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

rustonfarmersmarket.org

After spending its first eight seasons in a parking lot, the Ruston Farmers Market cuts the ribbon on its new permanent location Saturday June 4. The new building is located at 220 East Mississippi Street just behind the historic fire station in downtown Ruston.

"We were starting to grow and gain more vendors, and it is something that is so important to us and our community. We really wanted a place where we could be established and say that we are here to stay," says Market Manager Lauren Jennings.

B. Lenox / KEDM

With summer fully underway, many people are looking for the next good book to help them pass the time. Keeping that in mind, the Monroe Symphony League is holding a Book Fair this weekend, June 4 and 5, and next weekend June 11 and 12.

The book sale helps fund the Symphony League's projects throughout the year. Other projects the League sponsors include: the annual "Sound Safari" for local schools, the "Marjorie Stricklin Emerging Artist Competition", and the new formed "New Music on the Bayou Festival" which is currently underway.

City of Monroe

There are many things that separate the cities of Monroe and West Monroe, but a love of art is one thing that unites the two. On Thursday, June 2 from 5-9 p.m. the Downtown Arts Alliance celebrates this common chord with the Downtown Gallery Crawl.

newmusiconthebayou.com

The term "new classical music" may sound like an oxymoron to some people, but composers are constantly publishing and pushing the limits of sound. The New Music on the Bayou Festival celebrates this world of cutting edge music.

"I think that a a lot of people don't even know what new classical music sounds like. They think of classical music, and they think of Beethoven. They think of new music, and they think of country or jazz, or rock -- and this is really none of those things," explains Festival co-founder and University of Louisiana Monroe professor Mel Mobley.

Chennault Museum

With Memorial Day approaching, our nation takes time to honor those who serve and have served this country. The Chennault Aviation and Military Museum is doing its part by hosting the "Race for the Red, White, and Blue" Saturday May 28.

The races will consist of a 5K and a 1K, with all proceeds going to the museum, which is now privately funded. Races will begin at 8 a.m. at the museum, with registration beginning at 7 a.m. The route will circumvent the airport terminal, then end at the museum.

The Downtown Cinema

As the revitalization of downtown Monroe continues, more and more unique outdoor events are begriming to emerge, including the Downtown Cinema. The cinema takes place on the last Saturday of the months between April and July at the corner of Jackson Street and Desiard Street.

Downtown Cinema leader Adam McDonald explains "It started as a group from Portico Church who were just excited and interested in the revitalization going on downtown, and we wanted to find a way to give back in a way that could involve the entire community could enjoy."

Kirby Rambin / KEDM

Just over two months after the disastrous flooding that struck the area in March, many residents  are still trying to repair the damage and piece together their lives again.

In response to a request from Governor Edwards, the deadline to apply for financial assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration to June 13. 

Since the President declared the March floods a disaster, FEMA and the SBA have received over 39,000 applications for aid. Ouachita Parish suffered the brunt of the damage and has over 10,000 applicants.

La'Opera

For many people, the words "classical" and "Mozart" are almost synonymous. La'Opera performs one of Mozart's most beloved operas The Magic Flute on Saturday, May 21 at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the University of Louisiana Monroe's Biedenharn Recital Hall.

The opera, written in 1791, was one of the master composer's last completed works, and is stylistically similar to modern musical theater. Songs are interrupted with dialogue, and the audience is even addressed directly -- a practice not common in many operas. 

courtesy photo

As summer approaches, many people become more active, but the Ouachita Parish Public Library works to remind children and adults to exercise their minds as well.

The Library begins its summer reading program with Summerfest, Saturday May 21. The event is closely tied to the sports theme of this summer's program.

The event is geared to remind children and adults to exercise both their minds and bodies this summer, and features challenges such as a "book walk" at Kiroli Park.

Louisiana Small Business Development Center

As the old saying goes: If you want to connect with people, then you have to go to where they are.

Today's customers are online more and more. The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana Monroe hosted a seminar to help businesses connect with millennials on Wednesday, May 18.

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