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Rasa Festival | Music from the East and the West

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 8:39am

Well known Indian and western musicians come together to talk about the concepts behind Indian and western music, and how they collaborate to create new music. This is accompanied by a short concert where they will present music based on these concepts.

This event was held in partnership with the 2019 Rasa Festival, an innovative India-themed multi-arts festival, produced by Akshara. The Rasa Festival is held annually in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti in September and is designed to promote a deeper awareness and appreciation for the effulgent richness and abundance of cultural heritage that stems from India. It is multi-arts and multi-disciplinary, presenting traditional as well as cutting edge work in performing, visual, literary, media/films, and culinary arts, in partnership with prominent Ann Arbor arts organizations.

Participating artists in the festival are local, national, and international Indo-American artists, artists from India as well as those who are highly inspired by Indian culture. It is a collaborative initiative, working through partnerships with key local organizations such as the Washtenaw Community College, Kerrytown Concert House, the Riverside Arts Center, and Literati Bookstore.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for November 2019: Martin interviews Jonathan Scott, author of The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of the Voyager Golden Record

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 3:00pm

In 1977, a team led by the great Carl Sagan was assembled to create a record that would travel to the stars on NASA’s Voyager probe. The Vinyl Frontier reveals the inside story of how the record was created, from the first phone call to the final launch, when Voyager 1 and 2 left Earth with a playlist that would represent humanity to any future alien races that come into contact with the probe. Each song, sound and picture that made the final cut has a story to tell.

The Golden Record is a 90-minute playlist of music from across the globe, a sound essay of life on Earth, spoken greetings in multiple languages, and more than 100 photographs, all painstakingly chosen by Sagan and his team to create an aliens' guide to Earthlings. The final playlist contains music written and performed by well-known names such as Bach, Beethoven, Chuck Berry and Blind Willie Johnson, as well as music from China, India and more remote cultures, such as a community in Small Malaita in the Solomon Islands.

Through interviews with all of the key players involved with the record, this book pieces together the whole story of the Golden Record. It addresses the myth that the Beatles were left off of the record because of copyright reasons and will include new information about US president Jimmy Carter’s role in the record, as well as many other fascinating insights that have never been reported before. It also tells the love story between Carl Sagan and the project’s creative director Ann Druyan that flourishes as the record is being created.                                                                                              

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Body of Work: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:15am

We laughed, we cried, we swooned which is no surprise when you dive into Lin Manuel Miranda's body of work. There also may have been a very strange confession involving George Washington....

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for October 2019: Martin interviews C.M. Kushins, author of Nothing's Bad Luck: The Lives of Warren Zevon.

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 1:07pm

As is the case with so many musicians, the life of Warren Zevon was blessed with talent and opportunity yet also beset by tragedy and setbacks. Raised mostly by his mother with an occasional cameo from his gangster father, Warren had an affinity and talent for music at an early age. Taking to the piano and guitar almost instantly, he began imitating and soon creating songs at every opportunity. After an impromptu performance in the right place at the right time, a record deal landed on the lap of a teenager who was eager to set out on his own and make a name for himself. But of course, where fame is concerned, things are never quite so simple.

Drawing on original interviews with those closest to Zevon, including Crystal Zevon, Jackson Browne, Mitch Albom, Danny Goldberg, Barney Hoskyns, and Merle Ginsberg, Nothing's Bad Luck tells the story of one of rock's greatest talents. Journalist C.M. Kushins not only examines Zevon's troubled personal life and sophisticated, ever-changing musical style, but emphasizes the moments in which the two are inseparable, and ultimately paints Zevon as a hot-headed, literary, compelling, musical genius worthy of the same tier as that of Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

In Nothing's Bad Luck, Kushins at last gives Warren Zevon the serious, in-depth biographical treatment he deserves, making the life of this complex subject accessible to fans old and new for the very first time.

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From Broadway with Love

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 2:35pm

Musicians San, Emily and Brian presented a program of songs from classic Broadway musicals such as Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, The Fantasticks, Follies, Bridges of Madison County and more.

San is one half of the duo, Gemini, his daughter Emily graduated with a minor in musical theatre from EMU and Brian Brill is an Emmy Award winning composer and pianist from Chelsea.

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"Locomotive/Brilliant Corn" | Miles Okazaki

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 7:48pm

Miles Okazaki is the first artist to record all of Thelonious Monk's music on a solo instrument. In this concert he will be presenting selections from his 2018 album "WORK," a five-hour performance of the complete compositions of Thelonious Monk for solo guitar, praised by critic Nate Chinen as “an act of immersive scholarship and exhaustive scope. . . a singular achievement,” and selected by the New York Times as one of the best albums of 2018, a “monumental statement of devotion.”

Check out the Pulp interview with Miles Okazaki. 

Okazaki has released four albums of original compositions over the last 12 years; he has taught guitar and rhythmic theory at the University of Michigan for five years.

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Becoming American | "Muslim Cool: Race Religion and Hip Hop in the United States" with Dr. Su'ad Abdul Khabeer

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 2:56pm

Su'ad Abdul Khabeer is a scholar-artist-activist who uses anthropology and performance to explore the intersections of race and popular culture.  

Su'ad is currently an associate professor of American Culture and Arab and Muslim American Studies at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology from Princeton University and is a graduate from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and completed the Islamic Studies diploma program of the Institute at Abu Nour University (Damascus).

Her latest work, Muslim Cool: Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the United States (NYU Press 2016), is an ethnography on Islam and hip hop that examines how intersecting ideas of Muslimness and Blackness challenge and reproduce the meanings of race in the US. 

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for March 2019: Martin Bandyke interviews Thomas Brothers, author of Help: The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration.

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 3:32pm

The Beatles and Duke Ellington’s Orchestra stand as the two greatest examples of collaboration in music history. Ellington’s forte was not melody―his key partners were not lyricists but his fellow musicians. His strength was in arranging, in elevating the role of a featured soloist, in selecting titles: in packaging compositions. He was also very good at taking credit when the credit wasn’t solely his, as in the case of Mood Indigo, though he was ultimately responsible for the orchestration of what Duke University musicologist Thomas Brothers calls "one of his finest achievements." If Ellington was often reluctant to publicly acknowledge how essential collaboration was to the Ellington sound, the relationship between Lennon and McCartney was fluid from the start. Lennon and McCartney "wrote for each other as primary audience." Lennon’s preference for simpler music meant that it begged for enhancement and McCartney was only too happy to oblige, and while McCartney expanded the Beatles’ musical range, Lennon did "the same thing with lyrics."

Through his fascinating examination of these two musical legends, Brothers delivers a portrait of the creative process at work, demonstrating that the cooperative method at the foundation of these two artist-groups was the primary reason for their unmatched musical success. While clarifying the historical record of who wrote what, with whom, and how, Brothers brings the past to life with a lifetime of musical knowledge that reverberates through every page, and analyses of songs from Lennon and McCartney’s Strawberry Fields Forever to Billy Strayhorn’s Chelsea Bridge.

Help! describes in rich detail the music and mastery of two cultural leaders whose popularity has never dimmed, and the process of collaboration that allowed them to achieve an artistic vision greater than the sum of their parts.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for February 2019: Martin Bandyke interviews Chris Stamey, author of A Spy in the House of Loud: New York Songs and Stories.

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 2:20pm

Popular music was in a creative upheaval in the late 1970s. As the singer-songwriter and producer Chris Stamey remembers, “The old guard had become bloated, cartoonish, and widely co-opted by a search for maximum corporate profits, and we wanted none of it.” In A Spy in the House of Loud, he takes us back to the auteur explosion happening in New York clubs such as the Bowery’s CBGB as Television, Talking Heads, R.E.M., and other innovative bands were rewriting the rules. Just twenty-two years old and newly arrived from North Carolina, Stamey immersed himself in the action, playing a year with Alex Chilton before forming the dB’s and recording the albums Stands for deciBels and Repercussion, which still have an enthusiastic following.

A Spy in the House of Loud vividly captures the energy that drove the music scene as arena rock gave way to punk and other new streams of electric music. Stamey tells engrossing backstories about creating in the recording studio, describing both the inspiration and the harmonic decisions behind many of his compositions, as well as providing insights into other people’s music and the process of songwriting. Photos, mixer-channel and track assignment notes, and other inside-the-studio materials illustrate the stories. Revealing another side of the CBGB era, which has been stereotyped as punk rock, safety pins, and provocation, A Spy in the House of Loud portrays a southern artist’s coming-of-age in New York’s frontier abandon as he searches for new ways to break the rules and make some noise.

Martin’s interview with Chris Stamey was recorded on August 29, 2018.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for November 2018: Martin Bandyke interviews Jorma Kaukonen, author of Been So Long: My Life and Music.

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 1:47pm

 

From the man who made a name for himself as a founding member and lead guitarist of Jefferson Airplane comes a memoir that offers a rare glimpse into the heart and soul of a musical genius―and a vivid journey through the psychedelic era in America.

“Music is the reward for being alive,” writes Jorma Kaukonen in this candid and emotional account of his life and work. “It stirs memory in a singular way that is unmatched.” In a career that has already spanned a half century―one that has earned him induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors―Jorma is best known for his legendary bands Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna. But before he won worldwide recognition he was just a young man with a passion and a dream.