Ben Doyle

Weigang Li, the founding first violinist of the Shanghai Quartet, previews their concert with famous pipa virtuoso Wu Man, in an interview with Cara Lieurance. He says although they've received notice for their East-West crossover programs, he considers himself a specialist in Germanic music - the core classical repertory of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. Li says that even though it's a cliché, music really does allow people from different countries to share a language together.

The concert is Saturday at 7:30 pm in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, presented by Fontana.

Brandon Burnett and Janai Travis rehearse "Flood Gates" for the Kalamazoo Black Lives, Black Words event
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

“Do black lives matter?” That’s the prompt that award-winning playwright and activist Reginald Edmund uses in the Black Lives, Black Words project. It’s a multi-city performance with theatre, poetry, and music about the black experience. On Sunday, February 18th, Western Michigan University and Face Off Theatre will put on Kalamazoo’s show. 

The Kalamazoo Concert Band, with special guests the Western Jazz Quartet, are ready to put some sizzle on stage this Saturday with a program called 'Iberian Inspiration,' says director Tom Evans. He spoke with Cara Lieurance about the works on the program and how he's always fired up to play music.

WMU School of Music

Western Michigan University's School of Music will host a 10-state division conference of the College Band Directors National Association February 22-24. Organizer Scott Boerma, WMU director of bands, will conduct a free preview concert by the University Symphonic Band on Sunday, Feb 18 at 3 pm in Miller Auditorium. Boerma shared the details with Cara Lieurance in a preview.

Meghan Stagl and Matthew Epperson started their duo while studying jazz at Western Michigan University, where, they say, jazz students are thrown into a churning musical mix from the get-go. They like their collaboration for the same reasons: their roles combine to suggest all the elements of a song, but there's a lot of freedom to play around with the tunes. With a new album in the works, they joined Cara Lieurance in the Takeda Studio for a selection of old and new standards.