Sunday Funday: Vine Voices


I’m going to confidently admit that nine times out of a given ten, I spend Sundays curled up in my hobbit hole of a room developing a headache from sitting in front of Netflix for an ungodly amount of hours. Maybe sometimes I’ll crawl out of my warm nest to scour the kitchen in hopeful search of a pathetic excuse for a snack (I’m living on a college budget. Do you know how expensive Zebra Cakes are?) But usually, my Sundays are 24 hours wasted. I confess this with confidence because I know that I am far from alone in my Sunday endeavors – or lack thereof.

But with beautiful Michigan summer upon us, my conscious is beginning to claw at me. I can’t keep watching the day unfold from behind my closed curtains without proper logic outside of I’ve had a long week of reading and laying at the beach… I deserve the indoors. Luckily, it didn’t take me too long to find a reason to get my ass out of bed. On June 19th, Kalamazoo’s Vine Neighborhood Association and Kabare will be hosting a benefit show titled Vine Voices. It’s the perfect reason to get your ass out of bed, too.

I met up with Patric “Kabare” Germay to give you the run down on the upcoming event, Vine Voices.


What is it?

Located in the heart of the Vine Neighborhood, Vine Voices is a benefit show featuring live music, poetry, dance, and art from Michigan artists. The mission of Vine Voices is to promote Michigan art and the strength of community. Vine Voices also hopes to raise awareness and funs to help benefit the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. Donations are encouraged, as all proceeds will support the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission in providing families with clothing, food, and shelter.

Vine voices

What’s the main event?

The main event will showcase two features: Yolonda Lavender and DC. This dynamic duo is more connected than you may think – they’re actually related. Furthermore, they’ve been recognized in Kalamazoo for quite some time as a talented force of real musicianship. Yolonda Lavender has a soulful voice, deeply rooted in Gospel influence that grabs your attention and keeps you locked into her message. DC couples that energy with raw lyricism that isn’t afraid to showcase wisdom, while weaving heavy poetic undertones that speak directly to her desire for real change.

How does this support local artists and business?

Planning events can be tricky, especially when many factors are involved. When it came to “Vine Voices”, I knew I had plan well in advance. Since I had just only moved back to Kalamazoo in November 2015, my Michigan network was spread out. I reached out to every artist I knew in the area, and in nearby cities. I wanted this event to embody Michigan culture and togetherness. All of the artists are from Michigan, including many Kalamazooans I had only known for a few weeks. In fact, I had met many of the artists at The Mix’s weekly open mic on Tuesdays.

Who is Vine Voices benefiting?

“Vine Voices” was created for two reasons. First, to give back to our community. Kalamazoo is an artistic city thriving with talent. However, there are many families struggling to put food on the table every day. Some go without adequate clothing and shelter as well. Being an artist myself, I wanted a way to give back to my roots, and help those who are in need. Vine Voices will be a free event, but contributions are greatly encouraged. All proceeds will go to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, and artists have the choice to donate merchandise sales to this cause. The second reason I created this event was to promote the strength of Michigan’s diverse culture and bring people together. For some of the artists, this will be their first official performance. I want people to feel comfortable in this room, and through that, a sense of belonging and relate-ability can grow.

I suppose attending a local live concert, supporting local art, and raising awareness for a local mission is enough to get me out and about on a Sunday. Can I slide the word ‘local’ in here one more time just to stress the importance of supporting and loving LOCAL? I can’t wait to see your bright and shining faces at Vine Voices for a beautiful, well-spent Sunday. I’ll leave you with some quick details about Vine Voices, but make sure to visit the Facebook page for more information about the lineup.

When: Sunday, June 19. Doors at 5:30 pm. Show 6 to 9 pm.

Where: 814 S. Westnedge (Kalamazoo, MI). In the heart of the Vine Neighborhood.

$$: Donations are encouraged!


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