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What Local Musicians Are Reading

July 31, 2018 | By: Communications Staff

In celebration of our 2018 Libraries Rock! Summer Reading Challenge, we’ve asked leaders in the local music community to share their recommendations for life-changing reads.


Bill East’s Reading List

Billy East is a South Bend native and rapper in the band The B.E.A.T., a hybrid hip hop and jazz trio that performs regionally and locally. A science and history buff, Billy has been an avid reader of sci-fi, metaphysical and spiritual books since childhood. His music is described as “a deep personal iconic tuning of urban and planetary diaspora.” He is currently performing with “Badd Assets,” another hip hop trap jazz trio of sorts, and is working on his new entertainment firm Northern Lore Entertainment.

Dena Woods’ Reading List

Dena Woods is a singer/songwriter based in South Bend, IN. Born in Texas to two parents that experienced mental illness, Dena grew up as an only child in a chaotic and, at times, abusive environment. Despite difficult circumstances, she was resilient and chose to thrive, heal, and to funnel her experiences and emotions into creative efforts. Her musical project, Dena Dena Dena, is an musical embodiment of those experiences. You can follow Dena’s musical work on Bandcamp or Facebook.

KO’s Reading List

KO is the pseudonym of Kristin Newborn: vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. While many recognize Kristin Newborn from her band White Moms, she also plays provocative solo shows as ‘KO’ and defies the parameters of what one person can do musically. Her multi-layered looping guitar, ethereal voice, and DIY boss approach is a must-see/must-listen this summer. For more information about KO, visit her website

Buddy Pearson’s Reading List

Buddy Pearson has been steadily playing bass for 36 of his 47 years. Hailing from a musically supportive family, Buddy was given his first upright bass at age nine and has never looked back. In addition to playing bass nationally and locally with several musical groups, Buddy also plays solo, with weekly performances at several venues. Buddy also teaches at South Bend’s The Music Village. Find more information at buddypearsonmusic.com.  

Carolina Warkentin’s Reading List

Carolina Warkentin is the Director of Girls Rock Michiana and Children’s Program Coordinator for The Music Village. She moved with her husband and two young sons to South Bend in the Spring of 2017 from Auburn, IN. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, graduating high school in Walla Walla, WA, and earning a B.A. in Organizational Communications from George Fox University in Newberg OR. She enjoys quiet mornings of meditation, weekly trips to the library, nature walks with her family, spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen, and meeting people who are living lives of creative purpose. For more information, visit girlsrockmichiana.org

Patrick Quigley’s Reading List

Patrick Quigley was born and raised in southwest Michigan and experienced local music community in his teenage years while skateboarding between punk shows in church basements and VFW halls. He currently works as a design engineer in the RV industry but his labor of love is building community and supporting artists through events like the Riverlights Music Festival and the annual Noise for Toys punk rock toy drive at The Well. He and his wife Mandi are part of the team that run the non-profit coffeeshop and community center The Well in South Bend.  You can follow Patrick’s musical work at analectaSailbear, and Dad Jokes.

Hiroya Tsukamoto’s Reading List

Hiroya Tsukamoto is a one-of-a-kind guitarist and composer. Born and raised in Kyoto, Japan, he received a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in 2000 and came to the US. Since then, he has been performing internationally, and has appeared at Blue Note Jazz Club in New York and on Japanese National Television. Hiroya has released six albums. For more information on Hiroya, click here

Alastair Willis’s Reading List

Alastair Willis, Music Director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, is a grammy-nominated conductor who has led orchestras around the world, from Rio de Janeiro to Hong Kong. Here in South Bend, Willis helps the South Bend Symphony with its vision “​t​o broaden the personal experiences of a diverse audience.” Learn more about Alastair and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra here.  

Aaron Nichols’ Reading List

Aaron Nichols is the Executive Director of the South Bend Civic Theatre. Aaron has volunteered as an actor, designer, and director for over twenty years and believes in the power of live theatre to guide all toward hope, unity, and understanding. He lives in downtown South Bend and believes that civic theatre has a responsibility to authentically reflect and ennoble their community. Learn more about the Civic at sbct.org.

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