Morris Live! Presents "10th Year Celebration – Thank You South Bend" 2/20

Morris Live! Presents

A 10th year celebration of the anniversary of the restoration of the Morris Performing Arts Center will take place on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

This special "Thank You South Bend" free show will feature talents from the many types of entertainment that have graced the stage of the Morris over it's history; from Classical to Broadway; Jazz to Celtic and R&B/Motown; with nationally known performing acts who live here in the Michiana region; such as JUNIOR WALKER & THE ALL STAR BAND with veteran All Star Band member DARRYL BUCHANAN, DONI HAGEN, saxophonist DANNY LERMAN, REBECCA WILSON and the MAROON JAZZ CHOIR, Violinist THOMAS HUNTINGTON, Cellist AUSTIN HUNTINGTON, NIKITA ABROSIMO, JOHN BANES, JUSTIN WILLIAMS, South Bend Symphony Choir member Professor TUCK LANGLAND, John Kennedy and KENNEDY'S KITCHEN with CELTIC DANCE and a special appearance by Chicago based jazz singer, Spider Saloff. Mayor Stephen Luecke will make a special appearance. Hosted by SUNNY 101.5 radio personality Tori James, former WSBT news anchor Mike Collins, St. Joseph County Treasurer Sean Coleman, and South Bend City Councilman David Varner. Produced and directed by Ralph Lampkin, Jr.

More information is available at

Originally built in 1921, The Morris is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and completed a restoration and renovation process in 2000 with a completely new stage house and the interior restored to its original vaudeville splendor. The theater hosts a wide variety of concerts, national Broadway touring musicals, symphony, dance, comedians, and is home to the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Broadway Theatre League.

Tickets are free for the event and are available to be picked up at the Morris Box Office. There is a limit of four tickets per person. The Morris Box Office is open regular hours Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and is located at 211 North Michigan Street, South Bend.

The Morris has a seating capacity of 2,564 and is consistently ranked by Pollstar concert industry magazine among the top 100 theaters worldwide. The Morris was awarded a "Prime Site Award" by Facilities Magazine in 2008, 2007, and 2006 (voted on by over 10,000 people in the entertainment industry - booking agents, promoters, talent buyers and special event planners.) The Morris has been been voted the South Bend Tribune Readers Choice Award for "Favorite Entertainment/Live Performance Theater for 7 consecutive years (2003-2009) 


Spider Saloff is a regional jazz vocalist favorite who has performed with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Trio's Restaurant and Jazz Club, the Great American Song Book series produced by Lampkin Music Group, the South Bend Museum of Art, the State Theater with Danny Lerman and Darryl Buchanan, and has received critical acclaim both nationally and internationally. SALOFF was featured with the prestigious Chicago Jazz Orchestra in a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. She received the honor of performing the American Premiere of a newly discovered song by the great Billy Strayhorn, "So This Is Love". And as one of the rare officially sanctioned acts of the Gershwin Centennial, her concert, Spider Saloff Sings Gershwin, toured the U.S. and headlined the St. Petersburg Gershwin Festival in Russia. SALOFF has played such renowned jazz and night club venues as New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center, Iridium, Joe's Pub, Birdland ,The Russian Tea Room, Michael's Pub, and The Algonquin; Chicago's Gold Star Sardine Bar, The Green Mill and the Fairmont Hotel; San Francisco's Jazz at Pearl's, and Plush Room; and Seattle's Triple door.

DARRYL BUCHANAN developed his musical talents during his high school years in South Bend. DARRYL was discovered and recruited by Motown's legendary sax man Jr. Walker as his opening act to tour the U.S., Canada and Europe. Their last performance was at New York's famed Apollo Theatre. DARRYL has performed with The Temptations, The Supremes, the Legends of Motown, and toured Europe with famed James Brown band leader, trombonist Fred Wesley. He has also performed on NBC's Saturday Night Live and CBS Good Morning America. He currently performs in area clubs and venues with his band "Darryl B. & Reflections," one of the hottest R&B/Motown bands. On August 29, 2009, DARRYL was awarded the certificate of recognition by the City of South Bend, Mayor Stephen Luecke for his accomplishments during his thirty years in music. DARRYL recently released his sixth music CD album with Chicago writer, producer and former NFL player, Don Carlos.

DONI HAGAN was discovered at a young age by Curtis Mayfield and served as studio drummer for Mayfield's Chicago-based Curtom Records. He is an internationally renowned musician, composer and producer with 100+ recording and touring credits spanning a four decade career on the world music scene. His 1987 recording of "Would You Like To Dance" earned him two Gold European sales awards in addition to 4 Platinum and 7 Gold albums, 5 Gold singles and 3 honorable mention certificates from NARAS (Grammys) related to his recordings for other artists. He is credited with composing the drum programs for Marvin Gaye's "Midnight Love" project including the classic track "Sexual Healing."

DANNY LERMAN, a South Bend musician who plays alto and soprano sax, has studied with Charles Atkins who taught Motown Icon, Jr. Walker. DANNY has performed around the world, including Turkey, Israel, Holland, South Africa, Venezuela and Mexico. He brought influences and musicians from the countries he visited when recording his newest CD, "Meow Baby." While the tracks swing towards contemporary jazz, urban and adult pop, there are also traces of World Music, Middle Eastern, Latin and South African rhythms. His CD "Danny's Island" reached the Top 20 on the Contemporary Jazz charts of "Radio & Records," and the single, "Take My Breath away," reached the No. 1 position on the playlist of WGCI, Chicago's No. 1 urban music station. DANNY has shared concert bills with Herbie Hancock, Sergio Mendes, Richard Elliot, David Benoit, Eric Marienthal and the Ghetto Boys.

KENNEDY'S KITCHEN plays a great mix of traditional Irish tunes and songs from rowdy and toe-tapping or sweet and sentimental. Their Irish ballads and original compositions will take you to depths and heights of emotions. They have played from Pittsburg to Chicago and from Dayton, Ohio to the Irish Fest in Muskegon, Michigan, entertaining audiences with their own special sound with these instruments: fiddle, whistles, banjo, bouzouki, guitars, bodhran, harmonica and bass.

THOMAS HUNTINGTON, 16-year-old South Bend violinist, has been awarded numerous First Place prizes and International Grand Prize awards. THOMAS made his solo orchestral debut at age 8 with the Grace Community Orchestra as a result of his First Place win in their Concerto Competition, and at age 9 was invited to perform as guest soloist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. Most recently he was awarded the Most Distinguished Artist in the 2008 IBLA International Competition held in Italy and made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall, New York. He has studied at Juilliard School in New York City with Stephen Clapp and presently studies with Shmuel Ashkenasi in Chicago. This past summer he attended the prestigious Perlman Music Program, Shelter Island, NY, and was invited to participate in the Periman Program's Winter Residency in Sarasota, FL.

AUSTIN HUNTINGTON, 15-year-old South Bend cellist, is the recipient of National and International Grand Prize Awards. AUSTIN made his solo orchestral debut at age 10 and has performed as guest soloist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the LaPorte Symphony, the New World Youth Symphony. He has performed in Italy and France, is a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. This past spring he had his New York debut at Carnegie Hall. He studies cello with Richard Hirschl of Chicago. This past summer he attended the prestigious Periman Music Program, Shelter Island, NY, and was invited to participate in the Perlman Program's Winter Residency in Sarasota, FL.
TUCK LANGLAND is best known for his sculpture and his teaching, but he has been an avid singer for 50 years, performing with some of the world's major orchestras and conductors. He has sung and performed solos with choirs in several English cathedrals, as well as large concert halls in the U.S. and abroad. He has performed in such operas as HMS Pinafore, Rigoletto, La Traviata, and others in South Bend, and has performed the Modern Major General piece in a concert version at Indiana University at South Bend.

NIKITA ABROSIMO is a student at Indiana University at South Bend Alexander Toradze Piano Studio which is a shining monument to the area. Alexander D. Toradze is an internationally renowned keyboard virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition.

JUSTIN WILLIAMS, talented 19-year-old, is appearing as Seymour in "Little Shop of Horrors" at South Bend Civic Theater this coming March 2010 and has also performed in "School House Rock."

JOHN BANES,16-year-old gifted student at Mishawaka High School, is a member of the Maroon Jazz Choir and recently played the title role in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at Battell Center, Mishawaka.


Ralph Lampkin, Jr.



Montreux Jazz Winner and current Cole Porter Fellow, Dan Tepfer in "Variations on Goldberg" a Solo Piano Concert at Palais Royale (September 13, 2009)

Movie promotions for "Stealth" starring Alexandra Billings (April/May 2009)

Chicago screening of "Stealth" (June 2009)

Jazz icon Norman Connors with Danny Lerman at Trio's Restaurant and Jazz Club (November 2008)

Carnegie Hall/Weill Hall presenting "Christmas with Martha Lorin" (December 2007)

Producing Harold Arlen concerts starring Sam Arlen, Martha Lorin, Randy Kelly - In Celebration of the Centennial of Arlen's Music (2005/2006)

Alexandra Billings tour-de-force autobiography play, "Before I Disappear" - productions in Chicago (2003), Off Broadway (2003), Michigan (2007) and an 8-week run in Los Angeles (2005), receiving a ADA nomination for Best Play of the Year and Best Actress for Alexandra

Co-producing, with Pat Brickhouse, the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame Awards (2003/2004/2005)

"Largely Live" starring Tony winner Hinton Battle 7-week run at Apollo Theater (summer 1999)

"Gypsy" starring Alexandra Billings in Chicago (2001)

"The World Goes ‘Round'" and "1776" for Healthworks in Chicago (2002-2003), which starred well-known talents as Alexandra Billings, Stephen Rader, Hollis Resnick and Nan Mason.

The debut CD "Being Alive" (2000) and it's live follow up "The Story Goes On" (2004) for Alexandra Billings (Watch for the DVD "The Story Goes On" (Late 2009)

Lampkin Music Group has produced concerts/cabarets/special events cross country at such places as the legendary Carnegie Hall/Weill Hall, Apollo Theater, Mercury Theater, Bailiwick Theater, North Shore Performing Arts Center in Chicago, Avery Schreiber Theater in L.A., and made it's Off Broadway (2003)

LMG has shared their passion for great music with productions in the South Bend/Mishawaka area at Trio's Restaurant and Jazz Club, the South Bend Museum of Art, South Bend Civic Theater and Nile Center in Michigan.

The plethora of musicians/performers he has produced, whether live in concert or in the studio, includes: Johnny Frige, Fareed Hague, Larry Gray and Leon Joyce from the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Danny Lerman, Alexandra Billings, Linda Clifford, William Glout, Jr., Von Freeman, Spider Saloff, Devin Richards, David Gurland, Patti Morabito, Tom Michael, Beckie Menzie, Cory Jamison, Susan May, Tony nominee Amy Morton, Sue Conway, Martha Lorin, Kristen Gustafson, Becca Kaufman, Suzanne Palmer, Robin Kay, Nan Mason, Lee Stevens and Karen Mason, to name a few.

The label LMGMUSIC has released/produced recordings of such talents as Grand Auto Theft 1V vocal talent Devin Richards, Alexandra Billings, Bob Solone, Ester Hana, Tyler Stephenson, Martha Lorin, Robin Kay and Carlo Chapelle. These CDs have been heard on NPR (reaching number 1 on several stations), DMX radio, Discover Radio (reaching number 1 on the jazz chart), Everything Old is New Again - N.Y., National Dance Pool Chart (reaching the Top #25).

Ralph Lampkin, Jr., has 19 ASCAP awards for his talents as a lyricist. He has been called "Producer Extraordinaire" by the Chicago Reader, "Cabaret's Guro" by Andrew Patner of WMFT and Chicago's "premier cabaret producer" by writer/critic, Jonathan Abarbanel.

LMG has been sponsored by CW25 (currently), Shirk's Piano and Organ, Chicago Tribune, Chicago SunTimes, Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, International Chicago Film Festival, ESPN and WAUS.


Related Articles

South Bend THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...