Just over a year ago, Nicole LaRae and Brian Hoekstra were gearing up for the launch of their new record label, dizzybird records. The vinyl pressings were in, sponsors were lined up for the release party and people were stoked. The future was looking bright. Twelve months later, LaRae and Hoekstra are finding themselves in a similar situation.
“Your Turntable’s Not Dead” is a slogan Detroit-born Jack White came up with for his Third Man Records label — but it could also be assigned to the entire state of Michigan. The mitten is littered with brick-and-mortar shops, stocked with those rarities even Amazon.com can’t offer. Here are just a few worth digging into.
James Forrest Hughes, director and owner of Triumph Music Academy on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids, said he wants his music school to be a destination where aspiring musicians of all ages and walks of life can come to learn how to play, produce and master “real music.” He took another step towards this effort with his most recent announcement
When the Grand Rapids-based Division Avenue Arts Collective lost its home at 115 South Division two years ago, the organization that for a decade helped give voice to countless local artists and musicians faced an uncertain future. But while it’s been a bumpy ride, the DAAC has managed to avoid fading into obscurity.
If Jeff Haas is a cocktail pianist, he mixes a heady cocktail. The Traverse City-based pianist and composer has been swirling the music of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and other jazz legends with his own original compositions, along with fresh takes on the Great American Songbook, at two jam-packed summer gigs in northwest Michigan all summer.
When The Pyramid Scheme opened its doors in April 2011, the atmosphere its co-owners had in mind was clear. They wanted employees who cared about their establishment, their neighborhood and, above all, the music. If they had that, everything else would fall in to place.
When he’s out and about in Kalamazoo, little kids will sometimes see Richard Bowser, his portly stature and flossy white hair and beard, and think: Santa Claus. And Bowser, a man with a sense of humor and fun, will engage them. “Have you been good?” he’ll say. If it’s summer, he lets them know he’s on vacation from the North Pole. But Bowser is, in real life, a cultural Santa Claus for the region.
After being lead into the spotlight by stagehands, Brian Wilson sat down at his piano and immediately let his fans at the Fox Theatre know he was happy to be in the Motor City. Good vibrations filled the room. It was a jovial start to what became a night of over 30 songs from Wilson’s long repertoire of intricate pop songs.
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