Young Parrotheads' fancies turn to . . . country music?

With the upcoming film release of Carl Hiaasen's Newbery honor book Hoot, there's potential to create a whole new generation of Parrotheads. Everyone's favorite resident of Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett, not only produced and stars in the film, but he also penned much of its original soundtrack.

Of course, Mr. Buffett isn't the only artist who stands to benefit from an influx of new fans. Many country musicians carry on this tradition of carefree beach relaxation, not the least of whom is one of Buffett's most prominent successors: Kenny Chesney. Despite having such distinctly un-parrotlike hits as "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," Chesney has staked his claim in the Parrothead pantheon with such songs as "When the Sun Goes Down" and "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem." Indeed, his 2004 album Be As You Are is a veritable smorgasbord of tropical freewheeling goodness.

Young and old Parrotheads alike may also enjoy the works of some other country greats such as Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, or the legendary Willie Nelson.

Music to your ears... Food for your soul...

Join the University Musical Society in welcoming Sweet Honey In The Rock at Hill Auditorium on Saturday, April 22 at 8pm.

For over 30 years, this Grammy-award winning a cappella ensemble of six African American women have combined spirituals, hymns, gospel - as well as jazz and blues to raise awareness about the social injustices in the U.S. and around the world. The words are also beautifully interpreted in American Sign Language.

Can't make it to the concert? Or you've heard them and want more? Check out AADL's selection of their music.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

The Play Ground welcomes Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg back to the UMS after a 15 year absence. Salerno-Sonnenberg burst onto the scene in 1981 as a young violinist star and is known as original and fearless. She is accompanied by Anne-Marie McDermott who is described as a "luminous, boldly emotive pianist who conveys great sensitivity" in her playing. Sounds like a concert that is not to be missed. Friday, April 21, 8pm at Hill Auditorium.

Idol-mania!

So you think you're a true American Idol fan? Sure, you may know everything there is to know about season 5, but what about seasons 1-4? You better brush up kids, for there may be a quiz...

Need some "idol" extra credit? Check these out:

Kelly Clarkson
Ruben Studdard
Clay Aiken (Yes folks, he actually has a book out...)
Fantasia Barrino

Chemistry of the Heart

Emilie Selden has been taught all the sciences by her reclusive, brilliant father on their estate in England but she is unprepared for her first encounter with love. A secret courtship, a loveless marriage and tragedy teach her more about life and loss than she can bear so she heads back to Selden Manor to rediscover her past and a new purpose in life. The Alchemist's Daughter by Katharine McMahon is a fine blending of historical fiction and science -- one of the most popular books on cd at the Library.

Caruso and the earthquake

One night Enrico Caruso was serenading San Francisco opera lovers in Bizet’s Carmen, the next night the city was in flames after the massive 1906 earthquake. The earthquake and fire destroyed the opera house and Caruso never sang in San Francisco again. Read more about the earthquake, and see a picture of Caruso in costume for Carmen, at National Public Radio’s website. You can borrow a recording of Caruso singing “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen from the library to get a feel for the magic of that night.

Name the genre of music…

...that includes Bebop, Latin, Smooth, Acid, Swing and Fusion?

That’s right, Jazz! April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Designated by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, JAM celebrates the rich tradition of Jazz and its influence on American history and culture. A celebration would not be complete without celebrating some of today’s Jazz artists. If you’re looking for a new sound to discover, here is a list of some of Amazon.com’s Top Sellers:

Michael BubleIt’s Time
Thelonious MonkThelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
Cassandra Wilson – Thunderbird
Madeleine PeyrouxCareless Love
Chris BottiTo Love Again

For more familiar favorites, the library has a host of Jazz greats to choose from like:Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Paul Whiteman

Ever play in a Jazz band? What instrument did you play?

Court Call Clears the Code

Now that Britain’s High Court has ruled that Dan Brown did not steal the idea for The Da Vinci Code from an earlier book, you can listen to this top-notch thriller without remorse. The movie version opens May 19th and there’s so much going on in this story that listening ahead will help not hurt your movie-going experience. Besides, that way you can walk out of the theatre saying, “it simply doesn’t live up to the book!”

Narnia for Grownups

Long before C.S. Lewis introduced us to Aslan, he created Screwtape, a veteran demon in the service of “Our Father Below.” Hoping to instruct his demon-in-training nephew, Wormwood, on the finer points of leading Christians astray, he writes The Screwtape Letters. Lewis satirizes human nature deftly but humanely, the religions humans build to express their beliefs, and the plight of those that would undermine both.

The Play Ground

"Willow, titwillow, titwillow" You may be hearing this outside your window as Spring is most definitely here. You can also hear it on April 6-9 at the Michigan League when The University of Michigan Gilbert & Sullivan Society presents one of Gilbert & Sullivan's most beloved operas "The Mikado." With an outstanding cast of old favorites and some new faces, one of UMGASS's most elaborate sets ever, and the most gorgeous silk costumes imaginable, it is sure to be an event you won't want to miss.

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