Local Music

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

Pianist, composer and all-around-indispensable Kalamazoo musician Carl Witt invites Cara Lieurance to his home studio to give an insider's view of the Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations, playing examples that demonstrate the work's unusual features. Witt will perform the variations at the 2017 Kalamazoo Bach Festival on May 7 in the Light Fine Arts Building's Dalton Theatre at Kalamazoo College.


In 1953, five of the leading players of the day assembled in Toronto for a historic concert. The album, Jazz at Massey Hall, included trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, pianist Bud Powell, bassist Charles Mingus, and drummer Max Roach. Thankfully this was captured on tape, as it was the only time this bebop supergroup ever recorded together as a unit. Keith Hall goes behind the music and musicians on this edition of Jazz Currents.


WMU School of Music

The two winners of the 2017 Western Michigan University Concerto Competition - flutist Trey Sims, a junior, and violinist Jordan Curry, a senior - join Cara Lieurance and University Symphony Orchestra music director Bruce Uchimura to talk about the works they've prepared for Sunday's performance in Miller Auditorium. Curry, who will continue his graduate studies at the University of Denver next year, will play the Violin Concerto in D minor by Jean Sibelius. Education major Trey Sims, who also participated in an exciting season with Bronco Marching Band, will play a French piece called Fantaisie, by George Hüe. They tell their stories about how they became musicians, and what drew them to the School of Music at WMU.


Wikimedia Commons

The final concert of the 2016-17 Kalamazoo Concert Band season, "Off The Shelf," features works that were inspired by great stories, going as far back as the pre-Biblical Gilgamesh, up to 1998's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Director Thomas Evans previews the music with Cara Lieurance, and gives an appreciation of flute soloist Lauren Whitaker, the winner of the Kalamazoo Concert Band Youth Soloist Competition, who will perform with the band in the concert.


C. Lieurance

WMUK contributor Craig Freeman hosts a session at WMUK with The Last Gasp Collective, whose energetic live shows are drawing bigger and bigger crowds in southwest Michigan. The group's blend of hip-hop, soul, R&B, jazz, and funk draws upon the eclectic talents of the group, which is fronted by two vocalists:  Jay Jackson and Ashley Hicks.  Interwoven in the mix are solo cellist Jordan Hamilton, Xavier Bonner on flute/saxophone, Jon Boyd on keyboards, Joel Pixley-Fink on bass, Terrence Smith, drums, and Nicholas Baxter, auxiliary percussion. 

The Last Gasp Collective performed a wide selection of songs in a live performance at WMUK, including "Saving Grace," Small Town," Surgeon General," and "Boom." Martin Klemm was the sound engineer.


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