Ladysmith Black Mambazo Coming To Wharton Center

Feb 19, 2013
Luis Leal

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is coming to Wharton Center Wednesday to perform their signature South African Zulu-style choral music. They began singing in competitions in the 1970s, and rose to world-wide fame when they appeared on Paul Simon’s album “Graceland” in 1986. They’ve recorded over 50 albums, and their latest tour has a stop in East Lansing. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke to one of the longest-singing members, Albert Mazibuko, about the music his group performs.

Peter Whorf

Mike Whorf is known to countless Michigan and Midwestern radio listeners as the long-time host of WJR's Kaleidoscope.  The daily program which aired from the mid-1960s to the late 90s won the coveted Peabody Award in 1968, as well as numerous other statewide and national honors.

MSU Director of Jazz Studies Rodney Whitaker and the Professors of Jazz play at Cook Recital Hall in the MSU Music Building on Friday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. The concert happens to coincide with Prof. Whitaker's birthday.

WKAR’s Melissa Benmark speaks with the musician about the milestone performance.

The 55th Grammy Awards ceremony takes place Sunday night at 8pm on CBS. Millions of eyes and ears will be turned to some of the world’s most popular music that evening.

Classical music, as usual, will be somewhat of a sidebar. The classical Grammys are typically announced off-camera in a separate awards ceremony. But the fact remains that the breadth and depth of classical music leads to a large number of categories, nominations and awards.

The MSU Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is Friday, Feb. 8, at the Wharton Center. They’ll play Beethoven’s First Symphony, music from Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid,” and “The Chairman Dances” by John Adams. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark speaks with MSU Director of Orchestras Kevin Noe about the the program, starting with the Beethoven, which has a beginning that almost sounds like an ending.

Current State #5 | January 18, 2013

Jan 18, 2013
(Wikimedia Commons)

On today's Current State:  Local efforts for immigration reform, Michigan prison breakouts, a musical celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the hometown competitors in this weekend's U.S. National Figure Skating Championships.

Courtesy Photo/Steep Canyon Rangers

Actor-comedian Steve Martin also plays the banjo. He’ll play with the Steep Canyon Rangers Sunday night at MSU.

Courtesy Photo/MSU College of Music

On Sunday, the Michigan State University College of Music lets the general public in on a huge project to improve the Music Building Auditorium.

Now known as the Cook Recital Hall in honor of benefactors Dee and Byron Cook, the performance space has been upgraded for both acoustics and comfort.

brizzle born and bred/flickr

Mid-Michigan has a strong folk music tradition.  The annual Great Lakes Folk Festival held in East Lansing each August has attracted international attention, and you can hear folk music on 90.5 FM WKAR every Sunday night.

One of the genre's most famous performers will appear in Ann Arbor on Sunday.  Peter Yarrow formed the folk super group Peter, Paul and Mary with fellow singers Paul Stookey and Mary Travers in 1961.  Their music was part of the soundtrack of the civil rights era.

WKAR's Kevin Lavery asked Peter Yarrow about the current state of folk music.

GLFF To Honor Bluesman Johnnie Bassett

Aug 10, 2012
Photo of blues guitarist Johnnie Bassett
Ronald Eggleston

The Great Lakes Folk Festival is getting under way in East Lansing, with the music, dance, and cultural activities that have been a such an essential part of summer in mid-Michigan for 11 years. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark has the story of one of the Festival’s Heritage Award Winners.

Classical Tuesdays with 90.5 Community Concerts

Jun 15, 2012

The fifth season of 90.5 Community Concerts airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on 90.5 WKAR. Hosted by Jody Knol, the series highlights performances by area orchestras and soloists. It is also streamed on 90.5 WKAR and on WKAR Classical on and repeated on the WKAR Classical stream Saturday at 6 p.m. 

Courtesy Lisa Marie Mazzucco

One of classical music’s most famous contemporary musicians is coming to East Lansing.  Last May, violinist Joshua Bell was named to succeed Sir Neville Marriner as music director of the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields.  Bell and the academy will perform at Michigan State University’s Wharton Center this Saturday on one leg of their first tour together.

WKAR’s Jody Knol recently spoke with Joshua Bell and reminded him of the lengths he went to in order to make his last concert at Wharton Center back in the winter of 2009.

Highlights from the third season.  Premiere Thu. Apr 19 at 10p on WKAR HD/23 | Sat. Apr 21 at 8p on WKAR WORLD | Sat. Apr 21 at 11p on WKAR HD/23 | VIEW IT ONLINE NOW

The soulful blues guitar powerhouse from Saginaw comes to BackStage Pass.
airs Thu. Mar 29 at 10p on WKAR HD/23 | Sat. Mar 31 at 8p on WKAR WORLD | Sat. Mar 31 at 11p on WKAR HD/23

An evening of chamber music from Mozart and Faure.
First aired 3/22/12