#Music

9/11
Deb Polich / Creative Washtenaw

With the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, there is still much reflection on the impact of what happened, and it is still a solemn occasion for many. The arts played a powerful role in engaging in and healing from the tragedy, but what impact might that still be having now...20 years later?

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the president of the University of Michigan University Musical Society, Matthew VanBesien, about the ongoing arts and cultural impact of 9/11, both nationally and on the local community.


UMS
UMS / ums.org

With its last season online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Michigan University Musical Society officials have been planning some in-person performances this coming season.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with UMS president Matthew VanBesien about their plans for the upcoming season and some in-person performance protocols they expect to be announcing soon.


Meg Rohrer / thirdplacemusic.org

Founded on the principles--both simple and often overlooked--that concerts should be radically welcoming, accessible, and inclusive, a "Third Place Music Fest" is taking place August 25th-28th at several different locations around Ann Arbor.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with one of the festival's directors, Wesley Hornpetrie, about their mission is to bring together artists and businesses from the region to celebrate the power of the "third place." 


Eli Savit
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit is creating change. Washtenaw County has joined communities across the world using art + creativity to detour youth away from the justice system. Eli talks about his office’s decision to add preventative creative programs and its partnership with Washtenaw My Brother’s Keeper and the Vera Institute of Justice on this "creative:impact" with show co-hosts Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and WEMU’s David Fair.


UMS
Jessica Griffin / UMS

After a year of no in-person performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Michigan Musical Society, known as UMS, is announcing its next season, which will include some live events.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with UMS president Matthew VanBesien about what is being offered for the 2021-22 UMS season.


Morgan Foreman
Morgan Foreman

Growing up in a household infused with art, creativity, and as the granddaughter of Motown Temptation Melvin Franklin, Morgan Foreman-McGovern gained confidence and direction.  She is a Renaissance woman: a dancer, singer, advocate for the environment and the BIPOC community, and the constituent services director for Michigan Representative Felicia Brabec.  She tells Creative Washtenaw's Deb Polich and WEMU's David Fair her story on this edition of "creative:impact."

 

Don Hicks
Ann Arbor District Library / aadl.org

The owner of Ann Arbor's Blue LLama Jazz Club, Don Hicks, agress the mutual support between his club and WEMU helps keep jazz music alive.  He describes WEMU as a "key partner" for the club that brings world class jazz artists to Ann Arbor where he says they serve world class food.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Don Hicks about the importance of our connection that helps keep the community connected and the music playing.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Established by Ann Arbor's Leon Speakers and Ypsilanti-based Grove Studios, there is a new Amplify Fellowship meant to support musicians of color living in Washtenaw County.  Lisa Barry talks with On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg and Maia Evans, co-founder of the fellowship, about who and what is involved.

 

Carla Dirlikov Canales
Carla Dirlikov Canales

Meet Carla Dirlikov Canales, Ypsilanti native, renowned opera singer, and arts advocate.  She is also founder of the Canales Project, an organization that uses the arts to bridge cultural divides.  She joined Creative Washtenaw's Deb Polich and WEMU's David Fair to talk about how she uses her voice to advocate for the arts and creativity in the halls of Congress and across the world. 


Ingrid Racine
Ingrid Racine / ingridracine.com

The U.S. should be awash in the art and culture of its Native Americans, immigrants, and the rest of the world.  Yet, it is dominated by Eurocentric influences.  Knowing that and how art is able to build cultural understanding, the U-M Center for World Performance Studies (CWPS) started 20 years ago to provide an arts and cultural worldview to students, faculty, and local residents.  Ingrid Racine, a CWPS alum and now its program coordinator, takes Deb Polich and David Fair on a global "creative:impact" journey.  Listen here.


Pete Siers
Pete Siers / petesiers.com

Even though most in-person musical performances have been paused during the coronavirus pandemic, many local musicians are still staying busy.  Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor percussionist Pete Siers, who has found joy from performing in his neighborhood park to co-creating with other local musicians and planning more musical performances once the pandemic is over.


Jamall Bufford
Jamall Bufford / Washtenaw My Brother's Keeper

Jamall Bufford is a musician, rapper, and DJ, and his energy impacts a number of young men through his work as project specialist at Washtenaw County My Brother's Keeper (WMBK).  He joined "creative:impact" co-hosts Deb Polich and David Fair to discuss the importance of infusing art and creativity into youth development projects.  The efforts have resulted in an album featuring a number of talented young people from Washtenaw County and a documentary film highlighting how the project offers a path forward. 


David McClister

The husband-and-wife singing duo Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount Trotter bring their passion for life to their music.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with them about the ups and downs they’ve experienced in their career and in a pandemic since the release of their sophomore studio album, "Hearts Town."

Melissa Goodson
Melissa Goodson

For residents of retirement communities, being vigilant about following COVID-19 protocols is critical.  The United Methodist Retirement Community (UMRC) in Chelsea knew that sheltering in place could lead to a sense of isolation and disconnection.  Melissa Goodson, major gifts officer at UMRC, joins Deb Polich and David Fair to discuss the impact hand-curated streamed performances have on the well-being of the UMRC residents.  Listen here. 


Kerrytown Concert House
Kerrytown Concert House / kerrytownconcerthouse.com

Despite the nearly year-long pandemic, Ann Arbor's Kerrytown Concert House has continued to provide a variety of online performances to keep local artists working and music lovers an opportunity to enjoy the music they miss seeing in person.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Monica Swartout-Bebow, artistic and executive director of the venue, about how they have been able to do that and their dedication to bringing fulfillment and the joy of music to people at this time.


Mark Clague
University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, & Dance / smtd.umich.edu


Music critics of all stripes had plenty to say about Lady Gaga’s national anthem performance at President Biden’s inauguration.  Deb Polich and David Fair asked Mark Clague, widely recognized as the expert on "The Star Spangled Banner," to share his thoughts on her interpretation.  Mark takes a deep-dive into this storied anthem on this edition of "creative:impact."  Listen here.


Paul Keller
Paul Keller / Facebook

The coronavirus pandemic has had a drastic and devastating effect on many different businesses and people in the area.  Local musicians have been especially hard hit because of closed venues and being unable to share their talents.  Local jazz bassist, composer, and teacher Paul Keller shares his reaction to the global health crisis and how it inspired him to get creative, putting out a new jazz Christmas CD, "Even More Christmas Songs For Jazz Lovers," and talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about that.


Willis Patterson
Willis Patterson

Willis Patterson and his talent were gifted to Ann Arbor 90 years ago.  It took a village to guide him through a twisting route before he found his voice, but find it, he did.  Join Deb Polich and David Fair to hear the inspiring story of Dr. Patterson’s work as a performer, advocate for young artists of color, teacher, publisher, and administrator on "creative:impact."


Crystal Harding
Crystal Harding

Ypsilanti High School choir teacher Crystal Harding said she was determined to make the most of this time for students, even though they can't be together due to the pandemic.  So she wrote and had students record a virtual choir video called "New Way."

Lisa Barry talked to the music teacher and high school junior Jamira Daniels, who sang in the video, about the song and the inspiration they hope others find from it.


Mike Green
Mike Green

Touring musicians turned to streaming as soon as COVID-19 shut the doors of the performance halls.  Will the trend continue, or will artists get back on the road again?  Deb Polich and David Fair talk with Mike Green of Mike Green & Associates about the changing business of booking tours for performing artists in the time of COVID-19.  

 


Levi Taylor
Jack Seaman

An inspiring teacher ignites their students’ interest in learning, and Emmy-nominated composer and keyboardist Levi Taylor is such a piano instructor.  He joins Deb Polich and David Fair to talk about his love for teaching and how he has adapted distance learning methods to enhance his thriving piano instruction business in this time of COVID-19.  Be prepared to be inspired as you listen here to this edition of "creative:impact."


Nelson Amos
Nelson Amos Studio / nelsonamosstudio.com

As the oldest professor at Eastern Michigan University, Dr. Nelson Amos says it was the current pandemic that finally convinced him it was time to retire.  When he leaves his job teaching guitar and music history at EMU next May, he will be 82 years old.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the music professor, who is also an artist and owns a storefront in Ypsilanti's Depot Town, about how he has pivoted to teach online due to the current public health crisis and how life has changed since he began his university teaching career in 1975.


Rick Coughlin / Grove Studios

Most every week, Concentrate Media puts out a story--a positive story--about the Ypsilanti area online known as “On The Ground-Ypsi.”  And most every week, we connect with the project manager of On the Ground-Ypsi, Sarah Rigg, to share that story with you, our WEMU listeners.

This week, Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Ypsi-based Grove Studios co-founder Rick Coughlin about the upcoming, socially-distant Equinox Party, featuring local bands on September 19.


University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance / smtd.umich.edu

In November of 2015, Eugene Rogers commissioned and debuted a powerful musical performance piece called "The Seven Last Words of Unarmed Men," which was performed by the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club.  Five years later, the musical performance conducted by Rogers, now the Director of Choral Activities and Conductor of the U of M chamber choir, is gaining even more attention following the recent death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Rogers about the performance piece and shares some of the music.


The Arts Alliance / creativewashtenaw.org

Having waited weeks for an all-clear, even it is cautionary, the rules governing the reopening for arts and creative businesses are not exactly clear.  It might not even be their most important concern as national attention is directed toward equity and justice amid protests of the police brutality and the law enforcement killings of black people.  The music industry declared June 2 “Blackout Tuesday” to urge artists and venues to shut down all programming and content.  Hear Deb Polich and David Fair discuss these topics on this edition of "creative:impact."  Listen here.


Blue LLama
Blue LLama Jazz Club / bluellamaclub.com

Just as Ann Arbor's Blue LLama Jazz Club was getting ready to celebrate its first birthday, it was forced to shut down like all other clubs and restaurants in Michigan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the owner of the club, Don Hicks, about how they, like many jazz musicians, have had to improvise to stay connected with the community.


Monica Swartout-Bebow
Kerrytown Concert House / kerrytownconcerthouse.com

After 23 years of performing, producing concerts, renting studio space, and volunteering at the Kerrytown Concert House, Monica Swartout-Bebow was prepared and excited to take on a new role as executive director last summer.  Still, she expected a slight learning curve.  What she got instead was the full onslaught of COVID-19.  Monica gets on the line with "creative:impact" co-hosts Deb Polich and David Fair to talk about how, instead of you going to the Kerrytown Concert House, it’s coming to your house.  Listen here.


Jeff Daniels
Purple Rose Theatre Company / purplerosetheatre.org

Award-winning actor and musician Jeff Daniels is home in Chelsea right now quarantined like the rest of us due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Like all other entertainment venues, Daniels had to shut down the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea to curb the spread of the virus.  He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about an idea he has to raise support for the theatre and fills us in on the many other projects he's been working on in film and TV.


Mr. B
Mr. B / mrbpiano.com

Congress has designated today as "Public Radio Music Day."  But it's not easy to celebrate this, considering the COVID-19 pandemic has forced musicians worldwide to completely change their routines.  Local boogie-woogie pianist Mark "Mr. B" Braun has found ways to keep his creative juices flowing.  Mr. B joined WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about how he's been managing his musical career from home.


UMS
University Musical Society / ums.org

Another impact of the current health pandemic is on our cultural life.  In this edition of "Art and Soul," WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Matthew VanBesien, president of the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan, about what they’ve had to do in light of COVID-19 and orders to stay home and social distance from each other.


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