Here’s how the Threshold Choir works. Typically, Hospice or a family member call ups the choir when someone is sick or dying. A small group of singers arrive at the person’s bedside and sing very simple songs with lyrics like “You are not alone, I am here beside you.”
Choir members say it’s not a performance but rather a way to be present with someone who’s dying.
Their friends tease them that singing to people on their deathbed must be depressing. But the singers say it’s energizing and life-affirming. They say it’s the opposite of depressing.
CREEM Magazine began in 1969, sold from the trunk of Barry Kramer’s car. Kramer was the creator and publisher of the magazine, and from that small beginning, it blossomed into one of the top music publications in the world. It was bold in its irreverence, and it launched the careers of some of music’s biggest names — both artists and writers.
Now, it’s the subject of a documentary, Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine.
Make Music Days have appeared in 700 cities in 120 countries across the world. The events are inspired by France’s Fête de la Musique, a celebration inaugurated in 1982, and they occur on the summer solstice, June 21. Now, it’s coming to Detroit.
Make Music Detroit will feature more than 100 performers, professional and amateur, at 24 venues, and it will run this Tuesday from noon to midnight.
Mike Woo, the event producer for Make Music Detroit, joined us to discuss how Make Music came to Detroit and their goals for the event.
The Magical History Tour, a 10,000-square-foot exhibit that explores the full history of the iconic rock band is coming to Dearborn. The exhibit takes fans through the band's early days in Liverpool through its break-up in the 1970s and the solo careers that followed.
While there are millions of fans of the band in the Great Lakes State, the number of significant connections to Michigan is relatively minimal (Paul McCartney has a Detroit Red Wings sticker on his guitar!). So why was Michigan chosen as the first stop on this tour?
As part of Michigan Radio’s Songs from Studio East series, this year we are exploring music that combines both contemporary and traditional music from around the world.
Today we met Ann Arbor native Tyler Duncan and Irishman John McSherry.
Despite being an ocean away, they play in a band together, called the olllam. The two have toured across the U.S. and in Europe producing a fusion of pop, rock and Irish music.
Duncan's musical career has included a variety of genres, like pop, rock and electronic. He has won international awards for playing traditional Irish instruments, like the uilleann pipes, a lighter version of Scotland's bagpipes, and whistles, a staple in Irish music.
He discovered Irish music when he was 11, when his aunt gave him a VHS copy of Riverdance. A pipe solo in the middle of the show grabbed his attention.
"As a kid I just was like, 'Woah, what is that? What is that instrument?'" he said. "And that got me really interested in the pipes."
Years later, as a 13-year-old Duncan moved to Ireland for a year with his family. His father took a sabbatical there.
He was given a tape he loved, which he later learned featured John McSherry, a rising star in the traditional Irish music scene. Then, when Duncan was in western Ireland, he had a chance to meet that musician.
He said it was a "serendipitous" meeting at a jam session in Milltown. Someone told Duncan that McSherry was at the bar. So Duncan started to stare. When McSherry's girlfriend noticed, the two introduced themselves.
That was the origin of the friendship that lead to the olllam.
Vincent York, the front man for the Vincent York +4 will be performing in Ann Arbor on April 30, which is International Jazz Day. The composer, bandleader, educator and advocate for the arts joins Stateside to talk about his upcoming performance and why jazz should be celebrated.
The Ann Arbor-based fusion band Sumkali brands themselves as “Indian music made in America.” Everyone in the band calls Michigan home, but according to the band’s founder John Churchville, half of them have family ties to India.
All the different band members bring their own skill sets, instruments, and influences that make the group the very definition of a fusion band. In the end, they create a sound intended to reach many different people.
Ann Arbor’s Chris Buhalis is releasing an album. It’s called Big Car town.
Listen to the interview
A few years ago, when Chris was finishing up the album, he severely injured his left thumb and three other fingers in a table saw accident. He remodels houses for his day job. As a guitarist and singer/songwriter, there was a point where he thought he would never be able to play guitar again.
Detroit-based duo Gosh Pith released their second EP Gold Chain.
Josh Freed and Josh Smith are the artists behind the band.
Their music is difficult to categorize – think heavy beats and drum loops juxtaposed with soft melodies, easygoing vocals and traces of electric guitar.
These self-proclaimed "children of the Internet" say their musical influences are wide-ranging, from folk and rock to hip-hop, techno, and R&B. But it's ragga – often called dancehall or dub – that has won them over in recent years.
Music that hasn’t been played, or even heard, in centuries could be coming to a concert hall near you in the coming years. This is thanks to a rare sheet music collection donated to the University of Michigan that includes tens of thousands of pieces that date as far back as 1790.
Kristen Castellana, a music librarian at the University of Michigan Library, is helping lead the charge on a massive project to catalog and digitize about 115,000 sheets of music. The sheet music collection belonged to Thomas Edison and was donated by the Edison Phonograph Company.
It has been quite a journey for Northport native Nathan Scherrer.
Four years ago, he moved from Michigan to Los Angeles with a few hundred dollars and was working as an intern, hoping to find a way to get into the business of making music videos. He was living off of macaroni and cheese, barely making ends meet, and now, this Monday (Feb. 15), he will be at the Staples Center hoping to hear his name called at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
Wayne State University has received a $7.5 million gift from Detroit philanthropist Gretchen Valade to transform the university’s programming, teaching and scholarship in jazz performance and education.
Chris Collins, director of Jazz Studies at Wayne State, says Valade’s support is so much more than just financial.
If you follow the Detroit River south of the city, you’ll hit the working class communities of River Rouge, Ecorse and to the west, Taylor. These, so called “Downriver” cities sometimes get a bad rap. As part of our Community Vibe series, Michigan Radio’s Emily Fox introduces us to two long-time residents of River Rouge who are trying to help shape the next generation of residents.
If you’re already getting tired of the same old Christmas tunes this year, look no further than a new album called Creole Christmas. It’s by trumpet player and Michigan State University jazz professor, Etienne Charles.
Listen to our interview with Etienne Charles.
The album combines, jazz, soul, and Creole music into a holiday mix with both instrumental tracks and vocal tracks that put a soulful spin on some standards, like Go Tell It on the Mountain and This Christmas to some holiday songs from Trinidad that you’ve probably never heard of.
Olivia Mainville is a 19-year-old from Holland, Michigan. She’s releasing her first full-length album on Thursday.
Mainville describes her music as gypsy swing folk. Her playful voice has hints of a young Alanis Morrissette and sometimes Regina Spektor.
Mainville has already spent a lot of time touring the state playing music. She’s had more time on her hands than most teenagers. When she was in 9th grade, she decided to leave high school and become homeschooled so she could focus on her music.