Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sara Azriel, family and friends and a touch of Knox College, bring the Harbor Theater of Muskegon Back to life.

I love the small and emergent art, and Sara Azriel is a much smaller star than she will be in five years. She's a native woman with her roots in Muskegon, returning home after a year, a woman who has followed the trail of music to Boston, Los Angeles and Provincetown Rhode Island. She's following in the steps of her father, Rob Schaub, who made the migration out to Los Angeles in the late Sixties, early Seventies. Down to his last hundred dollars, he answered a call for musicians and auditioned for a band that performed the theme song for Happy Days. He might have had made the gig based on talent below, but he wore a silk garment that really caught the decision maker's eye. Maybe thanks to his residuals he could afford to send his daughter to the Berklee School of Music in Boston? It was a great night for Schaub for his youngest daughter Gabrielle Schaub performed the opening set singing original songs, his second daughter to take up the family business of making music. His older daughter, Sara the star of the show, called him up to perform a duet with his daughter to a Joni Mitchell song he taught his talented daughter young. Music is so close to family ties in Muskegon and tonight's wonderful performance made no exception.

Tom Brownson traveled up to Muskegon with his family to perform as an opener for Sara Azriel, a musician that Sara found after an exhaustive search. He's a bigger talent than the price for his CD suggests, the paltry price of three dollars. Tom has the power to make the guitar sound bigger and more powerful than a single instrument of wood and string. He also sings in French and sets Shakespearean poetry to music. During the afterglow at the Lakeside Tavern, it came as a happy surprise that Brownson wrote his Shakespeare songs as a student at Knox College. That's a blithe coincidence because our tireless promoter of the arts in Grand Haven, Ellen Trumbo, learned her writing and painting first as a student at Knox College. We also understand the power of Knox College due to the visits of Tony Gant and Lynette Lombard, Knox College art faculty, to Grand Haven and Grand Rapids. Gant is part of this year's #GHArtWalk2013 and ArtPrize.

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