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Wednesday, October 22,2014

Barguide: Bittersweet symphony

Classical tracks to bring on a drinking spree

by Lawrence Cosentino
City Pulse’s Lansing Symphony reviewer offers up a few selections to load up your iPod for a kicking’ bar crawl — old school.
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Wednesday, October 15,2014

Icarus falling — and rising

Lansing Symphony falters with Kernis, flies with Mendelssohn

by Lawrence Cosentino
The days begin with tender beams of light, but few evenings behave that way. Thanks to Lansing Symphony maestro Timothy Muffitt’s taste for substantial, unusual curtain-raisers, Saturday night’s opener felt like a celestial wake-up call.
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Wednesday, October 8,2014

Sock of the new

Young soloist, new music spice up Lansing Symphony

by Lawrence Cosentino
A young piano soloist and a baby-fresh piece of music (by classical standards, at least) promise to liven up Saturday’s Lansing Symphony slate. But Maestro Timothy Muffitt is not rolling the dice. Neither are unproven quantities. In fall 2012, Muffitt brought Colton Peltier (pronounced “pell-tee-air”) in to solo with the Baton Rouge Symphony, which Muffitt also leads. Audience feedback was so positive that Peltier came back a year later to open the 2013-‘14 season.
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Wednesday, October 8,2014

Extra bass hit

Christian McBride digs in for MSU residency, big band concert

by Lawrence Cosentino
Christian McBride, one of the greatest bassists in jazz history and a veteran of over 300 recordings, has played with Sonny Rollins, James Brown and Sting. He’s traded licks with Philadelphia rappers, Egyptian oud players and opera diva Renée Fleming. He doesn’t believe in saying “no.”
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Wednesday, October 1,2014

Still tuned to Heaven

Historic landmark St. Paulīs Episcopal Church turns 100

by Lawrence Cosentino
A century of storms and lulls havenīt put much of a dent in St. Paulīs Episcopal Church in downtown Lansing. The arched mass of stained glass embedded in the churchīs south wall, facing the state Capitol on Ottawa Street — the glorious Te Deum Laudamus window — still makes the church look like a giant vintage radio, tuned to Heaven.
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Wednesday, October 1,2014

‘People-ish’ plurality

Allen Toussaint shares upbeat, varied bill with Preservation Hall Jazz Band

by Lawrence Cosentino
In 2012, New Orleans music icon Allen Toussaint got a National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama. Toussaint is among a handful of artists who are in both the rock ‘n’ roll and the blues halls of fame, but even for him, going to the White House was an extra high high. “It felt royal,” Toussaint said. “Especially with this president. He’s a hands-on person. You can feel it in his handshake. He didn’t send someone to do it. He was there, body, mind and spirit.”
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Wednesday, September 24,2014

Case closed?

EAST LANSING COMICS WRITER DAN MISHKIN JUMPS FROM WONDER WOMAN TO THE WARREN COMMISSION

by Lawrence Cosentino
There are hundreds of books about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Do we need another? “The Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation,” written by East Lansing comics creator Dan Mishkin, makes the case that we do. Itīs a drastic turnaround for a veteran writer of escapist fantasy. Mishkin has worked on dozens of characters in a 30-year career, including a threeyear stint writing “Wonder Woman.” Heīs used to letting his imagination run amuck.
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Wednesday, September 24,2014

Captured and Captivated

Ernst Floeter’s journey from Hitler’s Germany to small town America

by Lawrence Cosentino
Ernst Floeter makes a convincing Uncle Sam at Grand Ledge’s Yankee Doodle Days Parade. It boggles the mind to think he ever said heil to Hitler. To be fair, he was only 8 years old. And he added “you fat swine.” In Latin. Floeter, 89, is enjoying an Indian summ...
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Wednesday, September 17,2014

Saturday night and Sunday morning

Sharrie Williams blends gospel and blues, headlines BluesFest 2014

by Lawrence Cosentino
The gospel blues of Saginaw’s Sharrie Williams will bring the bells of Sunday morning to the Saturday night grooves of Old Town BluesFest. Williams’ radiant, bigger-than-pain voice fuses blues and gospel into one irresistible force, diagnosing your ills with the former and healing you with the latter.
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Wednesday, September 17,2014

Fall Colors

Violinist Evgeny Kutik brings autumnal bite to Lansing Symphony opener

by Lawrence Cosentino
. A fascinating Russian violinist, very much alive at 28, and a dead Russian composer who refuses to roll over at 174 dominated Friday’s Lansing Symphony opener. The ursine show of force moved me to climb into a virtual T-90 tank, point it westward and shred the sublime verse of Joni Mitchell: “I’ve looked at Slavs from both sides now/alive and dead, and still somehow/their brooding power holds me in thrall/I just canīt shake that Russian pall/at all.”
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