Do you love to sing?
Come sing great songs with fabulous song leaders on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 at the 16th Annual Mid-Winter Singing and Folk Festival.
Lyric books provided. Just come and sing, with your community, all night long. www.singingfestival.com
Authenticity is something that I believe is important to all of us. And hopefully we get to work with people who are authentic. When you couple that authenticity with talent of a truly exceptional nature: a pastor, a songwriter, a storyteller, a multi-instrumentalist, an award winning educator with an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of African American folk music, including blues, spiritual, and slave songs…its players and styles…you get the Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr. from Detroit, Michigan.
Some people might call May Erlewine “Michigan’s darling songbird”, but her songs have traveled far beyond her home state. One of the most prolific and passionate songwriters of her generation, May’s music has touched the hearts of people all over the world. Her words have held solace for weary hearts, offered a light in the darkness and held a lot of space for the pain and joy of being alive in these times. When she starts to sing, there’s no way around it. Welcome to the moment, everyone.
“Joel Mabus is one of contemporary folk music’s most eclectic performers. A skilled guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin player and melodic songwriter, Mabus has played everything from traditional folk tunes to bluegrass, blues, and original songs.” Craig Harris at AllMusic.com
Mabus has toured widely and makes his living at music, though he is flying under the radar of American pop culture. Whether you label him folk, Americana , or a singer-songwriter, Mabus remains a one-off, walking that lonesome valley, making and marking his way as a working artist outside the confines of the usual music business.
Mark Dvorak is a modern day troubadour who has never stopped performing, writing and recording. He has been called “a folk singer’s folk singer” with an “encyclopedic knowledge of traditional songs.” His song writing has been called “wondrous” and “profound.”
Mark has a refreshing, down-to-earth stage presence, and is a very engaging performer. He likes to joke around with the folks who attend his shows and throughout the program he’ll interject personal anecdotes and add a touch of history or social context.
Frank Youngman first saw Louis Armstrong when he was 8 years old and he seemed to know then that he also wanted to play music and entertain people. Starting on piano and trumpet, he played his first professional job at the age of 15 with a Glenn Miller style band, the Royalaires, who later became The Formalaires. It was during those many years playing the country club circuit, in big bands and Dixieland bands that he learned to dance and understand just how music moved people.
The college years brought marching bands, a stint with a Chinese orchestra, and recitals, until he heard a guitar player named Joel Mabus play some music of Mississippi John Hurt. After that there was a new world to discover: banjos and pennywhistles, fiddles, guitars, button accordions, and stepdancing. Soon Frank found himself playing folk music from Michigan to Boston to New York City with The Pretty Shakey Stringband and The Lost World Stringboard.
Frank has performed with Martin, Bogan and Armstrong, The Fiction Brothers and Johnny Gimble. As a singer, guitarist and trumpet player, and founding member of Jive at Five, Frank came full circle back to jazz and swing and performs with a passion for music bringing every sound, style and beat he’s heard along the way.
Matt Watroba is first and foremost a community singer. He has the knack for picking the perfect songs and stories for the audience in front of him. In concert, at a festival, in a library, in a school, or in the park, you can count on a performance that will get you singing, make you laugh, and leave you feeling a little bit better about the world we live in. Matt also works with award winning performer Rev. Robert Jones, presenting educational programs that celebrate diversity through the roots and branches of American folk music.