First Fort Wayne SOUP Winner Explains Soundwalk
Jun28

First Fort Wayne SOUP Winner Explains Soundwalk

With the next Fort Wayne SOUP (learn more) micro-grant dinner coming up this Thursday, I caught up with Soundwalk’s Kurt Roembke, the first micro-grant winner, to learn more about his creative project designed to enhance the Fort Wayne community by pairing locally composed sounds with local landscapes. Roembke is a music composer and performer and media professional based in Fort Wayne. He is also a co-worker and personal friend of mine, so I was excited to learn more about this project and just what it takes to be a successful presenter at Fort Wayne SOUP. About Soundwalk Roembke and Michael Sullivan, app developer from Elemental Spark, are developing an immersive smartphone application called Soundwalk, which will pair music composed by Roembke with physical objects within a geographic space. Lindenwood Cemetery on Fort Wayne’s west side is the first area being mapped via the app. “What we’ve developed so far and what we plan to be our final form is basically people take their phone, they download the app, and they really could put it in their pocket at that point,” Roembke said. Once app users are walking, the experience would be hands-free and completely controlled by the app at that point. People will be able to walk from place to place while listening to music composed specifically for each area of the cemetery. Users would then be able to check the app to see what music is playing at certain locations. The music will change based on the physical features of the area or the history behind the people buried nearby. For example, if there is a memorial to a former baseball player, the music might be inspired by that. At Lindenwood Cemetery, app users would be able to jump right into the experience once they arrive at the cemetery. People will be able to start their walks near the entrance, but users could really be able to start from anywhere. Although people can technically use the app as part of a group, Roembke believes many people might choose to make it an individual experience within the space. “There’s something about the nature of walking through a cemetery that feels a little more solitary and less group-oriented,” Roembke said. The initial vision in Roembke’s mind for the app was a two-dimensional sound space where users would walk from location to location and the music would do a seamless crossfade transition. With the influx of mini-grant money from SOUP, Roembke has expanded his vision to create a more interactive user experience with the app. “We basically started to develop it as a three-dimensional sound space,” Roembke said. “What that means is, the app pays...

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Botanical Roots Outdoor Concert Series
Aug19

Botanical Roots Outdoor Concert Series

One of Fort Wayne’s best kept summer secrets is definitely the Botanical Roots Outdoor Concert Series. However, based on recent attendance numbers, word is definitely getting out. The concert series runs every Friday evening this summer until September 2. With three final shows this year, there is still time to enjoy a night out with your friends and family. I’ve been to more than one show this summer, and it’s a breath of fresh air. Each Friday has included great weather, cold drinks, welcoming smiles, and music that will make you want to do more than tap your feet. The concert series feels like something out of a story book. With beautiful music filling in the spaces between greenery and wild flowers, this is a great place to wind down after a long week. In the outdoor area of the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory at 1100 South Calhoun Street, enjoy the start of the weekend under a perfect sky. Each Friday offers a new musical style with a new artist. Don’t miss Gangstagrass (Bluegrass/Hip-Hop) on August 19, John Primer (Blues) on August 26, and Zion Lion (Reggae) on September 2. Find out more information on their digital flyer. Everyone in the community is welcome! Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Food and beverage are available for purchase from Mad Anthony Brewing; no outside food or beverage is allowed. Admission is $6 at the gate. Ages 12 and under are admitted free with a parent or guardian. Gates open at at 7:30 p.m. and the shows start at 8:30 p.m., rain or...

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Philmore Phest: Rock Out at a Jazz Age Landmark
Jul23

Philmore Phest: Rock Out at a Jazz Age Landmark

What better place to celebrate local talent than at an iconic local landmark? On Saturday, August 22, Philmore Phest celebrates Fort Wayne creative energy and musical talent in a historic setting – The Philmore on Broadway. Built in 1923, The Philmore was used as a cinema for nearly 60 years. In 2010, the Jazz Age gem was renovated into an event center, complete with a stage, a bar and space for approximately 300 people. Philmore Phest is hosted by Brent Drake, founder of Soirée, an event planning and booking company. Drake launched Soirée after hosting the Squaw Creek Soirée in March 2015. The success and spirit of the Squaw Creek Soirée prompted him to bring the same energy to downtown Fort Wayne with the Philmore Phest. “I had really enjoyed seeing people have a great time, come together, and create new relationships while amongst some very talented musicians,” says Drake. “A lot of good came from it. So I thought, why not do stuff like this more often?” Philmore Phest begins outside at 4 pm, with live music from several regional musicians. Guests can buy artwork from local artists, including Ashlyn Emberton, Nicholas Christie and Randal Martin, while grabbing a bite to eat from Bravas and Big Rick’s BBQ. Inside, JK O’Donnell’s will provide a cash bar. From 5 pm to midnight, the inside stage rocks with seven musical acts. The Philmore Phest brings together six local bands and musicians – including Heaven’s Gateway Drugs, The Orange Opera and The Meat Flowers. At 11 pm, Water Liars, a Mississippi-based southern blues-rock band, headlines the show. Fans of The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars, The White Stripes or Ryan Adams will dig the Water Liars soulful lyrics and howling harmonies, pierced by the sizzle and whine of hard-rocking, bacon-greased, electric guitar licks. To accommodate people of all ages, all day, Philmore Phest offers three different ticket options. For $5, you get a wristband to join the all-ages parking lot party – including the outdoor music, art and food. A $15 ticket gives you all-day access to both the inside and outdoor festivities. A $25-dollar Loft Ticket sweetens the deal with prime seating, including a table and chairs. Loft Tickets are available for pre-sale ONLY. The other tickets will be available at the door until 10:30 pm on the day of the event. Outside festivities are open to all ages, while the inside is 18+. Drake has planned Philmore Phest with the goal of ensuring every guest has an amazing time. He plans to add to Fort Wayne’s nightlife by hosting more events like it in the future, including some that make...

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Live Music Venue Series – The Phoenix
Apr07

Live Music Venue Series – The Phoenix

Everything you need to know about the Phoenix is written up on their sign. Food. Drink. Music. Art. There really isn’t any better way to describe what they are all about. Anything else said would just be the details. These are the details: Offering a full menu and bar service, the Phoenix brings in a variety of talented local and occasionally national acts to perform on its stage. Patrons can see musicians perform a variety of genres from jazz to blues to classic rock and more in a stylishly casual atmosphere. This combination of great music and great atmosphere, along with a good selection of options for dinner, has earned the Phoenix a reputation for being a superb all-ages venue. They are open Wednesday through Thursday from 5pm-11pm and Friday through Saturday from 5pm-1am. Sundays they open for brunch from 10am-2pm. You can find the Phoenix on Broadway just south of Jefferson Blvd across from the Brass Rail. It can be easily identified by its spacious patio and signage as you go past. On street parking is available as well as lot parking located on Wilt St (the first right passing the building going South). Parking may be difficult to find directly outside the building, but there is usually a spot nearby. Located on a historic strip of Broadway inside what was once the Sage Traders building, the recently renovated building has a lot of character that lends itself to the overall atmosphere inside. Inside, softly lit hanging local art, exposed brick walls, and duct work give the place an inviting urban tone that you might not expect to find around here. “Our goal is to provide the whole experience,” said general manager Shasta Kuhlhorst. Dining and live music don’t always mix well. Most restaurants just don’t have a good space for it and there are bound to be issues with visibility and sound. Others keep it deliberately low key to avoid disturbing their patrons. Music is meant for the background while you eat at some places, but it’s up front and center at the Phoenix. The dining room is focused towards the stage with the bar in the back. The tables easily have the best view of the stage, but this room was made for live music and there is no bad seat in the house. The stage is sizable and free from obstructions that might block your view. It can be easily seen from any seat and the acoustics in the room are solid. With friendly table service, diners are able to fully experience the show without needing to remove themselves for refreshments. In the summer, they open up their fenced...

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