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Friday, April 5,2013

Uke got served

Local teen plays on trolley tonight for First Fridays

by Allan I. Ross
Kendall Cassella, 15, plays tonight on the Entertainment Express as part of the First Fridays events. Courtesy photo.

Friday, April 5 — For two years, Lansing First Fridays has given mid-Michigan entertainment junkies a good reason to look forward to the first Friday of every month — and guess what tonight is. 

The monthly event consists of special deals at local shops, restaurants and galleries around Lansing and East Lansing, including free transportation on the Entertainment Express trolley from downtown Lansing to downtown East Lansing. In February, First Fridays added live musical performances on the Entertainment Express to the mix, and tonight’s First Friday features some fresh, homegrown talent. 

Tonight, 15-year-old singer-songwriter Kendall Cassella will be on board one of the trolleys for a 90-minute set. The self-taught ukulele player will play a mix of covers and original songs from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

“I’ve been performing at The Coffee Barrel for awhile, and last month someone told me about the trolley,” said the Okemos High School 9th grader. “I contacted them about playing, and that was pretty much it. I’m really excited to do this.”

Cassella’s covers include The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me,” Walk the Moon’s ”Lisa Baby” and the contagiously catchy “Lost in My Mind” by The Head and the Heart. Her original material will be pulled from her work with the garage band she plays with. Her father, Kent Cassella, will play chaperone, and says he’s looking forward to tonight’s performance.

“This is a great opportunity for her,” Cassella said. “I’m not concerned at all about her being out there, but because of her age, we obviously had to go for an earlier performance time.”

The free trolley service starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 3 a.m. with service every 15 minutes along the Michigan Avenue/Grand River corridor. Obviously some folks can’t stay out until 3 a.m. — they have bedtimes.

For more information, including a list of specials at participating businesses, go to lansingfirstfridays.com.

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