the time the first Friday of December rolls around, he and everyone in the Kalamazoo Concert Band are primed to play their annual seasonal concert in Miller Auditorium. He discusses the musical selections with Cara Lieurance, which include fresh band arrangements of popular carols, the Hanukkah-inspired "The Eighth Candle," and his collaboration with Terry Lower, who contributed a number of new arrangements for his trio, singer Edye Evans Hyde and the concert band to play together.

Lisa Clarke via Flickr. All Creative Commons license.

The advanced fusion-jazz-funk of Minor Element, the sublime soprano Diane Penning, and a young school-aged aspiring conductor are all part of the Battle Creek Symphony's Holiday Extravaganza, as envisioned by music director Anne Harrigan. She tells Cara Lieurance about the music and the special guests.

Gerd Altmann. Public Domain image.

Note: Since this interview aired, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival has changed the concerts to all-virtual.

Chris Ludwa, the artistic director of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, feels grateful to bring the Bach Festival Chorus and a live audience back together again after COVID--19 restrictions turned the 2020 concert into a virtual celebration.  On Sunday, Dec 5, Bach Festival Holiday concerts will be performed to a 75% capacity hall at 2 and 4 pm in Kalamazoo College's festively decorated Stetson Chapel. It will also be offered as a livestream.

Greensky Bluegrass
Dylan Langille

Internationally-renowned Greensky Bluegrass, which still calls itself a Kalamazoo band, is celebrating the completion of a new album and 20 years as a group with shows at 8:30 pm Friday and Saturday, Nov 26-27, at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. Guitarist Dave Bruzza spoke with Cara Lieurance about their pandemic year, the band's sustaining core of improvisation, and some of the surprises on the new album, Stress Dreams.

Note: According to the Greensky Bluegrass website, the shows are sold out.