Michigan News
4:59 am
Tue February 4, 2014

You Know It's Cold When Kenny Martin Wears Pants

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:12 am



Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Kenny Martin finally hit his limit. He's a mailman working out of the Walled Lake post office northwest of Detroit. Despite that northern location he wears shorts all year around. He gives the Detroit Free Press a simple explanation, quote, "I hate pants. They chaffe."

This winter finally broke him. He's put on pants on some of the coldest days though he still likes shorts and adds: I have a very high tolerance for pain. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

11:47 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge to Open in Downtown Detroit

Lead in text: 
Marking its 80th anniversary, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge is opening a second location this fall, and is working with Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services to find space in downtown Detroit’s lower Woodward corridor or in Capitol Park near the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. The original Baker’s Keyboard Lounge opened as a sandwich shop in 1933, and began booking jazz pianists the following year.
Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 By R.J. King Photograph
11:11 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra holds flashmob at Canton Ikea

The Detroit Symphony pays a surprise visit to the Canton Ikea to promote its upcoming Neighborhood Concert Series.

1:27 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Detroit Needs Money. Can A 'Grand Bargain' Save The City's Art?

Philanthropist Paul Schaap says selling the Detroit Institute of Arts' masterpieces would devastate the city's morale. Christie's has appraised some works in the collection; the auction house estimates that this piece could bring in $20 million.
Detroit Institute of Arts

  Can wealthy art lovers help save Detroit's pension funds — and one of its museums?

Read more
Local News
5:16 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Ann Arbor-based Organization Counts Stray Dogs in Detroit


The Ann Arbor-based World Animal Awareness Society recently completed a census of the stray dog population in the city of Detroit. WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with WA2S Executive Director Tom McPhee about the effort.

Click here for the interview.

Top Music
3:01 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Bettye LaVette back on top of WEMU "Sweet 16"

Former Detroiter Bettye LaVette has always defied description and categorization.  While many of her contemporaries followed the dictates of their record label or management, Bettye forged her own identity.  There was always a dark edge to Bettye's voice - even in her early R&B sessions such as "My Man - He's A Lovin' Man", recorded when she was 16 years old. 

Read more
6:00 pm
Tue October 30, 2012


Whether recording with a group or going solo, guitarist Charlie Hunter has long been a favorite of both WEMU listeners and hosts.  His newest offering pairs the 7-string guitarist up with drummer Scott Amendola.  Their depth of musical sound makes it hard to believe that there are just two musicians, but these two are so adept and so complementary that they fill all the musical spaces.  They will also likely fill all the spaces when they appear at The Magic Bag Theater in Ferndale on Thursday, November 1st. 

Read more
3:17 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Detroiter Bettye LaVette Tops "Sweet 16" From October 15th to 21st.

Supporting regional musicians with airplay remains a highest priority at WEMU.  As you peruse the "Sweet 16" for October 15th through the 21st, take note of the many recordings on the list with regional connections including the topper, "Thankful 'N Thoughtful" by Detroiter, soul siren Bettye LaVette.

Read more
4:44 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Joe Jackson's tribute to Duke Ellington, "The Duke" leads WEMU's "Sweet 16" September 24th to 30th.

Joe Jackson in concert

Never let it be said that when a major artist comes to town, that WEMU doesn't get behind the show and share music with listeners to let them know about the music they'll hear.  We got behind last week's Joe Jackson concert at The Michigan Theater featuring violinist Regina Carter in a real big way. 

Read more
3:41 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Bassist Marcus Miller claims the sweetest spot in WEMU's "Sweet 16".

Perhaps it was because the lead track on Marcus Miller's new CD "Renaissance" was called "Detroit" that the disc resonated so soundly with WEMU listeners and staff.  Whatever the reason, it has become a fast favorite of listeners and staff alike. 

Read more
3:14 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Beloved Detroit blues great Johnnie Bassett tops WEMU's Sweet 16 with "I Can Make That Happen"

Johnnie Bassett at The Detroit Jazz Festival.

It was a bittersweet occasion when Detroit blues great Johnnie Bassett's new CD "I Can Make That Happen" once again topped WEMU's "Sweet 16" of most-played CDs for the week.  Just after the disc was released nationally, Johnnie passed away on August 4th due to cancer. 

Read more
2:05 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Tumbao Bravo Three for Three with WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen"!

The outstanding local jazz collective "Tumbao Bravo"

For the third week in a row, the local all-star Latin jazz band, Tumbao Bravo has topped WEMU's airplay list with "Casa Versailles".  Their CD release concert will be this Saturday at Kerrytown Concert House.  We have details about the show in the "events" and "datebook" section of this website.  This group is just one example of the outstanding musicians who live and work in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and the Detroit area.  It is an honor to play their music on WEMU and support our fantastic music community.

Read more
2:57 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Tumbao Bravo Tops WEMU's "Sweet 16" Two Weeks In A Row!

Congratulations are in order once again for conga player Alberto Nacif, saxophonist/flutist Paul Vornhagen,  trumpeter Bob Mojica, pianist Brian DiBlassio, percussionist Javier Barrios and bassist Patrick Prouty with special guest percussionist Pepe Espinosa for gaining the coveted top spot on WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen" for the new CD "Casa Versailles" two weeks in a row.  The members of Tumbao Bravo are based in communities all over Southeastern Michigan and record for bassist Paul Keller's PKO Records label, now operating in Saline, Michigan.  Featuring their music dovetails perfectly with WE

Read more
4:58 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Tumbao Bravo tops "Sweet 16" July 2nd through the 8th.

Cover for Tumbao Bravo's latest CD with one Jack Kenny's iconic Cuban photos.

Perhaps their "Top Of The Park" show for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival on July 4th helped propel them to the number one spot in WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen", but they likely would have achieved the spot without the show.

We at WEMU love highlighting local artists, and this ensemble of musicians from Ann Arbor, Brighton and Detroit is simply one of the best. Every member is a leader in his own right.

We are especially proud of their conga player, Dr. Alberto Nacif, former host of "Cuban Fantasy" until Marc Taras took over for him.

Read more
2:05 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

In first week of release, Johnnie Bassett's "I Can Make That Happen" tops WEMU's "Sweet 16".

Detroit's king of the blues, Johnnie Bassett

WEMU “SWEET SIXTEEN” AIRPLAY June 4 to June 10, 2012: 


1.    JOHNNIE BASSETT  “I Can Make That Happen”   (Sly Dog Records)

2.    JAZZ SOUL SEVEN “Impressions Of Curtis Mayfield” (BFM)

3.    JOAN OSBORNE “Bring It On Home” (Saguaro Road)

4.    ESPERANZA SPALDING   “Radio Music Society”  (Heads Up/Montuno)

5.    LIL’ ED AND THE BLUES IMPERIALS   “Jump Start”  (Alligator Records)

6.    CITIZEN RHYTHM   “Of The People, By The People, For The People”  (Strong Brew Music)

Read more