Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Tom ‘Terrific‘ Knific brings his Quartet to Crooked Tree

Rick Coates - February 1st, 2010
Tom ‘Terrific’ Knific brings his Quartet to Crooked Tree
By Rick Coates
One criticism college professors often receive is that they live within the protective walls of their respective institutions and don’t venture into the real world to gain practical experience in their subject matter. This is not the case with bassist and composer Tom Knific who is the professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University. Knific has built an international reputation for himself in the classroom and he is equally impressive on the performance stage. Jazz enthusiasts will certainly want to make their way to the Ross Stoakes Theatre within the Crooked Tree Arts Center this Saturday night for the Tom Knific Quartet.
Tom Knific may not be a household name; probably casual listeners of jazz are unfamiliar with him. But he is well respected among his academic and performing peers. “It gives me great pleasure to recommend Tom Knific, not only for his superb musicianship but equally important, in my estimation, for his fine personal qualities,” said musician David Brubeck. “I could not recommend anyone higher.”

Powerful words from one of jazz music’s all-time greats. Knific’s musical accomplishments over a 30-year career of teaching and performing are impressive. He is president of the International Society of Bassists and is a member of the popular Western Quartet that he founded. Knific has recorded and toured with several jazz greats including Dave Brubeck, Art Farmer, John Abercrombie, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Kenny Werner, among others.
He is a founding member of Opus 21, the critically-acclaimed ensemble that crosses multiple genres. Knific, through Opus 21, is able to bring many of his musical interests together. The ensemble commissions a half dozen works every year for its series, with music ranging from jazz, pop, and world influences to contemporary classical. Annual NYC premieres, recording projects, and concerts at the Library of Congress and Carnegie Hall are part of the group’s schedule and the New York Times has labeled the concept as “brilliant.”
A native of Ohio, Knific is a classically-trained musician who grew up appreciating jazz. He has connections to Northern Michigan as he served as the Director of Jazz Studies at Interlochen Arts Academy from 1983-87.
The Tom Knific Quartet brings together a collection of his former students, including his son John on piano, Keith Hall on drums and Chris Beckstrom on sax. For the Petoskey show they will be joined by special guest percussionist Ryan Andrews.
The quartet will perform a collection of original compositions and a few covers, along with pieces from their 2008 “Lines of Influence.” The CD has received positive reviews as have the quartet’s live performances.

Bassist, composer, and educator, Tom Knific, presents his newest band on tour and on record. The Tom Knific Quartet marks a new approach for Knific who has assembled a younger band, whose vitality, energy, and musical perspective are nothing less than explosive. The Saturday February 6 performace takes place at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey. For tickets and info see www.crookedtree.org or call 231-347-4337.

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