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Folk

 

 

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Bamboo Steve

Steve Pollitt offers instrument building workshops and concerts of World-Wind music played on primitive instruments, some ancient and some of modern design. For K–8 school assemblies, Pollitt aims to empower young listeners by confirming their belief that simple tools can achieve great artistry. In Pollitt’s workshops, students build their own panpipes and learn to play. For adults, Pollitt offers the concert Music for the Double Ocarina.

 

Barbara Bailey Hutchison

Grammy Award–winning singer/songwriter Barbara Bailey Hutchison thrills audiences worldwide with her enchanting voice and lively stage presence. This Michigan native’s music carries a message of tolerance and human rights while encouraging us to see humor in everyday life. She’s been voted “Best Performance–Acoustic” and “Best Solo Performer” by colleges and universities nationwide. She also offers a highly interactive children’s show, a light-hearted and informative Women’s History Month program and a Christmas show.

Beats Settin’ Home

Beats Settin’ Home—extraordinary folk music! Tap your toes, clap your hands, sing along and laugh with us—even try a couple of squares and reels. Bear Berends, Al Exoo and Jim Foerch bring the finest of Michigan and American folk traditions to engage and delight young and old alike. Sparkling harmonies, rich instrumental arrangements, songs with humor and feeling—pleased audiences know why we say “It sure Beats Settin’ Home!”

Carl Behrend: Legends of the Great Lakes

Performances include songs and stories of Great Lakes legends, shipwrecks, sea captains, Native American legends and personal accounts of Great Lakes adventures. Carl’s daughter, Naomi, often is able to perform with him. Carl also has a slide program of their father-daughter circumnavigation of Lake Superior. His performances are loved by young and old.

 

Dan Hall

As a composer, singer, guitarist, maritime history presenter and humorist, Hall has delighted multi-age audiences from the Keweenaw to Kalamazoo. His historically accurate songs about the triumphs and tragedies of life aboard Great Lakes freighters are Michigan treasures. “I had Dan’s maritime music on my radio show within 24 hours of my first listening. It’s that rare combination of great music and history.” (Matt Watroba, producer/host of Folks Like Us, WDET Public Radio, Detroit) Hall has written over 175 songs in collaboration with more than 15,000 elementary students throughout Michigan. “Dan Hall’s work with Adams Elementary was the most exciting, educational, positive, fun-filled event that I’ve been a part of in the nine years I have been principal here.” (Ray Fryar, Principal, Adams Elementary School, Midland)

 

Dan Hazlett

Performing songwriter Dan Hazlett’s original contemporary folk songs deal with social issues and explore the inner landscape. With a rich, warm voice and skillful acoustic guitar work, his performances are memorable and uplifting. During a career spanning more than 20 years, he has actively toured the Midwest, Maine and Canada. He also presents an interactive songwriting workshop for middle and high school students and a percussion and folk singing workshop for elementary students. Now in the studio working on his fifth full-length recording, his performances are appropriate for all ages.

David Stoeri: Tunes and Tales from the Stoeri Bag

David Stoeri has been a full-time professional musician and storyteller since 1983, weaving the rapture of a well-told story with the joyous energy of traditional music to create a folk arts celebration. Instruments like the banjo, hammer dulcimer, concertina and the musical saw complement the songs and stories to create an enchanting, age-appropriate, laughter-filled show. Schools also appreciate his teaching background (6th grade teacher, 1972–83; “Teacher of the Year” at his school in 1981). A principal from St. Clair Shores comments, “In 40 years, I have seen many assemblies in this genre. I can truthfully say that David Stoeri’s is the best I have experienced.” From Mackinac Island to Grosse Ile, David Stoeri comes “highly recommended!”

Dwight Brady

Dwight Brady is a veteran singer/songwriter and recording artist who describes his music as “contemporary folk.” Heartfelt lyrics about his Michigan homeland blended with a pop/country style, make his music highly entertaining yet culturally meaningful. He is an energetic performer who plays a wide range of music including his up-tempo Internet hit “My Neck of the Woods” to soft ballads like “Magnetic North” and the downright silly “Song About Labor Day.” His strong stage presence and musical variety make his performances appropriate for nearly any age group.

 

Jim Novak, Singer-Songwriter

Spoken word (taken from Sandburg, Brecht, Yeats, and others) and Jim Novak’s original songs and cover songs on guitar delight and entertain those who love words. At colleges and coffeehouses, he features poetry-and-song “combinations” on themes such as romance, the road, the environment and social change in the 1960s. Since 1996, Novak has been a performer and host of a weekly TV show featuring Michigan songwriters. At a library, college or other community setting, he will stage and record a show (for your public access TV station) featuring your local songwriters and conduct a discussion on songwriting. “Novak is clearly passionate about music, especially the craft of singer-songwriters,” wrote the Ann Arbor News. He is also a college teacher who directs a multidisciplinary, bachelor’s degree program for adults.

 

Josh & Ron’s Family Adventure

Now, for the first time in their careers, Josh White Jr. and Ron Coden are combining their talents, creating a new, exciting and totally entertaining musical show for the entire family. Nationally and internationally known for their abilities as performers and entertainers, these two veteran artists blend their voices, humor and dramatic talents for pure entertainment magic. Josh and Ron understand family and children; more important, families and children understand Josh and Ron. Hand clapping, foot tapping and singing along are major parts of their show, making the audience part of the show. There is no better time a family can spend together. Let the music and laughter of Josh White Jr. and Ron Coden become a part of your family and its memories.

 

Josh White, Jr.

There have only been four years when he was not a performer and those were the first four. All his life, Josh has been performing his brand of music on stages around the globe. Whether doing family concerts with music from Cole Porter to Bob Dylan or going into schools and giving fun but informative performances for all grade levels which includes songs of peace, hope and freedom, or a blend of music and lecture to explore the life of his legendary father, Josh White, his warmth and humor only add to his eclectic approach to touch the hearts of those who are fortunate to share the musical experience. Josh conducts Storyliving workshops that use kinesthetic, multiple intelligence activities to learn about significant historical events. The main message in all that he does is summed up in a line from one of his songs: “Think about me, think about you, think about all the joyful things we can do.”

 

Kitty Donohoe: “Bunyan & Banjoes” and “Lighthouses & Legends”

Kitty Donohoe’s reputation as a songwriter, musician and storyteller is nationwide. A resident of Michigan, she has written numerous popular songs that celebrate the state and the region. She offers two folk song and story programs, both all-ages appropriate and featuring guitar, banjo, mountain and hammered dulcimers and, depending on the presentation, mouth bow and concertina. Bunyan and Banjoes focuses on Michigan and covers the voyaguers, waterways, the logging era and more. Lighthouses and Legends centers on the lore, romance and history of the Great Lakes. Both programs have been widely performed in the state. “A great presentation. We loved it.” (Comment from an Upper Peninsula audience member, 1999)

 

Lee Murdock

Lee Murdock has discovered a boundless body of music and stories in the Great Lakes. There is an amazing timelessness in his music. Great Lakes songs are made of hard work, hard living, ships that go down and ships that come in. Drawing on Midwestern traditional music and building upon that tradition with his own songwriting about contemporary issues and events, Murdock’s music speaks to the people who live, work, learn and play along the shores of the Great Lakes today. Concerts, educational presentations and workshops are available.

 

Madcat & Kane

Harmonica virtuoso Peter Madcat Ruth and guitar wizard Shari Kane joined forces in 1990. Since then, they have been touring nationally and internationally, delighting audiences wherever they go. Their repertoire includes blues, folk music and a touch of jazz. “Madcat & Kane is simply the best blues duo on the scene today. The dynamic interplay that occurs between Shari Kane’s guitar and Pete Madcat Ruth’s harmonica is astounding.” (Eureka Springs Blues Festival)

 

Matt Watroba

Many know him as the voice of folk music in Michigan for his work with Detroit Public Radio, WDET. As producer and host of the Folks Like Us program, Watroba has come in contact with every aspect of folk music and culture. This has helped shape a repertoire of music and knowledge that is unique on local stages. He holds a Michigan teaching certificate and is at home in both classroom and concert settings. His concerts build community.

 

Michael and Theresa Irish

“Talent and variety” is the best way to describe the performance of Michael and Theresa Irish. A vocalist and talented musician, Michael moves through an arsenal of stringed instruments, harmonizing with Theresa’s beautiful voice to offer a blend of contemporary and country music, with some bluegrass and Gershwin on the side. Living in northern Michigan, they entertain statewide at concerts, fairs and festivals, customizing their performance for large auditoriums or small gazebos. Corporate performances have included the Discovery Channel, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and more. The combination of a lifetime of musical experience and two decades of performing together assures quality entertainment for all.

 

Michael Angelo

“It’s amazing what he has going on, just one guy and a guitar.” (Rolling Stone.com) That’s what people say when they see and hear singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Angelo perform. Having toured extensively the past four years throughout the northeast, east coast and southern states promoting his music, he has proven music is the universal language. There are no barriers, he and his music connect to people of all ages and all status. Songs are written and performed from his heart and soul. Angelo’s quick-witted humor, cynicism and pensive side come through loud and clear in his music. Using words in a way only he does, his distinctive voice makes him stand out from others. Whether it be rock, folk, pop, country or blues, it is definite that Michael Angelo does it all and in a style undeniably his.

 

Neil Woodward

Neil Woodward is a modern practitioner of the ancient disciplines of the troubadour. His widely acclaimed original compositions, traditional ballads and dance tunes present compelling testimony of our shared human heritage. In concerts and workshops enjoyed by all ages, Great Lakes history and culture come alive with the voices of our ancestors and neighbors. “How could one guy have played all those instruments so beautifully?” (Monthly Detroit). “The protean backwoods maestro.” (Detroit Free Press)

 

Ourselves

The down-home music sung and played by this family group evokes memories of a time when music was created and performed in kitchens and parlors, community halls or fresh-swept barns. They perform renditions of songs from Ireland, Michigan, Britain and Appalachia, accompanied by varying combinations of mandolin, flute, tin whistle, dulcimer, concertina, fiddle, harmonica, guitar, bodhran and bones. Ourselves gladly plays “unplugged” for quiet locations but will bring a sound system as needed.

 

Patricia Pettinga

Patricia Pettinga blends folk, blues and original music in a performance that entertains, moves and involves audiences, reflecting her penchant for humor and her experience in education and theater arts. Her performances—just right for coffeehouses, festivals and concert halls—appeal to all ages. Pettinga will also create theme shows for schools, businesses and nonprofits and present workshops on songwriting and creative expression. Partner Bill Willging adds a second guitar and vocal harmonies to performances.

 

Robert Jones & Matt Watroba

These two artists combine their talent and experience into a musical presentation that has been delighting concertgoers, educators and students for years. It’s rare that two performers have both the knowledge of American roots music and the ability to communicate it to an audience. Preaching racial harmony is one thing—Jones and Watroba bring it alive through blues and folk music with every performance.

 

Song of the Lakes

Recently voted “Best Folk Group in Northern Michigan,” Song of the Lakes continues their role as ambassadors of the Great Lakes. Their high-energy performance combines Celtic and Scandinavian traditions with Michigan’s maritime history in a show that weaves humor and lore and inspires hand-clapping audience participation. Offering a variety of programs, Song of the Lakes’ collaborations have included work with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Ballet, etc. and numerous high school choral groups.

 

SongSister Julie Austin & David Mosher

SongSister Julie Austin, “Best Children’s Per-former” (Metro Parent Magazine), and her SongBrother, David Mosher, feature a unique blend of humorous, energetic and irresistible children’s music in a sing-along, move-along concert, guaranteed to have your hands clapping, toes tapping and fingers snapping! Julie sings, tells stories and accompanies herself on guitar, jawharp and autoharp while David joins her on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, bass, guitar and vocals. All songs are interactive, with audiences dancing, moving, singing and using gestures or sign language. Since 1986, Austin has traveled throughout the country as a Wolftrap Master Artist, a High/Scope consultant and an early childhood specialist. She has made several nationally acclaimed recordings, including 1999 Parent’s Choice Silver Honor’s Winner, Fandagumbo, which was produced by David Mosher.

 

The Collecting Consort

The Collecting Consort’s fresh and expressive performances captivate audiences of all ages. This talented duo’s personal and gentle warmth creates an instant rapport for you as they entertain and educate through a sensitive blend of music, drama, stories and narration. Celtic harp, keyboard, hammered dulcimer, whistles and flutes touch your heart with appealing arrangements of familiar folk, classical and contemporary music. Their concerts and school programs may explore your special themes, recreate your local history or enhance the “Character Counts” pillars. Workshops/residencies for groups (including special and alternative education) creatively explore all artistic media. They have released 16 commercial recordings and produced numerous radio specials.

 

The Raisin Pickers

If you’ve never heard the Raisin Pickers, then you’ve missed a rare musical treat. From swing to ballads, from contemporary bluegrass to under-appreciated classics, from waltzes to tangos, they bring a wonderful enthusiasm and enjoyment to all the music they play. On guitar, bass, mandolin, fiddle and even an assortment of banjos, they combine fast and furious soloing with three-part harmonies, jazz influences with modern folk, Celtic and acoustic swing; as a band, they combine the very best qualities of the different types of music resulting in a uniquely fascinating and entertaining musical potpourri.

 

Will Danforth

For 30 years, Will Danforth has played “roots-based” acoustic music for pre-school through senior center audiences, accompanying himself on guitar, banjo, slide guitar, autoharp, Appalachian dulcimer and more. Performances range from traditional to contemporary and are tailored to the needs of the presenter. School programs highlight American folk music and focus on particular regions or styles such as cowboy songs, “Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Legacy,” the blues or songs celebrating nature. Workshops are offered in ensemble singing and songwriting.
 

 

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Last modified: October 16, 2001