This Week on One Detroit, Arts & Culture:
After reading gruesome news headlines of the Russia-Ukraine war overseas, University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance masters student and Russian saxophonist Valentin Kovalev felt compelled to find a way to help Ukrainians seeking refuge in America in the wake of the war.
Together with students and faculty members of the University of Michigan School of Music Theater and Dance, Kovalev organized a benefit concert at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor to gather donations for the Ukrainian American Crisis Response Committee and Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, which are working to aid refugees arriving in Michigan.
After the concert, One Detroit Arts & Culture Producer Sarah Smith caught up with Kovalev and Russian American vocalist and University of Michigan music student Sasha Gusikhin to hear how the $17,000 raised from the benefit concert helped Ukrainians here in Michigan and abroad, and about their goal to unite people through the music.
Around Detroit, musician Marion Hayden is well known as an educator, Kresge Arts Fellow and university lecturer on jazz, but in the city’s jazz scene itself, she is the co-founder of the popular all-female band Straight Ahead and a talented jazz bassist.
Taiwanese and Chinese American Chien-An Yuan and his friend John Eaton grew up in Bay Village, Ohio together, where for the first 30 years they spent their friendship talking about and sharing their thoughts on music, movies and pop culture — some of their favorites being “Dangerous Minds” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It wasn’t until the death of George Floyd in 2020 that Yuan and Eaton’s conversations started to delve deeper into issues of race, police brutality and each of their lived experience as Americans.
Yuan and Eaton reconnect via Zoom to talk about their reactions to the George Floyd murder and reflect on their shared and divergent experiences growing up in their homogenous Ohio suburb. Plus, the two discuss how their friendship has grown deeper over the last three decades.
Dancers and live drummers transform the Marygrove Theatre as the Black dance and cultural institute TeMaTe takes the stage, performing afro-rooted traditions on “Detroit Performs: Live From Marygrove.”
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Watch One Detroit every Monday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.