Music

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.

Aretha Franklin
Facebook fan page of Aretha Franklin

There's one more sign a Detroit riverfront concert venue has been renamed after Aretha Franklin.

Nipsey Hussle
Keenan Hairston / Flickr Creative Commons

Hip Hop artist and businessman Nipsey Hussle was just 33 years old when he was gunned down in Los Angeles outside of his Marathon clothing store in late March. Current Sports host Al Martin invites Blessed Body Training founder Johnny Lewis to dissect why Hussle's death has had such a profound impact on the black community. 


Hamilton national touring company photo
Joan Marcus

When the Wharton announced that Hamilton was coming to East Lansing about a year and a half ago, the anticipation started to build. The biggest hit musical in a generation will be in town for three weeks, starting May 14th, and on Saturday, individual ticket sales begin. They’re sure to go fast, so WKAR’s Scott Pohl brought Bob Hoffman in from the Wharton Center to get the lowdown on how you can get tickets to see Hamilton.


Westrin and Mowry photo
Courtesy photo

A Lansing-area musical duo has been named the grand prize winner for folk music in the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest. Westrin and Mowry now move on, along with winners in 23 other catagories, in vying for the competition’s Song of the Year honors.


The Outer Vibe photo
Courtesy photo

The 2019 season of WKAR-TV’s Backstage Pass program begins taping on Friday night with the five-piece Illinois band The Way Down Wanderers.

On March 19th, you can see the Nashville-based band with Michigan roots, The Outer Vibe.

WKAR’s Scott Pohl talked with the members of The Outer Vibe via Facetime to find out what they’ve been up to, and what they’re planning for Backstage Pass.


Joshua Davis Live at the Robin CD cover
courtesy image

Joshua Davis spent 20 years in the Lansing music scene with his band Steppin’ In It before moving on to Traverse City and a solo career. You may have seen him on WKAR-TV’s “Backstage Pass” program, or as a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice.” Davis speaks with WKAR's Scott Pohl about releasing a new live album at the Midwinter Singing Festival in East Lansing tonight.


The Gate in Birkenau
Stanisław Mucha / auschwitz.org

Patricia Hall went to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in 2016 hoping to learn more about the music performed by prisoners in World War II death camps.

Wayne Kramer photo
Jim Newberry

The leader of one of Detroit’s most influential rock bands has written an autobiography. Wayne Kramer led the MC5, a group that helped take hard rock music to the mainstream. Fifty years later, to promote his book “The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, The MC5 and My Life of Impossibilities,” he’s hitting the road with a band he’s calling MC50.


Motown
WKAR file photo / WKAR

The Motown Museum in Detroit is recognizing Aretha Franklin’s importance to her home town this weekend.


University of Michigan Sign
Ken Lund / flickr creative commons

The University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance is planning a new $19 million dance school building that would include a 100-seat performance venue.

The Motown Museum is celebrating its founder with music, food and half-off admission.

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