Rufus Ferguson | WMUK

Rufus Ferguson

Chollette Photography/courtesy of the artist

Nashon Holloway, with a combo of Chicago talent led by music director/arranger Rufus Ferguson and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra led by Daniel Brier will take the stage at 7:30 pm Saturday, July 17 in Bronson Park for an evening of Holloway's original music and selected cover songs by Joni Mitchell and Buffalo Springfield, among others. Holloway and Ferguson share the story of how this long-anticipated concert was conceived, written and rehearsed, in an interview with Cara Lieurance.


Andy Eick, via Flickr. All Creative Commons license.

At 4 pm on Sunday, Dec 20, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra's annual Sounds of the Season concert will be streamed to households in Kalamazoo and beyond. Executive Director Jessica Mallow Gulley and Education Manager Rufus Ferguson, whose new setting of "O Come All Ye Faithful" will be premiered, talked to Cara Lieurance about how the festivities became an online event.


Lori Morgan/lmg.photography

Although COVID-19 has severely restricted in-person music-making, Benje and Ashley Daneman, the founders of the Kalamazoo Music School, have discovered that their long-term community-building efforts have helped sustain their spirits and the school. 

In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, they say that most students made the transition to online instruction successfully.  And they explain what's on for fall: Fresh Air Sessions (jazz groups outdoors), Growing Glockenspiel (for 5-7 year olds), individual lessons online, and group lessons online, among other things. They're also excited to welcome jazz pianist Rufus Ferguson to the role of Director of Community Partnerships. 

When the conversation turns to how musicians are making difficult choices during the pandemic, Benje Daneman discusses Kanola Band's first album of New Orleans-style music. It's ready for release, but can't be supported with a tour, which is how musicians make a return on the album's investment. Ashley Daneman says applying for small business and arts grants has been part of their strategy to weather the shutdown. 

Rufus Ferguson

Juneteenth is the June 19, 1865 date on which people in slavery in Texas were informed they had been granted freedom by the Emancipation Proclamation, two years after it was issued.  Jazz musician Rufus Ferguson, with saxophonist Seth Ebersole and bassist John Hébert, will present a Juneteenth concert at 6:30 pm on Friday, June 19, streaming live on The Gilmore Keyboard Festival's website, Youtube channel, and Facebook page, in partnership with Public Media Network.  The three will highlight the music of Black jazz musicians and composers.


Casey Spring Photography, caseyspring.net

On Friday, Feb 7 at 8 pm, Kanola Band will host and perform a live concert recording/party at the Jazz & Creative Institute in Kalamazoo. Drummer Jeff Moehle and trumpeter Benje Daneman, who started the project in 2014, join Cara Lieurance in the studio to share their appreciation for the music of New Orleans, the birthplace of so much American popular music.  


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