Not What You’d Expect: First Salon Sunday is Oct. 19 in Ferndale

Not What You’d Expect: First Salon Sunday is Oct. 19 in Ferndaledinos02sidelogo3

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 4, 2014)

While Ferndale is known for its plethora of beauty salons, there is another kind of salon that the Arts and Cultural Commission hopes will take off in the city.

Their new performance series “Salon Sundays” seeks to revive the tradition of salons from the 17th and 18th centuries, a phenomenon that was popular in France and Italy and also saw resurgence in the 1920s and 30s. In a salon, held at a private home or at a restaurant, the brightest minds would gather to share in music, poetry, performance and discussion of cultural pursuits.

In the 20s and 30s Gertrude Stein hosted salons where the brightest minds of her time would gather dda_ad_03to support each other. Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound and Pablo Picasso were among her guests. Salons were most often hosted by women who had a knack for curating the best mix of personalities and performers, and keeping conversations civil and classy. Putting on a successful salon took the same amount of skill that one might put into planning a fancy dinner party, but with the emphasis on feeding the minds and nourishing the souls of one’s guests. There was art even in the planning.

For Francine Hachem, a frequent musical star and theatre teacher who is also the Vice President of the Arts and Cultural Commission, the chance to revive the salon in Ferndale is an opportunity dear to her heart.seed024_jeannie_davis_from_lori

“People in Ferndale like all kinds of art and music,” she said. “When we did our survey most people said they wanted more live performances. Salon Sundays will be a chance to expose people to music, and poetry, and theatre that they may not get to see otherwise.”

The selections will not just be the typical local bands, which the Commission also supports with their Music in the Park series, but a more classical approach to music.

On Oct. 19 the first salon will feature jazz and swing singer Linda Piccoli, performing with Dr. Tom Judy_Palmer30yearsDennis, Keith Malinowski and Rachel Wisely Shulz. Nov. 16 will be Joshua James, a big band performer and composer. In January a theatrical performance by Jay Kaplan and friends is anticipated.

The first two salons will be held at Dino’s Lounge at 22740 Woodward, a venue with the perfect “upscale but not uptight” ambiance Hachem hopes will create that authentic salon feel. The first is Oct. 19 from 6pm to 7pm, with plenty of time after for those who would like to stay and discuss the finer things in life. The event is free.

Piccoli has performed in Ferndale before, captivating audiences at the Ferndale Blues Festival and doing a mighty fine Patsy Cline performance at Como’s. “People have a diversified taste in music,” Piccoli said, “even if they don’t realize it.” Coming to a swing and jazz performance can be new to some people, but it should not seem too outlandish. “Music is the same through history. Just sidebar016growbecause a song is old does not mean it’s not good. What’s popular today will be old in a few years. But it all is enjoyable. No matter what time you live, we all sing about the same things: love, drugs, sadness, having fun.”

The Arts and Cultural Commission is committed not only to sharing a variety of music and performance with the public, they use their resources to give performers the respect, and pay, they deserve. “Musicians and artists work hard and they deserve to be paid. It’s not fair that society expects them to work for free when they put so much time in studying, practicing, buying equipment and doing a service to the community. I’m glad to be part of a group that respects that and can treat our artists fairly,” Hachem said.

Learn more about the Ferndale Arts and Cultural Commission at

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