Monday, March 28, 2011

Grand Rapids Symphony Welcomes Jim Brickman, America’s Best-Selling Contemporary Solo Pianist, April 12

The Grand Rapids Symphony welcomes pianist Jim Brickman for a single performance on Tuesday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. in DeVos Performance Hall.

With six Gold and Platinum albums to his credit, Brickman will perform with the Grammy®-nominated Symphony to present an evening of popular romantic piano and orchestral music. Brickman, who has collaborated with many gifted musical artists, has been said to revolutionize the sound of solo piano with his pop-style instrumentals.

The concert is part of the SymphonicBoom series, which is designed to bring world-class entertainers and outside-the-box programming to West Michigan.

Associate Conductor John Varineau will lead the Symphony in the performance featuring Brickman, who is the best-selling contemporary solo pianist in America. The program will include many of his chart-topping hits, including “Crossroads,” “If You Believe,” “Hero’s Dream,” “Valentine” and “The Gift.”

“We are delighted to welcome Jim Brickman for his first performance with the Grand Rapids Symphony,” Varineau said. “His lush, expressive playing pairs perfectly with symphonic music. He is a tremendously engaging performer who truly connects with his audience through his music. It should be an outstanding evening.”

With the release of his debut album “No Words” in 1984, Brickman’s signature style of playing and songwriting have established him as “America’s romantic piano sensation.” In addition to his two Grammy nominations and best-selling albums, he has 28 charted radio hits, recently tying for most number one CDs on Billboard’s New Age chart.

Brickman regularly collaborates with chart-topping performers in a wide range of musical genres, from Martina McBride and Lady Antbellum to Carly Simon and Herb Alpert. His well-received 2010 album, “Home,” featured an eclectic mix of performers, including American Idol Matt Giraud, Australian pop star Delta Goodrem and award-winning country singer Ty Herndon.

Brickman tours extensively, performing more than 125 concerts each year. In addition to his touring schedule, he has taped four concert specials for PBS, written two best-selling books and supported charity organizations focused on children. He also hosts a weekly radio show, “Your Weekend.”

Tickets start at $32.Tickets are available at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through, 800/982-2787, online at, or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Stores and WalMart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thanks, West Michigan: Grand Rapids Symphony

Shows Appreciation to Community with Performances April 15 & 16

In appreciation for the generous support it has received from West Michigan throughout its 81-year history, the Grand Rapids Symphony is dedicating two performances in April to the community.

Guest conductor Andrew Grams and the Grand Rapids Symphony will present the community appreciation concert titled “Two Dons and Dvorak.” The performances, spotlighting the talents of Symphony musicians Nancy Steltmann, principal cello, and Leslie Van Becker, principal viola, will be held at DeVos Performance Hall on April 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. The concert is part of the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series.

As a thank you to the community, ticket prices have been significantly reduced for these performances. Tickets for adults are $18, seniors over the age of 62 are $9 and students are $5.

On the concert’s first half, the famous stories of two historic Dons – Quixote and Giovanni – will be brought to life through the power music. The overture to Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni,” blends comedy and drama as it tells the story of the licentious Italian nobleman.

Strauss’ musical story of “Don Quixote” showcases Steltmann on cello representing the Spanish country gentleman and Van Becker on viola representing his long-suffering sidekick, Sancho Panza. This concert continues the Symphony’s tradition of featuring its musicians as soloists, inviting the audience to experience the breadth of talent possessed by individual Symphony members.

The evening’s performance will conclude with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, a cheery symphony in four movements influenced by the Bohemian folk music that the composer loved.

Grams has been called one of America’s most promising talented, young conductors. He began his career in Michigan at the age of 17, when he directed the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp. He has appeared with many leading symphonies, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C. the Melbourne Symphony and others. During the 2010-11 season, Grams – who is also an accomplished violinist – debuted with the BBC Symphony in London and performed with orchestras in Germany, Canada and the Netherlands.

Steltmann has been principal cellist of the Symphony since 1990. She came to the orchestra from New York City in 1980, where she was assistant principal. She holds bachelors and masters degrees from the Julliard School, and has performed in New York and throughout the Midwest as a guest artist.

Van Becker has been principal viola of the Symphony since 1978. In addition to her work with the Symphony, she performs in musical festivals, quartets and chamber orchestras. She holds a bachelor of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and masters in music from the Yale University School of Music.

Tickets are available at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through, 1.800.982.2787, online at, or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Stores and Walmart.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jerry Seinfeld Returns to the Stage Live in Concert 2011

DeVos Performance Hall
Grand Rapids, MI

Due to popular demand, America’s premier comedian is hitting the road in a return to his first love—stand-up comedy. Hailed as “the master stand-up comic of his generation” and “the best comedian of our time” in a Washington Post article by Tom Shales, Seinfeld has an uncanny ability to joke about the little things in life that relate to audiences everywhere.

Seinfeld now sets his sights on performing his material across the country in 2011. His tour will visit Grand Rapids’ DeVos Performance Hall on June 9 at 7pm.

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 25 at 10am and are $47.50, $62.50, and $77.50. Tickets are available online at, all Ticketmaster outlets, DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices or charge by phone 1-800-745-3000.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 Cottage & Lakefront Living Show - Grand Rapids FACT SHEET

Location: DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503; tel: 616-742-6500

Dates & Times:

Friday, March 25 - 3pm - 9pm

Saturday, March 26 - 10am - 9pm

Sunday, March 27 - 11am - 5pm


Adults: $9.00

Children (6 – 14): $4.00

5 & Under: Free

24-Hour Info: 1-800-328-6550 or

Tickets may be purchased at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, ticketmaster ticket centers, including D&W stores and select Family Fare locations, charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000, or on-line at

West Michigan’s only Show that’s completely devoted to the Cottage Lifestyle!

Hundreds of exhibitors! Architects and designers; lakefront builders; cedar and log home builders; boats, docks, and lifts; interior design and cottage-style furnishings; landscapers, home improvement and more.

Meet author Loreen Niewenhuis and hear about her 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach, a one-of-a-kind journey by foot around Lake Michigan.

Professional sand sculptor Janet Moore Schrader in the 1200 Sq. Foot “Monroe Street Beach”. Kids can “Storm the Castle” Sunday at 3:00 pm!

Shop the Lakefront Market Place with dozens of merchants selling all kinds of cool items for your cottage or home, and the Cottage Fine Art Show, featuring Michigan artists

Try out an awesome state-of-the-art Fishing Simulator all weekend long and get tips from expert anglers!

Free seminars all weekend on Cottage Succession Planning, Birding, Cottage Landscaping, Shoreline and Lake Conservation, and more.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Photographers and Graphic Designers Exhibit their Senior Theses in: Bling! Flash! Art! Part II

Wednesday April 13 to Thursday April 28, 2011

Opening Reception Thursday April 14, 2011

5 – 7 pm Skywalk Gallery DeVos Place

Refreshments will be served

All are invited to attend the second collaborative GVSU Senior Thesis Showcase, part of Grand Valley State University’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. This year’s show features 15 Photographers and 14 Graphic Designers, presenting a glimpse into their creative endeavors.

Bling! Flash! Art! opens Wednesday, April 13, and ends Thursday, April 28, 2011. Join artists on Thursday, April 14 from 5 - 7 p.m. on the Skywalk Gallery located at DeVos Place. Gallery hours are: Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:30pm, and Saturday - Sunday 8:00am - 6:00pm. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Contributing Photographers in Bling! Flash! Art! are: Mark Andrus, Laura Carlson, Sarah DeBol, Paul Evans, Jacqueline Garner, Bri Goodyear, Kristina Jeluso, Sarah Laman, Andrew Peregoy, Alyssa Joye, Krystal Rauwerda, Alysha Rutkowski, Neal Sosnowski, Alexander Wiśniewski, and Lacey Wright.

Graphic Designers participating in Bling! Flash! Art! include: Katie Bajema, Jen Benson, Danielle Bernard, Elyse Flynn, Amanda French, Kelly Granbacka, Elise Hans, Meagan Krueger, Stephanie LeMire, Liz Marchetta, Lissa Marques, Tim Montie, Mike Schulz, and Ellen Yee.

For more information, please contact:

Victoria Veenstra: 616.331.3957

Chitra Gopalakrishnan: 616.331.8164

Performing Arts Center Gallery: 616.331.2564

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

West Michigan’s best fishing boat deals are at the Ultimate Sport Show—Grand Rapids, March 17 to 20

Recession’s end sparks a “whole new ball game”

Area boat dealers will be angling for buyers when they bring scores of new boats, all rigged for fishing fun, to the Ultimate Sport Show—Grand Rapids, March 17 to 20 at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NE.

Major boat and motor manufacturers will offer incentives that include cash rebates, extended warranties, special discounts and easy dealer financing.

The recession’s end means the end of distressed boat sales, including bank repos, which flooded the market with too many boats. All models in the Ultimate Sport Show are new, and most are of 2011 vintage.

“It’s a whole new ball game,” said Jeff Helms of Camp & Cruise in Marne. “Because buyers are used to great deals, though, no one is raising prices. In fact, there’s never been a better time to buy a new boat, motor and trailer, all tricked-out for fishing or cruising.”

New boats coming to Grand Rapids include specialty bass and walleye rigs, pontoons, river steelhead packages from the West Coast, offshore trolling models and others. Dealers in the show have details about 2011 factory-rebate programs, many of which expire at the end of March, and other special buying incentives.

Fully-rigged dealer boat packages save buyers $$

The long recession prompted dealers to cut back on factory orders, which meant customers couldn’t always get what they wanted in customized, ready-to-fish packages.

That period is over.

“Today’s best value lies in fully-rigged boats,” Helms added, “because they save customers 10 to 15 percent over buying separately a trailer, trolling motor, sonar electronics and other fishing accessories.”

Many dealers customize factory-delivered packages, which typically include the boat, motor and trailer but not electronics or trolling motors. “We’re the experts,” said Jeff Uetrecht of Lake Drive Marine in Coldwater. “We know how to trick out a boat with the correct components. In that sense we’re like a housing contractor with all the options and answers. Tell us what you want on your boat, and we’ll get it.”

Kevin Matteson of Matteson Marine in Shelbyville agrees. “We know how to correctly rig fishing packages because everyone in our company is an avid angler,” Matteson said.

Randy VanDam, owner of D & R Sports in Kalamazoo, said customers can add custom features to their boat package and include the cost in their financing deal. “It makes sense, VanDam said, “to get what you want now and save the increased labor costs later.”

New lines coming to Grand Rapids

Here are the boats, along with examples of hot deals from each dealer, listed alphabetically:

Camp & Cruise
Helms is bringing mostly small, entry-level fishing rigs. Lines include Sea Arc, Roughneck welded johnboats from Lowe, Wooldridge welded river boats from the West Coast, along with several Ultracraft models and Crest fishing pontoons.

Hot Deal: A 16-foot Ultracraft Model 166 side-console, three-seater with 40 hp Mercury 4-stroke motor, trailer, spare tire, vinyl-EZ clean floor, big-screen fish finder and bow-mounted trolling motor for $13,999.

D & R Sports takes the wraps off Tracker aluminum fishing boats, Triton and Nitro bass boats and Quest pontoons. VanDam said current Tracker boat packages cost as much as $5,000 less than similar offerings last year. “With deals like this, the company is looking to blow the competition out of the water,” VanDam said.

Hot deal: Tracker Pro Guide 175 with Mercury 90 hp engine, trailer, electric trolling motor and fish finder for $14,920.

Double L Bait & Marine in Vicksburg debuts D 3 aluminum boats and pontoons that are well-made and moderately priced. With 25 new craft in inventory, owner Danielle Kinder said delivery wait time is only a week or four to six weeks for special factory orders.

Hot Deal: G3 Suncatcher 188 fishing pontoon with a Yamaha 4-stroke 75 hp engine for $15,300.

Lake Drive Marine in Coldwater unveils new Skeeter bass boats, high-end Cypress Kay pontoons and hand-crafted Phoenix bass boats. Workers at the Tennessee factory concentrate on fit, finish and detail while building only 300 Phoenix craft each year.

Hot Deal: Cypress Kay Model 220 Cozumel luxury pontoon with 150 hp Mercury Verado 4-stroke super-charged engine (top speed is 33 mph) for $30,500 (sticker prize is $35,900), including cover and mooring bumpers.

Matteson Marine is bringing Alumacraft, Lund and Ranger bass and walleye boats to Grand Rapids with Lund and Alumacraft rebates good until the end of March.

Hot Deals: Alumacraft Classic Model 165 CS with 50 hp 4-stroke Yamaha engine, 20-gallon built-in fuel tank and 34-gallon livewell. The $13,695 package includes a $500 rebate, Trailmaster custom trailer with spare tire, 55 lb. MinnKota trolling motor and Hummingbird depth finder. The Model 145 CS with 25 hp Yamaha starts at $8,095.

Sportfisherman’s Center
in Muskegon presents fully-rigged boats by Lund and Alumacraft from 16 to 20 feet. Until the end of March, buyers can get up to $1,200 rebates on certain models along with extended warranties at no added cost.

Hot deals: 16-foot Alumacraft johnboat with 25 hp Mercury 4-stroke and trailer for $8,995 and a 16-ft. Lund with 50 hp Mercury 4-stroke, electric trolling motor, fishing graph and trailer for $14,985. The latter deal includes a $700 rebate, free boat cover and extra seat and pedestal.

Bottom line: You can see these special offerings, and many more, at the Ultimate Sport Show. If a new, ready-to-fish boat package is in your future, the time to pull the trigger on the deal of the decade is March 17 to 20.

Show hours at DeVos Place are Thursday, from 3:00 PM to 9:30 PM; Friday, from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM; Saturday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM; and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is $10 for adults and $4 for children 6 to 14. Kids 5 and under get in free.

Tickets may be purchased at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, ticketmaster ticket centers, including D&W stores and select Family Fare locations, charged by phone at 1.800.745.3000 or on-line at

Discount coupons are available at the Grand Rapids Press, and Wendy’s restaurants. For more information, go to or call 800-328-6550.

Family fun abounds at Ultimate Sport Show, March 17 to 20 at DeVos Place

Why is The Ultimate Sport Show one of Michigan’s favorite annual events? Answer: Because for 65 years it has proudly served many of the state’s army of outdoor enthusiasts.

Today, those outdoor lovers include 1.4 million licensed anglers, 750,000 licensed hunters, and 1.4 million wildlife watchers. For them and their families, the Ultimate Sport Show provides wall-to-wall fun, conservation education and special buying opportunities for fishing and hunting boats, fishing tackle and hunting gear.

John Loeks, Sr. launched the show in downtown Grand Rapids at the old Welch Auditorium in 1946. This year’s 66th edition, March 17 to 20 at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe NW (next door to what was Welch Auditorium), remains true to its roots.

There is a Pellet Shooting Range with certified instructors offering lessons and a Trout Pond with frisky rainbows for kids to catch. The nominal donations for those activities, as well as the popular Virtual Fishing Simulator and the Rock Climb, go to non-profit or charitable causes like Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

On the weekend, members of the Michigan B.A.S.S. Federation NATION will host a free Casting Kids Contest. The club provides all equipment and will teach boys and girls proper techniques and let them practice before competition begins.

The family-favorite “Ultimate Air Dogs” feature with Milt Wilcox is free every day as are the incredible displays of lifelike animals, birds and fish by the Michigan Taxidermists Association, which holds its annual convention and juried competition at the show.

“Big Buck Night West,” an annual family staple on Michigan Out-of-Doors TV Show, will be filmed on Thursday starting at 7:00 p.m. It, too, is free with admission.

More than 100 scheduled seminars on fishing, hunting, dog training, growing wildlife food plots and other subjects are free with admission. Other in-booth demonstrations draw crowds all day long. Patrons young and old, for example, delight in watching members of the Woodland Woodcarvers whittle away at creations both serious and whimsical.

Terry McBurney from Ada exhibits antique fishing tackle and will appraise artifacts for patrons at no charge. That old wooden fishing lure that Junior found in Grandpa’s tackle box could be priceless. And there’s more snapshots from the past: Dick VanRaalte from Grand Haven displays vintage boating products including a restored wooden boat and several collectible outboard motors.

Bill Yoder’s Live Big Game Show lets youngsters get up close and personal with white-tailed deer, a black bear, a fennec fox baby and a young bobcat.

What kid doesn’t like to nibble on elephant ears, honey-mustard pretzels, roasted almonds or beef jerky? If the youngsters are still hungry, DeVos Place food concessions sell family food and beverages.

More than four acres big, DeVos Place is crammed with hunting gear, fishing tackle and other outdoor products, including camping equipment—all at great bargains. There is bottom-line value on fishing boats, duck hunting boats, pontoons and pleasure boats, along with boat docks, lifts and other accessories

Outfitters Expo provides the public with nearly unlimited family vacation and adventure travel, including hunting and fishing destinations throughout North America and beyond. You can even book a pike fishing trip in Alaska, a family houseboat adventure in Kentucky, or a safari in Africa.

Kids are among those who enjoy collecting the commemorative Dardevle spoons that Eppinger Manufacturing Co. in Dearborn hands out each year on Thursday and Friday to the first 500 show patrons. On Saturday and Sunday, Carlisle Float Company will offer free fish scalers to the first 250 attendees.

And Cran-Hill Ranch family campground in Rodney is bringing its Family Fun Zone, a free, hands-on experience for the kids. That is, if the kids have any energy left!

Show hours are Thursday, March 17 from 3:00 PM to 9:30 PM; Friday, March 18 from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM; Saturday, March 19 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM; and Sunday, March 20 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is $10 for adults and $4 for children 6 to 14. Kids 5 and under get in free.

Tickets may be purchased at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, ticketmaster ticket centers, including D&W stores and select Family Fare locations, charged by phone at 1.800.745.3000 or on-line at

Discount coupons are available at the Grand Rapids Press, and Wendy’s restaurants. For more information, go to or call 800-328-6550.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Opportunity Available to Enjoy Betty White’s Program in Grand Rapids

Gilda's LaughFest to offer simulcast of Betty White's sold out program

Tickets are on sale for individuals interested in viewing a simulcast of Betty White's program during Gilda's Club Grand Rapids 10th Anniversary Celebration on Tuesday, March 15. Individual tickets for the simulcast cost $12.50 and will be available at or by calling 800-745-3000; tickets are also available at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices.

Individuals who purchase tickets to the simulcast will be entertained by on-stage guests, including Gilda's LaughFest Laughter Nanny Tim Cusack, beginning at 7:45 p.m. inside DeVos Performance Hall. White's simulcast performance will begin at approximately 8:20 p.m.

The Annual Spring Bridal Show of West Michigan March 11-13

The Annual Spring Bridal Show of West Michigan March 11-13, the ONLY three-day bridal show in West Michigan downtown at beautiful DeVos Place on Monroe Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. All under one tent!

"This year's Spring Bridal Show will have a featured "Season's of Love" tent display," says Pam Glass of Kohler Expos. We have a few unique things at this year's spring event. Brides will have an opportunity to win a "Big Day Bag" purse at the bridal show. This is a must-have organizer for all brides-to-be. Vendors include:

· Bridal Gowns
· Tuxedos
· Tent Rentals
· Reception Halls / Facilities
· Photographers
· Bridal Registry
· Limousine & Party Buses
· Bachelorette Parties
· Decorators / Florists
· Disc Jockeys
· Photo Booth
· Cookware
· Weight Loss/ Health
· Jewelry / Beauty
· Show Discounts from Vendors
· Register to Win CASH / Prizes

"Back by popular demand is our annual "Brides on the Run" cash contest. Two brides compete each day to win $200 cash. This was a lot of fun last year. And winners are always happy to win $200 cash," says Denise Kolesar. You must be pre-registered for your chance to compete on our website.

The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. Admission is at the door or in advance on-line at Discount coupons are available on-line by visiting our website Admission to the Bridal Show also offers a crossover admission to the Women's Expo which runs the same weekend. "Bridal vendors are also obviously available for corporate functions, anniversary celebrations and the like, so it just makes sense to offer this opportunity to all attendees that weekend," says Denise Kolesar, President of Kohler Expos, Inc.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kohler Expos Honored as Top Women-Owned Business of the Year

Kohler Expos has been honored by The Grand Rapids Business Journal as a Top Women-Owned Business of 2011. Denise Kolesar, founder of Kohler Expos and successful promoter of West Michigan Women’s Expo, received the award for businesses up the $1.49 million from Editor Carole Valade during a special luncheon on March 2. Kolesar was recognized for the work she has done for the past 13 years promoting hundreds of women-owned and women-focused businesses through her many shows.

Kohler Expos, which produces five shows annually, was one of four businesses highlighted during the bi-annual awards presentation. Independent judges reviewed the businesses on a number of criteria, including financial health, mentoring, philanthropy and leadership skills.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses of the year,” Kolesar said. “Through my work with Kohler Expos, I have been fortunate to help women from throughout the state launch new businesses, promote new products and services and connect with other women. Our events really are great business incubators, allowing women to lunch a new business with very little capital.

“This recognition equally belongs to the entrepreneurs I have worked with over the years, as well as those women who attend Expo and are inspired to start their own businesses.”

Kolesar launched Kohler Expos in 1997, promoting her first West Michigan Women’s Expo in Grand Rapids that winter. The show, which returns to Grand Rapids March 11-13 for its 13th season, has grown tremendously and now attracts more than 17,000 attendees. During show season, Kohler Expos employs nearly 55 full- and part-time employees.

The West Michigan Women’s Expo at DeVos Place:

March 11: 10 AM- 8 PM

March 12: 10 AM- 8 PM

March 13: 11 AM- 5 PM

The Spring Bridal Show of West Michigan at DeVos Place:

March 11: 5 PM- 8 PM

March 12: 10 AM- 8 PM

March 13: 11 AM- 5 PM

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Grand Rapids Symphony Presents “Latin Fire” March 11-12

Latin-Inspired Evening Will Showcase Three Soloists, Flamenco Dancer

The Grand Rapids Symphony will present “Latin Fire,” a fast-moving collage of musical textures, dancing and other dramatic elements that reflect the Latin spirit on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 at 8 p.m. in DeVos Performance Hall.

Creatively directed by Music Director David Lockington, “Latin Fire” will feature three soloists and a Flamenco dancer who will perform with the Grammy-nominated Symphony to create a fiery evening full of exotic Latin flair. The concert, which will showcase music of Spain, Latin America and Mexico is part of the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series.

“We really wanted to create textures, rhythms and passionate moods all next to each another in really short bursts, with a couple of different soloists,” Lockington explained. “The result will be a fast-paced evening that is song-filled, dance-filled and flamboyant.

“This is the Symphony’s second concert this year that underscores our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our hope is to create a deeper level of engagement with the Latino community in West Michigan.”

The program will feature three soloists and a Flamenco dancer:

· Jason Vieaux, one of America’s leading classical guitarists. He has performed widely with symphonies across the country and credited with changing the face of guitar programming. He is the youngest first-prize winner in the history of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of American International Competition. In addition to his duties as a performer, he is the head of the Cleveland Institute of Music Guitar Department.

· Peter Soave, a bandoneon and concert accordian player who has won multiple awards for his work, including the inaugural Voce d’Oro, an international award honoring those who have given prominence to the accordion in the world of modern music. He has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles through the world.

· Dylana Jenson, a violinist who has performed with major orchestras in the United States and traveled to Europe and Latin American for concerts, recitals and recordings. She has been described as a “mature master’ by The New York Times. In addition to her solo career, she teaches master classes and at summer music festivals. She was made an honorary citizen of Costa Rica in honor of her artistic contribution to her mother’s homeland.

· Irma Suárez Ruíz is an accomplished Flamenco dancer and the first dancer of Ensemble Espanol in Chicago. A native of Chicago, she secured an arts grant to introduce area youth to the art of Spanish dance. Performing regularly, she also serves as a special guest artist for ballet and other dance companies.

Tickets start at $18 and are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder), or by calling 616.454.9451, Ext. 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available at the DeVos Place Box Office, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through , 1.800.982.2787, online at, or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. This is a student passport concert.

To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony, please visit

Steven Heacock, the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA) Chairman, was named the “West Michigan Business Person of the Year”

Steven Heacock, the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA) Chairman, was named the “West Michigan Business Person of the Year” by the MSU Alumni Club this past February the 24th.The announcement was made at the 16th Annual MSU Means Business Networking Event at the Secchia Center in Grand Rapids. The featured speakers were Stefanie Lenway (the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business and Eli Broad Graduate School of Management) and Scott Westerman (Executive Director of the MSU Alumni Association).The CAA is the seven-member board that owns Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place. For more information please visit,

Jackson Browne and James Taylor To Be Presented on PBS' "Troubadours"

PBS American Masters will be presenting TROUBADOURS, a documentary featuring James Taylor, Carole King and Jackson Browne and other famed singer-songwriters from the 1970s as they look back to the stomping grounds that helped launch their careers, West Hollywood's 'Troubadour'. Rare photos and performance footage give the rock document great insight to the times and music of a generation.

The special will air Wednesday, March 2, 8pm ET/PT.

You can catch the legend, Jackson Browne, live at his solo acoustic presentation in Grand Rapids at DeVos Performance Hall on April 21st at 7:30pm. For tickets, click here:

For more information, go to