For the third year, St. Cecilia Music Center is hosting a weekend ArtPrize Musicians’ Showcase in downtown Grand Rapids with 50 acts on two stages. Here are highlights from Friday’s opening volley. (Video, photos)
The turnout was low, but the enthusiasm was high.
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The first day of the ArtPrize Musicians’ Showcase at St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids boasted 23 passionate and wildly eclectic performances on two stages by songwriters who’ve entered compositions in this year’s international art competition.
And while Friday’s showcase kickoff may have suffered from overcast skies and a wealth of competition from other downtown events and receptions, there was no denying the eagerness and zeal of participants who rolled out short sets indoors and out that covered a dizzying array of styles: jazz, pop, experimental, folk, rock, Kirtan, opera, electronic, Americana, big band, blues, even a “Drag Race to the Weekend” (courtesy of piano man Dennie Middleton).
In all, 82 songwriters are vying for $10,000 in prizes from St. Cecilia, with $2,000 being given to the top vote-getters in five different categories/genres in the ArtPrize contest.
With folks from Grand Rapids’ On Stage Services keeping things sounding crisp and running on time, there’s plenty more starting at noon today, when 20 acts will take the outdoor stage in St. Cecilia’s parking lot at Ransom Avenue and E. Fulton Street – a lineup that features some of Grand Rapids’ most popular performers, including Jimmie Stagger, Troll for Trout, Chasing the Sky, Karisa Wilson, Thirsty Perch Blues Band and more. Get the full schedule online here.
The free showcase – which also features, beer, wine, food and merchandise sales — concludes on Sunday (indoors at Royce Auditorium) running from noon to 6 p.m.
Here are a few photos and some video highlights from Friday’s showcase (including performances by Anita Schmaltz, Ann Marie Church, Ryan K. Wilson, Dan Hazlett, Molly Bouwsma-Schultz, Michael Schaeffer, Willy Wompa, Steve Talaga, Elle Pohlman, Amanda Vernon, Roger MacNaughton, Michael Cohen, Cole Hansen, Coldville, XIT18 Tommy B. & The Verk, Sara Azriel, AOK, Tokyo Morose, Chris Hansen with a very big band, and Dennie Middleton).
Come back to Local Spins on Sunday for more photos in the Weekend Photo Gallery, filled with images of musical meanderings across the region.
Email John Sinkevics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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