Arts and Entertainment

Benefit to raise funds for Standing Rock Water Protectors

By ELENA ENRIQUEZ Join us on Saturday, Jan 21, from noon until closing for BG Standing With Standing Rock at Howard’s Club H to raise money to bring vital supplies to the Water Protectors who are risking their lives in sub zero temperature so that we all may share a healthy planet. The fight for clean water and life is far from over! Acoustic Stage Matt Ingles noon-12:30 April Freed 12:30-1 Jimmy Lambert 1-1:30 Sarah Connelly 1:30-2 Adamantium Experiment 2-2:30 Justin Payne 3-4 Main Stage Cadillac Jukebox 4-4:45 Getting Out Alive 5-5:45 2nd Mile Society 6-6:45 Moths In The Attic 7-7:45 Wood N Strings 8-8:45 Weak Little Ears 9-9:45 Awesome Job 10-10:45 Split Second 11-11:30 Daniken 12-12:45 Musical interludes between acts on the acoustic stage performed by; Matt Cordy, Barry Johnson ,Boo Lee Crosser, Bruce Lilly, and Zack Wilson. There will also be a silent auction, bake sale and food. $5 entry All proceeds from the event go directly into support for either firewood, or to supplies for the Medic Healer council. Let’s come together, the day after the inauguration, in solidarity as a positive, progressive community. Share passions and ideas, speak from your heart of how to transform this reality and how to grow as a community. We are creating a better, more inclusive and caring world for each other. Stand in support of a healthier planet and those who are peacefully protecting this dream. Mni Wiconi! Water is life! (Related story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/local-woman-joins-effort-to-stop-pipeline-at-standing-rock/)


Kehinde Wiley’s urban take on Old Masters coming to Toledo Museum

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art presents Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, an exhibition of 60 paintings and sculptures questioning ideas of race, gender and the politics of representation. On view Feb. 10-May 14, 2017, A New Republic spans Wiley’s 14-year career including his earliest explorations of the male figure, his unique take on Old Master portraiture and his later forays into sculpture and iconography. The exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. “The magnitude of this exhibition will impress even those familiar with Wiley’s work,” said Brian P. Kennedy, TMA director, president and CEO. “He has taken the grandeur of portrait painting and translated it with his portrayals of contemporary African American men and women. Wiley bridges the gap between traditional portraiture and our daily lives, and in doing so, he raises questions about identity and how we perceive ourselves and others.” Wiley’s signature portraits of everyday men and women riff on specific paintings by Old Masters, replacing the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives. “The Toledo Museum of Art is home to a wide array of singular masterpieces gathered together from across time and geographic regions,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, TMA director of collections. “The museum’s strong collection of Old Master paintings offers a particularly compelling framework for the presentation of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. Playing with traditional conventions of European portraiture, Wiley examines symbols of power, wealth, status and identity in today’s world. Juxtaposing A New Republic with the Old Master portraits hung in TMA’s adjacent galleries provides context for Wiley’s work. Visitors will be encouraged to examine the paintings that inform his portraits through a new lens.” The subjects in Wiley’s paintings often wear sneakers, hoodies and baseball caps, and are set against contrasting ornate decorative backgrounds that evoke earlier eras and a range of cultures. Through the process of “street casting,” Wiley invites individuals, often strangers he encounters on the street, to sit for portraits. In this collaborative process, the model chooses a reproduction of a painting from a book and reenacts the pose of the painting’s figure. By inviting the subjects to select a work of art, Wiley gives them a measure of control over the way they’re portrayed. The exhibition includes a selection of Wiley’s World Stage paintings, begun in 2006, in which he takes his street casting process to other countries, widening the scope of his collaboration. Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by Eugenie…


Opening acts for Kesha announced

The bands Light Horizon, from Toledo, and Graduation Day have been selected by Kesha and concert promoter Bands4Change as the opening acts for the Kesha and the Creepies Jan. 27 show at the Stroh Center on the Bowling Green State University campus. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $45, $55 and $65. All of the profits from the show will go to the following charities: Humane Society International; National Eating Disorder Association; and Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. Tickets in sale at Finders Records in downtown Bowling Green, or online http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/08005187F3217896#efeat4211. See related story at: http://bgindependentmedia.org/perrysburg-teen-expresses-passion-for-doing-good-by-bringing-pop-star-kesha-to-stroh-center/  


Michael Daugherty’s American musical landmark center of Toledo celebration

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Hearst Castle in California has an organ. Composer Michael Daugherty told an audience at the Toledo Museum of Art he’s never heard it. He does know that it was used to accompany the showing of the silent films that William Randolph Heart’s mistress Marion Davies starred in. Hearst would round up his guests into the theater to watch the films, and he had people who would go and rouse anyone who dozed off. That’s the kind of detail Daugherty as a lover of American culture savors. Scott Boberg, the museum’s manager of programs and public engagement, said the composer’s work is “a comprehensive exploration of American culture and geography.” He’s written works inspired by Route 66 and the Brooklyn Bridge, Superman and Elvis Presley, the paintings of Grant Wood and Georgia O’Keefe, and the Detroit Industry murals of Diego. “You get a sense of America.” Daugherty said he’s been to the Hearst Castle at least 10 times. He’s fascinated by the structure, with its enormous Neptune pool as well as the glittering Hollywood era it represents. When he received a commission to write a concerto for organ and orchestra he decided this would be the right occasion to celebrate Hearst, his castle, and Orson Welles’ classic film “Citizen Kane,” an acerbic portrait of the media mogul. The Toledo Symphony Orchestra is playing the concerto this weekend on a program that includes another American work inspired by a castle “Xanadu” by Charles Griffes and a masterwork for orchestra Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. The Toledo Museum of Art programmed the “Citizen Kane Experience” around the orchestra’s performance of Daugherty’s piece (Friday and again Saturday night at 8). It started on Thursday night with a screening of “Citizen Kane” and included “Once Upon a Cocktail” reception before Friday night’s performance. Daugherty was on hand for the reception, where guests sipped cocktails – the Hearst Cocktail, Bee’s Knees and Highball – fashionable from Hearst’s time. Not that Hearst’s guests would have imbibed heavily in them. Daugherty said the tycoon restricted his guest to one drink a night. Errol Flynn was tossed from the castle for bringing his own booze. Hearst was a collector. He was so acquisitive, some of his purchases were never uncrated. Some of the objects he bought have ended up in the Toledo Museum’s collection. Jutta Page, associate curator, described them, and how she recently came to realize that a large table in the collection had been owned by Hearst. An archivist, who was trying to locate a…


David Jackson professes his love of polka every Sunday morning

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When I arrive in David Jackson’s office in Williams Hall on the Bowling Green State campus, he’s busy doing what he’s been doing so much of since the campaign started. He’s on the telephone talking to a reporter. In this instance, he responding to questions about Meryl Streep’s impassioned speech at the Golden Globes the night before. Jackson, who teaches political science, has become the go-to expert for the national media on the impact of celebrity endorsements in politics. He’s found they don’t matter much, and often hurt. Even after the election he’s still getting calls. That’s not what prompted this visit from BG Independent News, though. I want to talk polka. For almost six years, Jackson has hosted the Sunday Morning Polka Show 10a.m. to noon, on WXUT, 88.3, and available for streaming on Mixcloud at https://www.mixcloud.com/discover/sunday-morning-polka/. While the show includes all styles of polka as well as some related pop music, at its heart is the Polish-American polka that Jackson grew up listening to in southern Saginaw County, Michigan. His parents, especially his mother (maiden name Lazowski), listened to it. Every year it was the focal point of the festival hosted by the Catholic Church he attended. ”There wasn’t a period in my life that I didn’t listen to polka,” Jackson said. Sure, he admits, maybe for some time as a teenager, he looked down on the music as corny. Then he came to appreciate its variety and complexity. “It’s about more than drinking beer and dancing.” And he demonstrates that in the stream of consciousness show in which he decides on the fly which of the 25,000 polka songs stored on his computer he’ll play. Maybe he’ll play “Midnight in Moscow,” formerly a Soviet radio network theme after a New from Poland story about American troops arriving in Poland. Or he’ll do a keyword search to string together related songs. They can be brand new, or vintage vinyl, scratches and all. Polish-American polka is, Jackson asserts, “as distinctive an American style of music as bluegrass, blues, jazz or Cajun music in the sense that it has a non-US origin that combines with other influences in the US to become this hybrid.” But, he said, “it’s the one that gets made fun of, which I don’t like.” The music has evolved. Polka in the 1930s and 1940s was played at a fast tempo by big bands using intricate arrangements. “It blows the walls off the place.” The music settled down since then and was a staple of…


Debate over afterlife puts church through hell in “The Christians”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Clearly Presbyterians don’t believe in bad karma. Otherwise the pastors and board of the First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green would have thought thrice about hosting a production of “The Christians,” a drama about a church being ripped apart. The church lived up to its declaration on its sign outside as a welcoming congregation, and welcomed Broken Spectacle Productions into its sanctuary. Luke Hnath’s 2015 play “The Christians” is being presented Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary. Tickets at the door are $20 and $15 for students. Tickets in advance are $15. Visit brokenspectacle.com. That’s a fortuitous setting for the play. After a small choir (William Cagle, Beth Felerski, and Lorna Patterson) directed by pianist Connor Long has offered a couple hymns, the pastor, Paul (Jim Trumm) steps out and greets the congregation. Given the stage is a sanctuary a moment of confusion ensues – is this a service or a performance? Trumm’s Paul is a warm, reassuring figure, glib but not quite unctuous. He’s certainly proud of what he’s built. As he details in the opening lines of his sermon, he built this church from a handful of worshippers in a storefront into a congregation of thousands with a church that has a bookstore, coffee shop and parking lot big enough to get lost in. This Sunday is one of celebration, he tells the congregation, because the mortgage on the church has finally been paid off. And the Sunday is notable as well because he is announcing a dramatic change in theology – he no longer believes in hell. Paul arrived at this epiphany not on the road to Damascus, but in a bathroom in an Orlando hotel. At a conference he heard a missionary lament that a boy, who burned to death in the process of saving his younger sister, would not go to heaven because he was not a Christian, not saved. Paul says that is incompatible with a loving God. “We are no longer that kind of church.” Trumm’s Paul announces this with joy and certainty. The audience – or is it a congregation? – would do well not to be so mesmerized by Paul’s preaching that they neglect to watch the others on the dais. The actors – Eric Batts as the associate pastor Joshua, Jim Dachik as the elder Jay, and Libby Dachik as Paul’s wife, Elizabeth – register their characters’ reactions to Paul’s revelations. Jay is confused. You can see him trying to process what’s being said. Joshua is…


BGSU Arts Events, through Jan. 25

Jan. 11—The Faculty Artist Series begins the semester with a performance by cellist Brian Snow. Snow has earned a reputation as a gifted and versatile performer in chamber music, orchestral and solo settings after spending the past decade performing and teaching in the New York City area. His recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 12—The reading series hosted by the Creative Writing Program and the Mid-American Review begins with BGSU graduate students Nick Heeb and Roseanna Boswell. They will present their work at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 18—The Faculty Artist Series features Conor Nelson on flute. Nelson has appeared as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Flint Symphony, among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 19—The 59th annual Honor Band and Directors Clinic will feature the BGSU Wind Symphony in performance at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Free Jan. 19—Poet Bruce Weigl will read from his work as part of the Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writer Series. Weigl is the author of “The Circle of Hanh”and more than a dozen other books of poetry, including “The Abundance of Nothing”(2012) and “Song of Napalm”(1988), both of which were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 20—The Brown Bag Music Series will feature a musical theatre extravaganza by students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts. The program will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Free. Jan. 21—The 59th annual Honor Band and Directors Clinic will feature all Ohio Honor Bands. The concert will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 25—The Faculty Artist Series presents pianist Robert Satterlee. He has appeared on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, San Francisco’s Old First Concert Series and the Schubert club in St. Paul, Minn., among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free


Broken Spectacle troupe brings “The Christians” to First Presbyterian

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Broken Spectacle Productions has staged plays in a bar, a lounge that served as a hookah lounge, and an empty storefront with one electrical outlet. The troupe makes it work. The company is peripatetic by design. Making it work is part Broken Spectacle’s mission statement. As Jonathan Chambers, who launched the theater company in 2014 with his wife Sara Lipinski Chambers, explains “It’s always about the plays and the spaces.” “We identify projects we want to do, then find spaces that are suitable,” he said. Chambers said Sara Chambers is always ordering and reading new plays. Last summer they came across “The Christians” by Lucas Hnath. He read it and knew immediately it was a play they should produce. “It ticks a lot of our boxes for us. It’s a new play that’s dealing with issues we’re interested in.” “The Christians,” which is structured around a sermon, “treats the issue of faith and people of faith with integrity, so it’s not making fun of belief,” he said. “In some respects the play is an argument that’s very old. If God is all loving, how can he send people to hell?” Chambers said they also realized “this is not a bar show.” Broken Spectacle will stage “The Christians” at First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, Thursday, Jan. 12 and Friday Jan 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets at the door are $20 and $15 for students. Tickets in advance are $15. Visit brokenspectacle.com. Knowing they wanted to stage the play set in a church in a church, they approached First Presbyterian. Chambers said they knew the church was a welcoming congregation, and its involvement in community projects such as Not In Our Town made it an attractive collaborator. Also First Presbyterian is the home congregation of cast members Jim and Libby Dachik, so they brokered the conversation with the pastors, Gary and Mary Jane Saunders. The response was enthusiastic, but the proposal had to be approved by others in the church as well. The main issue was the use of the sanctuary itself. The strength of the script and its approach to faith helped win approval. Church board members were uncomfortable with the sale of tickets at first, though they went along after the producers explained that there are inherent costs in staging a play. They did not want tickets sold in the sanctuary itself, so tickets will be sold in the fellowship hall downstairs. The board was more than amenable, Chambers said. One member of the board insisted this was…


Kim Young’s digital prints offer break from typical vacation images

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Search the images of family vacation on the internet and you will be blinded by the sun and smiles. Quite the contrast to the gray of an Ohio winter. Digital artist Kim Young of Bowling Green has taken some of those images and altered their digital DNA to create fresh abstract images. Those images will be part of the exhibit Virtual Vacation at the Neon Heater Art Gallery in Findlay. The show includes Young ‘s digital prints and installations by video artists Laura Post and Richard Munaba. The show opens with a reception Thursday, Jan.5, from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues in the gallery on the second floor of the Jones Building,   400½ S. Main St. Findlay, through Jan. 13. Young’s digital prints depict inviting scenes of vacation sport including Disneyland, as viewers have never seen them before. She has subverted the scenes of beaches, mountains and Mickey Mouse by digging deep into their digital codes. Her prints provide a vacation as much from the clichéd images of vacation as from the Ohio winter. Young, who teaches in the Bowling Green State University School of Art, said: “I’m really interested with how computers and images, and humans and images, are interacting. There’s more images to interact with than at any point in human history, so people get kind of numb to the whole idea of images. I’m a visual artist. What does that mean to someone who makes digital images and wants people took at them? I don’t want my things to look like something people have seen a 100 million times before.” All those images that pop up on our various screens, are not really images, Young said. “They’re code.” So she started to dig into the code itself. The string of seemingly indecipherable numbers. She messed with it. Introduced glitches. She took colored pencils and wrote out the string of characters for JPG images. “I had never seen most of these characters. It was very meditative. It got me thinking about how computers recognize images compared to how humans do. I kind of nerded out on that.” For the work that will displayed in Virtual Vacation, she did searches for vacation photos. She took stock images, and then altered the code, but not so much that the computer didn’t still recognize the image. The result was abstract patterns, swirls of color, lines that look like they rise above the surface of the paper. Is that a shadow-like image of Mickey Mouse’s ears dominating the corner of…


Some of the stories that clicked for BG Indy in 2016

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News If you ask those of us involved with BG Independent News, the biggest news of 2016 was that we got this enterprise started and weathered our first year. This has been a great venture that has both challenged and rewarded us, if not enriched us. We pride ourselves on writing the best stories about Bowling Green, its immediate surroundings and area arts and entertainment scene. We’ve been heartened by the fact that we’ve had close to 160,000 users and 600,000 page views since the website was launched in late January. For that Jan McLaughlin and I thank you, our readers. It’s been a great ride. As we start a new year, we thought we’d go back and see just what stories drew the most traffic in the previous one. I decided on a top 30 of the more than 1,700 stories we’ve published. That includes the bylined stories that make up the heart of BG Independent News, but also Community Voices, Opinion, Obituaries and Newsbreak (though not the event listings that get lumped into What’s Happening in Your Community). (See the list of links at the end of the story.) The story that drew the most traffic was “The day the pizza died,” which is by neither of the principle writers. The rumors of Myles Pizza closing had been in the air for well over a year. When Chip Myles finally called it quits, I was headed out of town for a funeral, so Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel, from Zibbel Media and an accomplished writer, stepped in and wrote her elegy to the beloved local pizza place. While this may seem ironic that our top story was written by neither McLaughlin nor Dupont, I don’t see it that way. Zibbel Media, operated by John Roberts-Zibbel and Roberts-Zibbel, is as much responsible for launching and maintaining the BG Independent enterprise as McLaughlin and Dupont, and I’m happy to have this recognition of that contribution. Some people were celebrating the holidays by pulling their last Myles pizza out of the freezer. The opening of Pizza Pub 516 in the location with a clear intent to update the place while maintaining much of the Myles character was also of interest, placing 18th on the list. Roberts-Zibbel also wrote another top 30 story, “Sign of the times,” about a lone, masked, disgruntled protestor who camped out in front of the Bowling Green Police Station on a sizzling hot day last summer. She also had a hand in the story that drew the second most traffic,…


Perrysburg teen expresses passion for doing good by bringing pop star Kesha to Stroh Center

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Coming from a family of music fans and people who believe in making the world a better place, Maya Dayal’s early jump into charity work shouldn’t be surprising. The 18-year-old Perrysburg woman founded Bands4Change this year, and the non-profit’s first endeavor is to bring pop star Kesha to Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center for a benefit concert Jan. 27. Tickets are now on sale from Ticketmaster or the BGSU box office. Contact 1-800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $45 to $65. Her mother, Anisha Dayal, took Maya and her sister to Lollapalooza several years ago, and it occurred to Maya that “music can bring big groups of people together, so why not utilize this to benefit others.” Her family has been involved in environmental activism and her mother has fought for human rights. “All that passion has helped create this company,” Dayal said. The Kesha concert will raise money for Humane Society International, the National Eating Disorder Association and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. These were causes selected by Kesha. Dayal said she wants the performers to decide what causes their performances will assist. “We wanted them to have a more personal connection with the concert and company,” she said. “We wanted them to be more passionate about the event.” But before any of this could happen, Bands4Change had to find an artist to perform. Being a start-up, and one founded by a teenager, meant the company had little credibility with performers. She and her mother, who needed to be involved because Maya was too young to legally sign off on some details, started trying to contact artists. “It was essentially trial and error,” Dayal said. Then they reached out to Kesha’s management, and “Kesha took a chance on us and said ‘yes.’” Kesha emerged on the pop scene with her debut recording “Animal.” Back then she went by the name Ke$ha. She’s since returned to the original spelling of her name. She continues to record as well as write for other top acts. This summer she had a global tour with her band The Creepies. Bands4Change is running a contest to find an opening act for the Stroh show. Bands interested should visit https://www.facebook.com/Bands4Change/ and post an EPK link to the band’s best track of no more than three minutes in the comments section before midnight, Dec. 31. Kesha will have the final decision. Dayal said one band’s track has already been passed onto the star. She said they are open to all genres. “It could be a rapper…


Holiday week perfect time to feast on Toledo Museum’s treasures

By DAVID  DUPONT BG Independent News As the gaiety of Christmas Day fades, and we enter that phase of holiday denouement, the Toledo Museum of Art throws it doors open to welcome  visitors with a whole slate of activities leading up to New Year’s Day. Now that the gifts are unwrapped and the meals eaten, a visit to the museum is in order. It’s a great place to take out of town visitors, and share with them one of the treasures of Northwest Ohio. For those locals who have never visited, it’s a great time to acquaint them with this grand institution. The museum has a wonderful holiday feel, and it tends to attract enough people to give it a warm social buzz, without being hectic. There’s more to do than look. There’s a full schedule of activities from life drawing to game playing for all ages. (See http://bgindependentmedia.org/toledo-museum-offers-great-art-escape-over-holidays/) For the past few years, my wife and I have gone to the museum on New Year’s Day. Museums are just one of those spaces – along with baseball parks and libraries – where all I have to do is step inside and my spirits are lifted. That’s true whether it’s the first time I visit, or the Toledo Museum, a place that by now almost feels like home. I started going to museums when I was in college. I was a student at UMass in Amherst, but took lessons from a jazz trombonist at Berklee College of Music in Boston, a two-or-more-hour bus ride away. It seemed a shame just to go to the lesson and head home, so I’d go to the Museum of Fine Arts. I even had a student membership. It was convenient, only a few blocks from Berklee, and I could check my horn and satchel of music, which usually by that time also had a few newly purchased jazz albums. I’d spend a couple hours, just wandering the galleries, fixating on one or two at each visit. I’ve loved museums ever since. What’s the attraction? Museums plunge you into the texture of your times. Yes there are celebrations of kings and warriors, historic and mythological. There are also celebrations of common folks, who operate windmills, fight in wars, haul goods and grow food. And the paintings can evoke the particular weather of a day hundreds of years ago, and the rhythm of life—the dock workers at early morning, the harvesters at midday, the diners in the evening.   On repeat visits, these folks become like old friends, greeting you around…


Beyond the angelic hosts: A personal Christmas soundtrack

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When I was growing up I remember our family having five Christmas records – a compilation of the standard pop tunes, organ and chimes of sacred tunes, pre-Rudolph Burl Ives, the Chipmunks and a ”A Christmas  Carol” performed by Lionel Barrymore. Besides that it was carols around the piano with my mother accompanying my talented older brothers, with me elbowing my way in as I could and my father in his chair tapping with both feet.  There were the pop tunes bleeding from the radio, though this was before the time of wall-to-wall holiday music from Thanksgiving to Christmas. And then there was music at church. A full-blown French Midnight Mass with “Il Est Ne, Le Divin Infant” (“He Is Born, The Holy Child”) and the climax “Minuit Chretiens (“O Holy Night”) sung with reedy ardor by a tenor who worked summers at the local amusement park, and probably in one of the factories nearly the church otherwise. I loved the music, every year, seemingly having a favorite hymn. By high school I scoured a collection of international carols for oddities, and studied the notes about origins of tunes. Years later when Linda and I bought a piano – our first was a freebee old upright that weighed about as much as Santa’s sleigh fully packed – the first music we bought was that same “The International Book of Christmas Carols.” Now we have three copies, one each for piano players in the family, Linda and son Phil, who declared at age 8 “it’s never too early for Christmas music,” and one for trombone – my days of reading over the pianist’s shoulder without my putting them in danger of injury from my slide are long gone. As a high schooler, my friends and I would schlep from church to church playing for services. One particular night I and three trombone playing buddies did our part for Christian ecumenicalism by playing Bach chorales as a prelude to Midnight Mass. My background, though, is in jazz. When I started reviewing jazz recordings for Cadence magazine. I took on the job of doing an annual survey of Christmas releases. Now I recall the days when jazz Christmas recordings were a novelty. Stan Kenton issued one, and Columbia put out a couple compilations of holiday recordings by their current roster. Then as the Christmas commercial machine gathered steam, we were greeted by an avalanche of releases. Every year in fall, UPS would drop off a package of a dozen or more Christmas…


Will Santino’s “Examples of Anything” is a love song of words & images

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Will Kiley Santino’s new book “Examples of Anything” is easy to describe and impossible to define. The book is a progressive series of squares, each a small abstract painting with a word or phrase attached. And in that dynamic between words and images, the mystery begins. What is the relation between the lime and sky blue watercolor square and the phrase “how lawnmowers say hi”? And as the reader-viewer progresses, rhymes and echoes among squares reveal themselves, hinting at a narrative. Santino, a Bowling Green native now studying art at the University of Wisconsin Madison, will only say that there’s “a through line about intimacy and closeness to another person.” That plays out in an interior monologue of abstract illustration and elusive poetry. Santino said he wanted to create an experience that someone could take from beginning to end, or simply study a single page. The images are abstract smudges of mood. The words may be mundane – “swing set” and “bike trail.” Does the image represent the words? What kind of person would pair those words and colors? Other phrases are more evocative – “blaming autumn” and “cymbal shiver.” Others hint at narrative – “thrown out toys” and “the silence after everyone stops laughing.” Santino shows his love of language by using arcane terms that will have even highly literate readers reaching for the dictionary – heliotaxis (movement of an organism in response to sunlight); keraunomancy (divination by thunderbolts); and borborygmus (a rumbling or gurgling made by the movement of liquid in the intestines). And he’s not afraid to coin a term or two when his muse requires – “pregret” and “heartifact.” Part poetry, part painting, “Examples of Anything” is a lyrical reflection on life as it is being lived. The final words are: “All I want to say is something to you.” Then book ends with several pages of color fireworks. This is the 27-year-old’s second book. His first, from 2015 was a children’s book, “My Week,” about a boy’s adventures through his fantastic hometown, a place every much like Bowling Green. He builds a child’s fantastic world, full of fanciful creatures and places. Santino is a naturalist who explores fantastic worlds of his own creation. “My Week,” Santino said, showed him he could produce a book and self-publish it. He’s dreamed and worked at being a writer since he was a child. At 10, he said, he was always “starting stories and novels that were, in my head, 1,000 pages.” He wrote long passages of them….


Julie’s Dance Studio makes Nutcracker dreams come true

By ELIZABETH ROBERTS-ZIBBEL  BG Independent News This weekend, “The Nutcracker Ballet… All Jazzed Up” by Julie’s Dance Studio will be performed for the tenth time in a brand new location. And full disclosure: like my other articles for BG Independent News, this one is personal. My seven year old daughter Isobel has been with Julie’s for years, and this will be her third time participating in The Nutcracker, in roles varying from Coronation Princess to Playful Mouse. In June as I scanned through the most highly anticipated email of the year – Nutcracker audition results ! – looking for her assignments, I was surprised to see the following note from studio owner and director Julie Setzer above the list of Snow Angels: “As some of you may know, it has been a dream of mine to ‘someday’ include children who are wheelchair dependent into this piece. I have been chatting with a mother who dreams of seeing her daughter have the opportunity to dance. So…this is the year and I couldn’t be more excited!!” I would soon learn the details. With our change in venue to BG Schools’ Performing Arts Center, the timing could not have been better for Yulinda Cousino to contact Julie about her dreams of seeing her daughter, Brianna Burkett, dance on stage. Brianna has a disease called Canavan Leukodystrophy, with a usual life expectancy of three to ten years. “Brianna is one of a very small handful that has surpassed that,” Yulinda told me in a recent email. “She is my miracle.” Within weeks, Skylar Baker, Tessa Browning, Ireland Clark, Jenna Gallant, and Rylee Hannah joined Brianna in becoming “Cherubs” in one of the Nutcracker’s most beatific and serene scenes: with the gliding Angels and Gabriels in the Land of Snow. Dim lighting and candles illuminate the stage in a peaceful glow, and the choreography is slow and steady. The costuming is shiny white and gold, with the addition this year of chair-accommodating capes made by Jen Myers, mother of two veteran Nutcracker dancers (we call ourselves “Nutty Moms”) as well as Parent Mentor for Wood County Educational Service Center. The first day the women, ages 18-22, arrived with their caregivers, Nutty Moms Tarla Marovich and Mandy Hemming eased the way. Tarla, who works at Wood Lane Residential, read a book aloud to the children in the Snow Angel cast about accepting and embracing others’ differences. Mandy, a Special Education teacher, chatted with the arriving mothers and daughters to make them feel welcome and comfortable. “I’m leaning on Tarla and Mandy…