It is summer here in East Lansing, finally, and it is absolutely beautiful. The music is everywhere and I lament the inability to list it all. But it is safe to say there is something for everyone this summer, music-wise. There are concerts virtually every day/night of the week from Washington Square in downtown Lansing to gigs in several Lansing parks as well as the series on Ann St in downtown East Lansing on Friday nights and in the outdoor area of the Eastwood Towne Centre. All of it is free. That is amazing. So, enjoy, check out the Lansing State Journal on any given day, or slip over to http://www.lsj.com/ and there is always a listing in the Entertainment section. See you there!
So, I have been away for a bit...well, far away actually, in France. My daughter, Emily, (see photo), is finishing up a year's program teaching conversational English in Avignon, Provence. Among the many things she has accomplished is finding a venue for her music. She sings regularly at the Red Sky in Avignon (the photo was taken when we saw her there in early June). What fun! She had quite a posse that night, 15 friends from all over the world had come to cheer her on. It was fun to watch her interact with the locals musicians. As much as she accompanied herself on guitar she was accompanied by some pretty excellent musicians through the night. Besides her own tunes, "For You" and her co-written, "Let Me Be the One" she managed to do a fine turn on Roberta Flack's, "Killing Me Softly", Natalie Imbruglia's, "Torn" and the 4 Non Blondes', "What's Up". A great night. Emily will be back in town in July before she takes off for New York City in August. Catch her locally!
My next door neighbor at work is in charge of the ushers at the Common Ground, the music festival coming to Lansing July 7-13. H always has funny stories about how folks act close up to the stage. His latest one includes helping a gentleman and lady sit close to the stage for an Etta James concert (it was very sunny and warm on that side of the field and no one was willing to sit in the sun) and he finds out later that gentleman proposed to that lady that night and my friend's ability to seat them close to the stage was icing on the cake. Cool. We'll see what he encounters this year.
This weekend Nicky and I will be at our next door neighbor's (at home) son's wedding in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I bring it up because today I found out the organist is none other than Dr. Deborah Friauff, Director of Music at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor. Deborah was the choir director and organist at All Saints Episcopal in East Lansing for several years and I had the honor of singing with her at that time. She is an excellent organist and enthusiastic, uplifting choral conductor. It will be wonderful to see her again.
If you see a show, performer or production you enjoyed please comment below. It would be great to share the experience.
See you next time, or maybe at a show. Oh, and put in your calendar, "Girlyman" will be at the Ark in Ann Arbor on Oct 8, 2008.