Northern Michigan Music: Two concerts in two venues this weekend bring some of the Northern Michigan's most accomplished and eclectic performers together.
Friday night sees a concert by the Jeff Haas Quintet performing a free show at The Circuit in Traverse City. This show is a celebration of jazz and Black History Month, part of the “Embrace the Dream” series of community events.
The quintet is a Michigan-based multi-cultural, multi-generational musical group featuring some of the state’s finest male and female jazz musicians.
Pianist Haas, a longtime community fixture, is joined by Marion Hayden on bass and Sean Dobbins on drums, both from Detroit. Rounding out the group are Chris Lawrence from Grand Rapids on trumpet, and Traverse City’s Laurie Sears on saxophones and woodwinds.
The music is based around Haas’s original music, which blends r&b, classical and ethnic music within the boundaries of jazz and improvisation.
It’s also the culmination of a week of informances by the Quintet as part of its STOP THE BULLYING! workshops. The program promotes open-mindedness, acceptance and peace using live music and interactive commentary from the musicians and those in attendance.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. The Grand Traverse Circuit is located at 225 W Fourteenth St. in Traverse City.
Saturday night, Freshwater Art Gallery in Boyne City is hosting its annual Valentines concert at 8 p.m. The concert will feature three Michigan singer/songwriters: Jetty Rae, Jan Krist and Robin Lee Berry.
The three will be joined by special guests Glenn Wolff on bass and guitars, Norm Wheeler on horns and Alan Finkbiner on hand drums. Ruby Williams will open the show.
This is the fourth year of bringing together three women on stage. This year the three, who do not know each other, will perform in a round-robin format. The dynamic of three female solo performers exchanging stories and tunes on stage in an unscripted program is always fun for all involved.
The three are contemporary folk artists with jazz influences. Rae hailed from Charlevoix before relocating to Ann Arbor. She has four independent releases and appeared at the Detroit Lilith Fair.
Krist is part of the Yellow Room Gang of Ann Arbor-area songwriters, including Daveid Barret, Kitty Donohoe, Michael Hough and others. The Detroit-area resident has received praise from Entertainment Weekly and Billboard Magazine, among others.
Berry has performed throughout the region for over three decades in various groups, from solo performances to fronting a big band. She performs frequently in the company of Wolff, an in-demand bassist and guitarist who is best known as a graphic and fine artist. Wheeler is a member of Jazz North and performs around the area as well. Both have recorded with Berry. Finkbiner is married to Krist and often performs with her and other groups.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $22.50 in advance and $25 at the door. Boyne Provisions caters the intermission and special handmade chocolates will be prepared and shared by Three Bears Chocolates. Call 582-2588 or go to freshwaterartgallery.com.