Monday, April 30, 2012

The Gilmore 2012: Christian Sands, Ran Blake

by William R. Wood
Minister of Culture

“Left hand, right hand, here we go,” began Christian Sands as he started the noon series at the Civic Auditorium as part of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan on April 30.

Christian Sands performs in the Civic Auditorium. CLICK TO ENLARGE (Bradley S. Pines)

Sand’s work was accessible, invigorating and he played many bouncy blues numbers.
He began with “If You Like Me, You Can Take Me Home.”
Christian Sands smiles while signing CDs.
“I’m a kid,” he said before playing renditions from kids’ shows, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and a fanciful version of the theme from “The Flintstones.”
Ran Blake salutes Kalamazoo's Abbey Lincoln. (Bradley S. Pines)
Ran Blake performed “Nothing But the Truth: Throw it Away, A Tribute to Abby Lincoln at 2 p.m. in the Wellspring Theater in downtown Kalamazoo’s Epic Center. It was quite a contrast to Sand’s concert, as the venue was far more intimate, made more so by the dark, moody lighting and aggressive dynamics. 
Blake played a series of interpretations of Kalamazoo’s own blues legend Abbey Lincoln’s work, including a finale of a song Lincoln wrote in honor of her mother.

To see a few more images from these concerts, please visit Bradley S. Pines’ gallery:

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