Local Music

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

Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, via Facebook

The Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck comes to a close this week with Schubert's expansive Octet in F for clarinet, horn, bassoon, two violins, viola, cello and bass, plus pieces by Mozart and Jan Bach. Grand Rapids Symphony horn player Paul Austin tells Cara Lieurance about his personal connection to the Octet and Schubert's music.


A Conversation with Dr. Carlos Handy

Aug 3, 2017

Dr. Carlos Handy, the grandson of W.C. Handy "Father of the Blues," talks with Jack Perlstein about the significance of his grandfather's contributions to American music, the influences and challenges that affected W.C. Handy's life and music.

Carlos was attending the 36th annual W.C. Handy Music Festival in Florence, Alabama last week when the conversation was recorded.

Dr. Handy has degrees in physics from Columbia University and is currently physics professor at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.

Rede Conexão, via Flickr

The Brazilian guitarist and singer Chico Pinheiro, newly transplanted to New York City, spent a few days with students at the Western Michigan University School of Music last March. The in-demand musician, who has recorded six albums, also spent an hour in WMUK's studio with Jazz Currents host Keith Hall. They discuss the foundations of Brazilian rhythmic styles, and how they intersect with American jazz. Pinheiro says learning Brazilian music gave him an appreciation of the many cultures - African, Caribbean, European, and more -  that contributed to it.

Pinheiro advocates using small moments in life to stimulate writing music, because, he says, you can't wait for divine inspiration. As an example, he plays a song written after a mysterious event he witnessed with his then-new girlfriend.


via YouTube

Martha Guth is one of Michigan's best-kept-secrets of singing. Raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, she moved to Michigan in recent years to be close to family, bringing with her a wealth of performing experience. From the tenderest of art songs to the most thundering oratorios, she has won admiration internationally for her performances. Guth previewed her upcoming Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck recitals with Cara Lieurance, revealing how she discovered the scope of her voice, and why she prefers to perform an evening of art song over a role in an opera.


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." 


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