If you’re a fan of top-class Jazz, you absolutely mustbe at The Franke Center on Saturday, February 23! We are thrilled to be able to host the Michigan State University Professors of Jazz for an evening of Jazz standards, original compositions, big band favorites, and improvisation from this star studded seven-piece orchestra! This brilliantly talented ensemble has performed locally, nationally, and internationally with a who’s who of greats in the Jazz world. Together as a group, they represent a true Michigan treasure that continues to educate, perform, and promote the best Jazz anywhere!
Rodney Whitaker(bass)– Artistic Director of the Michigan State University Professors of Jazz, internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist Rodney Whitaker is considered one of the leading performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States. Rodney is one of the hardest working and swinging bass players on the scene and has recorded with great musicians such as Roy Hargrove, Pat Methany and Wynton Marsalis. In 2006, he was nominated for the Juno Award, Canada’s equivalent to the Grammy, for his work on “Let Me Tell You About My Day,” produced by Alma Records
Etienne Charles (trumpet)– The New York Times calls Charles an auteur who is “one of [jazz’s] more ambitious soloists and composers,” JazzTimes applauds him as a “daring improviser” and DownBeat celebrates his tone as “melodically captivating” and “rhythmically agile” that makes his music “immediately pleasing.” After three albums, released on Culture Shock, Charles has garnered a welcomed response to his Caribbean roots-informed jazz.
Xavier Davis (piano)– Today, Xavier is one of the most accomplished Jazz pianists worldwide. Xavier has performed and recorded with many other world-famous Jazz artists like the legendary Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Christian McBride, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Abbey Lincoln, Wynton Marsalis, Don Byron, Nat Adderley, Nicholas Payton, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Greene, Steve Turre, Al Foster, and Jeremy Pelt among others.
Michael Dease (trombone)– Dease recently won the 64th Annual Downbeat Magazine Critic’s Poll for Rising Star Jazz Trombonist, the 2017 Best Jazz Trombonist from NYC’s Hot House Magazine, and is a sought-after and three-time Grammy award winning lead, section and bass trombonist with today’s leading jazz orchestras. Dease’s unique blend of curiosity, hard work, and optimism, has helped him achieve worldwide recognition, including awards from ASCAP, The International Trombone Association, Yamaha, Eastern Trombone Workshop, New York Youth Symphony, among others.
Randy Gelispie (drums)– Randy has been a professional jazz drummer since he started playing with a 10-piece band in the ninth grade. Gelispie has traveled on the road with Wes Montgomery, Sonny Stitt, Dinah Washington, Etta Jones, Lou Donaldson and Gene Ammons. He has worked with several blues musicians including Jimmy Witherspoon, John Lee Hooker, and Big Maybelle.
Randy Napoleon (jazz guitar)– Known as a forward-thinking musician with a passion for the jazz tradition, guitarist Randy Napoleon tours with the legendary singer/pianist Freddy Cole and leads his own trios, quartet, and three-horn sextet. Napoleon has performed on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman, The View, The Today Show, andThe Ellen DeGeneresshow as well as TV shows in South America, Europe and Asia. Napoleon is featured on Michael Buble’s Grammy-nominated CD Caught in the Act.
Diego Rivera (tenor saxophone)– Professor Rivera has given masterclasses & clinics across the country from Alaska to Florida working with students and bands from Elementary School to University levels. He has served as a clinician/adjudicator at The Notre Dame Jazz Festival, Alaska Fairbanks Jazz Festival, Frank Mantooth Jazz Festival and Idlewild Jazz Festivals.
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Saturday March 23, 2019
$20 Advance, $22 at the Door (Ticket Price Includes All Fees)
Join us for a night of collegiate a cappella voices from:
Albion College – Briton Singers
Eastern Michigan University – Express
Central Michigan University – On The Rox
Michigan State University – Capital Green
The University of Michigan – Harmonettes
AN EVENING WITH MATT CROWLE & FRIENDS
The Franke Center is pleased to present a one-time very special FUNDRAISER event, “An Evening with Matt Crowle & Friends”. This special show will take place on
Saturday, April 13that 7pm.
Matt Crowle is a Chicago based actor that was born and raised in Marshall, Michigan. At an early age, he became involved in dance and theater, performing in his first Marshall Civic Theater production at the age of six. Raised on the stage of The Franke Center, Matt performed in countless musicals with many of the talented locals! During his high school years, he acted in many summer productions at The Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater, Mi. After graduating from Marshall High School in 2000, he attended college in Chicago and graduated with a BA in musical theater. Upon graduation, he moved to NYC to begin his career on stage. An accomplished tap dancer, Matt toured nationally with legendary Tommy Tune in Doctor Doolittle.Returning from the year-long tour, he landed his first Broadway role in the production of Monty Python’sSpamalot at The Schubert Theatre in Times Square. Under the direction of Mike Nichols, he performed a variety of roles until the show’s closing in 2009. He then moved to Chicago to be closer to family and friends.
During Matt’s ten years in Chicago, he has directed, choreographed and acted on numerous stages throughout the city. He has been nominated for eleven Joseph Jefferson awards, winning three. Chicago theater highlights include Cosmo Brown in Singing in the Rain,Patsy in Spamalot, Luther Billis in South Pacific, Leo Bloom inThe Producers and Bert in Mary Poppinsat The Paramount. This past Christmas, he performed at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in the solo role of Crumpet the elf in David Sadaris’s The Santaland Diaries. Most recently Matt played the eight family members of the royal D’Ysquith family in the musical comedy production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. He returns to The Goodman Theatre for their summer production of The Music Man, a show he acted in years ago, at age twelve, at The Franke Center with his younger brother Danny.
Matt and his friends will be performing song and dance from the golden age of musicals. The show will be followed by a meet and greet, along with a sumptuous assortment of appetizers and desserts. A cash bar will be available throughout the evening. The cost of a fundraiser ticket is $75, which includes your ticket to the show, food AND 5 tickets for a chance to win one of the 5 door prizes available.
This year, The Franke Center will not be holding their annual raffle event and will be including some of the favorite raffle items as door prize offerings at this event. You will receive your 5 door prize tickets the evening of the show, and during the evening you will be able to choose which of the 5 prizes you would like to enter for a chance to win. Additional tickets will also be available for purchase that evening.
Matt is honored and grateful to be returning to The Franke Center Stage for a musical review benefiting the arts at The Franke Center. He is always “at home” on the Franke Center Stage. He thanks all of his friends and his family in Marshall for always supporting him through his many years of singing and dancing!
We hope you will join us for this special one-time fundraising event to help support The Franke Center.
The 5 door prizes to be won that evening (you must be present to win and have a ticket to Matt’s show)are the following:
Luxury English Inn Package– One week’s lodging for two in beautiful England. Split time between three hotels or pick just one. Stay includes breakfast, dinner, beverages and use of on-site exercise facilities. Visit abacushotels.co.uk for hotel info.
Cash Prize of $500
Dining Around the Town Package– Treat yourself & friends to dinner out in Marshall and out of town. This delicious package includes gift certificates from Schuler’s, Zarzuela’s, Grand River Brewery, Sandhill and The Dark Horse. Value $400
Traverse City Rental Home – Located 4 miles north of Traverse City and overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay, this 2 bedroom 1 ½ bath home is the perfect retreat for two couples or a small family. Newly remodeled, this rental is available for two nights beginning in September 2019 through May 2020. Preview on com #1379416
Kate Spade black purse with matching polka dot wallet – stuffed with $200 cash. – Value $600
You must purchase a ticket to the show in order to enter this drawing. No door prize tickets will be sold to those who are not ticket holders.
$34 Advance $36 at the Door
Doors open at 7 PM, show at 8 PM
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers road-hardened, seemingly telepathic musicianship bring an unmatched passion to Castro’s blue-eyed California soul and hard-rocking, good-time songs. In 2009 Castro won four of his six career Blues Music Awards including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award (the very highest award a blues performer can receive). Well known for his entertaining live shows, this promises to be a great night of live Blues at The Franke. “Castro plays gritty, string-bending blues like a runaway soul train…a glorious blend that rocks the soul and lifts the spirits.” (No Depression Journal of Roots Music).TICKETS
One of Nashville’s most revered songwriters, Travis Meadows brings his country influenced music to The Franke Center’s intimate Downstage Club for what promises to be a great evening of entertainment. Performing as a duo, Meadows is known for his unforgettable live performances, and his ability to draw the audience into his life experiences through his storytelling.
Peers have been dancing by Meadows’ fire for years. Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Mary Gauthier, Brandy Clark, Blackberry Smoke, Hank Williams, Jr., Wynonna Judd, Randy Houser, and others began writing with, recording, and praising Meadows as soon as they heard his work. Songs such as “Riser,” the title track for Bentley’s 2015 album; Church’s “Knives of New Orleans” and “Dark Side”; and Owen’s “What We Ain’t Got” are all Meadows-penned chart-climbers.
Meadows’ life has been filled with challenges and changes that come through in his songwriting. Speaking about his latest album, First Cigarette, Meadows says “Life can be a little challenging for all of us. It’s beautiful and it’s tragic, it’s awesome and it hurts,” Meadows says. “I hope people sense that through this record and want to come to a show, which is a lot of storytelling, a lot of tears, a lot of laughter. They’ll come face to face with a damn lot of humanity. I hope they see themselves in it.” And his live shows? Meadows comments “You know, my shows are not a ‘honky-tonk’ experience. There’s a lot of storytelling, you know, Mississippi back-roads kind of storytelling, and some songs that go with that. It’s almost like—god, I don’t know—like a Springsteen video with Eudora Welty or Flannery O’Connor directing the video,” he says with a laugh.