music

In studio interview and performance with founding members of the band Cracker. They were in the Milwaukee area during their tour for the double album Berkeley to Bakersfield.

In Studio Interview and Performance of Rose Cousins

Oct 26, 2015

In studio interview and performance by Rose Cousins, popping into the studio during her first tour in the Milwaukee area.

corysmythe.com

The Grammy award-winning pianist Cory Smythe returns to Milwaukee to headline Present Music’s Carnival program.

The program features actors from Milwaukee’s Quasimondo Physical Theatre, assuming roles from the comedia dell’Arte tradition.

Smythe was practicing at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music earlier this week and took the time to speak with Lake Effect's Bonnie North about classical training, improvisation and constant learning:

UWM College of Letters and Science‎, Facebook

For almost a half century, Yiddish theater was the predominant cultural expression of Jews in America. But with the demise of Yiddish as a commonly spoken language, many of the plays and songs have also faded into obscurity.

thestraybirds.com

The music the Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based band, The Stray Birds, plays owes a lot to a distinctly American tradition. But dig deeper and you'll find traditional music from elsewhere, and even some classical sensibilities.

That's thanks to the training of its members. Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven, and Charlie Muench make up the band, and a recent tour took them to Milwaukee. They stopped by the Lake Effect studio for a conversation and a mini-concert:

rumbarroco.org

“Unique” may be too mild a term to describe what the group Rumbarrocco performs. The group’s music and performances combine Venezuelan, American jazz, bluegrass, early European music and African drumming traditions.

It all adds up to a fusion of instruments, styles and interpretations that are really heard nowhere else.

"The further you go back in time the more freedom you have to substitute instruments, to come up with unique interpretations," says cornetto player Nathaniel Cox.

discogs.com

Bruce Springsteen has performed quite a few concerts in Milwaukee over the years, but none of them quite compare to his first.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of that show at the old Uptown Theater, a show that became known as the “bomb scare” concert. 

There are lots of Milwaukeeans who still remember that show, but none that had the view of our own Bob Reitman, who was the stage emcee for the "greatest rock and roll show (he had) ever seen."

Bonnie North

Singer/songwriter Benjamin Scheuer has had a lot happen to him in his 33 years. His father died suddenly when Scheuer was 13, his family drifted apart, Scheuer learned the guitar, and then he was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 28.

Bonnie North

British fingerstyle guitarist Clive Carroll cites a number of musical influences that go beyond folk or classical – although both of those are certainly part of his repertoire. Listen closely and you can hear echoes of everything from heavy metal to southern blues.

"I like to mess around on the guitar," Carroll says. "I love the guitar and there's endless textural possibilities and beautiful sounds."

Tony Duvall

If you were around in the 1970s, the music of John Denver was around you.

Even though Denver died almost 20 years ago, his songs remain iconic – from Leavin’ on a Jet Plane to Thank God I’m a Country Boy to Rocky Mountain High, and many more.  To many, Denver still epitomizes a distinctly American singer-songwriter style, transcending folk, pop, and country to sell millions and millions of records and win many awards. 

Kobie van Rensburg

Chicago native and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour has busy schedule. He splits his time between the Midwest and France, he gives numerous solo performances around the world and is also in demand as an accompanist for solo singers as well as in the opera pit. He’s a two time Grammy award nominee and is recognized as one of the great musicians of his generation.

jackgrasseljilljensen.com

A new album from Jack Grassel is a pretty common occurrence.  The latest one is his 20th.  But what makes the new one, titled 2015 Jack, different is that he plays and sings every note you hear on the album.

"I'm no great big star, so I have no record company telling me what to record. I can play exactly what I want to play so one hundred percent of my soul is in all this music," Grassel says.

Jim McGuire / abigailwashburn.com

It’s not often you hear banjos playing duets.  The distinctive instrument is usually fronting a folk or bluegrass band. 

Mitch Teich

Cellist Olivia Hahn and violinist Karla Dietmeyer began playing with each other while attending Luther College in Iowa. It’s only been very recently that the two are living in the same city again - this time in Minneapolis. It’s made playing and writing together as The OK Factor much easier.

Both classically trained, Hahn and Dietmeyer describe their music as alternative folk  that draws from bluegrass, jazz and popular music, bending the roles of classical music and their formal training.

Klassik / facebook.com

Kellen Abston is a hip-hop artist and rapper who performs under the name Klassik.  He grew up in Milwaukee and attended school here. And in the three years since his first full-length album was released he’s become a rising star on a number of “artists to watch” lists.

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