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Ron Harris / Associated Press

This weekend, the city is host to two big festivals and two big country stars.

Contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss are in to preview the concert calendar with "Mara's Music Mix."

City Lights: Hari Kondabolu; Colin Hay; And More

Apr 20, 2017
Katy Porter

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Isadora Pennington

Mice is the plural of mouse, geese is the plural of goose and celli is the plural of cello.

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Here in Atlanta, Celli is also a group of four female cellists who had so much fun playing together in groups like the Savannah Philharmonic that they decided to form their own ensemble. 

Owen Sweeney / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend's concert calendar includes some hometown country and a pair of '80s throwbacks. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead.

Sim Canetty-Clarke

Stephen Hough is heralded as a polymath. He is an acclaimed pianist and composer, but he is also a writer of poetry and prose.

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Hough is in Atlanta this weekend, performing on the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s all-Rachmaninov program. That will featured Rachmaninov’s "Vocalise" and "Symphonic Dances," and Hough will performance the "Piano Concerto No. 1."

Mike Mantione

One long-running indie rock band is looking forwards and back at the same time. The Athens-based group Five Eight has been around since the late 1980s and they're getting ready to release a new album. They're also the subject of a documentary about their history and return to one ill-fated record.

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The new album is “Songs for Saint Jude,” named for the patron saint of lost causes.

Jack Plunkett / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend's concert calendar includes a pair of bands who've gone from 1990s alt-rock weirdos to indie rock elder statesmen.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead with "Mara's Music Mix."

Courtesy of Orchestra Noir

Orchestra Noir is Atlanta's all-African-American orchestra. The group has only been around for 10 months, but it is already redefining where classical music is performed and who its audience is.

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For one, Orchestra Noir appeared in a music video by Atlanta hip-hop stars Migos and 2Chainz. And the group’s next concert will feature not just their concerto competition winner but also Grammy-winning producer Bryan-Michael Cox.

Migos performs during the Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash 20 at Philips Arena on Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Atlanta.
Katie Darby / Invision/Associated Press

A student group at Emory shared a letter on Facebook Tuesday night that starts off: “It sucks. We're disappointed.”

After promising for weeks that the hip-hop group Migos would be performing on campus, the Student Programming Council learned it was a scam.

Julia Munslow, the editor of The Emory Wheel, said her staff noticed the conflict.

Scott Roth / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend's concert offerings include indie rock at the Variety and hip-hop at Phillips Arena.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead with "Mara's Music Mix."

Michael Patrick O'Leary

Multi-Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn is on the road with pianist Robert Levin. Their tour stops in Atlanta this weekend. The two are performing a program of music by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, along with contemporary works written specifically for them.

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Another recent endeavor of Hahn’s is presenting music outside of the concert hall: to a knitting class or to parents with newborn babies.


Sidney Lanier’s seminal poem was “The Song of the Chattahoochee.” So, perhaps he would have enjoyed the gesture of being the namesake for Lake Lanier, which dams part of the Chattahoochee.

Lanier was born in Macon, Ga. in 1842. He did not make it to 40, but left a profound impact on American poetry. And first and even foremost, he was a musician, composing songs and playing flute.

Jeff Daly / Invision/AP file

This weekend is about comebacks, with some classic acts taking the stages of Atlanta's clubs and concert venues. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead with Mara's Music Mix.

Courtesy of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management

The Georgia Senate honored Killer Mike on Friday morning. And the Atlanta rapper, businessman and political activist took the opportunity to speak not just about his involvement with Atlanta’s water infrastructure, which was the reason for the honor, but also about education, equity and opportunity in Georgia.

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Vincent Tseng

Longtime touring musician Nick DiSebatian is encouraging Atlanta audiences to grab their dobros, fiddles and banjos and head to the Vista Room in Oak Grove.

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There, he and his co-conspirators are hosting an eight-week concert series dedicated to bluegrass music called Bluegrass & Beyond.

“It’s a traditional American music,” said DiSebastian, who’s dedicated much of his musical career to bluegrass. “It’s a homegrown music, and there’s a huge standard repertoire within it.”

Jeremy Ayers

Cindy Wilson just wants you to have a good time.

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She is, famously, a founding member of The B-52s – the Athens, Georgia, band that formed in 1977 and has since become known as “the world’s greatest party band.”

Laura Roberts / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend's concert calendar includes some big names, some big voices and big sounds.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead with "Mara’s Music Mix."

Matt Sayles / Invision/Associated Press

Big names from classic rock radio are hitting the city this weekend, including a man from down under and everyone's favorite Police.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the concert calendar with "Mara's Music Mix."

Mark Creasy

Despite the unseasonably warm winter, an event this weekend is bypassing the rest of it all together and spring as well. It’s called Sweater Summer, a tropical light art party, and it will transform the Mammal Gallery into a summer escape featuring music, light art installations and plenty of tiki and tropical decor.

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Jim Herrington / Cool Rock Records

This weekend, Atlanta's playing host to a punk legend, political pop, and one of Elton John's favorite new bands.

Contributor Mara Davis sits down with host emeritus Steve Goss for the look ahead.

Charles Sykes / Invision/Associated Press

The weekend before Valentine's Day has classic rock tributes and Italian love songs and everything in-between.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at upcoming concerts.

Jeff Shipman

Valentine’s Day is next week and love songs are sure to be everywhere. But one group of Atlanta musicians is offering an alternative. The annual Bloody Valentines show is returning to the EARL and will be performing a mix of murder ballads, songs of obsession and love-gone-wrong.

The creators of the show, which has been happening annually since 2015, aim to go against the grain of typical Valentine's events.

"I've always wanted to do an evening of murder ballads," singer Aileen Loy, who will perform in the show, tells City Lights host Lois Reitzes.

Kawai Matthews

We've yet to reach Valentine’s Day, but Atlanta resident and Grammy-winning trombonist Saunders Sermons has dedicated the whole month of February to love. He has curated a series at City Winery featuring soul cabaret. The concerts are on each Monday this month, starting tonight with Grammy-nominated singer Tamar Davis. 

“Soul cabaret, it can be rock, blues, jazz, RnB. I want to keep it eclectic,” said Sermons in an interview with Lois Reitzes.

Laila Yasser

This week's concert offerings feature everything from Beyoncé’s brass section to an international cultural celebration of the Nile River. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead with Mara's Music Mix.

Sophie Wright / Decca Classics

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

9 String Theory Combines Domra With Classical Guitar

Jan 23, 2017
Jeff Roffman

9 String Theory is not just a catchy name but also a straightforward calculation. It’s a musical duo featuring Angelina Galashenkova on the domra, which has three strings, and John Huston on classical guitar, which has six strings.

The domra is a Russian folk instrument, or as Galashenkova said, “I describe it as the Russian lute, Russian mandolin.”

Classical guitar and domra might be a strange pairing in the United States, but in Russia, it is more common. Usually, the domra takes the melody, while the guitar is on the harmony part.

Jack Plunkett / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend's concert calendar features a homecoming for a jewel-running rap duo and one of the Eagles at the Fox.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at what's happening in Atlanta's clubs and concert halls with "Mara's Music Mix."

Courtesy of Matisyahu

When your art is rooted in your religious faith, how does your work evolve along with your beliefs?

Matthew Paul Miller could tell you.

The hip-hop and reggae singer is better known by his Hebrew name: Matisyahu.

He emerged in the mid-2000s, clad in a long beard and traditional garments, weaving themes of Orthodox Judaism into his lyrics.

Barry Brecheisen / Invision for Invision/AP

Aging punk rockers and frontmen gone solo are on the bill this weekend and contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at what's going on in Atlanta's music venues with "Mara's Music Mix."

Matthew Paul Miller aka Matisyahu performs onstage at Park City Live Day 1 on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 in Park City, Utah.
Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Park City Live/AP Images

This weekend, the metro Atlanta area is playing host to a country storyteller, an Orthodox Jewish reggae artist, and much more. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at Atlanta's concert offerings with "Mara's Music Mix."