Music

Freddie Cunningham and Root Doctor photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR/MSU

One of Michigan’s most popular and durable blues bands is doing one last round of shows this year. Root Doctor has been fronted by Freddie Cunningham for 32 years.

Grupo Ayé Backstage Pass photo
File Photo / WKAR/MSU

After last year’s pandemic-related cancellation, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in East Lansing returns Friday through Sunday.


Photo Credit: McCoy Khamphouy / Album Art by Ryan Harrison

There's been an increase in violence directed against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. In Michigan, one jazz musician is finding his own way to bring awareness to the xenophobia.

MikeyyAustin sings into a microphone, behind him, one person plays the bass and another plays a keyboard.
MikeyyAustin Youtube

NPR’s annual Tiny Desk Contest is underway. This is the seventh iteration of NPR Music’s nationwide search for the next great undiscovered artist.

The winner will play their own Tiny Desk Concert and be featured on All Things Considered.

Picture of a Quality Dairy with text that reads "This Must Be The Place, Quality Hits From Lansing"
GTG Records

Lansing musicians and bands have come together to a make a compilation album.

It's titled, "This Must Be The Place: Quality Hits From Lansing" and features 24 covers.


Greg Nagy photo
Courtesy photo

At many stations across the U.S., today is Public Radio Music Day. WKAR is joining in, and Scott Pohl has this report on how COVID-19 stay-at-home orders are affecting local musicians.


Portrait: Ken Burns
Courtesy of Justin Altman / PBS

Legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is back with another PBS series. Country Music debuts Sunday night on WKAR-TV.


May Erlewine photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

The Ten Pound Fiddle concert series has announced its 2019-20 schedule of folk music shows.


UPDATE: A "Homecoming" celebration of the life of Lawrence Leathers has been scheduled for Saturday, June 29th at the New Mount Calvary Baptist Church on West Miller Road in Lansing. There will be a public viewing at 9 a.m. and a service at 10 a.m., followed by burial at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. A man and a woman are in custody, facing charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

A Lansing-born Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer was found murdered Sunday in New York City. Lawrence "Lo" Leathers was 37. A suspect is in custody. He was a prodigy, playing as a toddler and playing professionally at the age of 15, attending the Juilliard School and winning Grammys in recent years.

Leathers played on two of Cécile McLorin Salvant’s three Best Jazz Vocal Grammy-winning albums.

WKAR's Scott Pohl talks with Diego Rivera of the MSU College of Music about Leathers' life and career.


Aretha Franklin
Facebook fan page of Aretha Franklin

Three handwritten wills have been found in the suburban Detroit home of Aretha Franklin, months after the death of the "Queen of Soul," including one that was discovered under cushions in the living room, a lawyer said Monday.

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