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September 10, 1981 - Image 98

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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Page 2-F-Thursday, September 10, 1981-The Michigan Daily

Stu den t

-run Eclipse


continues to bring

jazz t(
The history of jazz has been a rather
on-again off-again thing, especially sin-
ce the bebop and free jazz revolutions of
the fifties and sixties. Fusion and
popular jazz brought the music some
new popularity in the seventies, but the
tastes of the popular audience have
always lagged behind musical in-
novators, to the point where live jazz
has now almost disappeared from the
clubs of Ann Arbor.
Concert production groups associated
with the University of Michigan began
to address this problem in the mid-
seventies. Their concern with
educating an audience and providing
Southeast Michigan with first rate jazz
gave birth to Eclipse Jazz. The fruits of
the labors of hundreds of dedicated
people over the last six years have left a
long string of rewarding cultural events
and an authentic musical subculture in
Ann Arbor, and now many of jazz's
most important creators welcome a
chance to appear in what is, after all, a
small midwestern community more
noted for its football..
the University have had an opportunity

Ann Arbor

to learn from the experience of
producing a many faceted jazz
education and performance program.
Before 1975, concert production at the
University was a function of commer-
cial organizations, and Eclipse's
predecessor, Daystar, was run by
professionals in cooperation with the
University Activities Council. A few
visionaries in the ranks developed the
idea of a non-profit, student run group
providing diverse concert offerings and
valuable production experience for
students. Aiming for a variety of styles
including folk, the program gradually
focused on jazz.
The fall 1975 season initiated a policy
of balancing appearances of "stars"
with lesser known but important jazz
minds, using the profits generated by
big sellers to finance the others. The
first season included concerts by Mc-
Coy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Weather
Report and Cecil Taylor.
SUCCESS SPAWNED a sub-series,
the Bright Moments concerts,
dedicated to the memory of saxophonist
Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The Residential
College Auditorium and the University
Club provided an intimate setting for

the performances of musical in-
novators like Anthony Braxton, Marion
Brown, Jaki Byard and Dave Holland.,
By this time the once-famous Ann
Arbor Jazz and Blues Festival had been
shut down by a rather conservative and
unsympathetic local government, and
in the fall of 1978 Eclipse held its first
jazz festival-three days of marathon
concerts with Max .Roach, the Duke
Ellington Orchestra, Johnny Griffin
and Dexter Gordon-all dedicated tq
the memory of one of America's
greatest musicians, Duke Ellington.
It's interesting to note that tenor mon-
sters Griffin and Gordon were en route
to New York, where they recorded ar
album that pales before the intense per-
formance-the Ann Arbor audience in-
The concert series continued, and
other notable concerts included ap-
pearances by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah
Vaughan, and a brilliant piano duo per-
formance by Chick Corea and Herbie
Hancock, which is partially documen2
ted on a Columbia Records album.
ECLIPSE HAS continued to diver-.
sify, providing valuable education in a
See ECLIPSE. Page 5

Dave Brubeck

The early 1970s saw a thriving, hectic
rock concert scene in Ann Arbor. With
local nightclubs riding the crest of the
Vietnam-era rock tidal wave, there
were plenty of performers, customers,
and dolars to go around.
As the mid-seventies came and went,
so did 'the abundance of smaller-scale
club concerts. "Superstar Rock" had
taken hold nationally, and the multi-
thousand seat arena became the accep-
ted showplace for touring musicians.
The University's Office of Major Even-
ts handled more and more shows in Hill
Auditorium and Crisler Arena, hostingr
Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, and Billy
(Joel, among others.
Meanwhile, local clubs like Second
Chance and The Blind Pig felt a decline
in business. This trend continued and in
1980 claimed its first fatality, a former
Ann Arbor gathering place called Mr.
Flood's Party.
'IN THE PAST year, however, things
have swung back once more, at least
partly. Rising production and touring
costs, in addition to a deteriorating.

blues scene returns

to clubs


Prism.'s, Lee Berry
behind resurgence

stock of "Superstars," has stifled the
prominence of mega-concerts. Major
Events, which presented 15' concerts
during the 1975 Winter Term, brought
only three bands to town during the
same period last year.
Accompanying this decline in Super-
star Rock was a resurgence of night-
club-oriented groups. This growing
roster of new bands, many bearing the
catchall "New Wave" label, revitalized
the club circuit in Detroit as well as in
Ann Arbor, and represented the most
significant trend in professional rock
during the past year.
From January to April 1981, Second
Chance's "Tidal Wave"
series featured 17 bands of national and
international recognition. Instead of

bringing groups like Fleetwood Mac
and The Eagles, this Monday night
series spotlighted such performers as
The Kings, Human Sexual Response,
Joan Jett, and Steel Pulse, as well as.
rock legends Chuck Berry and Jerry
Lee Lewis.
WHILE THE Tidal Wave series,
sponsored by Ann Arbor's Prism
Productions, took control of the
multifarious "New Wave" market (in-
cluding rockabilly, ska and reggae,
"punk," etc.), a second series sprouted
up and further enhanced the local
nightclub scene. At Rick's American
Cafe, a remodeled discotheque, eight
concerts featuring blues artists were
presented on alternate Wednesdays.
Among the performers who appeared

last winter were John Hammond,
Albert Collins, Luther Allison and Cat-
fish Hodge.
Between the offerings of these two
series a large, consistently high-quality
nightclub calendar has returned to Ann
Arbor; the months ahead should reflect
it. Rather than complain about the lack
of worthwhile concerts presented
around town, the grumbling now seems
to say quite the opposite: There are
more shows offered than there are
studyless nights (and there is nothing
more aggravating than booking
through a Commander Cody or Lonnie
Brooks performance).
Although the concerts at Second
Chance and Rick's are.independent of
each other, one person is an integral
part of both operations: Lee Berry, 25,
a native of St. Paul, Minn., and a 1978
graduate of the University. Berry's full-
time position as a "music producer" for
Prism Productions includes assisting
Prism owner Tom Stachler in booking
the Second Chance concerts. In his off
hours, he is responsible for arranging


Lee Berry, Tom Stachler

* *
* t
334 S. STA TES


while classics prevail at Hill

The University of Michigan: Harvard
" ' of the Midwest. Ann Arbor: New York
' of the Midwest. Both parallels contain
" : * some elements of truth, the latter
especially with respect to classical
* music.
In what other city in the Midwest of
Ann Arbor's size can you attend a
classical concert almost every night of
FLOWERS the week? Even Cleveland and Chicago
are doubtful contenders for the title
STREET "cultural center of the Midwest." But
9. between the University Musical

Society, the School of Music, and coun-
tless other organizations, Ann Arbor
more than fits the label.
LAST YEAR ALONE, the University
Musical Society sponsored more than 50
concerts. These concerts included such
well-known figures as Horowitz,
Rostropovich, Zuckerman, the Guaneri
String Quartet, the Academy of St.
Martin in the Fields, the Pittsburgh
Symphony Orchestra, and the Los
Angeles Philharmonic. .
,Lesser-known artists included Paul
Plishka of the Metropolitan Opera,
guitarist Julian Bream, the New
Swingle Singers, performances of
Rossini's Barber of Seville and Donizet-
ti's Elixer of Love by national opera
companies, the Leipzig Gewandhaus
Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Or-
chestra, and the San Francisco Sym-
Every year the Musical Society also
presents the May Festival, a week-long
series of concerts by the Philadelphia
Orchestra and guest artists. Unfor-
tunately for the student population, this
event occurs at about the same time as

final exams. Perhaps this can be
viewed as a boon, however, as a
vaguely viable reason for flunking.
TICKETS FOR THE offerings by the
Society aren't free, but prices for major
concerts are, fairly reasonable
(especially if you sit in the second
balcony, where the acoustics are the

and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
The University School of Music
provides a less costly, high quality
alternative. The University orchestras,
choirs, and bands. have free concerts
scheduled each month, and School of
Music students give free recitals at
many locations, mainly on North Cam-

Last year alone, the University Musical Society
sponsored more than 50 concerts.

best). And there is ample opportunity
for student ushering. Most events are in.
Hill Auditorium.
Slated to appear in Musical Society
concerts this year are pianist Peter
Serkin, violinist Nathan Milstein, mez-
zo soprano Dame Janet Baker, oboist
Heinz Holliger, Tashi, conductor and
pianist Philippe Entremont with the
Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Zageb
Philharmonic, the Sofie Philharmonic,

pus. Often as many as three recitals are
scheduled per evening.
The two School of Music presen-
tations which stand out as special even-
ts are Band-O-Rama and the Halloween
concert. Admission is charged at Band-
O-Rama, but it is nominal and well-
worth the aural and visual spectacle of
the finest theUniversity has to offer in
symphonic bands: the jazz band, the
Friars, and the entire Michigan Mar-
ching Band high-stepping its way onto
the stage of Hill Auditorium.
The Halloween Concert is performed
Support the
March of Dimes

by the University Symphony Orchestra
in costume, and most of the audience
turns out in costume, as well. Last year
the entire bassoon section entered
dressed as Arab sheiks.
Other groups provide interesting con;
trasts to the dominance of the above-
mentioned. The Ann Arbor Chamber
Orchestra, for instance has risen to
prominence in three short years. An all-
Mozart concert was particularly ap=
pealing last year. The Chamber 'Or-
chestra performs in the Michigan
Theater and the Michigan League.
Ticket prices are reasonable.
Baroque music on original Baroque i1%
struments in the splendid acoustical
setting of St. Andrews Church.
Highlights of its series last year in
cluded a complete performance of
Handel's Messiah and all of Bach's.
Brandenburg Concertos. Tickets are;
slightly more expensive for these
The Academy for the Study and Pere
formance of Early Music is a very new
association involving several groups:
presenting music of the Baroque and
much, much earlier eras. Music is per-
formed on original instruments a
various Ann Arbor churches. Tickets
for these performances are inexpenrt
Contemporary music is also alive an4
well in Ann Arbor, although the city is
no longer a center of this activity as It
was in the 60s. Both the School of
Music's Contemporary Directions Erb
semble and visiting artists, such as thy
Philip Glass Ensemble, are excellent
diversions when one tires of Mozart or


" Piano Salad Bar
" Steakburgers &
I Ininm , Unrintinnc

" Baked Potatoes
" R.rritns


.. c t

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