Kirby Rambin

Host, The Boot

Kirby Rambin is a natural entertainer, having played violin since the age of 9 and performing publicly since he was just 12. As a teen, he performed with the Monroe Youth Symphony and the Louisiana All-State Orchestra.

After graduating from Rayville High School, he enrolled in the University of Louisiana Monroe and performed with both the Monroe Symphony Orchestra and the Brandon Community Orchestra in Brandon, Florida. He has studied under Ildiko Lusk, Ye Tao, and Christopher Thompson.

Kirby plays many genres, including: blues, jazz, traditional, Cajun, and country, all with a unique style inspired by his Louisiana Delta roots and his time playing at the Green Iguana Blues Jam in Tampa, Florida. He has performed at the Louisiana Catfish Festival, the Teddy Bear Festival, the Northeast Louisiana Food and Music Festival, and the Northeast Louisiana Music Awards, among many others.

Kirby also shares his gifts with violin students of all ages at GraceNote Music Academy, and served as Director of the Orchestra at the former Excellence Academy Charter Middle School for the Performing Arts in Monroe.

KEDM is a bit of a family tradition for Kirby. His grandfather helped bring the station to northeast Louisiana, and he is thrilled to be helping give a voice to our region.

Kirby currently lives in Monroe with his wife, Anna, who teaches AP Literature at Neville High School.

Ways to Connect

Downtown Gallery Crawl

Despite the summer heat battering the area, The Downtown Arts Alliance continues its mission of promoting art in the community with the Downtown Gallery Crawl on Thursday, August 4 from 5 to 9 p.m.

This month's crawl features eight galleries, and spans across the river to include both downtown Monroe and West Monroe. In addition to countless works of art, patrons can also enjoy food, drink, music, and air conditioning provided by the galleries and local businesses.

The Ouachita Parish Public Library brings its summer reading program to a close on Saturday, August 6 with the final "Read Strong" event. All branches throughout the parish are included, as well as Kiroli Park and Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.

Eileen Kontrovitz explains that as part of a national program, the summer reading challenges respond to lower levels of reading activity over the summer for most students. The program also seeks to promote more reading in general by both children and adults.

Kirby Rambin / KEDM

With the last days of summer vacation, the Strauss Theater Complex and the Strauss Youth Academy for the Arts come together for a production of the Charles Dickens classic "Oliver!"

The raucous musical tells the story of the orphan Oliver Twist from the novel by Charles Dickens, then adds music to the many characters he meets as he scampers through the streets of 1860's London.

Poverty Point World Heritage Site

While Stonehenge and the pyramids were being built, equally impressive structures were being constructed here in northeast Louisiana near the community of modern day Poverty Point.

On Saturday, July 23, the Poverty Point World Heritage Site hosts a ranger-guided morning hike through these ancient structures. The hour-long hike begins at 9:30 a.m. and passes through the outer ridges and the two oldest mounds of the site.

Bob Denhaan / Flickr.com

Nestled in south Monroe lies the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. The "Monroe Zoo" as it is often affectionately called, debuts a new member to its animal family, and hosts a day of festivities at its annual Zoobilation event on Saturday, August 6. 

Moving into the Australia Exhibit that day is the zoo's newest addition, The New Guinea Singing Dog. Looking like a smaller version of a dingo, this is the rarest breed of dog in the world, and is known for its unique howl. There are fewer than 200 of these dogs in the world.

U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command

Major General Michael E. Fortney will speak at Brown Auditorium at the University of Louisiana Monroe  on Saturday, July 16 at 1 p.m. as part of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum's speaker series.

starrhomeplace.org

The sleepy farming community of Oak Ridge is home to a unique haven for artists and craftsmen. The Starr Homeplace consists of 19 buildings on 9 acres of land, and once a month opens its doors to artists of all kinds for what it calls Community Day.

Community Day this month is Saturday July 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and hosts a fierier making hand made horse shoes, a blacksmith, a boat builder, and a local artist creating work live throughout the day. Any individual with a talent or craft is welcome to and ply their trade at the event.

The Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House hosts a test drive fundraiser on Tuesday, July 12. 

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. community members will be able to test drive a luxury BMW, Mercedes, or Audi at Hixson Autoplex. For every mile driven, a donation will be given to the Monroe Ronald McDonald House.

The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that helps families facing serious medical conditions. The house itself often serves as a home base for families from out of town receiving vital treatments at area hospitals.

misslouisiana.com

After winning the 2016 pageant, the new Miss Louisiana Justine Ker prepares for a busy year ahead as she settles into her new role.

"It's been a whirlwind. We have hit the ground running, and this past week has just been incredible," says Ker

Ker, a native of Choudrant, has her work cut out for her. In addition to scheduling the next year, and preparing for the upcoming Miss America Pageant, Ker also intends to visit all five of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in Louisiana.

Monroe's Goodwill store and Job Center are opening a new central location in the Eastgate Shopping Center. This new location offers not only a larger space for the store, but also moves the job center into the same building.

Goodwill Representative Josh Tolleson says, "For our clients that we service to be able see the store with our job location will give them even more motivation to try and better themselves."

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