Now in its 15th year of bringing its unique blend of traditional big band and contemporary jazz arrangements to the summer venues of Michigan’s beautiful southwest region, the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band has become one of the premier big bands in the Midwest. This season, the band will be performing music from the classic big band libraries of jazz composers like Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie, but also showcasing the sounds of more contemporary ensembles and composers like Pat Metheny, Gordon Goodwin, and Tom Kubis. The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band is committed to preserving the uniquely American art form of big band jazz. Our mission is to promote the art of JAZZ through performance, education, and community outreach.
The band is led by Steven L. Reed, retired instrumental music teacher for the St. Joseph Public Schools, where he taught jazz ensemble, orchestra, and band for 35 years. Several members of the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band are current or retired music educators and jazz education is a priority for the LEJBB.
The band will be joined by vocalist Michelle Bythrow. Michele was born and raised in St. Joseph, Michigan, and found a love for singing very young. She received a scholarship to study voice at Denver University and then went on to complete a music education degree with vocal emphasis at Indiana University, Bloomington. She has performed professionally as a singer, dancer and actress both locally and nationally, in styles ranging from opera to jazz. She recently received a Master’s of Sacred Music Degree from Notre Dame University. She is a private voice teacher and adjunct faculty member at Bethel College and at Notre Dame University. She also leads worship and conducts a choir at River Valley Church in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Laura Whidden is back! As passionate and compelling as ever bringing her life-changing music and powerful soprano vocals. She will perform at the Box Factory on Friday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. Joining her on stage will be musician Mikayla Battistone.
Laura has been compared in style to singers such as Aretha Franklin and Sarah McLaughlin, but she brings her own individual influences to her music. She has been inspired by Sara Barellis, Sara Groves and Ingrid Michaelson and brings a soulful and deep meaning to her lyrics and melodies. She and her family live in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
The B.B. Wolfe Trio appears for the first time on the Box Factory stage on Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. B.B. Wolfe was born in Flint, Michigan orphaned as a child, he went on to become a visual artist, teacher, and musician. B.B. Wolfe’s existential folk-blues have been heard in over 100 countries. Since 2005 he has released three CDs of original songs: AKA, the multi-award winning Heart Worn Sleeve; and the most recent, Tightrope Walkers.
B.B. brings his brand of the folk-blues to the Box with the help of Uncle John Potthast on the pedal steel guitar and Tim King on stand up bass.
Limited cabaret seating will be available for Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company's The Winter's Tale at the Box Factory on July 25 at 7:30. Tickets are $15 for the special VIP seating and reservations are required online with PayPal or with credit card by calling
269-983-3688. Regular ticket prices are $10 general admission and $8 seniors and students and are also available online or at the door starting at 7 pm the evening of the performance. Wine and beer will be available for purchase.
The production is directed by Dennis Henry, formerly an actor with the nationally acclaimed American Shakespeare Center, and director of Pigeon Creek’s 2014 production of Coriolanus.
William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale follows the story of King Leontes of Sicilia, who brings tragedy on his family when he accuses his wife of infidelity with his best friend, King Polixenes of Bohemia. Blinded by jealousy, Leontes puts his wife on trial, and orders that his infant daughter be abandoned in the wilderness. Fate intervenes, and 16 years later, Polixenes' son Florizel falls in love with a shepherd girl of mysterious origins. Reunions and reconciliation ensue in this fairy-tale-like play from late in Shakespeare's writing career.
Pigeon Creek’s cast features actors Kathleen Bode, Joseph Cox, Mike Dodge, Kat Hermes, Scott Lange, Arielle Leverett, Janelle Mahlmann, Chad Marriott, Katherine Mayberry, and Sarah Stark.
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