Local Music

Hear interviews with guests on music programs produced here at WMUK, as well as program news.

Craig Freeman

The musical duo Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, formed in 2014 by Sarah Fuerst and Phil Barry, two members of the six-piece group the Corn Fed Girls, will release their first full-length album, Songs for Mixed Company, on Saturday, July 29 at Louie's Trophy House Grill in Kalamazoo. WMUK contributor Craig Freeman invited them to preview their work in the studio at WMUK, where they performed three live versions of their songs and shared one of the album tracks, "Miss You." 


Hup Skerries, via YouTube

Just a fiddle, and a flute. And rhythm, ornaments, breath accents, and stories. In the tradition of Irish folk music, two players is enough for an evening's entertainment, harkening back to the days when resources were scarce but social music-making was prized.

On Thursday at First Congregational Church, fiddler Jesse Smith (Danu, The Tap Room Trio) and flutist Sean Gavin (Bua, Teada) will perform, highlighting their new album, Music From The Lost Continent, which was called "straight-up trad at its best" in a Tradconnect review. Cara Lieurance spoke with Jesse Smith about his love of the music and his admiration for players of the past, including Michael Coleman, who was famous in the 1920 for his cylinder recordings.


Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, via Facebook

Drew Le, pianist and co-director of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck with his wife, violinist Jennifer Walvoord, says that for the 30th season of the festival, they stuck to their successful combination of concerts featuring west Michigan musicians, with two exceptions - the New York-based Claremont Trio and Chicago-based Kontras Quartet. Some quaint traditions, such as cash-only admission, linger as well. Free admission for students with ID on Fridays is a new feature.

Katherine Nofs

Based on a 2004 book by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry, the Broadway adaptation of Peter And The Starcatcher became a Tony-winning show in 2012 that tackled the timeless themes of the Peter Pan story in an original way. On top of that, it boasted virtuoso roles for twelve actors, and a charmingly low-tech staging that, by design, enhances the audience's willingness to believe. The ensemble cast for the Farmers Alley Theatre production, which begins July 21, includes Harrison Bryan as Peter, and Courtney Martin as Molly. They tell Cara Lieurance what it was like to take on their roles. And Deputy director Rob Weiner helps explain the elements of Peter And The Starcatcher.


Pianist Everett N. Jones on William Grant Still

Jul 13, 2017

Philadelphia born pianist Everett Jones sustains an active performing career throughout the U.S. and abroad playing traditional repertoire and the music of African-American composers.  He has pioneered performances of William Grant Still and George Walker at many colleges and universities.  Jones is the director of the William Grant Still Performing Arts Society, and has recently completed recording the complete piano music of William Grant Still, a project that has not been done before. Dr. Jones teaches at Cincinnati State University.

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