music

Photo by Caleb Hamernick / calebhamernick.com

Milwaukee-raised songstress Lili K was first featured on Lake Effect in February 2016 after her first album Ruby was released. Since then, the singer has kept busy - she performed at major national music festivals, appeared as a background vocalist on FOX’s hit show Empire, and had a Jazz Night Residency at Soho House Chicago.

Courtesy Randex Communications

There were many contemporary western musicians who performed with South African artists, especially as Apartheid was winding down in the late 1980s.

But musicians like Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel never went to jail for playing with those artists.  Johnny Clegg did.  Clegg moved to South Africa as a boy in the late 1960s and was attracted to the culture and tunes of Zulu street musicians in Johannesburg.  That was not legal in those days, but it didn’t deter him. 

Black Violin / Facebook

Classical music can have an elitist reputation. The conventional repertoire is based almost exclusively on the work of western European white men, and the typical audiences for those works are largely older, and also white. But the duo Black Violin thinks the music of Bach is sublime and want to bring it to people who might not otherwise hear it.

Before "Sunny Came Home" put her on the pop music map, singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin had earned a following in the folk music world, and even won a Best Contemporary Folk Album Grammy for her debut album, "Steady On."  But Colvin was hardly a household name.

So when she and her collaborator, producer Jon Leventhal, went into the studio to record the songs that would become the album, "A Few Small Repairs," their expectations were modest, and Colvin says that was fine by them.

John Sparrow / facebook.com

Of all the iconic names in Milwaukee history, among the most enduring on the musical front is the Violent Femmes. The band emerged from the punk scene more than 35 years ago and scored hits such as Gone Daddy Gone and Blister in the Sun, and became one of the top alternative rock bands of the 1980s. 

A lot has happened in the last year and a half for singer-songwriter Tift Merritt.  A new baby, a new album, and a new creative outlet - textile design. 

Almost none of it has come simply or easily.

photogolfer / Fotolia

Tomorrow evening at the North Shore Congregational Church in Fox Point, the Milwaukee/Chicago based Great Lakes Baroque ensemble opens its third season with a program that focuses on the music of the late French Baroque period.  Music for the Last Queen showcases French composers of the late 18th Century - just prior to the French Revolution.

courtesy Max Weinberg

Forty-two years ago this week, Bruce Springsteen played a concert at the Uptown Theater on Milwaukee’s west side.  The theater is long gone, but that show is remembered by many in Milwaukee, because it was stopped by a bomb scare, and then re-started, hours later.

Dennis Andersen

Folk singer Arlo Guthrie doesn't mind if "Alice's Restaurant" is still the first thing that pops to mind when you hear his name.  Guthrie doesn't play it at every show - in fact, he's not planning to play it in Milwaukee Friday night.  But he understands that his fans' love for a fifty-year-old song is as much about themselves as it is about the songwriter.

dendron / Fotolia

For more than 20 years, the Milwaukee ensemble Quattro Horns has played at everything from corporate events to the commencement at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to weddings and private parties.  Three of the four members - Robert Ditmer, Joe Hill, and Jo Hoffmann - have been with the group since its founding.  Dain Shuler is the new kid on the block.

HIBROW.TV

Cellist Robert Cohen joins Lake Effect every month for On That Note, an ongoing conversation about the life of a touring classical musician.

Recently, Cohen made a large technological leap, which he's been contemplating for years. He bought a tablet. "I am now using an iPad on a special stand to read my music," he explains. 

Chris Crain / Facebook

If you don’t know of Milwaukee musician Chris Crain, you should. The church musician, R&B singer, and multi-instrumentalist has overcome a lot to get where he is. Crain was born with brachial plexus palsy which prevents his left hand and arm from functioning fully.

Mitch Teich

Wisconsin-based band Dead Horses' last album, Cartoon Moon, garnered national praise and earned the band three Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards this spring, including album of the year.

For a second year, the Strange Fruit Music Festival is returning to Milwaukee. Named after the 1939 song made famous by Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit is dedicated to exploring race relations through music and art. 

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