Local Music

Hear interviews with guests on music programs produced here at WMUK, as well as program news.

Courtesy photo

Jon Schmidt grew up in a music-loving family, he tells Cara Lieurance, citing two older siblings who nurtured his talent at a pianist. Hearing Mannheim Steamroller's creative pop-classical crossover arrangements inspired him to continue his path of bridging his classical training and popular entertainment. As the pianist in The Piano Guys, he and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson are featured in instrumental videos that have been viewed over 1.6 billion times.  

The Piano Guys will perform at 7:30 pm Wednesday, Nov 20 in Miller Auditorium


courtesy of the artist

Weiyin Chen, a Juilliard-trained pianist and longtime friend of conductor Andrew Koehler, makes her third appearance with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia at 7:30 pm Saturday, Nov 16 by giving her first performance of Tchaikovsky's monumental Piano Concerto No. 1 . Chen and Koehler join Cara Lieurance to preview the concert and highlight the other works on the program: Overture by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz and Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations.


Nick Offerman Brings 'All Rise' Show To State Theatre

Nov 15, 2019
Matt Winklemeyer

Nick Offerman's third one-man comedy show, "All Rise," was sparked by the "malaise" among liberals after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, he tells WMUK reporter Raine Kuch. The actor, best known for his role as Ron Swanson on NBC's Parks & Recreation and as co-host of NBC's Making It, wrote the show and asked his wife, actress-producer-director Megan Mullally, to direct it. Offerman talks about his love of live theatre, how some people think he really is Ron Swanson, and how he comes up with the comedy songs he uses during his show. He explains his belief that people are both "great" and also in danger of not being aware of their own stupidity - a major theme in "All Rise."

Offerman will perform "All Rise" in two shows, at 7 pm and 9:30 pm, on Wednesday, Nov 20, at the Kalamazoo State Theatre.


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.


Schola Antiqua

The "richly intertextual, cross-pollinating "Middle Ages" of Jerusalem" is the inspiration for a concert by Schola Antiqua of Chicago at 4 pm on Sunday, Nov 17 at First Congregational Church, presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival.  Cara Lieurance talked to managing director Matthew Dean about the upcoming concert and the traditions from which it draws.


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