By Nicole Rupersburg
Over the past two years, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has been continuously reinventing themselves, attracting a new, more youthful audience. From the inaugural launch in 2007 of the successful “6 Days in June” program—a blend of classical, techno, contemporary, spoken word, and performance art—to their glossy website overhaul and two straight months of generous student discounts this October and November, the DSO has progressively gained more appeal with the fickle under-40 set.
Enter their latest and greatest effort: 37/11
In short, if you’re under 37 years old, you can purchase tickets to select DSO performances for only $11.00. No day-of rush tickets, no waiting in line, no banishment to the balcony. With the 37/11 program, you pick your seats and can purchase your tickets 1-3 weeks in advance. The catch? There isn’t one. You just have to register in advance on the website.
Oh, and look…here it is: www.detroitsymphony.com/3711
This highly progressive program—in fact, the most progressive program for young adults of any major orchestra—launches this Saturday, November 22nd with a performance by Evelyn Glennie, followed by an afterglow inside the Max M. Fisher Music Center featuring a performance by local post-punk synth-pop dance-rock band Silverghost, with cocktails and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.
Dame Evelyn Glennie is a musician, composer, motivational speaker, educationalist, jewelry designer…and deaf. Her manic drumming is done barefoot allowing her to feel the vibrations and enable her to “hear.” She has composed commercials for Mazda, songs for Björk, and has performed and recorded full shows completely improvised. She is an amazing performer, one truly not to be missed.
Silverghost is a two-piece act featuring Marcy Bolen of the Von Bondies and keyboardist Deleano Acevedo. They blend fuzz guitar, analog synths, a drum machine, and both of their voices to create music that is dance-rock-pop-punk-new wave-rock.
This will be an evening of excitement and musical exploration—fun music, fun people, fun times. Be sure to register in advance online in order to take advantage of this extraordinary offer.
Come for a pre-thanksgiving celebration on Nov 21 at the Boll Family YMCA and enjoy two free events.
At 6PM have a glass of wine and take a look at Mario Moore’s solo art show; Through The Eyes Of A Black Man.
Mario is a senior at CCS who studied in Florence this year. This is what he says about his work:
“My work mainly deals with the figure on a representational level. I use elements of my life and the people around me to tell stories of young urban America. Although this is just one aspect of my work it tends to be an area of primary focus. Young African American men are one of the most ostracized groups in society. In a sense it is something that has been created since slavery, but the issues that young Black men have can be resolved within our own culture. Black men and women can help the development of Black life without the help of outside intervention. Many of my pieces show the negative impact history has had on young men and women. I show these dramatic images to call attention to the self-belittlement and destruction of our youth. I want to also tell stories of hardship and triumph, how a little boy from a run down home can grow and become anything he can possibly imagine. I want to open eyes and tell the stories of young Black men, the here and now. Another aspect of my work is to relate biblical stories that parallel the world today. I create these pieces using different mediums but my main resource is oils.”
At 7PM sit in the lovely Marlene Boll Theater and celebrate the first CD made by the YMCA Deep River Choir and the musical gifts of the Rev. Robert Jones and Matt Watroba. The Deep River is a grass roots community choir dedicated to the roots of American music and the diverse culture of Detroit. Y Arts at the Boll Family YMCA started the choir in 2007 to answer the question, “How can we keep from singing?” Not your traditional holiday CD, this unique album celebrates of the survival of the human spirit in adversity. It includes offerings as varied as the sweet harmonies of the contemporary folk song A SIMPLE FAITH, by David Tamelevich to the raw emotion of GOIN HOME, a prison work song written by Irvin Webb and originally recorded in 1956 by the great music historian Alan Lomax.
The Choir is lead by veteran choir director Bobbi Thompson and acclaimed musicians and educators Matt Watroba and the Reverend Robert Jones. Historically Detroit has been a destination for people seeking a better life, and in that spirit, the volunteers who make up this choir come from all over the world.
Cheer on this new exciting addition to Detroit’s Community chorale scene and buy their brand new CD at a special discount price of $10 (Only on Nov 21). It will make a terrific holiday gift. Free entry and a glass of wine!
Boll Family YMCA
ArtServe Michigan announced that Graham W.J. Beal of Detroit has been selected as the Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Leader Award recipient. Beal was honored at the 23rd Annual Governor’s Awards for Arts & Culture (The Guvvys), November 13, 2008 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The award is presented each year to a staff member of a Michigan arts and cultural organization who has demonstrated visionary leadership significantly advancing his or her organization’s artistic mission.
In total, 22 artists, arts and cultural organizations, arts educators and civic and business leaders from across the state of Michigan will be named as Guvvy honorees for their dedication to arts and culture, within 10 different categories, including: Arts Advocate; Civic Leader; Non Profit Arts and Cultural Leader; Arts and Cultural Organization (over and under $1 million); Exemplary Business; Michigan Artist Lifetime Achievement; Michigan Innovative Artist; Arts Education Organization; and Arts Educator. Also being honored, the 2008 International Achievement Award recipients: director/producer/writer/lyricist Jack O’Brien and musician Bob James.
“Michigan is home to a wealth of creative talents, and we are proud to honor these organizations and individuals,” said Jennifer Goulet, President of ArtServe Michigan. “All of our 2008 award recipients and honorees have helped to cultivate the creative potential of Michigan, its people and communities and express the vision of The Guvvys, rewarding exceptional artistic talent, creativity and innovation.”
As the Detroit Institute of Arts director, Graham W.J. Beal is most noted for his extensive work with the newly renovated and reconstructed DIA. Before joining the DIA in September 1999, the English-born art historian worked with museums both in England and the United States, such as Sheffield City Art Galleries, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Washington University Art Gallery. Beal served for three years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Association of American Art Museum Directors until 2007 and chaired its Art Issues Committee from 2002-2004. He also was actively involved in many nonprofit Detroit community organizations, such as the Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau and United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
“I have long been impressed by his [Beal’s] leadership, and I am delighted with the ways in which he has remade the museum as a more engaging, lively and informative place,” said A. Alfred Taubman, City of Detroit Arts Commission Chair. “We have always known that the DIA was one of the best museums in the world. Now it is being recognized far and wide as one of the finest collections with one of the most engaging presentations.”
“Bringing projects like the museum’s [DIA] construction and reinstallation to completion was no easy task,” said Richard A. Manoogian, Executive Chairman, Masco Corporation. “I know how tirelessly Graham and his staff worked, and I admire Graham’s vision and leadership during the many years it took to bring the DIA renovation and expansion to fruition.”
In its 23rd year, the Governor’s Awards evolved from the Concerned Citizens for the Arts in Michigan’s Governors’ Arts Awards. Concerned Citizens for the Arts in Michigan was a non-profit, statewide citizens cultural advocacy organization, which later merged with three other art organizations, Arts Foundation, Business Volunteers for the Arts and Michigan Alliance for Arts Education, to form ArtServe Michigan in 1997. In 2006, ArtServe Michigan merged with the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies to become the new ArtServe Michigan. More than 700 artists, legislators, business leaders, arts managers, board members and patrons from across the state attend the Guvvys each year.
The two-day celebration also includes the Student Event on November 14, 2008 where middle and high school students explore creative career options through a talk-back session with the International Award recipients and hands-on workshops.
By Nicole Rupersburg
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, classical contemporaries who played to the same fickle courts and Viennese crowds (separated only by their small difference in age and Mozart’s untimely death), are the world’s first true rock stars. Mozart, a child prodigy whose reputation always preceded him and whose infamy survives still some 200-odd years later; and Beethoven, a tragic yet brilliant figure with a reputation for profoundly expressive pieces and a codgerly—at times even tyrannical—disposition, could just as easily be brothers in brilliant compositional abilities, arduous artistry, and unsurpassed fame. Mozart—the older, more free-spirited, more prolific brother set the tone for the younger, eager, and equally talented (though tortured) Beethoven. Both composed works that have remained popular long after their deaths and that are considered some of the most recognizable and beloved music in the world.
Last weekend the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed selections from Mozart and Beethoven, two of the most influential men in the history of music and two of the greatest contributors to human culture, in a decidedly light program which consisted of Mozart’s Symphony No. 30 in D major and Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D major.
The program opened with Mozart’s Symphony No. 30, with the world-renowned and in-demand Marek Janowski conducting. This work was one of the many products of the inspiration Mozart received from his contemporary Joseph Haydn, who had been working on a new kind of symphony the likes of which Mozart had never before witnessed. As a result, Mozart composed Symphonies No. 28, 29, and 30; un-commissioned pieces full of fervor and artistic freedom rarely seen in previous works of his. This particular piece is much lighter in tone and playful than the other two. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s performance was one of dancing dynamism and intense vitality; it was an agile performance of a flirty, zippy piece.
This was followed with another high-energy performance; Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3. Though Mozart preferred the piano, he still paid homage to his early training and his father’s trade instrument by featuring the violin in numerous compositions and allowing it to play a prominent role. Violin Concerto No. 3 is an almost worshipful, expressive piece meant to showcase and honor this instrument, and allowing the soloist ample opportunity for serious showmanship.
The soloist here was Baiba Skride, an accomplished violinist hailing from Latvia and only 27 years old, and her performance was at once fluid and graceful, sharp and witty. The soloist’s work here is very demanding—quick and intricate and with little pause, the bow a constant flurry of short and violent yet beautiful movements. In another performer’s hands it might have sounded jerky or jarring; in Skride’s fluttering, skillful hands (and her Stradivarius “Wilhelmj” violin) the solo work had a flowing, dancing, rippling continuity. Performing without accompaniment for long, frenetic stretches of time entirely from memory, Skride’s reception by the audience was a little less exuberant than one might have anticipated. I can only assume it is largely because the majority of the audience was likely there to hear pieces by Mozart and Beethoven, and not hear them played by anyone in particular. Still, her performance deserved a thunderous applause which it did not receive—through words I offer it now.
The Violin Concerto No. 3 was followed by Intermission, and the program closed with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D major. This is a fascinating piece, if for no other reason than its origination—written at the time when Beethoven truly began to realize the traumatic impact of his progressive hearing loss, the piece itself is actually at times slowly revealing, at times energetic, but never melancholy. This dramatically lyrical piece is highly engaging, both for the audience as well as the players. Conductor Janowski showed an obvious preference for this piece with his much more enthusiastic conducting, which had hitherto been significantly softer and toned-down, almost sleepy in style. The orchestra, too, seemed to have a great deal of fun while playing—during the joyously energetic finale, Assistant Concertmaster Hai-Xin Wu wore an enormous smile on his face which he simply could not contain, and the feeling seemed to be infectious.
A concert such as this, featuring the “rock stars” of classical music, tends to draw a more popular and trendy set of music lovers. The audience itself was a significantly younger crowd, full of people in their twenties and thirties who are apt to benefit greatly from the DSO’s forthcoming 37/11 program being launched later this month, through which young adults under age 37 can purchase select tickets in advance to DSO performances for only $11.00. To take advantage of this offer, you must first register at www.detroitsymphony.com/3711. There will also be more information available here at www.thedetroiter.com.
The pieces selected by the DSO for this program are actually not representative of what people think when they think of Mozart or Beethoven. Audiences typically relate to the highly dramatic, emotionally raw, tragically dark facets of these musicians’ work, yet both men wrote scores of compositions in a variety of genres, and the mood of their music ranges from the very light and playful to the darkly emotional and expressive. For as much pain there is in their music, there is joy; for as much mourning, hope. I commend the DSO’s slightly more daring choice of works to feature, in that they do not appeal to the popular conception of these men as tragic, tortured figures; these pieces highlight the artists in a much more playful, enthusiastic, fun light. And for as much as tragedy might provide the greatest inspiration, what kind of rock star doesn’t also have a little fun?
October 23, 2008 8 pm:
Changing The Language Of Jazz
We have many great musicians” says drummer Andre Wright “but few legends who have actually changed the language of jazz”. Legends like miles Davis, Charley Mingus, Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, Charley parker and Dizzy Gillespie have each infused the universal musical discourse with their personal lexis opening broad visions and eloquent discussions. “Notes From Jazz Legends “ featuring Ambrose Akinmusire winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition who will make his own statement at 8:00 P.M on Thursday October 23rd. at Kerrytown Concert House, 415 North Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ambrose’s journey into a new musical language never excludes beauty. He listens intently, values the fertility of a pause, of communication and tension. He seeks other genres of music to analyze and draws inspiration from such musicians as Bjork and Chopin. Ambrose’s music restructures accepted notions of jazz in a way that reflects his ability to recognize nuances, multiplicities, and patterns.
Akinmusire will be accompanied by three accomplished veterans, bassist, Marion Hayden, pianist Tim Whalen and drummer, Andre Wright. Sponsor and master trumpeter Marcus Belgrave will also make an appearance.
“Notes From Jazz Legends“ is sponsored by Marcus Belgrave and the
Detroit Jazz Musicians Co-Op Inc. Ticket prices are $25 reserved seating, $15 reserved seating and $10 general admission. Reservations over the Internet must be made at least 2 hours in advance of the event. If it is less than 2 hours before the show, please call 734-769-2999 to place a reservation or visit http://www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com/reservation
October 23, 2008 8pm:
Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis, along with members of the Philharmonia Brasileira, as they coalesce to form the unique and exhilarating music of Marsalis Brasilianos at Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts .
Marsalis Brasilianos, brings together Branford Marsalis, one of the giants of the jazz world, with a remarkable 35 piece Brazilian orchestra - The Philharmonia Brasileira (Gil Jardim, conductor) on the main stage at Music Hall, Thursday, October 23rd @ 8PM. Together they celebrate the rich and sensual music of Heitor Villa-Lobos . Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) combined Brazilian folk music with the European classical tradition to create soothing yet powerful melodies. Marsalis Brasilianos gives Branford Marsalis a chance to demonstrate his talent, as he uses his “mastery of both jazz and classical music [to allow] the language of Villa-Lobos’ compositions to truly shine.
Branford Marsalis, the New Orleans-born jazz artist and this Brazilian ensemble find a point of departure in the work of Villa-Lobos, whose music draws on Afro-Brazilian folk influences (the roots of 1950s bossa nova—the now-classic meeting of jazz and Brazilian music) as well as an admiration for classical composers such as Stravinsky, Bach, and Milhaud.
This is an amazing musical hybrid that should not be missed. The perfect acoustics of Music Hall will provide the ambience for a potentially, magical evening of up-tempo rhythms and steamy hot jazz – flavored to the classical tradition, yet swings with an unbridled Brazilian passion.
Learn more about Heitor Villa-Lobos here: http://www.villalobos.ca. Tickets are available at Music Hall Box Office and Ticketmaster.com. Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts is located at 350 Madison, Detroit, MI 48226. Call 313- 887-8500 fro more information or visit www.musichall.org.
November 7th & 8th
Jeff “Tain” Watts
World-renown drummer and bandleader, Jeff “Tain” Watts and his hot-shot trio of sidemen, Jeff “Tain” Watts Quartet will perform 2 sets a night at Jazz Café, November 7th and 8th at 10PM and 12 Midnight each night.
Raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Watts is one of the most respected jazz drummers in the world today, Jeff started out majoring in classical percussion at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University, where he studied to be a timpanist, but then matriculated to the Berklee School of Music, where he pursued jazz studies alongside such soon to be household name players as Branford Marsalis, Kevin Eubanks, Greg Osby, Aimee Mann, Steve Vai and Marvin “Smitty” Smith.
Jeff Watts joined the Wynton Marsalis Quartet in 1981 and proceeded to win three Grammy Awards with the ensemble. Watts left Wynton Marsalis in 1988. After working with George Benson, Harry Connick. Jr. and McCoy Tyner, he joined the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1989.
Watts has worked in the film and television industry as both a musician on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and as an actor, Rhythm Jones in Spike Lee’s “Mo Better Blues". Jeff joined Kenny Garrett’s band after returning to New York in 1995 after three years in LA on the Tonight Show. Watts also continued to record and tour with Branford Marsalis as well as Danilo Perez, Michael Brecker, Betty Carter, Kenny Kirkland, Courtney Pine, Geri Allen, Alice Coltrane, Greg Osby, Steve Coleman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Ravi Coltrane.
Watts’ latest album is with his other group, Tain and the Ebonix is the 2007 Dark Key Music release, “Folk’s Songs".
Tain’s Quartet boasts a power packed line-up featuring, Bassist, Chris Smith, Sax man, Kebbi Williams and Lawrence Field on piano who together, make this another all-star night at Jazz Café.
The Jeff “Tain” Watts Quartet are also a part of the Practice Your Cool in ¾ Time package, along with Victor Goines (Nov 28-29) and Javon Jackson with Les McCann (Dec 12-13).
Act between now and October 30th, and purchase all three shows for $30!
Otherwise, tickets are $15 available at Music Hall Box Office or Ticketmaster.com. Jazz Café at Music Hall, 350 Madison, Detroit, MI 48226. Call 313.887.8498 for more information or visit www.jazzcafedetroit.com or www.myspace.com/jazzcafedetroit
:: Next Page >>