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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

From colleges to festivals, ways to see Ugandan musician Samuel Nalangira and percussion pro Carolyn Koebel this summer

Carolyn Koebel and Samuel Nalangira
C. Lieurance
Carolyn Koebel and Samuel Nalangira at Classical WMUK

Ugandan musician Samuel Nalangira is building a strong regional reputation as a compelling player of self-made Ugandan stringed instruments and as a drummer, dancer and vocalist. One of his earliest musical allies was Carolyn Koebel, whose deep love of drumming traditions from around the world puts her in a unique place in the community. This summer, they’ll be making music together in a wide range of places, often with bassist Nathan Durham.

Carolyn Koebel
The Kalamazoo College percussion ensemble with Samuel Nalangira

At 7 pm on Wednesday, June 1 at Kalamazoo College, Nalangira will lead a group of around a dozen students in a set of East African percussion pieces, and Koebel will lead the college’s Taiko ensemble in an International Percussion Concert. The free performance will be held outside, weather permitting.

In the studio with Cara Lieurance, Koebel and Nalangira play some of Nalangira’s music from his album Amayengo and talk about upcoming concerts, including the Concerts in the Park series at 4 pm on Sunday, June 5. That's in Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.