WMUK Culture

Culture and Happenings from the WMUK Listening area! 

Edward Callahan

Edward Callahan was surprised and gratified to learn that his debut album, The Minor Keys, had topped the iTunes charts when it was released in December 2019. Raised in Kalamazoo and trained as a classical pianist from the age of 5, Callahan credits family, teachers and local mentors for recognizing his determination to become a concert pianist. He spoke to Cara Lieurance from his home in New York about the new album, why he wanted to record it, and about a return to Kalamazoo in April. The Alma Powell Spring Concert, featuring Edward Callahan in a solo recital, will be at 5 pm Saturday, April 4 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

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.  

Greg Jasperse

Gold Company, an internationally regarded and award-winning vocal jazz ensemble from Western Michigan University, and its sister ensemble GCII, will mark 42 seasons with three concerts this weekend: 8 pm Friday, Feb 7 and 2 and 8 pm on Saturday, Feb 8 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at WMU. The title of the program is "Love Is."

Director Greg Jasperse, professor of jazz studies at WMU, and senior Sara Olson, head producer of the show, join Cara Lieurance in the studio to talk about what goes in to creating a fun, varied, and highly professional concert of vocal jazz, backed by a skilled band and featuring their trademark choreography. Jasperse and Olson also talk about Gold Company's recent trip to New Orleans, which brought together a number of top vocal jazz ensembles in the country.

C. Lieurance

Singer-songwriter Aaron James Wright joins Cara Lieurance to talk about A Little Stronger, his first solo album, and the friendships that helped bring the songs to life. They listen to "Blue at the Green Top" - a reference to a beloved downtown Kalamazoo tavern - as well as the title track, "A Little Stronger," and "Can't Go Back."

Art Hop is one of the most visible programs created and supported by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, but the list of ACGK activity is much larger than most people realize. Executive Director Kristen Chesak joins Cara Lieurance to talk about how the council has sustained and helped focus the work of artists in southwest Michigan - filmmakers, painters, dancers, musicians, ceramic artists, playwrights, performers and craftspeople of all kinds.