Ypsilanti Citizen Community ]]>

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Arts Alliance hosts Web site launch party
By Mark Tower
Apr. 15, 2010   ·   2:02 p.m.

The Arts Alliance, a local organization supporting arts and cultural activity in Washtenaw County, is launching a Web site that offers local artists of all kinds a place to post detailed profiles and notify visitors of events in the art community.

The Arts Alliance, a local organization supporting arts and cultural activity in Washtenaw County, will host a Web site launch party at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue

Photo by Dan DuChene

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.
Krispy Krunchy Chicken

National acts booked, grand opening announced

By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010    ·    2:38 p.m.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine, the transition from a dance club to a live music space on Washington Street downtown has been taking place in both physical changes and image branding.

Don Sicheneder, the booking agent for Savoy, has been involved with the transition since owner David Curtis decided to make the switch. He said there are more physical improvements to expect at Savoy, but the concert space has already had new stage lighting equipment and a $100,000 sound system installed.

“It's top of the line,” Sicheneder said of the sound system. “It rivals anything in the area.”

In addition to the lighting and sound equipment, the existing stage was completely rebuilt, a fresh coat of paint was given to the walls and other additions were made to the décor.

“We wanted to give ourselves time to iron out the details,” Sicheneder said of the reason for Savoy's soft open last month.

Band members of the headlining act Friday night, Third Coast Kings, noticed improvements made throughout the transition period after the soft open. They said they had played Savoy two weeks ago and could see noticeable improvements to the space between their two visits.

“It's got a lot of potential,” said trumpet player Ryan Dolan.

The band was also impressed with the venue's first national act, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. The San Diego-based funk and jazz group, fronted by former Lenny Kravitz saxophonist Karl Denson, take the stage Sunday.

“If they keep bringing in acts like that I'll be in here all the time,” Third Coast Kings' bassist Nate Ayers said.

The Third Coast Kings brought their own brand of funk to the stage Friday. Modeled after the classic funk sound of the 60's and 70's, the band's solid rhythm and four-piece horn section had forced the audience to the dance floor by the second set.

Those who weren't dancing had to bob their head and tap their feet.

Band members said it was their relationship with Sicheneder that had brought them to Savoy, a tactic Sicheneder said he often uses to bring acts to the stage.

“It's a matter of picking up the phone and sending a lot of e-mails,” Sicheneder said.

With more than 10 years in the music business, Sicheneder said he has experience booking talent from the six years he spent living in California, after graduating from Eastern Michigan University on a music scholarship, to his work getting last summer's Jamboree started in Ypsilanti.

As far as turning Savoy into a 700-person capacity, open floor concert space—something he said was unique to the Washtenaw County region—Sicheneder said, “It's a lot of work building a brand.”

Two Ypsilanti-based rock groups take the stage at 9 p.m. tonight, the Mayflys and the Skeleton Birds.

Three bands are set to play for Savoy's grand opening weekend April 23. Ann Arbor blues, funk and rock band Jamie Register and the Martindales; Ann Arbor experimental roots-rock and bluegrass band—for which Sicheneder plays—Dragon Wagon; and Flint jam-band Covert Operation.

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