MAJIC Concert Series

MAJIC (Music and Art for Justice in the Community) is looking forward to the 2013-2014 concert season! On the musician docket:

October 11  Fauxgrass Quartet

fauxgrass1  The Fauxgrass Quartet’s approach to music, original and traditional, has quickly landed them a place in the progressive bluegrass community since their 2011 inception. With a fresh, playful, and heart-felt approach to structure Fauxgrass performances flow between genres with unique instrumental communication. The current members consist of Adam Balcer (guitar, vocals), Tim McKay (bass, vocals), Joey Schultz (banjo, vocals) and Jason Wheeler (mandolin, vocals). They have toured extensively through the mid-west, Colorado, and northeast coast, as well as establishing themselves as a regular presence in the Michigan music scene. They are continuing to build momentum as their unique songwriting and fun performances find enthusiastic reception around the region. Their creative approach to a familiar musical style is a breath of fresh air, and something worth experiencing for the acoustic music lover.

November 8  Knock on Wood Percussion Ensemble

IMG_2715

Knock on Wood is a West Michigan-based percussion trio founded by Grand Rapids native Andrew Fritz. Its members are not only percussionists, but also composers and arrangers who are strong advocates of commissioning and performing new music. The group performs a wide variety of musical genres ranging from Ragtime of the 1920s to contemporary percussion pieces by composers such as Frank Zappa and Steve Reich, as well as their own original compositions and arrangements.

 

 

December 13 The Hildegard Singers

HildegardSingers2

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, each member of The Hildegard Singers, Linn Maxwell, Barbara McCargar, Diane Penning and Lisa Walhout, has an outstanding solo career. The group originally came together to celebrate the hauntingly beautiful music of the notable Renaissance composer Hildegard of Bingen.  The group made its first recording in 2011 and has appeared in concerts and conferences in Michigan and Florida.  In addition to the music of Hildegard, they perform medieval vocal gems from Spain and France, and also include Gregorian chant in their programs, and routinely partner with Early Music Michigan each year to perform medieval vocal songs and dramas.

January 10 Karisa Wilson

Karisa1

Our January MAJIC Concert features Jammie-winning singer/songwriter Karisa Wilson and her band, who will perform their trademark, soulful blend of folk, blues, and jazz music.

Karisa (Ka-REE-sa) has shared the stage with national artists Sam Phillips, Billy Bob Thornton, Talib Kweli, Tim Reynolds, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Subdudes, and many others. She has performed and recorded with national artist Brian VanderArk (The Verve Pipe), and has often been a featured artist in the Meijer Garden’s Tuesday Summer Concert Series. Favorite venues include Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, The Living Room and The Bitter End in New York City, Wheatland Festival, Detroit’s State Theater, Muskegon Summer Celebration, and several other songwriter showcases. Karisa has been featured in a host of publications and radio stations, and co-writes with songwriter, author, and screenwriter Mark Barger-Elliot.

Her music comes from a desire to forge connections, to focus on the good, express that which is “real,” and from a striving to find grace in an often difficult world. She began her musical journey as a classical violinist, “found” her voice in high school, and in college picked up a guitar.

February 14 The Honeytones

Honeytones2013

Formed more than 25 years ago by keyboard player John Sinkevics and guitarist Charley Honey, The Honeytones have rightly been described as “the deans of Grand Rapids’ pop/rock scene.” Known for their eclectic originals which span rock, pop and blues as well as inventive covers that pay tribute to artists ranging from The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Tom Petty to The Decemberists, Patty Griffin and Wilco, The Honeytones have released two studio albums, “Lane Changes Are Risky” and “Studio Bee.” The Honeytones also have long supported local causes, raising thousands of dollars for Access of West Michigan’s food pantry system for needy families through the band’s long-running Feedback benefit concert that spotlights West Michigan bands. The current lineup features Sinkevics on keyboards and vocals, Honey on guitar and vocals, drummer Tom Taylor and bassist and harmony vocalist Matt Fouts.

March 14 Chain of Lakes

ChainofLakes2Described by Scott Warren of The Rapidian as “Occupying a place all its own somewhere between country, folk, and rock, the music of Chain of Lakes shares a unifying sensibility similar to the work coming out of several of the rising stars on our West Michigan scene right now. . .”  Chain of Lakes is the moniker that Michigan songwriter Kyle Rasche assigned to his musical output shortly before releasing a hushed debut self-titled album in 2009.  Following a strong year of live performances, 2011′s Kind of Quiet EP, awarded WYCE’s Best Album – Short Form, established the band as a musical mainstay on the Midwest front.  This past winter’s chill was the setting for the recording of Softer Sticks, just released, a 9-track LP recorded with Grand Rapids studio mogul Greg Baxter, and enhanced by the steady line-up of bassist Mat Churchill, guitarist and lap steeler Jordan Griffis, vocalist Dana Jackson, drummer Dustin Anderson, and violinist Jeffrey Niemeier.
April 11  Jenny Walvoord and Andrew Le

JennyDrew1

Ms. Walvoord holds Masters degrees in both violin performance and chamber music from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor degree in violin performance from Hope College. She is the concertmaster of the West Michigan Symphony, and a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Mr. Le serves as Head of Keyboard Studies and Associate Professor of Piano at Hope College. He holds a DMA degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Interlochen Arts Academy. Drew has been a prizewinner at many major competitions, and has recently recorded an album on the Blue Grififin Recording Label based in Lansing. He is also the founder and director of the Brown Bag Series at the Holland Area Arts Council, an informal concert series designed to encourage and foster the accessibility of classical music to the public. Passionate about serving his local community, Drew has also performed recitals as food drives, the last of which brought in close to 600 non-perishable items that were donated to the Holland Rescue Mission.

Together, Drew and Jenny are the Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck. They perform frequently as a duo and are known for their energetic and dynamically engaging performances. Their charismatic stage chemistry has taken them to venues all across the nation.

****

Performances are held on the second Friday of the month in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Sanctuary, located at 250 Commerce Ave SW in downtown Grand Rapids. Parking is provided in the enclosed parking garage. Visual Art openings are held at 6:30 p.m. the night of the concert. Bios and samples of the work of our participating visual artists can be found here. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and usually consist of two 45-minute sets. A “meet the musicians” reception follows, hosted by members of the Bethlehem Church community.  Concert admittance is through a free-will donation.

If you would like to donate money to help support the concert series, just click on the “Donate” button below.

History of MAJIC:

MAJIC was begun in 2007 to support high quality arts programming in West Michigan while helping the economically disadvantaged in the Heartside neighborhood and beyond.  MAJIC is a ministry of Bethlehem Church, which underwrites all of the concerts in advance and then contributes 100% of the at-the-door donations to local organizations whose focus is social justice.

The MAJIC Concert Series showcases music written and/or performed by local and regional musicians and features a local visual artist as well. The art is often available for purchase, and decorates the lobby of the church for the month following the concert. The series is an excellent way for people who are interested in cultural enrichment to attend live performances, view new art pieces, and help others in their community. MAJIC draws a diverse audience through varied programming of classical, folk, jazz, and world music.

To date MAJIC has generated more than $30,000 in concert donations and passed these funds on to the Heartside FundHeartside Music Together (now Hill Music Together) and the Coalition to End Homelessness.

If you have questions about this ministry, or would like to suggest a group or a visual artist for future series, please send an email to majicblc@gmail.com. And “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive notices of upcoming events!

 

Past concert series’:

2012-2013

Sunny Wilkinson
Potato Moon
Embellish
Jukejoint Handmedowns
Andrew Le
Luminescence and Twelfth St. Harmony
We Are the Ink Monkey

2011-2012

Pachora
Rachael Davis
Sergei Kvitko and Ken Beachler
Keith Hall Trio
Wazobia and Badenya
Cabildo
Neil Jacobs

2010-2011

Sheila Landis
Who Hit John?
Embellish
Ralston Bowles
Eastern Blok
Diane Penning
Kurt Ellenberger with Ütaké

2009-2010

Drew Nelson
Los Gatos
Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus
An Dro
Paul Vondiziano
Loom
Steve Talaga

MusicArtCommunitySwirl