Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monroe, MI Black History Blues Series 2012

Monroe Public Library 
Black History Blues Series

These are really good events. I have been attending for years.

Events are free and open to the public.

Transportation for students available to some of these.

Full 2012 Performance Schedule:

“Tuesdays are Bluesdays” throughout the series as each Tuesday evening features a free concert at a Monroe County Library System facility.

Tuesday, January 31
Detroit multi-instrumentalist, educator and storyteller Rev. Robert B. Jones, Ann Arbor harmonica legend Peter Madcat Ruth and series creator Tim McGorey reveal “The True Facts,” as insider stories, rare video clips and plenty of acoustic roots music relates the unique and unlikely story of 25 years of Black History Month Blues in Monroe County.
7:00 pm, Ellis Library & Reference Center.

Tuesday, February 7
Samuel James, one of the roots music world’s hottest young artists, has been called “part Bill Withers, part Tom Waits, part James Brown, part Leo Kottke, and part P.T. Barnum.”  He refers to himself as a troubadour, mixing impeccable, dynamic musicianship with compelling storytelling and songwriting.  (He’s even been known to show off his dance moves.)
7:00 pm, Carleton Branch Library.

Samuel Jones


Tuesday, February 14
Mark Valentine’s Day at “LOVEFEST 2012,” starring a pair of Michigan’s most highly acclaimed musical (and life) partners.  Ann Arbor-based blues guitarists/vocalists Shari Kane & Big Dave Steele and Lansing-area singer/songwriters Rachael Davis &Dominic John will team up for an evening of songs and stories of love, heartbreak and all the bittersweet places in between.   7:00 pm, Dorsch Memorial Branch Library.


Wednesday, February 15:
 It’s MOOZAPALOOZA! when Nashville-based Farmer Jason makes his triumphant return to the Ellis Library.  “Twin brother” of Americana music legend Jason Ringenberg, Farmer Jason’s performances are rocket-fueled tractor rides for “kids of all ages” with plenty of audience participation.  Celebrating the release of his third CD, Nature Jams, Farmer Jason writes songs inspired by life on his farm (“Doggie Dance,” “Guitar-Pickin’ Chicken”) and his hikes in the forest (“Punk Rock Skunk,” “Moose on the Loose”).
7:00 pm, Ellis Library & Reference Center.

Farmer Jason


Thursday, February 16
Guitarist Johnnie Bassett and vocalist Alberta Adams, the King and Queen of Detroit Blues, return to Monroe for a special intimate performance at the MCLS branch library where the Blues Series began in 1988.   Over the course of his 60+ year career, Bassett has performed with artists from Big Joe Turner and John Lee Hooker to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Tina Turner.  As a solo artist, he’s recorded several critically acclaimed discs and received the Detroit Blues Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.  Alberta Adams, 94 years young, has been performing since the 1930s, tap-dancing and singing with the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan and Lionel Hampton and recording for Chess and Cannonball Records.  Bassett and Adams will be joined by Detroit’s R.J. Spangler & the Rhythm Rockers.  This concert is sponsored by The Jazz Foundation.
7:00 pm, Navarre Branch Library.

Alberta Adams
Johnnie Bassett
RJ Spangler and the Rhythm Rockers (with Alberta Adams)


Tuesday, February 21
Blues and boogie-woogie piano with Mark “Mr. B” Braun, a rare living link to the first generation of blues and boogie pianists, like Little Brother Montgomery and Boogie Woogie Red, he sought out and received lessons from before their deaths.  Collaborations with acts like John Hammond, Marcus Belgrave and Duke Robillard and appearances on “Mountain Stage” and NPR’s “All Things Considered” have only expanded the audience for this Michigan treasure. 
7:00 pm, Bedford Branch Library.

Mr. B


Saturday, February 25:  
“THE BIG GIG!” is Monroe County’s 25th Annual Black History Month Blues Concert, a star-studded evening featuring a once-in-a-lifetime lineup of Blues Series alumni.  Rev. Robert B. Joneswill (for the 25th year) host and kick things off, and in 2012 he’ll be joined by the likes of Peter Madcat Ruth, legendary Muddy Waters Band guitarist Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, the “Music Makin’ Mama” herself, pianist/guitarist Ann Rabson, mandolin virtuoso Rich DelGrosso, boogie-woogie piano powerhouse Daryl Davis, Detroit blues divaThornetta Davis, roots rock power trio George Bedard & the Kingpins, and drummer Mike Shimmin and bassist Dominic John.  (And, it’s more than likely, a surprise guest or three before the final bows are taken.)  
7:00 pm, Monroe County Community College, Meyer Theater

Bob Margolin
Ann Rabson
Rich DelGrosso
Daryl Davis
Thornetta Davis (my video at the Detroit Library)
Thornetta Davis (my video from UT MusicFest 2010
George Bedard


The Big Gig! is an extremely popular event—no ticket is required, seating is general admission, first-come, first-served until venue capacity is reached.  Doors open at 6:00 pm.

Tuesday, February 28
The silver anniversary festivities conclude with a fond remembrance of one of the most entertaining and intriguing artists in Blues Series history, Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, who was the last surviving African American string band musician when he passed away in 2003.  Howard’s music, life and legacy will be celebrated by his son, bassist Ralphe Armstrong, guitarist Ray Kamalay and multi-instrumentalist John Reynolds, with special guest Rich DelGrosso, all of whom played with Howard and have tons of anecdotes to share.  7:00 pm, Ellis Library & Reference Center.


For more information on the Black History Month Blues Series, phone (734) 241-5277.

Saturday Morning Science

Sat Sci Flyer Spring 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Claude Black Benefit Jazz Concert at UT

There will be a Benefit Concert for Claude Black at the UT Center for Performing Arts on Tuesday, 31 January 2012, at 8 PM.

Claude Black is local legend as a jazz pianist who is currently hospitalized. He is also a decent and kind human being. He has performed for TECHS students as part of the Murphys who backed Jon Hendricks for two concerts that were exclusively for us.

Here is an article from The Free Press

This is highly recommended.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

UT Center for Religious Understanding Lectures

UT Center for Religious Understanding Lectures

Free and open to the public, and captured whenever possible on WGTE’s KnowledgeStream website.
Thursday, February 16, 7-8:30 pm, Law School Auditorium. “The New Atheism: A Catholic Response.” The Murray/Bacik Lecture in Catholic Studies, by Peter Feldmeier, Ph.D., the Murray/Bacik Chair of Catholic Studies, University of Toledo.
Tuesday, March 20, Tuesday, March 20, 7-8:30 pm Law School Auditorium, "From Mahavir to Mahatma Gandhi: The Jain Traditions of India." The Annual Lecture on Eastern Religious Thought, by Dr. Pankaj Jain, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of Philosophy and Religion Studies, University of North Texas. Cosponsored by the Hindu Temple of Toledo.
Wed    Wednesday, April 18, 7-9 p.m., place TBA: Annual Jewish-Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Dr. J. Denny Weaver, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Religion at Bluffton University and the Harry and Jean Yoder Scholar in Bible and Religion, with reflections by leaders from Jewish and Muslim perspectives, followed by small-group table dialogues and refreshments.
Visitors parking in the closest University lot during these lectures will not be ticketed.  For information on campus buildings and parking locations, visit  For additional information, contact Peter Feldmeier,, or

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Legally Blond

OK TECHS community here is a chance to knock off a Rocket Stage Cultural Event AND support a fellow TECHS student (Austin Morrin) who is in the production of Legally Blonde: The Musical February 3 & 4 (Friday and Saturday, 7:30 PM) and Sunday, February 5 (2:00 PM Matinee) at the Franciscan Theater at Lourdes University in Sylvania.

Student tickets are $10.

Let me know if you want tickets. You can pay me and I will order them.