with video: The Ark's Open Stage Showcase to feature 10-year-old musician
An important part of the mission of The Ark, Ann Arbor's revered nonprofit roots-music venue, is its monthly Open Stage nights, when anyone can sign up for a chance to perform before a supportive audience.
Once a year, a couple of the best Open Stage performers share the stage in a special showcase night. And this Wednesday, the Open Stage Showcase features an Ann Arbor musician who's just 10 years old.
Even so, Magdalen Fossum already has a remarkable musical resume. She began performing at Open Stage Night last year, shortly after moving to Ann Arbor from Lansing. Playing ukulele and singing, she has been called “a competent and charming interpreter of song.”
According to a summary written by her father, Magdalen — part of a musical family — began singing at age 2, writing songs at 4, playing piano informally at 5, and by the time she was 7 she had picked up the ukulele and fiddle.
A music venue named for her didn’t hurt either. For many years, her mom owned and operated one of Lansing’s favorite folk music venues, Magdalena’s Tea House. At ages 6 and 7, she played and sang with her older brother Lennon at the Tea House Open Mic.
She has performed in numerous public appearances, including being the opening act for Claudia Schmidt, Rachael Davis and May Erlewine.
This summer is full of Michigan performances for Magdalen, including a set at Circle Pines' Buttermilk Jamboree in June, a show at the Ann Arbor Public Library in July, and more festivals in August and September. This fall Magdalen begins work on her first full length album and plans to invite several Michigan folk artists to add their musical input to her songs. A list of her upcoming Michigan shows can be found on her website.
Wednesday's Open Stage Showcase also features Steve Kovich.
The Ark's website writes, "Michigan songwriter Steve Kovich composes picturesque stories of life that include nameless but familiar people and places. His music has a feeling of happiness and contentment that carries over to listeners, and he's a heck of a musical storyteller with a gift for matching lyrics and song."
The Open Stage Showcase takes place at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Admission is $10.