The HA! Man (francois le Roux) is a South African cellist who broke away from his classical background to create art in the moment ("HA!") to perform at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad Street in St. Joseph, October 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Performing independently and globally since 1992, he has recorded numerous albums, gives workshops to the youth and writes on human issues. Many regard him as a world class musician and a leading voice towards an ecological aesthetic.
He met Belgian writer and actress Joke Debaere in 2010, who has since joined him on the HA! journey and as guest performer on stage. Together they deliver a potently new and moving marriage of word and sound, also in the form of an online multi-media magazine called the HA!Monthly.
The general HA! performance also flows spontaneously with piano / keyboard playing, flutes, body movement and momentary surprises. A large collection of electronic accompaniments is selected from, reflecting an eclectic mix of classical, African, oriental, jazz, popular, and. HA! styles.
From early childhood, both his mother and father shaped the HA!Man's musical career, stimulating improvisations on piano and organ. At 10 he was employed in Johannesburg as church organist and since 11 appeared as soloist with orchestras, both on cello and piano. He took composition under Carl van Wyk, studied theology and philosophy at Stellenbosch University and at UNISA done a partial music degree. During the nineties he hitch-hiked his way through South Africa, busking on streets and experimenting with other art forms such as spontaneous writing, drawing, dance and acting. Since 2000 he added electronic equipment to his make-up and became mobile.
After a decade overseas, Steve Brundage (photo above by Jack Bart) returns to the Box Factory concert stage. One of the founding members of Riversong Music Society, Brundage was active on the local music scene, hosting literally hundreds of Open Mike nights at several area venues. He also played guitar in the Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Trio (JRB3). The trio of percussionist Stony Ferguson, bassist John Brown and Brundage comes together again on stage during the second set for a soulful, funky exploration of music.
The first set will weave sounds from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean on a variety of instruments including the mandolin, mandola and bouzouki as well as Brundage’s guitar styling which span a host of musical styles from fingerpicking to bottleneck slide, from Celtic to Rockabilly.
“It’s great to be back home,” Brundage said. “I’ve been exposed to a lot of music over the last 10 years from across the globe. I spent a fair amount of time playing in sessions in Dublin, Galway and quite a few other spots, as well. That’s been a strong influence, but I’ve played a lot of traditional music from other cultures, too. I think folks will find the evening both interesting and unique.”
Garth Taylor and Friends from the School of American Music will perform a concert of Honky Tonk music from Texas, Detroit, and all points in between at the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, Michigan on Saturday October 18 at 7:30 p.m.
“We’ll be playing the kind of music you’d expect to hear at the 10 pm set in one of the finer establishments in Amarillo, Nashville, Louisville, or Fennville,” says Garth Taylor, performer, and President of the Music School. “People who come will enjoy music from Charlie Daniels Band, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobbie Gentry, Doc Watson, and some sixties covers that feature really strong female singers.”
Other performers at the Honky Tonk include some of the brightest talents in the St Joseph area: Danny Dine will play lead guitar and is a featured soloist; “Fiddlin” Phil Wolf will add his finely-honed Texas fiddle flavor to the evening; Stewart Beach will play mandolin and is a featured singer; multi-instrumentalist Chuck Adinolfi will play bass guitar and probably chime in on some of the rowdier choruses. Rounding out the ensemble will be Alyson Payne and Priscilla Hellenga, who have performed a number of times with the Friends of the Music School, and will be featured in songs by Emmylou Harris, Janis Joplin, and Jean Shepard.
The School of American Music is a non-profit organization located at 3 N. Elm Street in downtown Three Oaks, which for three years has been offering music instruction to residents and friends of Harbor Country. Proceeds from the event will benefit the school’s scholarship program.
The Blue Water Ramblers sing the folk song of Michigan, America and your life. Their repertoire comes right out of our Michigan life experiences and the history of the Great Lakes region. It includes lake shanties, lumberman ballads, union rallying cries, farmers’ paeans, Michigan humor, 60’s civil rights and protest music, love songs, gospel music and children’s ditties. Everyone agrees that these combine into a versatile- repertoire to the delight and entertainment of their audiences.
The Blue Water Ramblers are lead singers who take turns harmonizing with each other to create the Blue Water Rambler tapestry of sound. Banjo-Jim Foerch sings of the sailors, farmers, lumberjacks, politicians and workers. Bear Berends croons the love songs and delivers protest songs old and new.
Banjo-Jim Foerch picked up his first banjo in 1965 and hasn’t put it down since. As a founding member of the regional touring band “Beats Settin’ Home,” Banjo-Jim was busy pickin’ and singin’ all over the Midwest for 20 years between 1982 and 2002. He says singing the songs of Michigan, America and our lives to all the people we meet on tour is the best thing he’s ever done. “Everyone I ever met here in Michigan or around the Midwest is proud of our home state and our country. Our songs express that pride the best way we know how- by getting us all singing together!”
R. H. “Bear” Berends holds down the rhythm with his big, black six and twelve string guitars. As with so many baby boomers he started strumming guitar and singing folk songs in high school in the sixties. He joined Banjo-Jim and “Beats Settin’ Home” at the Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, Michigan in 1993 and “Da Bearster” hasn’t stopped playing and touring since. “I wanted to sing with Banjo-Jim, so I learned all his songs and taught him mine and here we are,” he explains. Whether delivering the lead line of a love song or harmonizing with his solid baritone, Bear sculpts the Blue Water Ramblers’ sound.
UpHIll Climb is a classic bluegrass gospel music group. Based in southwest Michigan, its members are: Bill Colwell, Ken Simpson, Robert Nelson, and John “Mack” McElligott. Their traditional harmonies and lyrics have musical and spiritual roots that reach back to the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee.
The film, Painting the St. Joseph Lighthouse with Bob Fagan, will show the lighthouse from an artist's perspective. The film, by Douglas, MI filmmaker John Leben, was part of a PBS series entitled “Painting on Location with Bob Fagan.” The series included Fagan painting on location at 13 of the lighthouses on Lake Michigan.
The film screening takes place during the "Lighting the Lake" Special Event. Tickets include admission to the "Lighting the Lake", and includes one free drink.
Cameo is a dynamic, multi-talented trio whose members include Mary Czarnecki on vocals and guitar, Gary Tope on vocals and guitar, and Greg Ladewski on cello, piano, and bass. The group performs contemporary and traditional folk music, as well as blues, jazz, celtic, and pop standards. Cameo brings a unique blend of vocals and instruments to their varied repertoire. Mary, Gary, and Greg have performed for enthusiastic audiences at many Southwest Michigan venues, including Fernwood Nature Center, the Box Factory for the Arts, the Chocolate Café, and a variety of summer festivals.
Larry and Sandy Feldman perform “songs for a better world”, drawn from the folk, blues, and gospel traditions. The Feldmans’ rich vocal harmonies are accompanied by Larry on guitar and banjo and Sandy on hand-held percussion. In addition to previous appearances at the Box Factory for the Arts, they have performed for the St. Joseph Brown Bag concert series, at Fernwood Nature Center, and at a variety of other local venues and summer festivals. They also share their love of music in their roles as coordinators, conductor, and accompanist for the All God’s Children Community Choir.
Each group will perform separately, and they will combine their talents in ensemble performance. There will be opportunities for audience members to join in on familiar tunes and become part of this engaging experience.
The Jim Cooper Jazz Quartet will appear Saturday, November 22 at the Box Factory for the Arts. Appearing with Cooper on the vibraphone will be Ivan Akansiima on piano and guitar; bassist Tim King; and drummer Mike Van Lente.
The program will consist of a variety of music ranging from original music, jazz standards and music from Akansiima’s native country of Uganda.
Jim Cooper teaches jazz and blues piano at Lake Michigan College, jazz vibraphone at Northwestern University and elementary music at Glenn School in Glenn MI.
He has played the vibraphone for 40 years, leading numerous groups and appearing both as a soloist and sideman. He received a 2014 Jammie Award for his appearance on Dirty Fingers, A Tribute to Big John Patton, led by organist Jim Alfredson. Cooper has performed at The Chicago Jazz Festival, Festival, Grand Rapids Jazz Festival, Chicago's Millennium Park, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, The Green Mill, Baker's Keyboard Lounge.
Tim King plays bass and saxophone and is Owner/Operator of LTD Music Productions in Berrien Springs. He performs in many bands in the West Michigan such as The Ed Bagatini Trio, Ed Bagatini Quartet, Dynabones, New Swing Orchestra, Lake Effect Jazz Big Band and many others.
Mike Van Lente is a native of Holland, Michigan and is a member of the Cooper, Hay, Van Lente Group. He teaches at Hope College.
Ivan Akanssima is a student at Lake Michigan College. He hails from Uganda and plays both piano and guitar as well as many other instruments.
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