Singin’ in the Street: Jacob Sigman and The Stellars at Sonic Lunch


“It’s so easy to get set in your ways,” local guitarist and singer-songwriter Jacob Sigman. “Playing with other people can create a fresh wave of inspiration.” Sigman, a Toledo native and 2017 University of Michigan graduate, will be showcasing his collaborative spirit with local band The Stellars at Sonic Lunch on Thursday, August 17.

The Stellars accompanied Sigman on his latest single, “Think About You,” and the result is as infectious as it is funky. “Think About You” is an upbeat, summer-vibes love song that had me toe-tapping and grinning along to the lyrics: “Summer lovings, wishful thinking / dancing in the kitchen, singin’ in the street.” Sigman’s vocal style is a serenading pop/R&B style, so it was no surprise when he cited some of his musical influences like Bruno Mars, The 1975, and Theo Katzman, another U-M alum who played Sonic Lunch this season.

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Cut Out for It: The Matisse Jazz Project explores the art of improvisation


The Matisse Jazz Project, Christopher Bakriges, Gwen Laster

Christopher Bakriges and Gwen Laster return to their native Michigan for three concerts by their Matisse Jazz Project.

In 2009, pianist Christopher Bakriges, a former student of Oscar Peterson, had the idea to compose music that corresponded to individual pieces in Henri Matisse’s Jazz series, which was published in 1947 and consists of 20 striking paper collages inspired by improvisation. It was 2012 when Bakriges finished all 20 compositions, and The Matisse Jazz Project was born soon after.

Prior to 2017, Bakriges had performed his Matisse-inspired compositions with violinist Stanley Chepaitis, but now the project features Gwen Laster on violin. The duo will play three shows in Michigan this weekend, including two concerts in Ann Arbor and one at the Detroit Institute of Art.

“It’s expansive. It stimulates the senses differently," Laster said about the Project. “Each piece has a distinct personality and flavor in your mind."

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Quick Wit and High Kicks: Theo Katzman at Sonic Lunch


“I can do my comedy thing up here, and I’m not afraid to do it,” joked guitarist, singer-songwriter, and Vulfpeck drummer Theo Katzman to a packed Sonic Lunch crowd on Thursday, June 29, at Liberty Plaza. “I have a safety net of 300 people to catch me if I fall”

Katzman’s songs are filled with this kind of honesty and humorous self-reflection, which is what makes them instantly relatable. His poetic and catchy sound blends elements of classic rock, soft rock, pop, and R&B, and his lyrics often revolve around the difficult and rewarding aspects of romantic love.

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