The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music is ready to welcome you to concerts from some of the nation's best musicians who celebrate the world's religious traditions in their performances. The festival begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 and runs through Tuesday, Nov. 2.
This week we also are highlighting the final day of the 2016 Festival. The featured event is a community favorite—the Sound & Spirit of Southwest Michigan. It is a full evening of area artists presenting music from diverse faiths and genres. They are:
Hazeltree (Ginny Shilliday, Vivian Abramowitz, and Jackie Zito), a professional acoustic traditional music ensemble of close girly harmonies, guitar, mountain dulcimer, mandolins, and drum, performing traditional songs and tunes from the British Isles, Ireland, and America.
Capoeira Mandinga, a combination of acrobatics, flexibility, music, dance and spirituality. Capoeira Is a unique martial art about Brazilian culture with an international community for everyone to join! Participants: Thomas “Santo” Braganca, Kayla “Picapau” Williams, Rickey “Maluco” Cornelius, Joseph “Cachorro” Bielecki, Kevin “Morcego” Sanchez, Joselynn “Tinta” Borres, Chanise “Sossegada” Love.
Leahaliza Lee, who brings alive moments from the lives of women silenced in the nearly forgotten history of Spain’s once-vibrant and long-gone Jewish communities through Judeo-Spanish traditional song. Leahaliza most often performs intimate house concerts, has appeared at Symphony Space in New York, and will perform at Carnegie Hall in December. She is also a lay leader at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills. She is accompanied by Stefan Kukurugya.
Jean Watson, an internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, violinist, and speaker from Kalamazoo. She holds degrees in violin performance from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Miami University of Ohio. Having an appreciation for many styles of music, Jean began singing and recording contemporary Christian music in 2003. Since that time, she has recorded 8 CDs, and her music has been featured on TBN and “The 700 Club” on CBN. A gifted speaker, she also hosts a daily radio show on United Christian Broadcasting Ireland Radio.
Greg Secor is on the faculty of Grand Valley State University where he directs the percussion program and teaches courses in music literature. He is a member of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and frequently performs with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. He will perform A Robe of Orange Flame (2005) by Christopher Deane. The piece is a work for percussion and spoken word based on the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Thich Quang Duc, who ended his life by immolation in order to bring attention to the brutal treatment of the Buddhist Monks by the Vietnamese government in the early 1960's.
The choir of Second Baptist Church. The church was organized in 1854 and was originally named the African Baptist Church. The growing congregation moved to its present location at Rose and Ransom in 1960, building additional space when needed in 1985. It is presently led by Pastor Strick Strickland, and the choir is led by Mark Hill.
See these talented musicians at First Baptist, 7 p.m. Nov. 2. Free.