89.1 WEMU

Joybox Express

David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

It was a 240-mile, 29 1/2 hour, people-powered tricycle ride from Flint to Mackinaw City. Then, it was a swim from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island, with a 50-foot barge in tow. It concluded with Mr. B and His Band performing at the Grand Hotel as part of the annual Labor Day Jazz Weekend. Renowned Ann Arbor boogie-woogie pianist Mr. B, Mark Braun, stopped by the WEMU studio's early labor day morning to share the experience and discuss what the charitable 'Joybox Express-Sprint 4 Flint' will mean for the YouthQuest program in his embattled hometown of Flint, Michigan. 

A charitable 240-mile trike ride, swim across the Straits of Mackinac, and a performance at the Grand Hotel. "Ride, Swim, Play, Give." Boogie-Woogie piano legend Mr. B (Mark Braun), and a Joybox Express team of dozens launch the "Sprint 4 Flint" on Friday morning in a fundraising effort to benefit the Youthquest program in the city of Flint.  WEMU will be following the progress all along the way! 


Joybox Express
Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

Earlier this week, drummer Pete Siers and boogie-woogie piano hero Mr. B joined Linda in the WEMU studios to talk about Pete's new record, Flea Circus ahead of their CD release concert Saturday at The Ark, their special friendship and life in general. 

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Ann Arbor’s Mark “Mr. B” Braun has pedaled his custom made, 350 lbs piano bike over 1,000 miles along the Mississippi River -  the half-way point of the journey! Mr. B’s Joybox Express and his cycle team have now entered day 42 on their 2,000 mile ride spread, an effort to raise awareness on the importance of music education and physical fitness. 

The Muscatine Journal highlights Mr. B's Joybox Express visit to town. As always, stick with WEMU to keep up with The Joybox Express' Mississippi River Ride for updates throughout the whole journey!

Mr. B and the Joybox Express give us an update from the road. 

This epic 2,000-mile, 90-day bicycle trek begins at the Mississippi headwaters in Lake Itasca, Minnesota and concludes in New Orleans, Louisiana. It will visit cities, towns and villages along the Mississippi River Road to perform, educate, conduct group-rides and inspire blues, jazz and bicycling appreciation. 

www.joyboxexpress.com

                                                                                                                                                       

Drawing on the powerful time-honored tradition of traveling shows,  Mr. B’s "Joybox Express" will ride the Blues Highway beginning today and running through December.

 

WEMU's Michael Jewett sits down with Mr. B (Mark Braun) to talk about his efforts to traverse the length of the Missisippi River by piano bike to promote and increase access for children's arts and athletics programs in local communities all over the US.  

  • Listen to the full interview, above.

Mr. B's Joybox Express is getting ready to bike the length of the Mississippi River, from Minnesota to New Orleans this fall, and WEMU is getting ready to follow the ride.   Mark Braun, aka Mr. B., spoke with WEMU's David Fair about the project and what the Joybox entourage plans to do along the way.