The new year boasts some live music in non-traditional venues – aka museums – to help survive the winter, from Fiona Dickinson to DeVos String Quartet to Crystal Bowersox. Here are a few series to consider.
Museums and live music.
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That combination has proven to be a compelling combo in recent years as several venerable institutions across West Michigan have opened up their unique spaces for concerts by performers representing a wide range of styles: classical, electronic, rock, folk, pop, blues and bluegrass.
With the drab days of winter just getting under way and 2019 just around the corner, Local Spins offers up a few museum-centric opportunities for lighting things up in the new year with inviting live music.
CONCERTS UNDER THE STARS
Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW
Since this series began a couple of years ago, the concerts have been immensely popular, partly because they take place in the singular setting of a planetarium, with live visuals on the planetarium dome by Nate Eizenga or Meghan Moe Beitiks to accompany the performances by boundary-pushing regional acts. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for museum members; $15 general public in advance ($18 the day of the show). Tickets tend to sell out quickly. Get details online at grpm.org.
Jan. 17 – Fiona Dickinson (dark folk)
Feb. 7 – Frankie & Myrrh (experimental rock)
Feb. 28 – Bronze Wolf (dark electronic pop/psych rock)
March 21 – Pink Sky (indie/analog electronica)
SUNDAY CLASSICAL CONCERT SERIES
Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center NW
These unique classical music performances on Sundays turn through the fall and winter “amidst GRAM’s beautiful architecture and galleries” feature world-class musicians. Concerts are open to the public for the cost of general museum admission and are free for museum members. This week’s 2 p.m. Sunday concert (Dec. 16) features violinist Jennifer Walvoord and pianist Andrew Le. Details online at artmuseumgr.org.
Dec. 16 – Jennifer Walvoord & Andrew Le
Feb. 3 – The Tom Knific Quartet
Feb. 10 – The Music of Hollywood: Korngold and Gershwin
Feb. 17 – David Hall
Feb. 24 – Rainer Duo
March 3 – A Decade of Celebrating Women Composers
March 10 – The Oblivion Project
March 17 – Erich Peterson
March 24 – DeVos String Quartet
March 31 – Victoria Olson
April 7 – Café Music: Patti Garvey & Friend
MUSIC AT THE MUSEUM
Tri-Cities Historical Museum, 200 Washington Ave., Grand Haven
The series actually kicks off this Friday night with young blues-rock phenom Jake Kershaw (and special guests The Whiskey Charmers), but continues once a month through April on the second floor of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in downtown Grand Haven. These winter shows are so popular, almost every one of them sells out, and they put regional acts on a stage in a unique setting. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the concerts beginning at 7:30 p.m. Non-member tickets range in price from $20-$35. Presented by the Tri-Cities Historical Museum and Red House Concerts, tickets are available online at tri-citiesmuseum.org. Read more about Season 4 of the Music at the Museum series.
Dec. 14 – Jake Kershaw, The Whiskey Charmers
Jan. 11 – The Way Down Wanderers, Charlie Millard Band
Feb. 8 – Red Tail Ring, Seth Bernard/Mark Lavengood Duo
March 1 – May Erlewine, Olivia Millerschin
April 20 – Crystal Bowersox, Abigail Stauffer/Dave Haughey Duo
KALAMAZOO FRETBOARD FESTIVAL
Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 230 N. Rose St., Kalamazoo
There really is nothing quite like the Fretboard Festival, which not only features a broad range of acts playing several stages at this museum in downtown Kalamazoo, but also boasts workshops exploring techniques on a variety of instruments, vendors displaying instruments and music-related info, and acoustic jam sessions. Plus, it’s free and family-friendly, making this a super way to spend a winter day. By the way, the museum’s Stryker Theater also hosts occasional concerts and Art Hop Fridays performances. Get information online at kvcc.edu. And check out the Local Spins recap of the 2018 Fretboard Festival.
Jan. 4 (5-9 p.m.) – Play-In Contest for bands vying for two slots in the March Fretboard Festival
Jan. 13 (1:30 p.m.) – Benje Daneman’s SearchParty
March 1 (5-9 p.m.) – Opening night concert for Fretboard Festival
March 2 (9 a.m.-6 p.m) – Day-long Fretboard Festival with more than a dozen bands on three stages
Copyright 2018, Spins on Music LLC