Let's Hear It | WMUK

Let's Hear It

Gulnara Khamatova

The original music and improvisations of both Rob Clearfield and alto saxophonist Caroline Davis is the starting point for the jazz quartet Persona, which is bringing its new album, Anthems, on tour to Western Michigan University at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, Nov 12 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Joining them on the album, and on tour, are bassist Sam Weber and drummer Jay Sawyer, both Western Michigan University jazz alumni. All four Persona members and WMU professor of jazz drums Keith Hall joined Cara Lieurance in the studio to talk about their work and listen to some of the new tracks.


courtesy of the artist

Composer David Colson, who founded the new music ensemble Birds On A Wire not long after joining the WMU School of Music in 2007, previewed the group's concert with Cara Lieurance. It's set for  7:30 pm on Wednesday, Oct 30 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Not only is it "themed" for Halloween, it will feature the world premiere of Colson's Ghost Music, a new piece for solo marimba. Colson talks about writing the pieces for Matthew Coley, a leading solo percussionist and a master of an array of global percussion instruments.


C. Lieurance

In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Rob Weiner and Jeremy Koch, two of the founders of Farmers Alley Theatre, share their anticipation for the seven Signature Series productions, three Spotlight Series shows, and three Theatre For Young Audiences offerings in the 2019-2020 season. At season 12, says Weiner, their vision and model is reaching new stages of experience and growth, thanks to a growing reputation nationally and the good word of performers from New York and Los Angeles cast in Farmers Alley productions.

The Spotlight Series begins Oct 4 with a re-envisioned chamber setting of the Lerner & Loewe musical Camelot, followed in late November-December by It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. The ripped-from-the-headlines dramedy The Cake and Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers follow, in February and March. Farmers Alley Theatre will partner again with the Gilmore Keyboard Festival in spring to present an intimate look at Billie Holiday's life, in Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grille. Then in June, they'll present the first regional production of Bright Star, written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, followed by High Fidelity in July-Aug, adapted from the 2000 film.


Rob Doda

Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins, a Canadian musician at the forefront of new acoustic trends and blends (from bluegrass to gypsy jazz to Celtic to Nick Drake), talks to Cara Lieurance about the Canadian folk scene and the album tour for Tongue and Groove, a double album of songs and instrumentals. Collins and fellow musicians Mike Mezzatesta and James McEleney will perform at The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers on Saturday, Sep 21. 


Craig Freeman

Kids and their vivid imaginations are no mystery to Paul Bauer, who grew up with young nieces and nephews, watched his mother run a home daycare, and became a pre-school teacher himself before turning to music full-time. An instructor at Kalamazoo Kids in Tune and at the Crescendo Academy, he's also the drummer for the  local band The Mainstays. Bauer started another project, Small Sounds, a few years ago with his wife, Katrina Davidson. In the studio with Craig Freeman, Bauer and Davidson talk about how they write songs and engage children with their live shows. 

Drawing from a variety of music genres - pop, rock, electronic, and more - Small Sounds released its first album, Good Morning, Sun!, in 2016. In the studio, they play a stripped-down version of "Hey, Alligator!" from that release, and two newer songs, "My Pet Possum," and "Life on the Seven Seas."


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