Let's Hear It

LHI: Jon Boyd On William Grant Still

Oct 15, 2014

WMUK contributor Jon Boyd talks about the life and music of American composer William Grant Still, whose Symphony No. 1 "Afro-American" he ranks as one of his favorite pieces of all time. 

William Grant Still's musical experience ranged from advanced degrees at the Oberlin Conservatory to working as an arranger for W.C. Handy. His pride in his heritage as an African-American showed in the many works he composed which blended blues, jazz, and folk melodies into classical forms. 

gregjasperse.com

Greg Jasperse has his hands full as a professor of vocal jazz at Western Michigan University, and director of the school's renowned vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company

He's also continuing to perform and arrange for professional vocal groups Vertical Voices and Sixth Wave on both coasts.

geneknific.com

Gene Knific, the son of two Western Michigan University music professors, began studying jazz at the college level while still in high school. 

After four years at the University of Miami, he moved back to Kalamazoo this summer, re-introducing himself to the region with a performance at the Fontana summer festival.

C. Lieurance

Jazz singer KeJuan Carter recently graduated from Western Michigan University with a master's degree in vocal jazz performance. He and four other WMU jazz musicians - Hugh Little, piano; Bryan Blowers, guitar; bassist Mike Horrigan and drummer Dave Van Haren - put a personal touch on new, old, and overlooked

Friday night is opening night for Title of Show at Farmers Alley Theatre in Kalamazoo. The show runs until August 3rd.

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