Arts and Entertainment

The Hiders emerge from “batcave” to rock out at Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Hiders are really something of homebodies. When asked about the band’s touring, founder William Alletzhauser said “we haven’t been touring a lot lately.” Families, day jobs, businesses, and other musical commitments makes hitting the road problematic. “We temper our expectations in that department.” Instead they work their home scene in Cincinnati, and continue to produce recordings on their own studio, “the batcave,” that are heard around the world. “For us it’s more about the adventure of writing and recording. That’s what’s most exciting.” So getting a chance to see The Hiders at the Black Swamp Arts Festival should be a treat for music lovers. The Hiders will play on the Main Stage Friday, Sept. 8, at 6:30 p.m. before heading down to Howard’s Club H for an after-hours show. Alletzhauser said labeling the band has proved tricky, given it has elements of folk and psychedelia, mixed with country and classic rock, telling dark stories from the Americana underbelly. To Alletzhauser that all just means The Hiders is a rock band, true to what that meant in the 1970s, not that the band sees itself as a throwback. Rather it’s a contemporary amalgamation of Alletzhauser’s musical history. That goes back to getting a hand-me-down guitar that his older sister decided she didn’t want. As a teenager in the 1980s, Alletzhauser go involved in Cincy’s burgeoning hard core scene. “We liked the idea having a band,” he said. That meant writing their own songs. He continued writing as he moved from band to band, culminating with Ass Ponys, an alt country outfit that toured nationally….


Toledo Museum guest artist John Kiley smashes, remakes glass art

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART Shattered glass may seem like the opposite of what a renowned contemporary glassblower would work towards, but for American artist John Kiley, smashing and reconstructing glass is exactly the point in his recent series of work called “Fractographs.” Beginning with optical crystal blocks, Kiley shatters the glass once with a sledgehammer and then carefully pieces it back together. The Toledo Museum of Art’s Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) invites contemporary artists from around the world to create new work in glass and share their process with the public. Kiley has been appointed to the GAPP residency beginning this month, during which he will continue his shattered glass innovations. “John Kiley has had a fantastic career, and we are so excited he has chosen to explore some of his newest ideas with the staff here in the Glass Studio,” said Colleen O’Connor, Glass Studio manager at TMA. “This is a great opportunity for the public to interact with such a talented and dynamic contemporary glass artist.” Kiley’s GAPP residency will be take place at the Museum Aug. 23-30 in the Glass Studio. “I am looking forward to John Kiley’s residency and the many exploratory processes that he will be bringing to the studios here in the Glass Pavilion,” said Alan Iwamura, assistant studio manager at the TMA Glass Pavilion. TMA has planned several public demonstrations of Kiley at work in the Glass Pavilion throughout his residency. In addition, Kiley will discuss his recent series of work during a free GAPP artist lecture in the GlasSalon on Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. For more details, please…


Whitehorse rides into arts fest for Sunday sets

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland started out as musical collaborators playing in bands together and working on each other’s projects. “Our relationship was strictly professional … for weeks,” Doucet quipped. “Our relationship was very close, very intimate early on. We found each other.” That was about 14 years ago, and now Doucet is talking on the telephone with their 3-year-old son in the background. He wants a boat ride, Doucet said. For years, Doucet and McClelland continued on their separate careers as solo artists and “hired guns,” though they worked together as much as they could. Then six years ago, tired of their schedules pulling them apart, they formed Whitehorse, a musical act informed both by their long musical and personal relationship Whitehorse will perform at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Sunday Sept. 11, at 12:30 p.m. on the Main Stage and then at 2:45 as the penultimate act on the Family Stage. Reflecting on those early years, Doucet said “our musical lives were very confused.” They were including each other so much in their own bands that when their schedules didn’t allow them to play together, their fans would ask where the missing party was. They also toured together with fellow Canadian Sarah McLachlan. Doucet had been backing the star for a while. As McLachlan’s backup singers came and went, he suggested he knew someone. “She rolled her eyes and told me: ‘I’m not hiring your girlfriend,’” Doucet recalls. Then a backup singer left just as McLachlan was heading off on a short tour with Pete Seeger. She relented. McClelland joined the band…


Stars align at BGSU as College of Music welcomes famed guest artists

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts has some special acts in the wings. Lindsay Gross, the college’s manager of public-community relations, can’t help but show her own enthusiasm for what’s in store for the coming academic year – five internationally acclaimed artists who will share their gifts with the community. And all the events related to these residencies are open to public for free. Why wouldn’t Gross be excited? She’s a jazz bass trombonist, and the first guest in September is the American Brass Quintet, a pioneering ensemble that uses bass trombone, not tuba, as its lowest voice. And closing run of guest artists during Jazz Week in late March will be Maria Schneider, the most esteemed living composer for large jazz ensemble. Schneider has won Grammys not only for her jazz work but also for her arrangement on David Bowie’s song “Sue.” And for her collaboration with soprano Dawn Upshaw, who will visit BGSU a week before she arrives. Visits scheduled are: American Brass Quintet, residency Sept.20-22, with a concert Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. Jazz guitarist John Scofield, Sept. 30, a master class and concert at 8 p.m. as part of the two-day Orchard Guitar Festival that starts Sept.29. Opera composer Jake Heggie, keynote lecture at 8 p.m. on Oct. 22 and residency Oct. 23-24, as part of the Edwin H. Simmons Creative Mind Series. Vocal superstar Dawn Upshaw, recital March 18 at 8 p.m. and residency March 19-20, as the Helen McMaster Professorship in Vocal and Choral Arts. Maria Schneider, residency from March 28-30, with a concert March…


Molsky’s Mountain Drifters to take the sound of the Appalachians to new heights at Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Bruce Molsky first dug into old-time mountain music, he was a college dropout. He’d gone off to Cornell to be an architect and instead he ended up washing dishes in the bar and grille that hosted old-time music sessions. Having started playing folk music in his native New York, he joined in. “The old-time music really resonated with me,” Molsky said in a recent telephone interview. “It still does.” Some 40 years later, the 62-year-old fiddler, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist has formed Molsky’s Mountain Drifters with two musicians half his age, but with the same devotion to that evocative mountain sound. Alisson de Groot, who plays claw hammer banjo, and Stash Wyslouch, guitar, are college graduates. Both attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where Molsky, describes himself as “primarily an ear player,” teaches in the Roots Music Department. Now it’s Molsky’s turn to pass on all he learned from the old-timers he jammed with. Molsky’s Mountain Drifters will play two sets at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Sunday, Sept.10. They’ll perform on the Main Stage at 2 p.m. followed by a 4 p.m. show on the acoustic stage. Molsky said he’s looking forward to coming to Bowling Green. “I like those kind of festivals that have the public walking around going from place to place and enjoying the town.” The social aspect of the music is part of what attracted him. “As a folk musician you better be the kind of person who enjoys meeting new people,” he said. Growing up in the Bronx, he listened to the radio since he was…


Antibalas to bring surging rhythms of Afrobeat to the Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Martin Perna, founder of the Afro-beat ensemble Antibalas, likes company. “Community is really important to me,” he said in a recent telephone interview. Whether it’s “connecting people as a leader, a facilitator, or just a participant, what we’re able to achieve together is way bigger than any individual could do.” That holds especially true for Afrobeat, an amalgamation of jazz, soul, psychedelic rock, African highlife, and traditional chants and rhythms. The cast of a dozen musicians allows the songs to expand to 20 to 30 minutes. “It allows for the development of a complex story,” Perna said. A pop song may be a tweet, but an Antibalas song with its surging cross-rhythms and jubilant horns is “an in-depth article,” even a novel. That’s evident on the group’s forthcoming album “Where the Gods Are in Peace,” a throbbing exploration of myths for our time. Antibalas will mark the release of the album, which hits the streets Sept. 15, with a show at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Saturday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. Percussionist and charter member Duke Amayo said he’s excited about the show and the tour because the album speaks about solutions to some of the problems the world is facing rather than just talking about the problems. The band’s publicity says of the album: “Through its battle cry of resistance against exploitation and displacement, Antibalas’ long-form compositions investigate oppression in 1800s America that eerily mirror the current state of the country. Three explosive original arrangements cultivate an urgent call to heal a broken system.” “What we try to do in the music…


Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers ready to plug into the energy at the Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News To celebrate the 25th year of the Black Swamp Arts Festival, the performance arts committee wanted to bring back some favorite performers from years past. Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers certainly fill that bill. The band played town several times including sets at the 2010 and 2011 festivals that had listeners buzzing. That feeling is mutual. “I love Bowling Green,” Dopsie said in a telephone interview. “The people, the town, the atmosphere, I mean it’s like New Orleans part 2. It’s awesome.” That’s high praise coming from zydeco royalty. Dopsie is the younger son of zydeco legend Alton Rubin, who performed as Rockin’ Dopsie. His sons have adopted the “Dopsie” moniker as their own. Dwayne Dopsie’s other brothers also perform keeping their father’s old band alive. Dwayne Dopsie literally learned accordion and zydeco at his father’s feet. His father would be at home, having gotten off the road, and would be cleaning his instrument getting ready for the next show. “He always taught me,” Dopsie said. “‘I want you to play it the right way.’ … One thing he always showed me is zydeco is not what you hear, it’s what you feel.” This set him up on his future course.  “This is what I want to do. I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps because I always heard it.” But he doesn’t replicate his father’s music. “I probably have a little more aggressive style.” The young Dopsie had the advantage of hearing not just his father’s music, but that of Clifton Chenier as well as the sounds his own contemporaries are making….


Isaac Smith returns to hometown festival as reigning Best of Show winner

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When he was growing up in Bowling Green, Isaac Smith created his share of macaroni masterpieces in the Youth Arts area of the Black Swamp Arts Festival. He also liked wandering through the crowd and visiting the art booths. It didn’t occur to him that the day would come that he’d be one of those artists. That he would be displaying and selling his own highly detailed and realistic pen and ink drawings, and his artwork would named Best of Show. Smith, a 2011 graduate of Bowling Green High School, returns next month to the Black Swamp Arts Festival’s juried art show to be held Sept. 9 and 10 on Main Street in downtown Bowling Green. The festival begins with music on the Main Stage Friday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. Last year was Smith’s second at the festival. He had exhibited in 2015 in the Wood County Invitational Show. In awarding him Best of Show honors, festival juror Brandon Briggs praised the artist’s “penetrating vision” Smith, Briggs said, was able to pick up on subtle details in his subject matter that most other observers would miss. “That takes not only time and patience, but a certain amount of heart. … Most people are willing to go as far as good enough. You’re a real artist if you’re willing to go ‘good enough is not good enough. I’m going to take it farther.’” Smith said f drawing: “I enjoy the long process, and the patience it takes.” Even as a child he spend more time on drawing than other kids. “At the beginning of…


University Choral Society auditioning singers for new season of Bach, Brahms & Christmas music

BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS An exciting season is ahead for the Bowling Green State University Choral Society. Bowling Green State Bach Cantata No. 80, the Brahms Requiem, and a new, festive holiday concert titled “Joyous Sounds” are all being planned. Auditions for community members of the choral society will be held on the evenings of Aug. 15 and Aug. 22. Community members who would like to participate in the UCS should sign up for an audition time online at http://bit.ly/2f7Z5Pd. Those auditioning should bring a piece to sing. The first rehearsal of the season will begin at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 29 in 1040 Moore Musical Arts Center at BGSU. This year’s performance schedule includes: Oct. 29, 4 p.m.  – J.S. Bach Cantata No. 80 “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God) with soloists Chelsea Cloeter, Ellen Scholl, Christopher Scholl and Lance Ashmore, the chancel choir of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and a chamber orchestra at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 315 S. College Drive, Bowling Green Nov. 28, 7 p.m.  – “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration” with the BGSU Graduate Brass Quintet and organist Michael Gartz at First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green April 22, 3 p.m.  – Brahms “Ein deutsches Requiem” (A German Requiem) with the BGSU Philharmonia in Kobacker Hall on the BGSU campus.


BGSU undergrad wins NowOH Popular Choice Award

Yuanyi Wang won the Popular Choice Award at the 10th Annual Northwest Ohio Community Art Exhibit. Wang, an undergraduate student in the Bowling Green State University’s School of Art, was honored for her self-portrait “Perfect or Not Perfect.” The oil painting also received the Toledo Federation of Art Societies Award at the show, which was held in the Bryan Gallery in the BGSU School of Art. The exhibit, which was open to artists from 12 counties in Northwest Ohio, closed July29. At that point the ballots for the Popular Choice Award were counted. The $50 prize is sponsored by the Bowling Green Arts Council. Jacqueline Nathan, gallery director, said Wang’s margin of victory was definitive. See http://bgindependentmedia.org/nowoh-exhibit-surveys-local-art-scene/ for related story.


Blind Boys of Alabama brings sound rooted deep in the American soul to Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Blind Boys of Alabama are ready to pull listeners up by their roots at the Black Swamp Arts Festival. The festival has always celebrated American roots music in its 25 years. But no other act can match the depth of the roots of the Blind Boys of Alabama. The band got its start as the Happy Land Jubilee Singers in 1938 at the Talladega Institute for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Alabama, and has been sharing the uplift of gospel music ever since. They quit school to tour and later were renamed the Five Blind Boys of Alabama as a way to gin up competition with a similar group that was dubbed the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. The band scored its first hit with “I Can See Everybody’s Mother But Mine” in 1948. Starting when he was 9, lead singer Jimmy Carter has been along on the entire journey. (Another founder Clarence Fountain records with the ensemble but is unable to tour.) The Blind Boys of Alabama will perform on the Main Stage of the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Saturday, Sept.9, at 8 p.m. Over the years, the rhythms underneath those tight five-part harmonies have evolved, integrating funk, soul, blues, even rap. The vocals, though, have remained true to the band’s roots, said long-time member Ricky McKinnie. “Our voices are what make us the Blind Boys,” he said. “The Blind Boys believe in good harmony. As long as we can keep the harmony as tight as it is, the better off we are.” McKinnie, who sings second tenor and occasionally plays drums,…


Lionface back on the scene with set of Shakespeare shorts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Local theater lovers have not gotten their annual serving of open-air Shakespeare this summer. Beautiful Kids, the 20-year-old campus-based troupe, is on, what we hope, is a one-year hiatus. Lionface Productions has also been quiet. Now that community troupe is ready to roar, though they are going to do so indoors at Trinity United Methodist instead of on the Needle Park stage. (As much as I love outdoor Shakespeare, given the number of mosquitos I had to dodge on the short walk from my car to the church, this may be a blessing.) Lionface is staging “Party Bard: A Lionface Productions Shakespeare Shorts Festival” Thursday, July 27, Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m. at the church at 200 N. Summit St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $7 and $5 for students. In introducing the dress rehearsal Wednesday, Ryan Halfhill said the show was a way for the troupe to signal a return to the basics, Shakespeare and other classic plays. The four scenes presented within the hour-long show cover a gamut of the Bard’s work with two scenes from tragedies, one scene from a comedy, and one scene from a history play. All involve drinking or eating. The party starts with Halfhill playing the porter from “Macbeth.” After a long night of drinking, the porter takes his sweet time answering the door at Macbeth’s castle, imagining himself the gatekeeper of hell – quite appropriate given the murder that’s just occurred – and wonders what manner of sinner may be banging to get in. Then Halfhill’s drunken porter regales Macduff about the…


Music marathon at Toledo Museum to mark centenary of composer Lou Harrison, Aug. 12

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, in conjunction with Bowling Green State University, will celebrate the centenary year of Lou Harrison with a music marathon from noon until 10 p.m. on Aug. 12. Harrison (1917-2003) – a composer, environmentalist and gay icon – began his own musical revolution more than 50 years ago, and is considered the godfather of the influential world music movement, particularly its popularity in the West. His more than 300 compositions written for symphony orchestra, ballet, small chamber ensembles and soloists incorporate western, eastern and custom-made instruments. “We welcome opportunities to host fascinating, innovative performances for our visitors, and this year’s music marathon celebrating Lou Harrison is no exception,” said TMA Programs Manager Scott Boberg. The schedule includes chamber music, a documentary film about Harrison and a demonstration of gamelan, the traditional Indonesian ensemble of mostly percussive instruments used widely in Harrison’s compositions. The marathon culminates with a Peristyle concert at 7:30 p.m. featuring Grammy Award-winning Third Coast Percussion performing two concertos: The Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra featuring Grammy Award-winning soloist Paul Jacobs, and the Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra with soloist Todd Reynolds. Harrison is best known for challenging the traditional music establishment with his explorations of new tonalities and propulsive rhythms and his ground-breaking use of percussion. His contemporaries and colleagues included composers John Cage, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and Leonard Bernstein; Living Theater founder Judith Malina; and choreographer Merce Cunningham. Beyond his myriad musical accomplishments, Harrison was also recognized and received multiple awards as a political activist. Merwin Siu, artistic administrator of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra…


Fantasy tale makes Chelsea Bobulski’s literary dream a reality

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “The Wood” that gives the title to Chelsea Bobulski’s debut novel is located along Route 315 that travels along the Olentangy River as it winds along the route to Columbus. That’s a familiar stretch of road for Bobulski who grew up in the Columbus area and attended Ohio State University. She always enjoys the drive. Her imagination has conjured a darker, fantastic image of those woods. It’s a place where a teenage girl finds purpose, loss, and romance in a mysterious world. Sometimes people wander into The Wood from other time periods. The teenage Winter serves as a guardian, as her father was before and she is responsible for guiding them back to their own times lest the historic continuum collapse. But now something is seriously wrong and aided by a handsome young stranger from 18th century England, Winter must find out what’s happening. She also finds romance. In “The Wood,” Bobulski, 27, has taken the first steps to literary success. This gripping fantasy will be issued Aug. 1 by the major publisher Macmillan. The night before, Bobulski will celebrate the publication with a book release party in her Perrysburg hometown. Gathering Volumes, 196 E. Boundary St., will host the party Monday, July 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. Bobulski will be on hand to sign books, and talk with readers. She said she’d be happy to answer any questions people have about her “publishing journey.” Cupcakes from Cake in a Cup will be served. “I was telling stories since I was very little,” Bobulski said in a recent telephone interview. When she was in third grade, an author…


Black Swamp Arts Festival’s juried art show celebrates continued excellence in its 25th year

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For the Black Swamp Arts Festival’s juried art show the 25th year celebration is pretty much business as usual. That means working to maintain its standing in the Sunshine Artist magazine’s listing of top art shows. Last year the festival was ranked 70th on the journal’s Top 100 Classic and Contemporary Show list. That’s about where the festival has ranked in the 15 years or so that, it has broken onto the list. Those rankings are based on artists’ average sales which are something shy of $3,000. The 25th Black Swamp Arts Festival will be presented Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept.10, with the art shows presents Saturday and Sunday. For more details, visit: http://www.blackswampfest.org/. Brenda Baker, who chairs the festival’s visual arts committee, said she would like to think the milestone year has attracted a few more artists to apply. As it was the jurors Kathy Buszkiewicz and Brandon Briggs reviewed 222 applications to fill the 112 booth spaces on Main Street in downtown Bowling Green. Six award winners from last year have committed to returning. That includes best of show winner Isaac Smith. Baker said that 18, or 12.5 percent, of the artists are in their first Black Swamp Arts Festival. “That’s pretty high.” Another 15 percent have been regulars for at least that past five years. The rest are in or out depending on the judgement of the jurors. Buszkiewicz wrote in an email: “Having judged this show in the past, this time I have seen some good returning artists’ applications. There also seems to be some new applicants to the…