Lighthouses

Seul Choix Pointe Lighthouse

featuring Ryan Fontanilla's "Son of Perdition"

Seul Choix Pointe Lighthouse, just south of Gulliver, Michigan on the north shore of Lake Michigan, has aided navigation on the lakes since 1892. Nearby Seul Choix Bay gets its name from the French for “only choice,” since early French settlers found it the only place appropriate to land their boats.

Today, the light station is automated, owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and kept by the Gulliver Historical Society, which also operates a museum on the grounds.

Ryan Fontanilla is a songwriter and acoustic guitarist based in Washington, D.C. He explores new concepts for acoustic guitar music by utilizing string, woodwind, electronic, and percussion instruments and by experimenting with unique structures. “Son of Perdition,” featured in this segment, is from his debut album Black Spring.

Links

Seul Choix Point Light by Dave Wobser, Boatnerd.com
Inventory of Historic Light Stations: Seul Choix Pointe
Ryan Fontanilla Official Site


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New Dungeness Lighthouse

featuring Acoustic Alchemy's "Caravan of Dreams"

The New Dungeness Lighthouse has continuously watched over the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Sequim, Washington since it was first lit in 1857. Though the light is now fully automated, volunteer lighthouse keepers from the New Dungeness Lighthouse Association still reside at the light, tending the grounds and interacting with visitors to the historic site and its interpretive center.

Acoustic Alchemy is a smooth jazz group from London. Originally a duo of acoustic guitarists, the band has expanded and renewed itself over the decades to accommodate artistic choices and lineup changes. Now a group that mixes genres, styles, and influences, Acoustic Alchemy is a favorite adult contemporary and new age act.

Links

New Dungeness Lighthouse Association
Sequim, Washington Chamber of Commerce
Inventory of Historic Light Stations: New Dungeness Light
Acoustic Alchemy Official Site


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Point Vicente Lighthouse

featuring Marc Antoine's "Sunland"

Standing tall over California’s Palos Verdes Peninsula, Point Vicente Lighthouse has been in continuous operation since 1926, although it was reduced to a mere 25 watts during World War II.

Today, like most currently active lighthouses, the Point Vicente Light has been modernized with electronic equipment. Also like many lighthouses, it is rumored to be haunted!

A small museum sits on the grounds and it and the tower are opened to visitors once a month.

Marc Antoine is contemporary jazz guitarist. Though gifted from a young age, his playing was threatened by a serious accident to his left hand while he was a teenager. Despite a grim prognosis, Antoine recovered to become one of today’s leading jazz guitar acts. Currently living in Spain, Antoine frequently tours with other contemporary jazz greats including David Benoit, Dave Koz, and Chris Botti.

Links

Point Vicente Lighthouse
LighthouseFriends.com: Point Vicente Light
San Pedro Chamber of Commerce: Point Vicente Light
Marc Antoine Official Site


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Peche Island Rear Range Light

featuring David Benoit's "Saturdays"

Visitors to Peche Island Rear Range Light wouldn’t be blamed for assuming it was called the “Marine City Lighthouse.” After all, it is in Marine City, Michigan and decidedly not on an island. The words “Marine City” are even painted on the white steel tower.

In fact, Marine City is only the second home of this historic lighthouse. In 1908, the light was first lit on Canada’s Peche Island at the head of the Detroit River at Lake St. Clair. It marked the river entrance until 1982, when it was decommissioned and replaced. Set to be destroyed, the citizens of Marine City, 34 miles to the northeast, decided to save the lighthouse and arrange its transportation to its current location in the city’s Waterworks Park.

David Benoit is a contemporary jazz pianist whose albums have garnered multiple Grammy nominations and have become genre classics. Benoit is also an accomplished symphony musician and conductor and has also composed film scores. In 2010, David Benoit was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Smooth Jazz Awards.

Links

Marine City Chamber of Commerce
Pure Michigan: Peche Island Rear Range Light
Boatnerd.com article: Peche Island Light
David Benoit Official Site


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Point Aux Barques Lighthouse

featuring Chuck Loeb's "Between 2 Worlds"

Built in 1847 to warn ships of a dangerous reef, Point Aux Barques Lighthouse in Port Hope, Michigan originally stood for only nine years before being razed and rebuilt. The original construction had used inferior materials that could not withstand the stress of severe weather.

The new tower and keeper’s dwelling that stands today was finished in 1857. Its third-order fresnel lens, with an electric light since 1932, still serves Lake Huron ships. Fully automated since the 1950s, the lighthouse is now part of a park and museum.

Chuck Loeb is a guitarist, composer, and producer. Known for his smooth jazz recordings, he is a versatile artist who has explored various other musical styles including classical and rock guitar. In addition to his extensive solo discography, Loeb has appeared on albums from many of jazz’s biggest names, as a performer and producer.

Links

Point Aux Barques Lighthouse Society
Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light: Point Aux Barques Light
Huron County Economic Development Corporation
Chuck Loeb Official Site


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Old Mackinac Point Light

featuring Amy Lauren's "The Lost Lullaby"

During the 19th century, booming settlements around the Great Lakes effected a great increase in Great Lakes shipping. Increased ship traffic created the need for a lighthouse to guide ships through the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. By 1890, a fog signal building had been constructed on the site of the former Fort Michilimackinac, a British fort that had been dismantled and moved to nearby Mackinac Island in 1781.

The Old Mackinac Point Light Station was first lit in 1892. It served ships under four different lighthouse keepers and, like many lighthouses, had minor upgrades over the years to implement new technologies such as electric motors and radio signals. The lighthouse ended its service in 1957 with the completion of the well-lit Mackinac Bridge (seen in the background of this video).

Today, the lighthouse still stands at the foot of the bridge. Visitors can see the preserved lighthouse much as it was in the early 1900s and learn about the area’s history.

Amy Lauren is an acoustic piano composer and soloist. She describes her music, often composed as lullabies, as relaxing, healing, and beautifully melodic.

Links

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau: Mackinaw City
Amy Lauren Official Site


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Old Point Loma Lighthouse

featuring Walter Beasley's "The Call"

Point Loma Lighthouse, first lit in 1855, was built at the top of a 422-foot hill overlooking San Diego Bay. The height of the light was supposed to make it a clearly visible signal, but it was actually too high.

The light would often be shrouded in heavy fog cover and low clouds. Without a fog signal, the lighthouse keeper sometimes resorted to firing a shotgun to warn mariners of the rocky coast. Regardless, the lighthouse ran for 36 years, doing its job well when weather permitted.

The lighthouse was replaced in 1891 by a new Point Loma Lighthouse a few hundred yards down the hill from the original. The Old Point Loma Light still stands in Cabrillo National Monument as a historical attraction and a beautiful landmark by the peaceful bay.

Walter Beasley is a contemporary jazz saxophonist and a full professor at Boston’s Berklee School of Music. Beasley is influenced by R&B and, also a singer, has sometimes been compared to Grover Washington, Jr. Beasley has sold more recordings than any other full-time college professor.

Links

Cabrillo National Monument: Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Lighthouse Friends: Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Cabrillo National Monument Foundation
Walter Beasley


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Coquille River Lighthouse

featuring Jeff Lorber's "The Simple Life"

The Coquille River Light was first lit in 1896 to aid the transportation of goods and people to and from the mouth of the Coquille River. Simple, small, and inexpensive, the lighthouse was for many years the smallest on the Oregon coast. The tower, measuring 47 feet from its base, was equipped with a fourth order fresnel lens visible for up to 12 miles.

In 1939, the original light was replaced with an automated beacon. Today, Coquille River Lighthouse is a part of Oregon’s Bullards Beach State Park. The state has maintained, repaired, and restored the lighthouse over the years and, true to Oregon’s status as one of the most environmentally-friendly states, the Coquille River tower now houses a solar-powered light.

Jeff Lorber is a keyboardist and composer who was influential in the jazz fusion movement– the joining of jazz with rock, R&B, and funk elements. Lorber’s innovative jazz style still blends various styles into an innovative sound, as evidenced in the more than 20 albums he has released since 1977.

Links

Lighthouse Friends: Coquille River Lighthouse
Oregon’s Bullards Beach State Park
Bandon, Oregon Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Lorber Official Website


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Split Rock Lighthouse

featuring Ken Navarro's "Compassion"

Built in 1910, Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most distinctive features on the Minnesota coast. Sitting atop a 602-foot cliff, the light can be seen for 22 miles and aided Lake Superior ships until it was decommissioned in 1969. Today, the light is only lit for special occasions, although its lens still spins.

Split Rock Lighthouse sits on the northern shore of Lake Superior in what is now Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Two Harbors, Minnesota.

Ken Navarro is an award-winning contemporary jazz guitarist. His impressive discography of nineteen top charting albums showcases his appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspiring compositions and superb guitar performances.

Links

Split Rock Lighthouse
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Two Harbors, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Ken Navarro Official Site


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Point Cabrillo Lighthouse (Night)

featuring David Benoit's "Downtime"

The Point Cabrillo Light Station, located in Mendocino County, California, is a California State Historic Park. The lighthouse indeed has a long and interesting history. First lit in 1909, it was a guide for a record number of ships carrying lumber to rebuild San Francisco after its 1906 earthquake. It later adopted new technology when it became a monitoring station for the now-defunct LORAN electronic navigation system.

Since its construction, the lighthouse has been maintained by a variety of owners and keepers, and is now owned by California State Parks and managed by the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association. The grounds includes several outbuildings including vacation rental homes. The intricate lantern shown at the end of this sample video uses the original third-order fresnel lens, which was refurbished in 1999.

David Benoit is a contemporary jazz pianist whose albums have garnered multiple Grammy nominations and have become genre classics. Benoit is also an accomplished symphony musician and conductor and has also composed film scores. In 2010, David Benoit was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Smooth Jazz Awards.

Links

Point Cabrillo Light Station
Inventory of Historic Light Stations: Point Cabrillo
Mendocino County Official Travel Site
David Benoit


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