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Wednesday, November 26,2014

When parallels meet

MSU’s jazz and classical armies rendezvous and conquer

by Lawrence Cosentino
There are risks to putting jazz and classical musicians together. When Duke Ellington unleashed his first big jazz-symphony hybrid, “A Tone Parallel to Harlem,” in 1951, photographers swarmed the stage. (Ellington made news taking a bath, let alone blending a symphony orchestra with his big band.) A flash bulb exploded and fell on the balding head of a string-bass player, according to a review the next day.
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Wednesday, November 19,2014

Silent servants

Lansingīs Victim Advocate Program needs help comforting families and friends of trauma victims

by Lawrence Cosentino
There are certain things you should never say to someone who has suddenly lost a loved one: “Sheīs in a better place,” or “It’s God’s will,” or “you can have more kids.” Thatīs a small part of the training for Lansing’s Victim Advocate Program, an all-volunteer force that speeds to trauma scenes alongside police to help grieving survivors.
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Wednesday, November 19,2014

Little mermaid, big message

Author packs transgender girl's be-yourself-ness into vibrant children's book

by Lawrence Cosentino
“Pretending I was a boy felt like telling a lie.” “I Am Jazz” touches piano keys no other children’s book touches, but the last chord has a familiar ring: Be yourself. A mermaid-loving Florida girl, 14-yearold Jazz Jennings is swimming into mainstream culture to become the smiling face of transgender youth. In her wake, a brightly hued book about her life is darting upstream into schools, libraries and stores.
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Wednesday, November 12,2014

Hummingbirds & cigars

Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval will take flight at Wharton Center concert

by Lawrence Cosentino
Last week, jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, the distinguished composer, arranger, and 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, was relaxing on the patio of his home in Calabasas, Calif., watching hummingbirds. “I love those little birds, man,” he said “Every time one comes around, I smile.” Darting iridescent bodies and a blur of wings so fast the eye can’t follow are the perfect visual counterparts to Sandoval’s supersonic bebop-and-beyond trumpet flights.
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Wednesday, November 5,2014

No restraint

Violinist pours fire on fire with the Moscow State Symphony

by Lawrence Cosentino
Should violinists hold a little something back when they play Max Bruch’s oh-so-romantic violin concerto? Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, star soloist in Sunday’s big Moscow State Symphony stop at the Wharton Center, is the wrong person to ask. “I suppose it can be restrained,” she admitted. “I very much doubt it will be for these performances.”
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Wednesday, November 5,2014

‘Future’ begins

Chinese art exhibit opens at Broad

by Lawrence Cosentino
Six of the artists featured in “Future Returns,” the large new exhibit of contemporary Chinese art at the Broad Art Museum, flew into town for the public opening last Thursday. Jizi, 74, explained with a twinkle that his 40-meter-long scroll, “The Epic of Nature,” ends with the ultimate mysteries of the universe. Alas, owing to lack of gallery space, that part remains rolled up, so viewers will have to finish the exquisite ink drawing with their imaginations.
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Wednesday, November 5,2014

Knapp's special section: Transform & restore

HOW THE KNAPPīS DEPARTMENT STORE BUILDING CAME BACK FOR ANOTHER LIFE

by Lawrence Cosentino
The gales of November 2012 lashed the rusting hull of Lansingīs biggest and most beautiful commercial downtown icon, the Knappīs Department Store building. A lifeline was on its way, but time was running out. The biggest example of Streamline Moderne architecture in the Midwest, moored like a massive ocean liner at the corner of Washtenaw Street and Washington Square, had been taking on water for decades.
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Wednesday, November 5,2014

Knapp's special section: Every 75 years, need it or not

by Lawrence Cosentino
Once upon a time, the Knappīs Department Store building in downtown Lansing was clad in gleaming porcelain from stem to stern. Porcelain, the translucent, glassy result of firing clay and assorted additives in a super-hot oven, was the zoot suit of choice for hundreds of Art Deco diners, bars and gas stations from the 1930 to the 1960s. The exterior of the Knappīs building is among the most powerful panoplies of porcelain ever placed before the public. Now the only porcelain bits left on the building are the KNAPPīS letters standing guard at the northeast corner.
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Wednesday, November 5,2014

Knapp's special section: Ordeal of a deal

PEELING BACK THE LAYERS OF THE KNAPPīS CENTRE

by Lawrence Cosentino
There are many layers to the renovation of the Knappīs Department Store building in downtown Lansing. Everything about the building is layered — layers of shiny metal and glass, layers of shiny financial incentives, and, now, layers of occupied housing, office and retail space. It also has layers of history, going back to the Hotel Downey, the fabled watering hole and politician hangout that stood on the same piece of land before Knappīs was built in 1937.
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Wednesday, November 5,2014

Knapp's special section: Running with the ball

HOW NICK EYDE RALLIED HIS FAMILYīS BUSINESS TO SAVE A NATIONAL ICON

by Lawrence Cosentino
Nick Eyde is a footballer and a philosopher, a cosmopolitan man and a hometown boy. He oscillates. He stirs the drink without half trying. "Nick is a very interesting fellow," his father, Lansing real estate mogul George Eyde, declared, as if they had just met over drinks. By most accounts, the 35-year-old prodigal scion of Lansingīs Eyde Co. real estate and development empire was the key catalyst for one of the cityīs most dramatic downtown development coups, the conversion of the Streamline Moderne Knappīs Department Store building into the multi-use Knappīs Centre.
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