South Bend Regional Museum of Art Joins Forces With Lampkin Music Group

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South Bend Regional Museum of Art and Lampkin Music Group have combined their forces to bring "The Great American SongBook Salon Series" to South Bend, Indiana.

South Bend Regional Museum of Art in association with Lampkin Music Group present the Great American Salon Series: A Celebration of the Music of Berlin, Carmichael, Ellington, Gershwin, and Porter. A first-time production of its kind in South Bend, the Great American Salon Series is three top-notch musical events featuring performers from the region, several boasting international acclaim, singing the melodies of the greatest 20th century American composers in the finest setting possible, an art museum.

2007 marks the South Bend Regional Museum of Art's 60th anniversary. The Great American Salon Series is just one of many programs the museum is bringing to the community in celebration of 6 decades of being the premier provider of the finest visual arts and arts education programming in Northern Indiana.

Speaking of this series, Ralph Lampkin said, "The Great American Salon Series is a wonderful chance for music and art lovers alike to hear and see the most superb music and visual art available under one roof. The beauty of the South Bend Regional Museum of Art and the music of the great American composers Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, Ellington, mixed with food and drink makes for a fantastic Salon atmosphere reminiscent of a more carefree time, the 1930s. Only at the SBRMA and only with this series will a local audience have a chance to be part of a performance experience unmatched in the community."

This series kicks off on March 21, 7 p.m. with a songbook selection of Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington, performed by Kelli Armentrout. Considered one of the greatest jazz composers of all time, Duke Ellington had an enormous impact on the popular music of the late 20th century. Among his more than two thousand songs are such hits as "In A Sentimental Mood," "Sophisticated Lady," "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good," and "I'm Beginning To See The Light." For almost fifty years he toured the world as a bandleader and piano player. Today his recordings remain among the most popular jazz of the big-band era.

Perhaps no other songwriter had so much influence on the development and performance of American popular song as Irving Berlin. Author of "God Bless America," Berlin was not only prolific, but also popular. He wrote more than 900 songs, 19 musicals and the scores of 18 movies. Many of his songs continue to be American classics into the 21st century, including "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Easter Parade," and "White Christmas."

Kelly Armentrout has performed in concert in the Michiana area for the last 15 years. Kelli, both an actress and singer, has appeared at South Bend Civic Theater in "Some Enchanted Evening" and as the character Aldonza in recent hit "Man of La Mancha." With her on stage March 21 at the SBRMA will be her husband and well-known saxophonist, Wade Armentrout.

Tickets are available at the SBRMA office and may be purchased R.S.V.P. by calling (574) 235-9102 -- Visa, MasterCard, cash and checks accepted. Seating is limited, dress is semi-formal, ages 21 and over. Tickets are $28, which includes entry into the performance, hor d' oeuvres and wine.

Producer Ralph Lampkin, Jr., owner of Lampkin Music Group and the label Lmgkidsource Music, originally hails from the New York City area and currently resides in South Bend, IN.

Lampkin has had a lengthy career in the field of music, producing CDs for Chicago favorite actress/singer Alexandra Billings (Gray's Anatomy, ER, Karen Sisko), award winning jazz singer Martha Lorin, Patty Morabito, David Gurland, Bob Solone, and Ester Hana.

He has produced many a philanthropic benefits for organizations like: Bailiwick Theater, American Red Cross, Aids Foundation, Season of Concern, Teen Living Programs, Actor's Equity, Chicago House and Chicago Judge Tom Viola, Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney, and South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke. Other credits include producing shows off Broadway and in regional theater, concerts, and his nightclub/cabaret work has been heard in Manhattan at Don't Tell Mama's, Danny's Skylight Room, 88's, King Kong Room.

Locally in South Bend, he has worked with talents such as Kelly Armentrout, Sarah Wiley, Grant Clark, Wendy Como, Randy Kelly, the late Lisa Costello, saxophonist extraordinaire Danny Lerman and with the South Bend Civic Theater. Also in conjunction with the South Bend Civic Theater, Lampkin recently co-directed and produced an afternoon cabaret series with proceeds benefiting the theater. These shows were a combination of well known/obscure song, Shakespeare sonnets, poetry, spoken word featuring some of South Bend's finest talents such as Kelly Fisher, Grant Clark, the Kotter Kids, Shania Talman, Jennifer Auerbach, Nora Battest, Danny Lerman and Mary Ann Moran. Musically directed by Becky Wilson and Richard Clawson.

The South Bend Regional Museum of Art is located in downtown South Bend, Indiana, in the Century Center, 120 South Saint Joseph Street. The galleries are open Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m.

Admission is free to members and a suggested donation of $5 for non members.

Now in its 60th year of operation, the South Bend Regional Museum of Art is the public art museum for the greater South Bend area. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and occupies almost 40,000 square feet in South Bend, Indiana's Century Center, a cultural/convention complex designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Collections, exhibitions and education programs focus on contemporary and historical American art, especially from the Midwestern region.


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