UMS Night School: Explore RENEGADE - Session 1: "Einstein On The Beach" & Hamburg Symphony Orchestra

Monday January 9, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

UM's University Musical Society has scheduled a musical series titled "Renegade" for this season. The series focuses on thought-leaders and game-changers in the performing arts. The AADL is hosting three sessions of UMS Night School that will examine the musical pieces featured in the "Renegade" program.

This Session 1 of UMS Night School will focus on the upcoming "Einstein on the Beach: An Opera in Four Acts" and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra's version of Messiaen's "From the Canyons to the Stars."

Participants will be provided a presentation by a genre expert, an interactive exercise to draw the audience into the themes behind the performance, and a takeaway reading to enjoy.

This session will be hosted by Prof. Mark Clague, Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of Research at the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

The 5th Beatle

Looking through the new DVDs list in the catalog, I was excited to see that AADL will soon have copies of the movie, Backbeat! As a huge Beatles fan, this is one of my favorite movies because of how funny and also fairly accurate it is in its portrayal of the early days of the group.

In general, the story follows the band's start in the seedy nightclubs of Liverpool and Hamburg. More specifically, it chronicles the close friendship between John Lennon and "Fifth Beatle," Stuart Sutcliffe. The film is touching in its honesty towards this relationship and Lennon's struggle with Sutcliffe's decision to leave the Beatles in order to pursue a promising painting career (you can view some of his art at the link above...). Sometimes with all the "peace and love" Lennon tributes and memorials out there, it's easy to forget that the icon was once an angry, smart-aleck teenager with all kinds of abandonment issues. For me, understanding this Lennon makes me appreciate all the more the person he grew into later in life.

"Backbeat" is R-rated and as gritty and raw as the streets in which it takes place. The music, of course, is great. It's well worth checking out (if only to learn all about how the group got its famous hair-cut...), along with other John Lennon videos and albums. Or you can always buff up on your Beatles history with the wide range of books and videos at the library. And, of course, there will ALWAYS be the music.

Classical Bells Concert

Saturday December 17, 2011: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Feel the holiday spirit at the AADL's presentation of Michigan's premier handbell ensemble, Classical Bells. Listen to the beautiful sounds of sixty-eight bronze and six aluminum English handbells in the hands of these accomplished musicians.

This group of seasoned professionals, led by musical director Darlene Ebersole, has performed in concerts nationwide and appeared as featured performers with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Michigan Opera Theater. In addition, they have performed in numerous events sponsored by the American Guild of English Handbell ringers.

Blues & Boogie-Woogie Pianist Matthew Ball

Tuesday December 20, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Blues & Boogie-Woogie pianist Matthew Ball presents a fun American Roots program for all ages! This concert includes blues and boogie arrangements of classic American songs such as Swanee River, Over the Rainbow, The Sheik of Araby, Bumble Boogie, Pinetops Boogie, Cow Cow Blues, and more. Join us for an enjoyable family-friendly event of toe-tapping fun!

Strumming in Circles

Sunday December 18, 2011: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Are you an aspiring musician who likes to pluck some chords? Head downtown for a strumming hootenanny!

Bring your guitar, banjo, uke or any other tunable acoustic strumming stick as we play along together. An AADL staff member will lead the group through simple chord progressions. This event is for novice players looking for a chance to play some music with others. For Grades 6 - Adult.

AADL Talks To: Gary Grimshaw

Gary Grimshaw is one of the most renowned and recognizable poster artists to come out of the 1960s. His most prolific period as a graphic artist was his time spent with John and Leni Sinclair in the mid-1960s and early 1970s, first in the Detroit-based Trans-Love Energies commune and then in Ann Arbor with the White Panther Party/Rainbow People's Party. In this interview we talk with the former White Panther Party Minister of Art about creating art for the Grande Ballroom and the White Panther Party, the night John Sinclair met both him and the MC5, and how he made his art then and now.

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AADL_Talks_To-Gary_Grimshaw.mp3 17.32 MB

AADL Talks To: John Sinclair (March 22, 2010)

In this interview from March 22, 2010, poet, author, and activist John Sinclair reflects on music in Ann Arbor - from the MC5, the free concerts in the parks and the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz festival, to his specific memories of local clubs and musicians. He also talks about the influence of both the Beat generation and black music on his cultural and political awakening, the origins of the White Panther Party, and the importance of newspapers.

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AADL_Talks_To-John_Sinclair1.mp3 39.55 MB

AADL Talks To: Bruce Conforth

Rob talks with University of Michigan Professor of American Culture, Bruce Conforth, about the cultural and historical significance of the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, in particular John Lennon's decision to appear at the Rally and the role Ann Arbor played in the 1960s.

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AADL_Talks_To-Bruce_Conforth.mp3 21.39 MB

Freeing John Sinclair Concert with Commander Cody Band and John Sinclair

December 10, 2011, marks the 40th anniversary of the John Sinclair Freedom Rally at Crisler Arena, held to protest the ten-year prison term given John Sinclair for the possession of two marijuana cigarettes (he was released soon after the Rally). On the evening before the anniversary, we'll celebrate the launch of our Freeing John Sinclair website (coming December 9!) with a FREE concert at The Ark featuring the Commander Cody Band (Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen played at the original Rally), with special guest John Sinclair & Beatnik Youth.

Admission is FREE, and first-come, first-served, so get there early!

Friday, December 9, 2011 | 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:30) | The Ark | Ann Arbor

Musician Aaron Dworkin, Founder & President Of The Sphinx Organization, Discusses His Memoir

Tuesday December 13, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

AADL is extremely proud to host violinist, arts educator, and President of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, Aaron Dworkin, as he discusses his long-awaited inspirational memoir "Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership." The book is a harrowing yet moving account of Aaron's personal journey through social isolation and discrimination to found one of the nation's cultural jewels, the Sphinx Organization. Books will be on sale at the event and the evening will include a book signing.

"Uncommon Rhythm" is a tapestry of stirring narrative, precious photos and poignant poems. A MacArthur Fellow, Aaron is driven by the single vision of inclusion for all, and hopes that this book will inspire all people who have ever felt like outsiders to nurture their own gifts and make valuable contributions to society.

An author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen and an avid youth education advocate, Dworkin has received extensive national recognition for his vast accomplishments.

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