The week-long Kalamazoo festival’s opening night boasted diverse, riveting sets at Bell’s Brewery Back Room, with six more days of Michigan music to come. Photos, video and recap.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERIES, VIDEO, FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
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Organizer Jennifer Hudson-Prenkert called Sounds of the Zoo a community-building event and “a platform for the greater good.”
A fan on hand Monday for the free, week-long Kalamazoo festival’s opening night at Bell’s Brewery Back Room called it an “intriguing” Day 1 lineup because each of the evening’s three acts “stands so differently.”
And for an emerging indie-rock/pop act of 17-year-olds — Sophia McIntosh & The Sages — it was an impressive way to not only kick off a week featuring more than 50 bands, but a real head-turning romp displaying the up-and-coming Grand Rapids artist’s fierce, dynamic vocals and infectious songs.
“It’s a great community,” McIntosh said of Kalamazoo. “I love Jen; she’s the best. She’s super-smart with bringing music to the community.”
Indeed, with more than 100 people on hand, the festival’s opening evening boasted a diverse mix of performers from that West Michigan community, including the riveting rock of Elisabeth Pixley-Fink (backed by Sam Cooper, Joel Pixley-Fink and The Go Rounds’ Graham Parsons and Adam Danis) and the engaging R&B of Yolonda Lavender and her top-shelf band.
As Hudson-Prenkert pointed out, Monday’s powerful lineup was just the beginning of a packed week of shows at seven other Kalamazoo venues. Tonight (Tuesday), seven different performers will light up the Clover Room at 1501 Fulford St. starting at 6 p.m., with a “Gigging Musician’s Survival Guide to Live Sound” workshop next door at La Luna Recording and Sound at 7:30 p.m. Scroll down to view the full schedule for the week.
“I guarantee there isn’t one musician this week that you won’t fall in love with or be excited about,” said Hudson-Prenkert, festival founder, executive director and “Energizer Bunny.” “I could start another festival a week from now with 55 bands.”
PHOTO GALLERY 1: Sounds of the Zoo – Day 1
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker
PHOTO GALLERY 2: Sounds of the Zoo – Day 1
Photos by Derek Ketchum
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Sounds of the Zoo – Day 1
SOUNDS OF THE ZOO 2023: THE SCHEDULE
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