Local Music

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

Met Museum, public domain copyright

The Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chamber Singers and Arcato Chamber Ensemble will team up for a program that explores myths, miracles, and faith in music. Chris Ludwa, director of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chamber Singers, and Andrew Koehler, director of the Arcato Chamber Ensemble, discuss Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus, Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto from Symphony No. 5, Christopher Theofanidis’s Visions and Miracles, Ola Gjeilo’s Unicornis Captivatur, and Vivaldi’s Gloria in D.

The concert will be held on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 pm in Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College. 


Early 20th century songs from diverse points of view for soprano, viola and piano, and Bach mixed with contemporary poetry by Kid Kane are the highlights of "Breaking Barriers With Bach," a program of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival set for Friday, May 3 at 7:30 pm at Kalamazoo College. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Arturo Ziraldo of Heartside Harmony talks about the program and its featured guest, performance poet Kyd Kane

Jimmy Katz

Saxophonist Joe Lovano says he, drummer Jack DeJohnette, pianist Leo Genovese, and bassist Esperanza Spalding, all of whom are innovative bandleaders, decided to go on a 35-date world tour in the spring of 2014. This is the first time they've been able to resume as a group. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Lovano discusses his fellow members of the group, and talks about the projects that occupied him in the meantime, including a new release on ECM Records with Trio Tapestry.

The Spring Quartet will perform on the Fontana series on Saturday, May 4 at 7;30 pm, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University.

Kalamazoo Civic

War Paint is a musical fresh off its Broadway run ( where it starred Patti Lupone and Christine Ebersole) coming to the Kalamazoo Civic in a new production led by artist director Tony Humrichouser May 3-19. It will be the regional premiere of this jazzy, true-life show about the rivalry between two self-made women: cosmetic titans Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, who battled for domination of the global makeup market from the 1920-60s.

In a conversation with Humrichouser, actress Gina Chimner (Elizabeth Arden), and marketing director Janet Gover, the extraordinary details of Arden and Rubinstein's careers and personal lives are revealed. One small example: when Arden first introduced her clients to mascara, Rubinstein upped the ante by inventing the mascara wand. Both women feared losing control of their companies to their right-hand men - and ended up losing the men to each other's companies.

Music and lyrics are by Grey Gardens team Scott Frankel and Michael Korie. Humrichouser says War Paint will feature the debut of new technology at the Civic - a "Cyc," or digital cyclorama, which projects  detailed backgrounds onto a rear screen. Looking ahead, Humrichouser and Gover preview the shows the Civic will present in season 91, starting with Matilda next September.


The 72nd annual Kalamazoo Bach Festival opens on Friday, April 26 with an evening of songs performed by three soloists: countertenor Terry Barber, soprano Jennifer Forni, and baritone Elliot Madore, all of whom will later appear as soloists with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus and Kalamazoo Junior Symphony on Sunday, April 28 for a performance of Carmina Burana. In the studio with Cara Lieurance, Barber and Forni share their musical histories and highlights of their current careers, while previewing the songs of their Friday recital.