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whatzup2nite • Tuesday, Sept. 16

Click on the headings below for full calendars


Bluffton Street Fair

Live entertainment, midway, horse pulls, creative arts fest, horse show, parade, antique tractors show and vendors thru Saturday, Sept. 20, various downtown locations, Bluffton, free, activity fees may apply, blufftonstreetfair.com, 824-4351

TODAY'S EVENTS

Judging — Culinary & Needlework, Fine Arts & Crafts, City Building, 9 a.m.

Judging — Flowers & Agriculture, City Building, 2:30 p.m.

Chad Michaels & Brat Pack — Rat Pack music, Main and Market streets, 5:30 p.m.

Grand Opening Parade — Midway, 7 p.m. (followed by Parade Float Award presentation, West Washington Stage)

Street Fair Band — Johnson and Washington streets, 8 p.m.

Street Fair Band — Main and Market streets, 9:30 p.m.


Things To Do

Click header for complete Things To Do calendar


National Shows

Bluffton Street FairLive entertainment, midway, horse pulls, creative arts fest, horse show, parade, antique tractors show and vendors, hours vary thru Saturday, Sept. 20, various downtown locations, Bluffton, free, activity fees may apply, 824-4351


Music & Comedy

The Brat Pack — Rat Pack at Bluffton Street Fair, Bluffton, 6-7 p.m., free , 824-4351

KT & the Swingset Quartet — Blues at Latch String, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., no cover, 483-5526


Karaoke & DJs

Fort Wayne

4D's — Karaoke w/Michael Campbell, 9 p.m.


Stage & Dance

Click header for complete Stage & Dance calendar


Movies

Click header for complete Movie times


Art & Artifacts

America’s Spirit: Evolution of a National Style — Collection drawn from FWMoA’s permanent collection chronicling American art from 1765-1900, Tuesday-Sunday thru Jan. 25, 2015, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467

Caitlin Crowley & Alex Hall— Medium format film photography and whimsical paintings, Monday-Friday thru Sept. 30 (artist reception 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26), Northside Galleries, Fort Wayne, 483-6624

Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft — Arizona State University Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center in the Herberger Institute’s comprehensive collection of craft holdings and new international requisitions in wood, ceramic and fiber, Tuesday-Sunday thru Dec. 21, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467

The Next Generation — Works by high school and college art students, daily thru Oct. 5, Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102

Steven Ansmlem — Photography, daily thru Sept. 30, Firefly Coffee House, Fort Wayne, 373-0505


Featured Events

Fort Wayne Dance Collective — Workshops and classes for movement, dance, yoga and more offered by Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-6574

IPFW Community Arts AcademyArt, dance, music and theatre classes for grades pre-K through 12 offered by IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts, fees vary, 481-6977, www.ipfw.edu/caa

Sweetwater Academy of Music — Private lessons for a variety of instruments available from professional instructors, ongoing weekly lessons, Sweetwater Sound, Fort Wayne, $100 per month, 432-8176 ext. 1961, academy.sweetwater.com



Features

The Fantasticks

Production Notes

The final production I performed in as an IPFW theater major was The Yellow Boat. Presented in the Studio Theatre, that production was also my first appearance in a full-length show in the department’s flexible black box. There were other Studio Theatre experiences while I was a student: organization fundraisers, class work, final projects, directing scenes and a one-act proposal called Tape. If find it remarkable that The Fantasticks should return me to the very place that I completed my IPFW actor training.

Coming back for this show has reaffirmed my pride in this theater department and its teaching methods. Achieving accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Theatre proves the value of this program. We develop tools here that inform companies of our marketable abilities. I’ve worked professionally, not only as an actor, but also in costume shops, scene shops, lighting assignments, run crews and fly rails. Companies have employed me for my properties mastery, drama teaching and stage management. The versatility students acquire here can serve them in the professional world – if they take advantage of those opportunities during their IPFW education.

Students’ talents here are augmented by the incredible faculty and staff. From the first day of rehearsal, every individual was prepared, focused and excited about the work. I first had the pleasure of getting to know Riley Lorenzini (The Girl) this summer in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, also directed by Craig Humphrey. Her talent was apparent from our initial scenes, but every rehearsal she became more confident, allowing direction, notes and work outside of rehearsal to compel the growth of her character. Halee Bandt is outstanding as the production’s Fight Director. Incoming student Josh Ogle (The Man Who Dies) didn’t miss a beat in joining the energy, fun, and concentration of the group. Brady Shrock (The Narrator), Austin Young (The Boy), Brock Ireland (The Girl’s Father) and Brooke O’Hara (The Mute) all have positively influenced me throughout the process. Everyone brought their best qualities to the table, allowing our director to easily shape the rehearsals into something quite tremendous.

  It’s pleasure, after almost five years, to be part of another Studio production and share professional skills and experiences with the next generation of IPFW theater students. Out of over a hundred roles, The Fantasticks is one of my favorite experiences. I hope you like it, too. “Remember me, in light!”

IPFW alum Aaron Mann plays The Actor in this production of The Fantasticks.







Over the River and
Through the Woods

Director's Notes

Over the River And Through the Woods is a family comedy/memory play. It opened in 1998, ran for over two years off-Broadway and has been widely produced in regional and community theater ever since. Its plot is simple: young man has grown up having Sunday dinner – every Sunday – with his Italian-American grandparents in New Jersey; gets really good job offer to move cross-country; grandparents scheme to keep him from leaving. That’s the plot right there.

  It’s also a period play. I mean, like, OMG, 1998, right? But the real proof is that it’s free of references to smart phones, earbuds, apps, tablets, cable, streaming, texting, gaming or the internet. In this play, people have to talk to each other. In other words, it’s not meant for the young. Unless they have grandparents. We’ll get back to that. Maybe ...

Oh, and it’s not very original. It owes a lot to Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound and Brighton Beach Memoirs and to The Glass Menagerie (which Tennessee Williams always found to be a funnier play than most interpreters of his work did). I hear echoes of Golden Girls and Everybody Loves Raymond and the Costanzas from Seinfeld in its banter and family dynamics. The wisecracking and innocent non sequiturs remind me of vaudeville, and All in The Family, and The Carol Burnett Show.

You’ll feel you’ve seen it before. It’s nostalgic, sentimental, old-fashioned. It’s devoid of sex or violence or vulgarity (well, okay, one word, but I quibble). Doesn’t sound like I’m trying to sell you on it. Why see it?

Because it’s flippin’ funny. And it’s good-hearted. And, for my two cents, its familiarity, its nostalgia, its sentiment are refreshing counterpoints to a culture dominated by snark, cynicism, faux irony,  ubiquitous social media and virtual (not actual) connection. We know these characters and themes: the young man yearning to make a life for himself; the family members hoping to keep him from leaving; the well-intentioned yet annoying, exasperating, suffocating, hilarious quirks of family; the fear of loss and regret; and the love that allows each of us to let go of — yet still bind ourselves to—each other. 

So, for all the play’s seeming conventionality, there is something very endearing about these characters. I’ve come to know them, but I’m terribly fond of them anyway. Maybe that’s what family really is: the people you love despite knowing them. Because their hearts are good. Tengo familia.

Jeffery Moore









Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Red Pumps on Parade

Each year there are scores of charity walks and running events that appeal to both the accomplished athlete and the philanthropic folks who like to get some exercise, often with friends or family, while helping out a good cause. Some are attracted to those with a special meaning while others seek out the one that most demands their attention. With so much competition, it’s important for organizations to find a special hook, a way to distinguish themselves while promoting their mission.

One of the most distinctive of these efforts in recent years has been the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, one which perfectly captures the essence of its purpose while providing a fun and unusual way to approach the standard walk for charity event. First launched nationally in 2001, the walk – which features men walking in high-heeled shoes – highlights the dangers and vulnerability of women who face the threat of sexual violence. Since that time, and for the last seven years in Fort Wayne, the walk has grown dramatically, becoming a perfect blend of fundraiser and awareness enhancer.

The organization hosting this event locally is the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau which, since last July, is led by executive director Kathleen Alter, formerly the director for Three Rivers Festival. Last year’s walk was already largely planned by the time she arrived, but as she heads into the second walk in her tenure, she brings a few shocking statistics to consider.

“We’re raising funds, but we’re also raising awareness about sexual violence in this country,” she says. “There is so much talk about sexual violence in the news, with incidents in colleges and such, but there are things everyday people can do about sexual violence. Indiana is second in the country for sexual violence against girls in grades 9-12, and one in five college students will be sexually assaulted.”

With those staggering statistics, it is heartening that so many men have taken to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a way to capture the public’s attention. While Alter points out that the walk is not only for men in high heels – in fact men, women and children clad in any footwear can participate – it has been the sight of men in red high heels that has drawn the most response and is often the unusual hook to drawing in participants. And while the subject is very serious, the mood of the walk typically isn’t – as Alter has experienced the last two years.

“I love the atmosphere of this event,” she says. “Everyone knows why they’re here and what they’re doing, but they’re having a good time. Those heels are pretty high, though they’ve gotten a little shorter over the years. But I’m impressed, some of these men walk very well in them.”

Unlike many other charity walks which usually start at five kilometers, the one-mile walk against sexual violence requires only 15 to 20 minutes or, as Alter says, “as long as it takes them to hobble in those heels.” The task for those organizing this is to find ways to attract attention, to help put it on the public’s radar.

“The key is to get the word out,” says Alter. “We have a database of people who have participated, but the key is to get to new people so we can keep growing our numbers. The last few years we’ve had 400-500 people participating, but this year we would really like those numbers to reach 600. Where do you go to do that? That’s the challenge for all non-profits or for anyone planning a performance or special event. You have to reach out to them and let them know what’s going on.”

For better or worse, frequent dialogues about sexual violence, often inspired by controversial statements by politicians and celebrities, have put the subject in the spotlight, and Alter hopes that public concern might lead to more attention for the efforts of the Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau.

“This event is a light-hearted way to address a very serious subject. Right now the subject is in the media a lot so we hope to capitalize on that to get the word out.”

This year Walk a Mile in Her Shoes begins at Headwaters Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 20 with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Alter says that some of the outside events have been streamlined this year, but a food truck has been added for those who wish to grab a bite to eat. Unlike many walks which cover much of downtown, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is essentially a brisk walk around Headwaters, keeping the action relatively contained. There will also be ample information available to help inform men and women about sexual violence in our community and beyond.

But like most walks, there is a fundraising component, and those who choose not to walk can also find a friend, neighbor or relative who is and sponsor them, helping them to raise money. The Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau now has an outreach director to help promote awareness about sexual violence (and help those who have been victims), but Alter hopes to add another staff person to assist, one item on the 2015 wish list for funds raised at this year’s walk.

For more information about participating in this year’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes or to learn more about the mission of Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau or how to help in the fight against sexual violence, visit the Women’s Bureau website at www.womensbureau.org or call the office at 260-424-7977.

Michele DeVinney







Cole Swindell

w/Cheyenne
7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24
Dekalb Fall Fair
Dekalb County Fairgrounds, Auburn
Free, www.dekalbcountyfair.org

Cole Swindell

'Chillin' It' in the Bigs

Cole Swindell’s nomination for the CMA Best New Artist of the Year award is a big deal, but it’s just the latest in a series of milestones along the singer’s path from Music Row songwriter to one of country music’s hottest solo performers. It would be an impressive journey if it had taken a decade, but the fact that Swindell’s career as a solo recording artist got started a little over a year ago makes the whole thing seem, frankly, a little insane.

“It has been a crazy whirlwind year,” he says, “and I feel so fortunate that country music fans and country radio has embraced me in such a huge way. It’s what an artist dreams about.”

Earlier this year, Swindell was an opening act, taking the stage ahead of his friend and headliner Luke Bryan on Bryan’s big arena tour. Now, as summer is turning into fall, Swindell is still opening for Bryan, but he’s facing the prospect of being a bona fide headliner himself in the very near future.

Although much is made of his friendship with Bryan, it’s not as if Swindell has had anything handed to him because of the relationship. He and Bryan are Sigma Chi fraternity brothers, but they didn’t attend Georgia Southern University at the same time, and they weren’t frat house buddies. The pair met when Bryan returned to Georgia Southern to play a show, and they cemented their new friendship when Swindell moved to Nashville after he left school.

Swindell spent three years, between 2007 and 2010, on tour with Bryan, but the time on the road was a working apprenticeship, and his accomplishments weren’t earned on stage. Swindell sold merchandise at Bryan’s shows; he made $100 a night, and he learned the best way to manage inventory and fold shirts. But he kept his eye on his real priority – music – and took advantage of the tour atmosphere to hone his craft, writing songs on the bus in his spare time.

Swindell’s experience on the road and his developing songwriting skills eventually gained him entrance into the industry system back home in Nashville. He got a job as a writer on staff at Sony/ATV Music Publishing and very quickly became a guy that A-list writers and performers wanted to collaborate with.

“The publishing company told me, ‘People are calling back and wanting more dates,’” Swindell recalls. “I kept writing and paying my dues, working hard to get to the point where I deserved to be in the room with the major writers, people whose songs I was singing in college bars just a few years ago.”

Those people included American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, for whom Swindell co-wrote “Water Tower Town” and “Carolina Eyes,” Craig Campbell, whose single “Outta My Head” bears Swindell’s co-writing credit, and Chris Young, whose “Nothin’ But the Cooler Left” was also co-written by Swindell. Swindell also had a hand in Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That,” and he teamed up with Bryan, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley to write Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll.”

It was Swindell’s ongoing professional relationship with Bryan, however, that remained most productive. Swindell contributed his writing talents to close to a dozen of Bryan’s songs, including “Roller Coaster,” “Just a Sip” and “Love in a College Town.”

Between 2011 and 2014, Swindell’s songwriting career has taken off—he was named Music Row’s Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year for 2014—but he is more than just a writer. He is a performer, too, and he loves being on stage. As long as he’s been in Nashville, he’s played solo when he could, and he opened for established performers when he got the chance. Here, Bryan came through again, giving Swindell the opening slot during many of his shows, including a stint on the current “That’s My Kind of Party Tour.”

When it came time to truly establish himself as a solo performer, though, Swindell’s been doing it all on his own, without much help, at least initially, from the industry. In the spring of 2013, he released his first single, “Chillin’ It,” independently, counting on social-media word-of-mouth and airplay on independent country radio stations to spread the word. It’s a DIY approach made possible by 21st-century technology, and it worked perfectly. Sirius XM put the song into the rotation of one of its country channels, and from there sales exploded; as of the spring of 2014, the song had sold over a million copies.

After “Chillin’ It” hit the big time, record labels took notice, and Swindell was suddenly a hot commodity, not just as a songwriter, but as a performer as well. He signed a deal with Warner Music Nashville, and his self-titled debut album was released in February of this year; as of last month, it had sold nearly a quarter million copies.

Now he’s proven that he can play in the big leagues as both a writer and a recording artist, but Swindell is determined to be the kind of live performer that keeps his audiences excited about what they’re hearing and seeing.

“I don’t want to have a song where people feel comfortable going to get a beer,” he says. “Once we get started, I don’t want them to risk missing what’s next. I want them to leave saying, ‘That’s the best show I’ve ever seen.’”

Swindell will stay on the road through the fall on Bryan’s tour, and he’ll squeeze in solo shows like the one at the Dekalb County Fair when he can. Once the fall tour is over, he’ll do what any performer who loves performing would do: he’ll head back out on another tour, this time as the headliner. He’ll kick off his Down Home Tour in Florida on November 13, and he’ll hop around the South before heading for the Midwest in December. That month is going to see him back here in Indiana, where he’ll play shows in South Bend and Indianapolis before wrapping up the whole tour with a final show here in Fort Wayne.

It’s an ambitious schedule, particularly for a guy who admits that he gets a little nervous before he goes on stage. Audiences needn’t worry, though; once he starts singing, he’s going to give it everything’s he’s got, every night.

“It’s like football in high school,” he says. “On the kickoff, once you get that first hit in, you’re in your groove. From then on, it’s wide open. I’m having fun.”

Evan Gillespie









Masterworks 1

Comings and Goings

Although Executive Director J.L. Nave  has announced his resignation from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic at the end of 2014, his influence is still keenly felt in the upcoming season of performances by the renowned orchestra. The upcoming change in leadership, as well as the recent departure of associate conductor Sameer Patel, may have come as surprises, but they only prove one thing: If there’s anything predictable about the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, it’s that they never stand pat.

Even their printed schedule, released in late July was soon lacking a significant date. Well after their brochure had gone to press, news came that Ben Folds would return to perform with the Philharmonic in an October show at the Embassy – clearly in response to public demand which followed his well-received 2008 appearance with the Phil.

“People tell me all the time that that was the best show they’ve seen,” says Nave. “We’re excited to have Ben come back. You know, when he came here six years ago, we were only the third show he did with an orchestra. He played with the Boston Pops, the Nashville Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. At that point he was just starting to do those shows, so Adrian Mann, who is a member of our orchestra as well as our librarian and arranger, put together some of the charts that he still uses for the shows. But that show is definitely the concert I hear the most about.”

Even before that late addition, the upcoming season was already packed full of diverse offerings, something the Philharmonic has delivered for many years. Attracting a wide-ranging audience helps boost ticket sales today and grow new audiences for generations to come. This season is no different, and Nave is happy to share some of his favorites from a season which he is clearly proud to tout. 

The Masterworks series boasts visits from three concertmasters in addition to a new installment of a Philharmonic series, The Composer: Revealed.

“This year we’ll be featuring ‘Tchaikovsky: Revealed’ in February, and it’s our fourth in the series but our first big stage Composer: Revealed. These are something we create in-house, and the first half has a theatrical element to it where we use dialogue to bring the composer to life. The orchestra is on-stage to provide snippets of music, but it’s mostly a narrative of the composer’s life. Then the second half of the show will be a performance of his ‘Sixth Symphony’ which is probably his most famous. These shows provide a very different, very multi-disciplinary experience.”

The Pops series is always a hit with audiences, particularly Holiday Pops in December. But Nave has a personal favorite among the options.

“I think the Pixar in Concert is my top favorite this season. Shows like this are always a lot of fun, and there will be scenes from each of the Pixar movies with the orchestra providing the soundtrack. These shows are very difficult for the orchestra because everything has to line up perfectly. The conductor will have an earpiece with a click track because it’s very difficult to keep all of the music in sync with the action on the screen. It’s a very challenging performance.”

Pops performances, particularly those with connections to animated films, have an obvious draw for younger audiences and their parents, but the Family Series is especially suited to a range of generations. Although certainly marketed to youngsters, Nave says there’s an appeal for everyone.

“For example, a show like Beethoven Lives Upstairs is a wonderful introduction to Beethoven’s music, and with the addition of Classical Kids Live it’s very interactive and just a wonderful children’s show. But it’s also something adults will enjoy as well. And that’s true of all of our Family Series. We have adults that come even if they don’t have children. It’s on a Sunday afternoon, and it’s the lowest ticket price we have. There also just a fun energy that comes from the performance because we do have a lot of kids there.”

Among Nave’s own favorite parts of the Philharmonic season schedule this year and in years past is the Freimann Series which provides an unusual way to experience the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

“The concerts are great and provide the most intimate experience you can have with our orchestra. It’s small ensembles, and the audience is literally feet away from the musicians. Musicians program the concerts as well, and it’s very diverse. Almost nobody knows the music in advance unless they’re very well versed in chamber ensemble music. I’m usually unfamiliar with the pieces because this music isn’t in my background, so it’s one of my favorite performances to attend. It’s a very different experience, and I think one of our best-kept secrets.”

As is also their habit, the Philharmonic will be collaborating with other organizations this year, notably their annual spring performance with Fort Wayne Ballet which will this year be Don Quixote. Additionally, the week before Christmas will be highlighted with a performance of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Chorus with the orchestra of Handel’s Messiah.

Of course an added wrinkle this year will be the auditioning of conductors for the assistant conductor position. Patel, who held that position for the past three seasons, has opted to leave Fort Wayne due to a growing demand for his services elsewhere. Nave says that it’s part of the plan when bringing along a young talent in that position.

“We sign our assistant and associate conductors to two-year contracts with an option for a third year. We would have been very, very happy if Sameer had decided to stay, but we bring in those conductors to train and develop talent and provide experience to rising stars. That’s exactly what’s happened here because Sameer has been in great demand for guest conducting jobs, and his schedule for next season had reached a point where he wouldn’t have been able to meet the demands of this conducting job here. 

“I think it’s a testament to him and to his career path that his name keeps popping up for these jobs, and as he continues in his career we’ll be able to say he got a boost here in Fort Wayne.”

More than 100 hopefuls from six continents sent applications, and music director Andrew Constantine will be honing in on final candidates, with finalists visiting through the season. Guest conductors will be brought in for the early performances before those auditions have been scheduled. The search for a new conductor, and now for an executive director, demonstrates how the Philharmonic continues to move forward, and the year ahead will provide an exciting glimpse into its future.

Michele DeVinney









Phil Naish

Laying, Not Playing

When Phil Naish first sat down to learn the piano, his feet could barely touch the pedals. He was inspired by his mother, Jane, a church pianist with perfect pitch who, he freely admits, is a much better musician than he’ll ever be.

“She still plays in a little church in northern Georgia,” Naish told me in a recent phone interview. “She tried to teach me when I was five, but you know how it is. It can be hard to learn from a parent, so I started taking lessons from various teachers and it worked out. It’s been a very cool journey.”

Naish’s journey has taken him from southern Florida (he lived in Miami from fifth grade through high school and attended Belmont College) to Nashville and finally to Fort Wayne where he recently settled in as Sweetwater Studios’ executive producer. 

As a teenager, he dropped the piano for a while in favor of the cello, and his mastery of that instrument earned him a spot in the South Florida Youth Symphony and the Young Artists Baroque Society of Greater Miami. It also landed him a scholarship to Belmont where he majored in Music Business.

But his love affair with the strings was short lived. A finger injury ended his cello career, and in 1977 he moved to Nashville where he worked for many years as a session keyboardist for such heavy hitters as Dolly Parton, Boz Scaggs and Sandy Patti. He went on the road with Christian musician Scott Wesley Brown, and Naish said that he’ll never forget that experience, which included three memorable trips behind the Iron Curtain.

“We flew all over the country and the world, too,” he said. “We were part of a ministry that brought instruments to people who didn’t have access to what we have here – keyboards, guitars, you name it. And then to get through customs we’d bring back whatever clunkers we found  along the way. It was a really amazing time in my life.”

Shortly thereafter, Naish began working as a producer of Christian music artists, a role he was clearly born to play. Wesley Brown had introduced him to Greg Nelson, a well known and respected Nashville producer whose client list includes Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. Nelson found himself buried in work and tossed some projects Naish’s way. It changed the course of his life.

“Greg opened so many doors for me. That’s how I was able to produce Sandy Patti’s work and Steve Green’s. Then, together, we started working with Steven Curtis Chapman and that was incredible. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with someone like Steven who’s not only a great writer but a great guy. He writes about things people go through every day and about how God can touch someone, from the lowest lows to the highest highs.”

With more than 20 albums and 46 No. 1 Christian radio hits to his credit, Curtis Chapman is one of the most successful and prolific American Christian music artists of all time. Naish produced his first seven records, and the awards – both of the Grammy and Dove variety – poured in.

Naish, who took the job at Sweetwater in July at the urging of long-time friend Mark Hornsby, is happy to be living in Fort Wayne with his wife Becky and their two children, Aubrey and Davis. He’s already brought a great deal of high-caliber Nashville talent to the Summit City and is excited to continue doing so. 

The thing all of his clients have in common? They share his faith in a divine power. Unlike many working in the field, Naish does not shy away from the label “Christian musician.” 

“I have a line I’ll draw,” he explains. “If the work is too much in conflict with my beliefs, I’ll just pass on it. Music is an intuitive thing. It makes an emotional connection, and for me, music about Jesus and the love He brings is uplifting. It’s about making a better life for yourself and your family, and I think it really speaks to the heart of people.”

Despite the years he spent at the keyboard and with bow in hand, Naish is not anxious to make any albums of his own. He said he’s much more comfortable in the producer role, which he likens to that of a general contractor on a house-building project. He loves being in on a project from the ground up.

“I’d much rather be in the background,” he said. “I love the creative process of building the tracks and working with the musician’s vision, but as for being out front, being the person everyone’s looking at? Nah, that’s not for me.”

Deborah Kennedy








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