March 25 2015
It´s a heady week for music winos. For the first time in MSU Opera Theatre´s history, director Melanie Helton is going all the way to the back of the cellar and uncorking the really good stuff...
March 11 2015
As a panel of experts chewed over the obstacles facing the nation´s small farmers at MSU´s Kellogg Center Monday, a craggyfaced man in the back of the room rose to ask a question. "I invite...
March 11 2015
Something out of the ordinary happened about halfway through “Seven Ascents for Flute and Orchestra,” one of two major works the Lansing Symphony Orchestra played Saturday night. An invisible,...
March 4 2015
As about 600 people assembled to hear a speech by the Rev. Al Sharpton at Michigan State University´s Wharton Center Feb. 26, several attendees noted, with a touch of regret, that they were missing...
March 4 2015
Artists get big ideas when they see the stark angles and converging lines of MSU´s Broad Art Museum. Like a stiff shot of architectural absinthe, the building makes strange sugarplums dance in artists´...
March 4 2015
A vision of a man walking up a mountain, and a collaboration that got gloriously out of hand, promise to push Saturday´s Lansing Symphony concert into exciting new territory. Well-known music by...
Feb. 18 2015
A lot of people have gotten their idea of what goes on in a jazz class from that chair-throwing jerk of an instructor, Terry Fletcher, in the Oscar-nominated film "Whiplash." The two latest guest artists...
Feb. 18 2015
Harry Belafonte is a tall tree with deep roots in music, movies and civil rights activism, but he didn´t come to Michigan State University last week to cast a kindly shadow. At 88, he was desperately...
Feb. 4 2015
To grasp the vocal genius of Betty Joplin, start with the smallest word you can find. Joplin´s indigo-sky voice, with dusky vibrato at the edges, is too generous to take in all at once. When she...
Jan. 28 2015
In January 1954, George Brookover was perched on his dad´s shoulders, watching the big political fish go by on their way to the second-term inauguration of Michigan Gov. G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams....
Jan. 21 2015
A half-buried, two-way tunnel runs between the camps of art and music. From Mussorgsky´s "Pictures at an Exhibition" to Jackson Pollock´s jazz-fueled drip fantasias, artists and musicians have...
Jan. 21 2015
The MSU College of Music trimmed away the usual oratory and commentary from this year´s Martin Luther King Jr. tribute and served up two courses of pure music. Something was lost, but something else...
Jan. 14 2015
Each year, topical threads are added to timeless ones, but warmth is always woven into the MSU College of Music’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute, ”Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest.” The...
Jan. 14 2015
For all the fiddlers, fandooglers and foom-boomers crowding the stage at Saturday’s Lansing Symphony concert, two distinct figures linger in my mind. I’ll start with the obvious one: Soloist...
Jan. 7 2015
Austin-based cellist Bion Tsang, guest soloist for Saturday’s Lansing Symphony concert, coaches youth football, loves to roughhouse with his three young kids and has a great laugh. He sounds like...
Dec. 31 2014
At the end of every year, I drop a dented dipper into the river of life and look at the lives of 10 people from the Lansing area who died in the past year. They are not all famous or accomplished, but...
Dec. 31 2014
Shocked at the death Sunday of longtime Lansing political and pastoral leader the Rev. Michael Murphy, friends are finding solace in the memory of a principled public figure and empathic friend. "It´s...
Dec. 31 2014
If you love jazz and classical music and you live in the Lansing area, you only needed six words in your vocabulary to describe this year’s schedule: “Pinch me. I must be dreaming.” A...
Dec. 10 2014
Nancy Lombardi vigorously shook a heavy crystal globe with Wonder Woman inside, fists akimbo. The fluid swirled with sparkly pain from freshly punched enemies. Or maybe it was Amazon magic. "Isn´t...
Dec. 3 2014
Robin Eubanks is one of the top trombonist-composer-arrangers in jazz, but “genius” talk isn’t his style. The latest international jazz star to take part in MSU’s Jazz Studies residency...

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