Cara Lieurance

C. Lieurance

With the leaves changing color, a crispness to the air, and the beer turning darker, the time is ripe for another visit from The Brass Rail - Mike McMinn (cornet, trumpet), Roger Lynch (cornet, trumpet), Chris Garrett (horn) John Dickey (trombone) and Fritz MacDonald (tuba). Formed two years ago, they can be found regularly at the Old Dog Tavern, and Arcadia Ales, among other venues. They'll be at Bell's Brewery for the Kalamazoo Bach Festival's Bachtoberfest on September 29.

Wherever they go, the Brass Rail brings its trademark iPads filled with hundreds of arrangements for brass quintet. In WMUK's Takeda studio, they play a mix of swing, ragtime, classical, Tin Pan Alley, American folk - and as a nod to Oktoberfest, German polkas!

Blarney Castle was formed in 2014 by six Western Michigan University music students. It was the brainchild of Joel Myers, a native of Chelsea, MI, who gained his Irish fiddling skills performing with the Chelsea House Orchestra.

Since its formation, Blarney Castle has performed sophisticated arrangements and original sets of Celtic music at festivals around the state and beyond. The new single, "Silhouettes Against The Soil," to be released on October 14, was written by Myers. Myers, keyboardist Lukas Stanley, and singer/flutist E.J. Schubkegel visited WMUK to preview the new song.

Michael Wilson

Pianist Brad Mehldau and saxophonist Joshua Redman first performed together in Redman’s acclaimed quartet during the 1990s. In the next two decades, both Grammy-nominated musicians grew as leaders in their own ensembles. Now modern-day icons, they've reunited to tour with their new album, Nearness. 

Wikimedia Commons

Western Jazz Quartet saxophonist Andrew Rathbun and pianist Jeremy Siskind talk about the challenges and satisfaction of adding a new voice to the mix, with just one rehearsal to prepare. This is not uncommon in the jazz world, and according to Rathbun, John Hébert is one of the finest bassists working today.

Kalamazoo Singers

An evening of opera highlights and Broadway showstoppers at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art marks the official start of the Kalamazoo Singers' 40th season. Chorister and board member Katy Velten speaks about the role the group plays in her life. She says it brings together accomplished people from a variety of backgrounds who love to sing, and the range of the music - from European classical to American musicals and everything in between - is never boring. Velten also outlines the themes for the Kalamazoo Singers' upcoming concerts this season.