Michigan boasts an exceptionally rich mix of folk, ethnic and immigrant music, and it goes back centuries.
Music professor Lester Monts wanted to capture that rich tapestry, so he spearheaded the Michigan Musical Heritage Project.
The project has three distinct goals: to create a full documentary, a video archive, and a University of Michigan course – all about Michigan’s music.
“We’re such a musical mosaic in this state that so many different immigrant groups, ethnic groups, folk groups have moved into the state and many of them have maintained or compartmentalized much of their music and culture,” Monts said. “But others have sort of fused together in such a way that they have created something very new.”
Hear the full conversation, and some of the music, above.
*This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 30, 2016.