Category Archives: jazz

Holiday feast of the arts at BGSU

The holiday season takes off in a burst of music, arts and theater at Bowling Green State University this week. From “A Christmas Carol” to ArtseXtravaganza to the powerful harmonies of the New York Polyphony, the days and nights are filled with activities for the whole family.

Tiny Tim ushers in the season in BGSU’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story of redemption. Combining humor, sentiment and spectacle with authentic period carols, performances of “A Christmas Carol” are at 8 p.m. Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, and at 2 p.m. Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 in the Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online at or by calling 419-372-8171.

The arts at BGSU reach a critical mass on Nov. 30, when ArtseXtravaganza fills the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center. From 6-10 p.m., the community is invited to share an evening of music, art, theater, dance, shopping and activities for all ages. Motion video projections will light up the exteriors of the buildings to welcome visitors inside, where the theme this year is Carnevale.

ArtsX is the occasion for the University’s artists and performers to show off their talents and creations and for the community to enjoy a unique venue for holiday shopping and entertainment. Food and beverages will be available as well.

Work in ceramics, glass, metals, jewelry, printmaking, photography, digital arts and graphic design, much of it for sale. Also on display will be work by architecture and interior design students.

In the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, the annual faculty exhibition will open; many of the pieces will available for purchase. The Willard Wankelman Gallery will offer il[LUMEN]ate, an exhibition of collaborative video installations by digital arts and film students, along with a Japanese tea ceremony.

Visitors can design their own T-shirts and have them printed on the spot in the printmaking classroom. Student groups will offer henna tattoos, face painting and caricatures, and the art education students will host an entire room of fun activities for children.

The studios in the Wolfe Center will also be open, and visitors can see the latest in digital art created by students and faculty as well as costume design and theater workshops.

Families can plan to take in ArtsX and then head to the Donnell Theatre for “A Christmas Carol” or to Kobacker Hall in Moore Musical Arts Center for the Festival Series performance of “I Sing the Birth,” a special program by New York Polyphony. The all-male a cappella quartet’s concert begins at 8 p,m.

“I Sing the Birth” is an intimate meditation on the Christmas season based on the quartet’s Avie Records debut CD, which was hailed by Gramophone as “one of the season’s best.” Spanning nine centuries of music, the program offers a unique and diverse holiday celebration including medieval and modern carols, Gregorian chants and hymns, motets for Christmas and Advent by Renaissance masters, and commissioned works by Andrew Smith.

Fast-rising stars on the classical music scene, New York Polyphony has been praised on National Public Radio for a “rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts.”

Single ticket prices for the performance range from $12 to $38. To purchase tickets online, visit or call the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171.

Jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson to perform with BGSU Jazz Lab Band I

BOWLING GREEN, O.–Acclaimed jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson will be guest soloist with Bowling Green State University’s Jazz Lab Band I in an 8 p.m. performance on Nov. 8 in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

A multiple Grammy-nominated singer, Allyson has been described by Don Heckman of The Los Angeles Times as a “musician’s musician.” She has recorded 13 albums, garnering praise for her ability to move with ease and authority from the Great American Songbook of Gershwin and Porter to the Great American Jazz Songbook of Ellington, Monk, Davis and Gillespie and on to contemporary music from such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Webb.

Allyson has a degree in classical piano performance, with formative stints in Minneapolis and Kansas City, where she began her recording career with Concord Jazz. She currently tours, playing the major jazz festivals, concert venues and clubs of the U.S. and overseas, to Brazil, Japan, Australia and Europe.

She will also coach BGSU’s vocal jazz ensembles during her visit, which is part of the Dorothy E. and DuWayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series at the University. Allyson is one of two guest artists this year, along with conductor, composer, musician and radio personality William (Bill) McGlaughlin.

The Hansen Musical Arts Series Fund was established in 1996 to bring significant representatives of the musical arts to share their talents with BGSU students and members of the Bowling Green community. Past Hansen Series guests have included Marin Alsop, Branford Marsalis and Bob McGrath from Sesame Street, among others.

For more information, call 419-372-8171.

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Musician, conductor and broadcast journalist Bill McGlaughlin to visit BGSU

BOWLING GREEN, O.–Music students and fans of conductor, composer, musician and radio personality William (Bill) McGlaughlin will get to spend time with him when he visits Bowling Green State University Nov. 5-12. McGlaughlin’s radio program “Exploring Music” is heard daily at 11 a.m. on Toledo’s WGTE-FM, and across the country.

McGlaughlin is this year’s guest artist for the Dorothy E. and DuWayne H. Hansen Series in BGSU’s College of Musical Arts. The public is invited to an evening with him on Nov. 7. The free program begins at 7 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, where he will share his thoughts and approaches to music and the business of music.

He will also conduct the BGSU Wind Symphony in an 8 p.m. concert on Nov. 9, also in in Kobacker Hall. Tickets can be ordered online by visiting or by calling 419-372-8171.

McGlaughlin is most widely known for his work in broadcasting, as host of Peabody Award-winning “St. Paul Sunday” and “Exploring Music,” as well as programs from Wolf Trap and the Library of Congress. He says he is proud to have begun his professional life as an “honest musician,” playing trombone with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony. In addition, he spent 25 years as an orchestral conductor with posts ranging from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to 12 seasons as music director of the Kansas City Symphony. Over that period, McGlaughlin received numerous awards for adventurous contemporary programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

During his visit to BGSU, he will work with composition, brass, conducting and string students and conduct the Bowling Green Philharmonia in a rehearsal.

The Hansen Musical Arts Series Fund was established in 1996 to bring significant representatives of the musical arts to share their talents with BGSU students and members of the Bowling Green community. Past Hansen Series guests have included Marin Alsop, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Craig Schulman and Bob McGrath from “Sesame Street,” among others.

For more information, call the BGSU arts box office at 419-372-8171.

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Festival Series: What is klezmer music all about?

Festival Series: KLEZMER MADNESS ! Saturday, September 29, 2012 – 8:00 p.m. – Kobacker Hall – For tickets, visit

Reflections on Being a 21st Century Klezmer Musician  by David Krakauer, clarinetist with Klezmer Madness! 

For those of you who are among the uninitiated, klezmer music is the traditional celebration music of Eastern European Jewry. This is the music that was played at weddings (and other festive events) for the Jewishcommunities of Russia, Poland, Byelorussia, Moldavia, Rumania, the Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Hungary,among other countries. Klezmer (which means music in Yiddish) was brought to the U.S. during the great waveof Jewish immigration between 1880 and 1920, and is primarily known to us today through recordings made inNew York beginning in the early 1920s by musicians who came to America during this time period. Because theHolocaust was to eradicate most of Eastern European Jewish culture, klezmer music in America exists as aprecious and important vestige of a varnished world.

It is an incredibly interesting time to be playing klezmer music — with a rise in Jewish consciousness, withEuropeans examining an aspect of the soul of their continent that was destroyed during World War II, with thetremendous excitement of the “world beat” phenomenon, and simply with the joyous “danceability” of this music.In fact, klezmer music has gone through two revivals since the mid-1970’s, and I believe we are now in a tremendously creative post revival period. While those of us playing klezmer today are still constantly studyingold recordings and other source material to retrieve what was almost lost to us there is, at the same time, a new sense of freedom and playfulness with the music that has given rise to a diverse repertoire, tremendousinternational participation and a wide variety of approaches. In my own work, as a 21st century American, I freely incorporate influences of funk, jazz and, most recently through my collaboration with sampling wizard Socalled, hip hop.

For me personally it is important to do two things in playing klezmer. One is to preserve the Jewishness — the inflection of the Yiddish language in the music (that I recognized in the speech inflections of my grandmother),the melodic shapes, the ornaments, the phrasing, the traditional repertoire, and the flavor of the cantor. But the second is to keep klezmer out of the museum — to write new klezmer pieces and to improvise on older forms in a way that is informed by the world around me today. My colleague Alicia Svigals, former violinist of the group The Klezmatics, talks about tradition always being in flux — that there is no such thing as static “tradition.” For example, when I write a more extended composition, I try to keep the feeling of a klezmer melody or ornament –but at the same time abstract that into a single gesture. Or, when I write a new tune, it has tobe danceable, yet full of quirky and weird aspects — in short, Klezmer Madness!

In both brand new pieces and re-interpretations of older standard repertoire, everything I play adheres to (or refers to) the basic forms of klezmer music: the Doina — rhapsodic, cantorial improvisation; the Chosidl — a kind of walking slower dance; the Terkish — a dotted-rhythm dance form from Rumania via Turkey (“oriental” in flavor); the old Rumanian Hora — a slow dance in a limping 3/8; and the Bulgar or Freylekh — an up-tempo dance tune for circle dancing and lifting honored guests up in chairs. This is a music that has been played from a time way before the earliest memories of my great great grandparents in Eastern Europe; and I’m honored to continue this great tradition. So all I can say now is . . . ENJOY!!!

September 2006