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Soundtract for Film Fest

Robert Downes - July 26th, 2010
local musicians provide the soundtrack for Film Fest
By Robert Downes
Imagine this: you’re a relatively unknown musician laboring in the
obscurity of faraway Northern Michigan. Then a big-deal Hollywood
director comes to town and is absolutely enchanted by one of your
tunes at the Traverse City Film Festival. The next thing you know,
you’re hobnobbing with Brad, Angie, Johnny and Scarlett at the Oscars,
celebrating the success of your Academy Award-winning song.
Well, it could happen, but if not, then at least several dozen local
musicians will have their 15 minutes of fame on the stages of theaters
this week, performing before the curtain rises on the festival’s
Not only that, but there’s also an 18-song “Music of the Film
Festival” CD for sale this year to highlight some of the musicians who
volunteer their talents.
“This is a way for people to get their music out,” says Michael
Sullivan, who has served as entertainment manager at the festival over
the past four years. “All of the musicians on the CD as well as those
who are opening the movies will have a photo and a blurb on the
festival website.”

Sullivan, who sings and plays guitar with the Wild Sullys and Song of
the Lakes, has also organized a mini music festival at Lay Park on
Union Street in Old Town, where a number of bands and solo acts will
perform from noon - 7 p.m. each day, Wednesday-Sunday.
“The concerts in the park are free and we’ll also have two film
discussions there each day with moderators to lead the talks. We’re
hoping to have some directors stop by to offer their views.”
Musicians will be able to sell their own CDs at the concerts in the
park, and the “Music of the Film Festival” CD will also be available
in a limited run of 300 copies at $10 each.
“One of the exciting things about the music this year is that we’ve
always had local interest in performing, but now we’re expanding
statewide with groups such as Red Sea Pedestrians coming here from
Kalamazoo to play,” Sullivan says. “It’s a reflection on the
importance of the music side of the festival.”
He adds that it wasn’t easy picking the acts to perform on the
festival CD. “We sent out an email to everyone on our list to submit
a track and tried to be as inclusive as possible, but there were some
issues on the recording quality that limited what we could use.”

How does one do justice to reviewing an 18-song compilation CD?
Suffice to say that “Music of the Film Festival” is uniformly
excellent and likely to give any directors who might be snooping
around for film scores plenty to choose from.
Predominantly acoustic tunes, romantic ballads and love songs, the CD
also offers some surprises, such as Ron Getz’s jazz instrumental,
“Celeste”; the sultry vocals of Jetty Rae; a ‘recomposed’ Beethoven
tune, “For Elise” by Tom Kaufmann; a swing through Americana from The
Corvairs and New 3rd Coast; “Latitude,” a 5:22 electronica
instrumental by Christian Larsen; hard-driving, horn-powered folk rock
from the Wild Sullys; and the stark, heartfelt folk of White Wolf
Black Bear on “First.” Other performers include Red Sea Pedestrians,
Brett Mitchell and the Giant Ghost, Chris Burgess, Miriam Pico & David
Chown, Motel Darlene, Ragtop Rodeo and Angela Josephine.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…
Who’s playing at the Open Space films & festival parties

One of the highlights of this year’s free films by the bay will be a
Northern Michigan Beatles Tribute prior to the Thursday night airing
of “Help” at the Open Space in Traverse City.
Al Jankowski is organizing the 90-minute show, which will feature
15-20 local musicians doing their take on their favorite Beatles’
“We’ll have everyone from singer-songwriters on stage to a full rock
band,” says Jankowski, who performs on sax and keyboards with numerous
musicians in the area and also works as a salesman at Marshall Music.
Among those performing will be singers Dawn Campbell and Miriam Pico,
Dave Webber of Alter Ego, DJ Matt Mansfield and Boston-area bassist
John Davies, with Jankowski backing most of the acts. Local
singer-songwriter Andrew Sturtz also has an opening spot that evening.
“It will all lead up to the grand finale of the show which will be
everyone coming back on stage to perform the song, ‘Help’,” Jankowski
Favorite Beatle? “John Lennon, of course.”

Open Space Films and performances

Tuesday July 27 • “Twister” The Cedar Valley Boys - old time string band
Jetty Rae - singer/songwriter

Wednesday July 28 • “Finding Nemo”
Tongue Family String Band - Celtic
Geno Tpicor - Native American/French music & stories
Jenny Thomas - singer/songwriter

Thursday July 29 - The Beatles “Help” A Northern Michigan Beatles
Tribute & Andrew Sturtz

Friday July 30 • “Raising Arizona” Windy Ridge Trio - old time string band
Surprise Guest TBA

Saturday July 31 • “Indiana Jones” Christian Larsen - electronica
Wild Sully’s - Celtic rock

Sunday August 1 • “Mary Poppins” Jazz North - contemporary jazz
Miriam Pico & David Chown - jazz pop

Lay Park Performances: 7th & Union Streets
Wednesday, July 28
12:00p The Red Sea Pedestrians: klezmer & swing band
1:15p Veena Chandra & Devish Chandra Duo: Indian sitar & tabla
3:00p Chris Burgess: Pop singer/songwriter
4:00p Jetty Rae: Acoustic/ folk
6:00p 12 Year Reunion: Fife Lake rock ‘n’ roll

Thursday, July 29
12:00p Ron Getz: jazz guitar
1:15p David Chown: jazz pianist
3:00p Jordan Huggett: drum group
4:00p Angelo Meli & Glenn Wolff: jazz guitar & bass
6:00p Song of the Lakes: maritime folk

Friday, July 30
12:00p Ragtop Rodeo: country
1:15p Acoustic Dynamite: folk rock
3:00pm Moonbeam: singer/ songwriter
3:40p Henry Sparks: English singer/songwriter
4:20p Thunderclap!: Canadian singer/songwriter
6:00p Mue Sephei: music from Switzerland

Saturday, July 31
12:00p Sundelius: Singer/songwriter
1:15p Ruby John: local fiddle player
3:00p Matt Smith: finger-style guitar
4:00p White Wolf Black Bear: singer/songwriter
6:00p Fresh Cut Collective: Milwaukee-based roots/funk/hip-hop

Sunday, August 1
1:15p Barbara Faith Jordan: singer/songwriter
3:00p Angela Josephine: singer/songwriter
4:00p Motel Darlene: Earthworks artist
6:00p The Corvairs: blues rock

Film Festival Parties:
Opening Party - July 27, downtown TC
Mue Sephei
The Red Sea Pedestrians
GT Pipes & Drums
Andy Nester
Veena & Devesh Chandra

Film Maker’s Party - July 31, Wade Trim Park
David Chown
Fresh Cut Collective

Closing Party - August 1, Park Place Dome
The Windy Ridge Trio
The Fresh Fossils

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