When Shannon LaNier was a boy, he told his classmates that President Thomas Jefferson was his great grandfather. His teacher didn't see how that was possible--LaNier looks black. She instructed him to stop lying. Today, he says, DNA and other evidence supports the story that had been passed down in his family of its connection to Jefferson and enslaved woman Sally Hemings. LaNier speaks in Kalamazoo on Feb. 27.
Weigang Li , the founding first violinist of the Shanghai Quartet , previews their concert with famous pipa virtuoso Wu Man , in an interview with Cara Lieurance. He says although they've received notice for their East-West crossover programs, he considers himself a specialist in Germanic music - the core classical repertory of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. Li says that even though it's a cliché, music really does allow people from different countries to share a language together. The concert is Saturday at 7:30 pm in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, presented by Fontana .