By October the academic and music scenes in Ann Arbor are in full effect. The University Musical Society is presenting a new season, club dates abound, the Edgefest extends the festival season and WEMU 89.1 FM will present its fall fundraiser. All told, it will be a dizzying whirl of activities!
The concert scene
The University Musical Society will have dates in November that should attract jazz fans.
Acclaimed singer Audra McDonald will return to Hill Auditorium Friday, November 4 at 8 p.m. She will bring her classical chops to a wide range of songs, with a piano trio fronted by Andy Einhorn.
The astonishing flamenco singer Diego El Cigala will offer a program of tango material at the Michigan Theater Saturday, November 5 at 8 p.m. He has recorded with Cuban piano patriarch Bebo Valdés. Muy romantico!
From the Crescent City will come A Night in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans at Hill Auditorium Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m. The players include the Rebirth Brass Band, sax cat Donald Harrison, Jr. and clarinet virtuoso Dr. Michael White. Deeply personal and soulful!
The Ark will present Grammy-winning guitarist Pat Metheny with bassist Larry Grenadier at the Michigan Theater Sunday, October 2 at 7:30 pm. He is a restless artist who ranges from mellow—even pop—shimmery sounds, to outré solo recordings with bizarre instrumentation. Sure to be gratifying.
The club scene
The Ark will present gifted guitarist Jorma Kaukonen Friday, October 7 at 8pm. He's the former lead guitarist for the Jefferson Airplane who has forged a new career as an amazing solo performer.
In addition, legendary African performer Baaba Maal will be at the Ark Monday, October 17 at 8 p.m. Dreamy and gorgeous: perfect for healing whatever ails you!
The Kerrytown Concert House will present Pachora Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m. The band is fronted by clarinetist Chris Speed and the adventurous guitarist
KCH will also host the Ellen Rowe Trio Wednesday, October 12 and again on Sunday, November 6. The thoughtful pianist and composer will be joined by bassist Paul Keller and drummer-groover Pete Siers.
From Argentina will come seven-string guitar stylist Quique Sinesi with tango and folkloric rhythms on Friday, October 14 at 8 p.m.
Afro-Cuban jazz will rock the house as KCH brings Cuban piano-dynamo Alfredo Rodriguez and his trio with drummer Francisco Mela for two Saturday, October 15 shows: 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. This cat is authentic! Highly recommended for fans of “Cuban Fantasy!”
Bassist Dave Sharp’s Secret Seven will play in a New Orleans exploration Friday, October 28 at 8 p.m.
Drummer Jeff Hamilton will return with a trio that includes pianist Tamir Hendelman for two shows Saturday, October 29 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Pianist Stephen Rush and drummer Jeremy Edwards will have a CD release party with sax cat Andrew Bishop at KCH Friday, November 4 at 8 p.m.
Edgefest: The (big) little jazz festival that could (thrill and delight)!
The 15th annual Edgefest will explore the confluence of jazz and classical music under the banner “Blending Out.” The remarkable cornucopia of progressive sound is too great to cover all the events running Wednesday through Saturday, October 19-22. Check the Current calendar and the KCH website at www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com for details. Here are a few highlights.
The fun begins with a duo performance from violinist Mark Feldman and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier Wednesday, October 19 at 7 p.m. At 9:30 pm the Tamarindo Trio takes flight with sax cat Tony Malaby, bassist William Parker and drummer Tom Rainey.
Midas touch sax cat Andrew Bishop, bassist Tim Flood and drummer Gerald Cleaver are set to thrill Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m. Wide angles and big beats! At 8 p.m. clarinetist Ned Rothenberg blends with string-partners the Mivos Quartet.
James Cornish’s Short Opera Project hits on Friday, October 21 at 7 p.m. James’ baritone horn and trumpet will be augmented by sax-seeker Piotr Michalowski, mezzo-soprano Deanna Relyea and cellist Abby Alwin. West Coast avant-garde reeds legend Vinny Golia & Friends play that same night at 8:15 p.m. And wowee! Piano prodigal son Craig Taborn comes home to roost at 10:10pm. Craig is a wonderfully inventive, surprising and creative player—and a real gentleman.
Saturday, October 22 shows include Stephen Rush performing John Cage works at 7 p.m. Look out! He will be playing a “prepared piano!” The ROVA Saxophone Quartet storms the stage at 10 p.m. Are we having fun yet?
Down by the creekside
David Swain's II-V-I Orchestra continues its run at the Creekside Grill the last Sunday of every month. They cover the classic Count Basie LP “Atomic Basie” October 30. In November they will work out on charts from the pen of Quincy Jones. Dancing is allowed and encouraged from 6:30 p.m. ‘til 9 p.m.
FUNdraising thanks in advance!
As the state funding of Eastern Michigan University is whittled away, WEMU 89.1 FM, like other departments, is trying to do as much—or more—with less. Public funding of public radio is more vital and needful than ever! The WEMU fall on-air fundraiser swings your way Thursday though Thursday, October 13-20. We do the best we can to put big fun in the programming, and rely upon you all to do your part—as you always do! So with pointed optimism I thank you in advance! If you care about the station do what you can to help and we'll continue to serve up the boss sounds! To paraphrase Gil Scott-Heron, “Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something. And if everybody does something, everything will get done!” Thanks again, and I'll see you on the square!