From Bollywood to Flamenco to Klezmer: October Lineup at The Block Brings World Music to West Michigan

Muskegon, Michigan, September 27, 2013 – The October concert lineup at The Block will allow you to take a musical trip around the world – without ever leaving West Michigan.

The new music venue from West Michigan Symphony will unleash an explosion of genres – along with a series of tantalizing appetizers – during a trio of concerts that will take listeners from the dance clubs of Europe to the lavish spectacles of Bollywood. The 144-seat venue, located on the second floor at 360 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, offers an intimate venue for listening, experiencing and engaging with music.

Doors and the bar open at 6:30 before all performances, which start at 7:30. Tickets begin at $28.

Dance. Rock. PB&J. On Saturday, Oct. 12, The Block will be transformed into a world dance club of Bollywood, Renaissance, salsa, klezmer, bluegrass and rock. Los Angeles-based Helix Collective, led by West Michigan Symphony Principal English Horn Phil Popham, works closely with composers to create new music that is fun, fascinating and instantly loveable. With Popham on oboe, Sarah Robinson on flute, Nic Gerpe on piano and Sidney Hopson on percussion, you’ve never been to a dance club like this.

The quartet will perform “Tom,” from Tom & Huck by Serban Nichifor, “Dances Emigrations” by Stephen Dankner, “Bollywood Dances” by Mark Weiser, “Me Quema” by the Berger-Sanchez Project and wrap up the show with Popham’s own “The Mixer Dances.”

The Helix Collective has been playing together since 2009 and has released two albums. The debut “All In,” released on Blue Griffin Records, is described as a “sizzling collection that features versatile and exciting instrumentation.” The 2013 “World Dance Club” produced by PhatYak Records “takes classical and world dance styles and sets them to a modern invigorating beat.” According to the American Record Guide, “If there is a book about how to make an appealing CD, the Helix Collective has surely read it.”

Piano. Exploding. Beets. On Friday, Oct. 18, one of America’s most acclaimed and versatile contemporary music pianists, Kathleen Supové, will perform a selection of works that draw inspiration from sources as diverse as Debussy, Disney and the “New York Daily News.” In addition to her solo career, Supové is a member of the art-rock band Dr. Nerve and curates a free music and discussion series for The Flea Theater in Tribeca called Music With a View.

Supové will perform selections that include “The Body of Your Dreams” by Jacob TV (Ter Veldhuis) for piano and soundtrack, based on American infomercials; “Shattered Apparitions of the Western Wind” by Annie Gosfield for piano and soundtrack, based on the Debussy “Prelude;” “Cakewalks, Miniatures and Remixes: Short Pieces based on Debussy, Disney and the ‘New York Daily News’ ” by Daniel Felsenfeld, Mohammed Fairouz and Matt Marks; “What Remains of a Rembrandt” by Randall Woolf for piano and soundtrack, Debussy-processed and Vietnamese gongs; and “DIGITS” by Neil Rolnick for piano, soundtrack and video.

Since 1992, Supové, who The Boston Globe has described as “a living multimedia work of art…ignited by vivid hair and cooled by stark clothing,” Supové has recorded more than 17 albums in the last two decades. Her most recent album, “The Exploding Piano” on the MajorWho Media label, includes five recent compositions and is described as “uniquely coherent and deeply communicative musical structures.”

Guitars. Strings. Chili. On Saturday, Oct. 26, Neil Jacobs will perform breathtaking compositions on his traditional 12-string guitars. His performance is an exotic hybrid of Gypsy jazz, flamenco and Eastern European folk music.

Jacobs will share amazing stories of world travels and improbable life experiences. With music influenced by travels with the Gypsies of Spain, refugee camps during the Balkan War and surreal “cowboy” television specials in Eastern Europe, Neil pushes the limits of this traditional folk instrument forging Gypsy, Celtic, Balkan and classical influences into new American music.

Jacobs, a self-taught musician, has been performing since 1984. He has released five albums and has announced a sixth, “The Peasant Sabbatical,” planned for this year. According to the “Austin Chronicle,” Jacobs is “the rockin’est 12-string guitar since early Leo Kottke.”

Tickets are $28 and up and available at the West Michigan Symphony ticket office: 231.726.3231 ext. 223; online at; or in person at 360 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon.

The Block: A simple, accessible, inspirational space where honest music can happen…not to you, but with you. Follow us on Twitter @AtTheBlock and fan us on Facebook

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts