The first Thursday of each month marks the continuation of a long-running community event.
The Thursday Concert Series put on by the Marquette Arts & Culture Center will be presenting the Marquette community with Shannon Wyatt, a singer and songwriter with a distinct style of music. She creates a mixture of folk, folk-rock, jazz and adult contemporary.
“I always revert back to acoustic guitar and piano,” Wyatt said. “Acoustic piano drives my writing engines.”
The concert will be held from 7 to 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 5 in the Peter White Public Library’s community room. The event is open to the public and all ages are welcome.
The Thursday Concert Series is a venue for musicians of all levels, from amateur to more seasoned artists like Wyatt, who has seven albums. Her latest three were recorded at Redfella Records on Washington Street in Marquette.
“I’ve loved being able to record in Marquette,” Wyatt said. “It’s a real romantic thing being able to live here and record my music.”
Wyatt began writing at age eight when she started learning piano and guitar. She wrote up until college when she studied early childhood education and classical piano at Montana University. Her career launched at age 19 when she left the university to focus on her music.
After becoming a mother of two, Wyatt took a break from performing to devote her time to her children. During this time she became a nurse and continued to write, completing two CDs.
“I can’t not do my music,” Wyatt said. “We’re all born with gifts to give the world and we have to do them.”
Wyatt said inspiration comes from all around her. She writes daily, while traveling or even doing chores.
“I can’t stop a song from coming,” Wyatt said.
Childhood visits to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with her family is what brings her here today. She loved Michigan and moved to Marquette in 2008. Her two children are now away attending college and she is enjoying a simpler way of life living in a cabin just outside of Marquette.
“I feel like I’ve come home,” Wyatt said.
The singer is enthusiastic about performing at the Thursday Concert Series at the Peter White Public Library. It’s been an aspiration of hers since the early 2000s.
“It’s a wonderful venue and an incredible library,” Wyatt said.
The arts programming coordinator for the City of Marquette, Lea Dziesinski, said the Arts & Culture Center provides a venue and opportunity to present music to the community. Artists are scheduled up to 10 months in advance. The success of this program has put the Thursday Concert Series in its tenth year.
“The art center’s role is to rent the space and schedule musicians,” Dziesinski said.
The Arts & Culture center helps artists promote their performances by creating and distributing posters, writing press releases for the local media and updating the community calendar with event information.
Dziesinski said over the last 10 years they have had multiple types of bands from acoustic to electric, state and nationally recognized musicians as well as first-time performers.
“It’s one way our budding artists can get their foot in the door,” Dziesinski said. “They don’t have to have marketing experience to hold a concert.”
Wyatt performed at the Beaumier Coffee House Series with Jerry Mills in early March. The performance was located at the University Center on Northern Michigan’s campus.
“It was really well attended,” said Dianne Patrick, manager of Snowbound Books of Marquette.
Patrick was also in attendance of Wyatt’s and Mills’ performances at the University Center.
“Shannon’s got a fabulous voice and a really genuine delivery,” Patrick said.
Joining Wyatt at the Thursday Concert Series will be Jan Kidd with backup vocals. Wyatt said she and Kidd perform well together and added that Kidd does a nice job of matching her vocal inflictions.
For more information call the Arts and Culture center at (906) 228-0472 or visit www.mqtcity.org. There is a suggested $5 donation which goes directly to the band.
For more information on Shannon Wyatt, visit www.shannonwyatt.net.