February 19, 2009...
As a pianist and conductor, Justin Brown often pulls double duty with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra -- he's led the orchestra while simultaneously performing as a soloist. This weekend, Brown kicks things up yet another notch. In addition to conducting the ASO, he is one of three soloists performing Beethoven's Triple Concerto. WBHM's Michael Krall spoke with Brown.
1959 proved to be a significant year in American History -- Alaska and Hawaii became states, singer Buddy Holly died in a plane crash, and a little doll named Barbie was born. 1959 also marks the year Lorraine Hainsberry's A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway. The play follows a working class African-American family and their competing dreams following a financial windfall. Their attitudes parallel wider struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. The American classic is now on stage at Alabaster's South City Theatre. WBHM's Kate Horton spoke with Director Alan Gardner.
You may be familiar with a type of theater called improv from television's Whose Line is it Anyway? While Chicago has its Second City troupe, the Magic City has a new offering of this quirky comedy style in the Extemporaneous Theatre Company. They take to the stage this weekend. WBHM's Nat Bonner has more.
The Extemporaneous Theatre Company performs Vulcan's Underpants this weekend at the Birmingham Festival Theatre.
Piper Paddy Moloney has been steeped in the musical traditions of his native Ireland from an early age. Yet even as a small boy he wanted to achieve a specific "sound" with his music. Moloney heard what he was looking for when he formed the Chieftains in 1962. Since then the Chieftains have performed their brand of traditional Celtic music to audiences around the world. Next week, they'll bring those sounds to Birmingham. In almost five decades together, the Chieftains have collaborated with a wide array of musicians. As band leader Paddy Moloney told WBHM's Andrew Yeager, they had some big name fans early on.
The Chieftains perform Friday, February 27th at the Alys Stephen Center.
Next week, Alabama jazz guitarist Eric Essix will re-release his new CD, titled Birmingham. Re-release because he originally issued it last summer on his own label, but had to withdraw it when Lightyear Entertainment decided to pick it up and distribute it internationally. Already, singles from the CD are flying up the charts. This song, Shuttlesworth Drive, is #3 on Smoothjazz.com's Indy Star Chart and #18 on their Top 50 Chart. Essix says the new CD is a homecoming of sorts.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with help this week from Andrew Yeager, Kate Horton and Nat Bonner.I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.