Photo: The Kathy Ford Band
This Wednesday, May 25th, you can catch the final round of “Lansing Has Talent” at Reno’s East starting at 7:30PM.
Last Wednesday night, local musicians and singers arrived at Reno’s East with bandmates and instruments to sign up for the sixth and last preliminary round of the show, sponsored by Reno’s and Marshall Music. Since finalists were determined by volume of applause, contestants’ relatives, friends, and fans tagged along for a family-friendly showcase of local talent.
Kathy Ford (of Kathy Ford Band), who is heading up the nearly two-month long event, opened the night with a few tunes from the band. Their set, consisting of classic covers familiar to the bar’s older crowd, was kept brief and served mostly as a sound check to insure that setup ran smoothly between contestants. Once the contest officially began, some performances required a backing band, and members of Kathy Ford Band were happy to sit in with contestants, and lend equipment to whomever needed it.
The contest attracted quite a wide age range among performers. “I wasn't sure what to expect,” explains Ford, “but I knew from ‘Sit In With the Band Night’ and with teaching private lessons at Marshall Music that we have a lot of talented folks here in Lansing who do not have a venue to perform or showcase. The performances that surprised me were the youngest participants like Carlito Rosales who is 10 years old and plays drums like a seasoned player, very impressive.”
Though this is her first go at hosting a talent show, “Lansing Has Talent” is not Ford’s first attempt to reach out to local musicians. “Sit In With the Band Night” gives musicians the opportunity to join Kathy Ford Band live onstage for a feature performance.
Last week’s preliminary round resulted in two finalists, Quinn Keilen and Chara Love, due to a tie in applause volume. Accompanied by piano, high school student Keilen sang a soft rendition of “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor. Love performed two original songs from her 2006 solo album Core, with a backing band she says she put together at the last minute. “I sort of just asked a few of the guys on the fly if they wanted to join me. Peter Paul had played my song ‘Suddenly Subtly’ with me a few times when I hosted open mic at The Avenue in 2012, and Quentin is a drummer I have wanted to collaborate with for a while.”
The other finalists from the past six weeks are Will Pruitt, Jamie Fowler, John Cosgrove, Emma Larson, and Kate Baumer. This week’s final round will be judged by locals in the music industry, rather than applause levels.
Marshall Music is providing two Washburn acoustic guitars for first and second place, and a Marshall Music gift card for third place. Whether or not someone you know is participating in the contest, consider stopping by this event on Wednesday for free, quality, family-friendly entertainment. The local talent may surprise you!
Reno’s East is located at 1310 Abbot Road, in East Lansing.