Tony Rice may no longer sing, but he’s as dynamic as ever; still mesmerizing crowds with wicked acoustic guitar skills that shift from ambient folk to blazing bluegrass in the blink of an eye.
The Encarta World English Dictionary defines moxie as courage combined with inventiveness. That definition applies aptly to The Moxie Strings, the duo of fiddler Diana Ladio and cellist Alison Lynn.
Mark Braun (AKA Mr. B) has been staging his annual Blues and Boogie Woogie Piano Celebrations for fourteen years. Past participants have included a veritable who’s who in the world of piano greats, such as Monty Alexander, Henry Butler, Cyrus Chestnut, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.
Zakir Hussain is a tabla virtuoso who has defied genres by collaborating with the world’s best musicians like YoYo Ma, Van Morrison, Anoushka Shankar, and George Harrison. He has become one of India’s most prized ambassadors and is known for unbelievable rhythms and uncanny improvisations.
The next time I go to hear Heywood Banks do his standup comedy concert—which will be on April 28, when he comes to The Ark—I’m bringing along aspirin, or maybe even some stronger prescription strength pain-killer. The last time I saw him, when he served as MC for the Ann Arbor Folk Festival in January, I hurt myself doubling up and falling down laughing. This time I’m also going to pack a box of Kleenex.