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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Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson to Return to Interlochen

Ross Boissoneau - April 14th, 2014  

Interlochen is welcoming old friends and new back this summer for its annual summer arts festival, which will feature Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, and Bonnie Raitt.

Another favorite is preeminent banjo player Bela Fleck. Fleck has performed with a wide range of musicians, from contemporary bluegrass pioneers New Grass Revival to jazz pianist Chick Corea. He’s touring with Corea through the end of this month before heading out on dates with fellow banjoist Abigail Washburn.

That restless musical spirit has served him well, he said.

“I thought it was the musician’s job to always search for new sounds and opportunities for growth,” he said. “I grew up musically in the 1960’s when all my favorite musicians seemed to constantly be expanding.”

Fleck has appeared at Interlochen previously with such peers as bassist Edgar Meyer as well as his group the Flecktones. The latter is currently on hiatus, and this time around he’ll be paired with Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet who played on his latest album, “The Impostor.”

“We have vague plans to reconvene in the next couple of years,” he said about the Flecktones, which includes bassist Victor Wooten and percussionist Future Man. Most recently the fourth spot was filled by original member Howard Levy on keyboards and harmonica.

“Everyone is busy with their own music right now,” he said, “but we should be able to saddle up together for another big ride before too long.”

Fleck said that Brooklyn Rider is one of the most interesting string quartets on the scene today.

“I love this group, and we’ve developed a very sweet show together,” he said. “It’s a combination of pieces I’ve written to play with the group, some arrangements of my own older material from New Grass Revival and Flecktones, and their music, some of which I have learned as well.”

Another familiar face coming back to Interlochen is actually a quartet of familiar faces. The Enso String Quartet will once again serve as artists-in-residence in August, a role they’ve filled for the better part of a decade.

Cellist Richard Belcher says the group enjoys the opportunity to work with the string enthusiasts at the Adult Chamber Music Camp.

“The campers – I guess you can call them campers – have the best attitude,” he said. “It’s just wonderful. They love the music and the other participants. They just want to make music.”

As do Belcher and his colleagues, violinists Maureen Nelson and John Marcus and viola player Melissa Reardon. The group came together at Yale University in 1999 and has since performed across the globe, earning accolades and awards, including top prizes at the Concert Artists Guild competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Belcher says the group, which will perform three shows at Interlochen, remains committed to the string quartet repertoire. That includes not only favorites by the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak and Mozart, but newer music by the likes of Dame Gillian Whitehead from Belcher’s homeland of New Zealand and American composer Kurt Stallmann.

“Some of our programs are pretty conservative, and others are more experimental,” he said.

Growing up, Belcher was greatly influenced by the performers he saw onstage.

“Back home in New Zealand, I remember thinking how cool it would be to be on that stage,” he said. “I did it a couple years ago, and it was a real marker point for me.”

In addition to working with the campers, Enso String Quartet will perform concerts on Aug. 11, 13 and 16.

In all, more than 30 guest artists will perform at Interlochen, along with countless concerts by campers and instructors throughout the summer.


• Sheryl Crow with special guest Mandy Alexander June 13

• Gordon Lightfoot June 18

• Lynyrd Skynyrd June 19

• Betty Who June 23

• US Air Force Band – Airmen of Note June 25 (Interlochen Bowl – free)

• Rioult Dance June 26

• Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” June 26-28 & July 2, 3 & 5

• Tigran Hamasyan June 27

• World Youth Symphony Orchestra June 29

• Bonnie Raitt with special guest Paul Cebar June 30

• Bela Fleck & Brooklyn Rider July 1

• The Capitol Steps July 5

• Alessio Bax, World Youth Symphony Orchestra July 6

• Interlochen “Collage” July 8

• Nickel Creek July 10

• Darius Rucker July 11

• Jackson Browne July 12

• Michael Cooper: Masked Marvels & Wondertales July 13

• Joshua Bell, World Youth Symphony Orchestra July 13

• Broadway’s Next H!t Musical July 14

• Willie Nelson & Family and Alison Krauss & Union Station with Jason Isbell July 17

• Cavani String Quartet July 19

• Five for Fighting July 19

• John Axelrod, World Youth Symphony Orchestra July 20

• Ray Lamontagne with the Belle Brigade and Jenny Lewis July 22

• Gary Allan July 25

• Ani Kavafian, World Youth Symphony Orchestra July 27

• “Les Miserables” Interlochen High School Musical Theatre Co. July 31–Aug. 3

• Buddy Guy with Robert Randolph and the Family Band Aug. 5

• Enso String Quartet Aug. 11, 13 & 16 • Steely Dan Aug. 20

Tickets for the Interlochen Summer Concert Series go on sale at 9am on Fri., April 18. Get tickets online at tickets.interlochen.org. Interlochen Summer Arts Festival 2014 On Sale: 9 a.m. Fri., April 18 Tickets: Kresge Auditorium shows range from $25.50 to $43.50 for most bronze seats, $40.50-$55.50 for most gold seats; Corson Auditorium tickets typically range from $20.50 to $30.50. Call: Interlochen box office at 800-681-5920 More info: tickets.interlochen.org

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