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

Album Release: "Along The Way," by Liz Townsend

Liz Townsend
Olivia Feldman
Liz Townsend

Liz Townsend releases her first solo album "Along The Way" on all platforms Friday, Oct 13, but Kalamazoo audiences can enjoy a release concert at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Oct 12 at the Crawlspace Comedy Club in the KNAC Center in downtown Kalamazoo. She talks to Cara Lieurance about the album and the concert, and they listen to four selections: "I Choose To Be Happy," "But Beautiful, "Crazy He Calls Me" and "Along The Way."

Raised in Syracuse, NY, Townsend says she fell in love with vocal jazz early and came to Kalamazoo to be part of the Gold Company program at Western Michigan University. Now, she is serving as Interim Professor of Jazz Voice during mentor Greg Jasperse' sabbatical. She also teaches college students at Kalamazoo College andn Southwestern Michigan College, and has a private studio.

In 9th grade, Townsend was diagnosed with vocal nodes and spent months restoring her voice. She recognized the symptoms again a few years ago, and found a gifted speech pathologist, Marci Rosenberg at the University of Michigan, who guided her treatment and set her on a new direction to learn as much as she could about healthy vocal production. It's added a new dimension to her teaching, Townsend says.

For the album, which was recorded in three days at La Luna Studios with Ian Gorman as sound and mixing engineer, Townsend gathered a group of players she worked with at WMU, including pianist Grayson Nye, guitarist Ben Crino, saxophonist Jace Frederick, bassist Carlo de Rosa and drummer Drew Deur. All except de Rosa will join her at the release concert at the Crawlspace Theater. The bassist will be Ethan Eriksen.

More details and ticket information is available at the Crawlspace Theatre website.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.