Hello and welcome to the TCFF Music page!  This is where you’ll find information about the amazing artists we have performing at the TCFF this year.

As always, there is a ton of great music at the TCFF and we are so grateful to all the artists, past and present who have helped us to make the TCFF such a great experience for everybody.  

See you all at the fest!
Jeff Bihlman
TCFF Music Director

Interested in becoming a TCFF musician in 2020? Complete this form.

For musicians without a stage plot, please use this for reference.

2019 Festival Musicians

Jeff ‘Jabo’ Bihlman

Jeff ‘Jabo’ (Jay-bo) Bihlman is an Emmy award winning singer, songwriter, composer and producer.  His music has appeared on FOX, CBS, ABC, CMT and FX on shows like All My Children, The Good GuysSons of Anarchy andThe Gifted.
He is the author of books/DVDs from The National Guitar Workshop, Alfred, Cherry Lane and Hal Leonard publishing, including Legendary Licks: Derek Trucks for which he produced and played the companion CD. He is former instructor at The National Guitar Workshop, WorkshopLive and Interlochen Center for the Arts summer camp.
He is lead singer/guitarist for the popular rock band The Bihlman Bros. and is also the lead guitarist for the MegaForce/Sony artist Grinder Blues, with his brother Scot and legendary King’s X frontman Dug Pinnick.
He was the band leader for Son Seals in the late 90s, and can be heard on the Telarc Records release “Lettin’ Go” by Son Seals which went on to win a W.C. Handy award and included Trey Anastasio from Phish.
Jeff is also an accomplished engineer, mixer, podcast producer and fly fisherman.

The Bergamot

“The hottest emerging music talent” (People Magazine) The Bergamot are an American indie-duo breaking out as the new face of folk.
Originally from South Bend, Indiana currently based out of Brooklyn, New York. Founding members and songwriters of The Bergamot are husband and wife Nathaniel Hoff and Jillian Speece. The Bergamot’s uplifting songs are powered by unbreakable harmonies with seamless songwriting of both the joys and heartaches of life.
There sound is similar to artists like the Of Monsters and Men, Feist and Ryan Adams. In 2016 they toured 200 dates to all 50 states on The Unity Collective.
They have been featured on ABC, HGTV and NBC. Paste Magazine describes hearing The Bergamot as, “Hard Hitting and Catchy as Hell.” U.K.’s  Daily Mirror wrote, “Dreamy Pop New York Duo The Bergamot are about to turn the Indie scene on its head with the release of P.D.R.

Jonah Littlesunday

Navajo Flutist, Jonah Littlesunday, from Grey Mountain, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation is an artist under Canyon Records. A premier label housing over 30 Grammy and dozens of Indigenous tribal music award winners from Tribal Nations all around North America. Canyon Records is the oldest largest independent label in the world producing and preserving Native American Music since 1951. After Jonah’s 2015 NBC America’s Got Talent Audition, he joined Canyon Records line-up by being introduced and endorsed by Canyon artist, 7-time Grammy/ 3-time double platinum artist, R.Carlos Nakai. Jonah’s debut album “Gratitude” and 1st Compilation “One World Many Voices” has made the 2018 1st Ballot of the Grammys and received nominations in 3 categories in the Native American Music Awards: Flutist of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Male Artist of the Year. His performances are compiled in flute music, storytelling and comedy in many world renowned venues. Such as large museums like the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ to many National State Parks from the Grand Canyon to Nebraska. From Casinos, Large Powwows, Children’s Hospitals, Center for the Arts, College Stadiums, Malls, Native Tribal Centers, Large Art Markets, Fairs, museums, Symphony Orchestras: Jonah has brought his music to many stages. In August 2018, he made world news by performing live for the family of the late Senator John McCain, at his funeral. A world wide audience saw his performance on CNN, BBC, Headline News, NBC, CBS, ABC and was replayed on NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America and many state news networks. 
Jonah is currently in his 2019 Nationwide Tour, coming from a summer concert series at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota, Chicago and Indianapolis. Stopping in Traverse City, Michigan then onto Ohio and another series of concerts in New England in August and onto Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Albuquerque, Utah. And more concert series in the Northwest.

Don Spezia

Don has been playing guitar and writing music since Junior High School and started recording with a Digital Home Studio in late 2006 (Friznic Music Studios). Influences include a wide variety of musicians from the instrumental music of the Ventures to the fingerstyle guitar playing of Leo Kottke, Chris Proctor and many other guitarists of all styles. Don has written over 100 instrumental compositions for 6-string & 12-string guitar and has performed at various local functions and charity fundraisers. Music has been influenced by many styles and reflects feelings about nature, the environment, and life. His time is spent actively writing, playing, and recording guitar music; photography and work as an Architect. Don currently has written, recorded, and published six CD’s The first CD is titled “From Daybreak to Twilight”, released in 2007. The second CD is titled “Winter’s Imagery”, released in March 2009. The third CD “Dickens Doors”, released in May, 2010. The 4th CD, “Open Highway”, released August 2011. The 5th CD is “Hypnotic”, released in June 2014. The 6th CD is “Blue View”, released in June 2018. All music compositions and publishing rights are owned and Copyright by Don Spezia. Don has participated in the Interlochen Guitar Festival & Workshop from 2006 to 2018. Workshops have included guitar ensemble, composition workshops, technique workshops, and a Master Classes with Andrew York, Billy McLaughlin, Peter Roller, Alex DeGrassi, Tom Clippert, Michael Gulezian, Laurence Juber, Matthew Schroeder, and others.

Alex Mendenall

Alex Mendenall is a nationally touring indie soul musician based in Lansing, MI. Drawing from soul, lounge and jazz, Mendenall’s music is high-energy and features carefully crafted wordplay and rich orchestration. His expressive melodies and heartfelt storytelling reflect universal ideas of life, death, love, and what it means to be human. Performing in venues and festivals across the United States, Mendenall has worked with nationalacts like Tyler Hilton, Ryan Cabrera, Hayley Kiyoko, Royal Teeth, and Young Rising Sons. In his home state, Alex has played with talented local groups like The Ragbirds, The Accidentals, Flint Eastwood, and The Appleseed Collective. He has toured extensively across 30 states in addition to dates in Canada. In the studio, he has produced and released three EP’s: 2013’s Here to Stay, 2014’s Somewhere Else to Be, and 2015’s Nights Like These with Rachel Curtis. 2016 saw Mendenall’s first full-length album, Into the Hinterland.

Mike Ward

Simple, contemporary folk songs. Mike is a singer-songwriter living in Detroit who grew up listening to the Irish music of the Clancy Brothers and singing in church choirs. He then moved on to the 60’s and 70’s folk artists such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Neil Young and more. Today, Mike listens to and follows as many singer-songwriters as he can. His own songs are a combination of stories and life lessons which are still being learned.
Mike’s first album, “Not 45 Anymore” was released digitally in 2014 and is a gathering of home and studio demos. Since that time, he has been refining his work and writing new material that has now become my recently released studio album, “We Wonder”. On this new album, Mike was fortunate to have worked with several extremely talented musicians and engineers in the process. Lucy Little is featured on violin and backing vocals while also arranging 5 of the songs. Bill Sadley, a tremendous harmonic player, played on 4 others. Jules Anna Jones and Robert Tye were a big part of the sound on “The Stream”.
Mike is continuing to write new songs and perform regularly around Detroit area and across the state of Michigan. He feels truly indebted to the advice, encouragement and assistance given by other songwriters he has met in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Nashville and beyond.

brotha James

brotha James is a solo performer who brings positive energy and a contagious enthusiasm to each and every stage he performs on. He is currently performing all over the country using a method known as live looping: layering sounds through the magic of technology to create a full band effect. He isn’t the only performer out there doing this, but he has taken the technique and made it his own. While controlling the dynamics of the song, he utilizes his ability to rap and sing a hybrid of styles including pop, funk, reggae, dance and even a little bit of hip hop. He interweaves these different styles into the set and delivers a high-energy performance that takes the audience on a journey from start to finish. His passion for creating and performing music helps him engage audiences of all ages. As a former member of FUNKTION, the Kalamazoo-based funk band, brotha James is a seasoned veteran on the scene. After three years of 150+ shows per year in over 20 states, brotha James has a great perspective on proper preparation for shows, connects with audiences of all types, and most importantly, gets them involved in the performance. Each show features a drum breakdown where the audience is given percussion instruments to keep the beat while he solos on the djembe. There’s also a call and response section of the show where the audience will repeat what brotha James says over the top of a playing loop. Both are big hits with the audience and take up the energy in the room a couple of notches. Every performance for him is more than just a gig; it’s an opportunity for him to spread the good vibes and continue the mission of creating positive energy and change through being a musical messenger.

TC Uke Guy

Bryan Boettcher is the self-proclaimed “TC Uke Guy”. He has been playing the ukulele since 2012, and the instrument has opened him up to a plethora of songs and styles that were otherwise out of reach. He sings and plays songs you would never think to hear on the uke. He also solos over his own live-recorded strumming to create all ukulele instrumentals (uke-strumentals?). He is an occasional leader of the Society of Traverse Region Ukulele Musicians, and has been known to pop-up at the market, the beach, or a park bench, and strum some favorites for any passersby. His songs can put a pleasant spin on your event as background music for dinner or drinks. Along with a number of songs from well-known singer-songwriters, he plays many famous jazz standards that can surely get some toes tapping.

Dacia Bridges 

The Dacia Bridges Project is a powerhouse vocalist cited by some as the reminiscent of Tina Turner, as well as an accomplished songwriter and performer. From the age of five on she has been gracing the stage not only as a singer, but also as a professional dancer, choreographer, actress and model. She recently relocated back to the United States after spending decades performing in Germany and throughout Europe. Dacia brings to the stage her multitude of experiences as a singer- songwriter-performer. Having collaborated with famed musicians such as Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, Mousse T, Shakedown, Alex Kenji, and Tom Craft, as well as her own bands: Tape, Dacia & The WMD, The Help and her solo act Dacia Bridges.
Dacia made her rock debut with her band Tape, who entered the German Single Charts with the single “Yeeha” At the same time, her debut as a songwriter and vocalist topped the international dance charts with dance hit “I Begin To Wonder” initially performed with J.C.A. and later successfully covered by Danni Minogue.
Shortly after After returning to the United States, Dacia made her base in Kalamazoo and formed the group, The Dacia Bridges Project with Cori Somers-Violin, Carolyn Koebel-drums & percussion, Sarah Fuerst-Bass, Dacia Bridges-guitar and vocals.Through her dance music approach, paired with her incredible energy and charisma, Dacia delivers a performance on stage and in the studio that guarantees a music experience not to be forgotten.

The Traveling Foleys

The Traveling Foleys are Liz and Paul Foley of Traverse City, MI, who combine their love of travel and music as a central focus of their life together. The name has a dual meaning for these intrepid backpackers who’ve taken their boots and their ukes to far-flung corners of the world, from Scotland to Nepal, New Zealand to France. Paul plays mandolin, ukulele, and bass guitar while Liz plays guitar, ukulele and Irish whistle.

Tom Jolin

Tom plays traditional American music and has recorded on eight albums, including a solo. He was a founding member of The West Orrtanna String Band which was active from 1972 to 87. They recorded three albums and also several short historic folk music segments for National Public Radio. From 1987 to 98 he performed with The Orrtanna Mountain Steamers, which also recorded two albums. All the music of these two groups was archived in 2005. The preservation project was funded by the PA Council on the Arts, National Endowments for the Arts and The Adams County Arts Council. From 1998 to 2008 he performed with the duet Orrtanna. Since 1980, he has performed with The Barnstormers, a roots music duet. They performed at the Viljandi Folk Music Festival in Estonia in 2006. They often collaborate with the RockCandy Cloggers. In 2008, The Barnstormers with RockCandy Cloggers performed at two German festivals, Rudolstadt and Moelln. Rudolstadt is Germany’s largest world music festival. They performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2016. He has been a solo performer since 1978 playing the hammered dulcimer, button accordion, banjo, harmonica and more. His 2012 schedule included the Scheersberg Folk Fest and Moelln Folk Fest, both in Germany. He is a presenter for the PA Humanities Council on the subjects of traditional folk music and Civil War Era music. He is a sought after Pennsylvania artist in residence and spends extended times in various schools, assisting students make their own school owned dulcimers and bowed psalteries His performances are loaded with humor………. sometimes intentionally.
Special Addendum for TCFF…..Agree with the progressive nature of the TCFF
*Mölln, Germany Folk Festival…. performed there twice. The theme is “Living Together.” The festival was organized as a response to the murder of three Turkish women by neo-Nazis.
*Amnesty International…. I have been a supporter for years, and gave gratis performances for the Adams County, PA Chapter, as well as a Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference.
*Gettysburg Community Unity: I performed two different years for them. Sadly the reason we needed to hold the event was to counter demonstrate in opposition to KKK rallies in Gettysburg.
*Common Ground on the Hill Traditions Week and Roots Festival (Westminster, MD) ….
I performed at this festival for the past 8 years. The theme: …Yes, we have many cultural, racial and religious differences, but we also have similarities…. that is to say: common ground, especially in the arts. It is a very diverse, inspiring festival.
*Eight gratis performances in Gettysburg 2016/17/18/19…. Prevention of Gun Violence

Awesome Distraction

Originally formed in 2011 by Nick Veine (23) (Berklee College of Music alum) and Kyle Garber (23) from Manistee, they have continued to impress audiences with their harmonies and musicianship. Their beautiful songwriting and superb harmonies have a sound that really brings people their knees. Rounding out the trio is Chloe Pepera, (18) possessing a voice with a power and tone well beyond her years.
They have entertained audiences with their own twist on cover songs: infusing them with an acoustic sound making them their own. Opening for Joel Mabus, the RFD Boys, Josh White, Jr., Ellis Paul, and “Voice” competitor Ryan Whyte Maloney have been just a few highlights in their budding career, with many more sure to come.
They have been serenading northwest Michigan for years now, truly living up to their name: Awesome Distraction.

Sean Miller

Sean Miller is a Northern Michigan singer-songwriter from Petoskey that has played with his band, The Real Ingredients, for the last 3 years across much of Michigan.
He is now honing his craft as a solo act armed with only his guitar and voice and has already been consistently playing through much of the state from Grand Rapids to Lansing, Petoskey to Gaylord and beyond.
As a solo artist Sean has also recorded a song with Katie Larson of The Accidentals and opened for other Michigan acts including A Brighter Bloom and Brotha James with confirmation he will be playing at the 39th annual Blissfest Music Festival, Farmfest and the Ionia Hippie Fest this summer.
His music stylings reflect those of his singer-songwriter, indie and rock music inspirations including Gregory Alan Isakov, Blind Pilot, Bear’s Den, Mumford and Sons, the Dave Matthews Band and more.

Chelsea Marsh

Chelsea Marsh is a northern Michigan native who grew up in Elk Rapids and the neighboring areas. She began playing the guitar and performing at the age of 11, taught by her father, who has played music professionally his entire life. From the Beatles and Neil Young to Adele and Lady Gaga, Chelsea plays acoustic tunes with a little something for everyone. Her powerful voice and emotional performances are sure to bring a smile to your face.

The Brothers Crunch

From the hills of Northern Michigan hails a family power trio consisting of three front men performing their original songs. A nineties adolescence steeped in Seattle grunge and the dark, mysterious hard rock of the 60’s and 70’s is palpable in the gritty, pure rock-n-roll that is The Brothers Crunch. Their high energy rebelliousness, mastery of their instruments, and wonderfully crafted songs make it impossible to stand still at their shows and make this band one not to be missed!

Dennis Palmer

Dennis has released 4 CDs of original music ranging from Acoustic Blues to Contemporary Folk. With an eclectic style that is both introspective and thought provoking – his music has raised comparisons to such Artists as Gordon Lightfoot & Duncan Sheik… Born & raised near Saginaw Michigan – Dennis now lives in Leelanau County among the Places and People that continue to inspire much of his music.

Dance Battle 4 the Cure

Dance Battle 4 The Cure is a fundraising event for The American Society. Northern Michigan dancers and crews come together to raise funds to help fight cancer. This event is in honor of Karen Annis. We support ACS and dance and the free expression of movement.

Failed Pilot

Failed Pilot is the stage name of Traverse City local Rich Milock. His songs detail the inner lives of drunken astronauts, psychic puppets, and giant robots.

The My Ways

The My Ways are good timin’ pedal steel driven honky tonk, inspired by the Willie and Waylon outlaw movement of the 70s. The band is led by singer-songwriter Travis Harrett, a Northern Michigan native currently living in Detroit. As a drummer, he toured and recorded for five years with Bloodshot artists The Deadstring Brothers and toured relentlessly with labelmates Whitey Morgan and the 78s. Starting in 2014, he set out to make his own record with the debut album The My Ways, followed by 2016’s My Way or the Driveway and 2018’s I Know About Disco. For the last five years, the My Ways have been performing around Michigan, primarily in the Detroit area.


A smile enthusiast, multi-faceted turntablist, and all-around audio geek, CHOFF is known for his diverse mashups and high-energy live performances. 

Rachel Williams

Rachel Lee Williams is a singer-songwriter and private vocal coach from Rochester, Michigan who has performed at many events and venues in the metro-Detroit area as well as Nashville, Tennessee. Her original songs are featured on her EP, “Lock and Key”. Her original music is also featured in the independent film “Approaching Midnight” directed by Sam Logan Khaleghi. In 2013, she was selected as a finalist in the prestigious Sphinx Stars Detroit competition. Recently she was honored to perform at the Detroit SheTown Film Festival.  This year, she completed her Masters degree at Oakland University and works as a Digital Marketing Manager while continuing to perform on a regular basis.


Josh Mitchell is a Traverse City native. Recently moved back home from spending 10 years in Nashville, Tennessee where he formed the band Adalene as the songwriter and toured the US playing with acts such as Alice Cooper, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Kings of Leon and many more.
Kelly Staten is a recent Traverse City transplant from Clare, MI. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice from Central Michigan University. 
Together, Josh and Kelly make up Protéa and have been writing brand new material and performing around Northern Michigan. They are scheduled to record at Omni Sound Studios in Nashville, Tennessee this fall. 

Jesse Jefferson

Jesse Jefferson is a local Traverse City musician. He started out playing back in college in a couple bands. But took off on his own shortly after. Using an acoustic guitar, loop station, and his voice Jesse brings an eclectic mix of blues/jazz, rock and pop songs from all eras. A joy to listen to and sure to bring a smile to your face and a boogy in your step! 

Montana Modderman

A country singer songwriter from Allendale, MI, Montana Modderman started writing songs when she was 11 years old and started playing guitar at the age of 13. Years later she moved to Nashville to pursue her dreams of becoming a songwriter.
Montana has taken the stage at the Florida Strawberry Festival, Key Largo Songwriters Festival and many other venues in Nashville. Her infectious melodies and sincere lyrics capture the attention of the listener. Her song “When Love Hits You” has received Honorable Mention from the American Songwriter Magazine and her song “Knock Off” was recognized by American Songwriter Awards.
Montana’s debut single “Didn’t Mean To” garnished the attention of Women of Country, Belles and Gals, and Bring and Country 2 UK. The song was quickly added to Women of Country’s Top Ten Tuesday Playlist and Belles and Gals Ultimate Playlist on Spotify following the release. In less than a year the song has received over a quarter of a million streams on Spotify. Modderman recently released her three song EP, “For The Record” which was listed as one of Ten Best Albums of 2019 so far by Women of Country.  This is just the start for Modderman who has her heart set on a long career in music.

Sami Cronin

Sami Cronin is a 14 year old Traverse City girl who does all things “musically”. Sami discovered her love of music at the early age of 8 while taking after school piano lessons. She instantly sought out songs that she could sing and perform to anyone that would listen. Sami quickly picked up additional instruments to accompany herself with including the ukulele and guitar. In 2016 Sami was the National Cherry Festivals “Cherry Idol” winner which brought her an invitation to perform at “FanGrove” by her favorite musicians “The Accidentals”. With their inspiration, Sami began writing and performing her own songs in 2017. With her folk/coffee house vibe, Sami has been sharing her music throughout Traverse City. It is her intention to sharpen her talents by attending Interlochen Center for the Arts next year with dreams of sharing her music with the world as a solo artist.

Angela Josephine

As an artist and poet, Angela Josephine sees music as one part of a larger artistic expression. Her first appearance was at a Border’s open mic in Northern Michigan where she used original paintings and poetry as part of her performance. Her artistry is evident in the highly-acclaimed album Daylight, which is best described as one-part folk opera and one-part the artist’s personal exploration of herself, a project PopDust compared to “a Ridley Scott Musical”. With “bittersweet, ruminative, and velvety vocals” (Independent Clauses) and a variety of instruments (guitar, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, piano, Wurlitzer, organ, synth), Angela explores the depth of her personal experience in a way both relatable and affirming. She is a long-time Michigander, having grown up along the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula and has been a staying force in the Michigan music scene.

Tracy Kash

Tracy Kash began her musical life as a classical musician. She received a Bachelor’s degree from University of North Texas- and a Master’s degree from the venerable Boston Conservatory, in orchestral music and music theory.  Tracy is an accomplished flutist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and pianist and won the 2009 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist. She has composed for and performed with a variety of ensembles in and around the Detroit area, including Pebble Creek Chamber Orchestra, Theatre Bizarre Orchestra, Nighthawks Jazz Orchestra and her own soul ensemble, Tracy Kash and the Bro’ Fos. She recently released her 4th studio album, Fierce, in April 2019. Her previous releases were nominated for Detroit Music Awards and her 2010 release, “Sound Truth” was chosen as one of the “Top 10 of 2010” by the Detroit MetroTimes culture magazine. She is currently collaborating with award-winning poet Diane DeCillis on creating a musical of the absurd. She has also written companion music for the historical novel and related podcast “Remembrance”, by Heather Buchanan and inspired by the Harlem Hellfighters during World War I.

3 Hearted

This alternative, pop-rock, 3-women trio knows how to put on a show! With their infectious vocal harmonies, pounding beats and crafty medleys of 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s hits they make sure to keep you on your feet!

Trey Simon

Hailing from the cityscapes of Rochester, Michigan (just north of Detroit), recording artist Trey Simon fell in love with the acoustic guitar after finding a dusty old acoustic Gibson under his uncle’s bed years ago. He was soon addicted to the sound, the tone and the art.  It was his vacation, his escape and his focus. As his musicianship developed so did his writing style. Trey has always had a natural gift for writing lyrics and through his dark places in his life, his ability to write sincere songs about hope and love was born.
Trey Simon released his first EP “What The Future Holds” in 2014 which did well locally as a promotional EP. His second EP is set to be released in July 2018 titled “The Acoustic Introduction of Trey Simon”. The EP features 4 acoustic songs that define who Trey is as a singer-songwriter, acoustic guitarist and new artist to watch. With pop songs like “Got Her Anyway” and romantic soulful tunes like “My Angel”, Trey reveals his ability to cross genres with his music and lyrics focused on love, loss and romance.  What’s next for Trey Simon? He is already working on his next project. He is in the studio with Grammy Award Winning Engineer, Quentin “QueWeezy” Dennard II and Grammy Award Winning co-writer, Ashley Rose (Tattoo).  Trey is on a mission to ignite unity in the name of timeless and classic music. Trey is just getting started!

Michael on Fire

Michael On Fire – is a musical artist who’s put in a million miles and a whole lifetime playing music, writing songs, and traveling a path of heart and soul. With 20 albums to his credit, he has toured extensively, appeared on regional and national radio and TV programs, and has created vocal and instrumental music for film, stage, television and various life ceremonies. “Every day is a challenge to maintain our humanity and our dreams. My job,” said Michael, “is to gift the world with the courage it takes to follow one’s own heart and path; to play that magic chord in a way that I can somehow be of service to my myself, my family, my friends and my generation.” His latest album is “Where Dreamers Only Go.”

Evelyn Peterson

Traverse City native Evelyn Peterson has been playing the harp for five years, most recently with the TC Central High School band and orchestra.  She has just returned from the University of Michigan’s MPulse Harp Program. The piccolo may be easier to transport, but the harp wants what the harp wants.

Craig Jolly

After more than thirty years as a freelance writer, Craig Jolly turned his focus to writing and performing music and is now an established performer in his long-time home of Key West, Florida.
He plays approximately 150 gigs a year in Key West, at iconic venues such as the Schooner Wharf Bar, Blue Heaven and Boondocks, and aboard the Sandy Cat sunset sail. Locally he plays at venues that include the Homestead Resort, Taproot Cider House and the Torch Lake Café.
His solo repertoire includes reggae, rock and modern country.  He has placed several songs with Nashville publishers in search of a sync licensing deal.
In his previous career, Craig wrote television news, sold several screenplays, freelanced for newspapers such as the Detroit Free press, and scripted about 500 corporate and political speeches and presentations.
Originally from Birmingham Michigan, Craig has degrees from Western Michigan University, where he minored in music; and UCLA where he played – get this – ice hockey.
You can listen to his original music on YouTube by searching, “Craig Jolly Key West.”

Peggy Owens

Singer songwriter attending Berklee college of music for music therapy. I love to share my music and inspire others just as many have also inspired me.

Lighting Matches

They call themselves an alt-rock band, but let’s be honest – their style is wherever the music takes them. 
Each song has a life of its own, a different story to tell, a different vibe.  Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and made up of musicians with a variety of musical backgrounds, Lighting Matches sets fire to the lines and limitations of genre labels.  
Fronted by dynamic duo (and real-life couple) Matt Plessner and Rachel White, their debut album “Against The Flame” displays lots of what they are best known for:  thought-provoking lyrics and tight harmonies.  
We hope you will check out their album, catch a show near you, hold your lighters in the air, and be a part of the fire. (But not as an arsonist or anything – they only set figurative fires.) www.LightingMatchesMusic.com

Roses & Evergreen

What began in 2011 as TWO friends wanting to provide quality and pure musical enjoyment to those attending the Traverse City Film Festival, has now grown to FIVE friends with the same purpose and appreciation for performing the great standards of music.

Brett Mitchell

“He’s lyrically influenced by John Lennon, Jeff Tweedy, Ben Folds and Neil Young. Musically, you’ll hear hints of Jeff Lynne, Elvis Costello, Weezer and Wilco. He’s a drummer turned guitarist turned singer/songwriter”* and he’s the talk of Northern Michigan since his move to the area.  
Award winning songwriter, Brett Mitchell, with 3 original albums under his belt (plus a new one on the way!) and a huge repertoire of covers he performs with his own folky-indie-pop-rock spin, tours all over the Midwest solo, duo and with his band, Brett Mitchell & the Mitchfits, in which you might witness Brett singing lead from the drums or guitar or both at the same time, along with harmonica. His music has been featured in television and movies as well as corporate advertising. He keeps his blues rock drumming roots alive in his side project band, Gutbucket, with Michigan Idol winner Dave Kellan, based in New York. 
Brett’s band and fans are all called Mitchfits because, well, they’re all one happy family. www.brettmitchellmusic.com
*Kristi Kates – Northern Express

Other participating artists:

  • Jacob Alexander Daugherty
  • Peggy Lee
  • Tom Jolin
  • The Turtlenecks
  • Wild Sullys
  • Angela Josephine
  • Susan and Bill Dungjen
  • Dennis Palmer
  • Bill Davy

Past Performers

Lady Ace Boogie

Lady Ace Boogie is an Atlanta-bred , award – winning artist based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Compelled to share both her story, and the stories of others; LAB conveys a message centered on personal growth, struggle, and inspiration, with hopes to positively impact those who are listening.

An in demand – electrifying performer, LAB has shared the stage with many national acts, Including: A$AP Rocky, TI, Tunde Olaniran, Lizzo, Slum Village, Jean Grae, & more.

With newly released album Don’t Box Me In , Lady Ace Boogie is poised to break out of the Midwest and into the hearts of people all around the world

Lee Cleaveland

Lee Cleaveland is a singer/songwriter and actor based out of Lansing, MI. Born missing his left hand, Lee comes from a family of musicians and artists and has never let anything get in his way. Using a small thumb on his short arm as a guitar pick, Lee plays lefty guitar strung Hendrix style which is reflective in his style. His sound has been described as fun, tongue in cheek minimalist rock n roll Americana and in early 2018 added a full backing band. Prior to launching his solo career, Lee spent years cutting his teeth gigging in jazz and musical theatre pits as well as the Michigan punk and folk scenes. Lee currently plays trumpet in Blind Merle & His Traveling Bands (Lansing) and has played trumpet for acts such Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties (PA), The Wonder Years (PA) and Inhalants (ON) and works as a session and orchestral player throughout Michigan. Formerly the lead guitar player in Lansing indie/folk band The Weird Kids at Recess and hardcore punk band  Daisy & The Murderf*ckers, the songs he wrote for these groups received acclaim from the Lansing State Journal and have appeared in various films that have premiered at  the Traverse City Film Festival.


THUNDERCLAP! -a one-man band, he possesses the bravery needed to take the stage alone and believes this heightens the vulnerability of the performer, thus creating a more emotional rapport with the audience. This type of performing, which he likes to call ‘guerilla folkestry,’ can be just as powerful when performed at concert or on the street. What THUNDERCLAP offers in original content, although challenging and trailblazing, is just as equally- hooky and memorable.   “So much fun! It reminds me of Ray Davies BEST!” – Jack Douglas (producer of John Lennon, Aerosmith)

Zeke Clemons

Solo Singer Songwriter based out of Traverse City, just released his debut album “My Message.”

Mary McGuire

Detroit Music Awards- 2016 Outstanding Americana Songwriter She was caller 11 on Detroit’s hit radio station WDRQ with legendary disc jockey China Jones. At the station on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, the closet doors opened and her 11 year old arms were loaded up with the entire Beatles discography. Back at home, Mary dropped the needle on side one of Revolver on her blue Panasonic record player and at that the moment she was hooked. Growing up in 70’s Detroit and learning from the radio jocks of America’s first underground radio stations was all it took for Mary to pick up the guitar and learn her first Beatles, Neil Young, Eagles and Led Zeppelin tunes. Once she started, her appetite for acoustic rock guitar was fueled.

The Lofteez

Recently formed interesting, unique and diverse band based in Pontiac, MI. With members of different walks of life! With sounds of the violin, piano and multiple instruments it has something for everyone to listen to. Ranging from a previous orchestra teacher, recent classically trained graduate, long time multi-instrumentalists, sound technician, etc! The list goes on to make up the members of this fun acoustic-folk-pop-instrumental type band of The Loftease. Although one or two genres can’t capture the full range of styles of music we play, it relies on acoustic and violin sounds to carry it through everyone’s stream of music taste and preference! While there are three core members in the band, the others continually revolve as we come across different musicians with different styles, talent and soul to collaborate with, making it also a collective of artists!

Kyle Skarshaug

Kyle Skarshaug is a 16 year old multi-instrumentalist from Traverse City, playing drums, bass, guitar, and singing. Kyle has played all over Traverse City, including The Workshop, Left Foot Charley, Brew, Little Fleet, Northern Naturals Cider House, the Filling Station, and has also been featured in TEDx-Traverse City, Picnic at the Opera & the Traverse City Film Festival. Some of the local musicians that Kyle has had the wonderful opportunity to perform with are The Accidentals, Oh Brother, Big Sister, Blake Elliott, Zeke Clemons, Nik Carman, Aaron Dye, Jeff Haas, Ron Getz, Chris Bickley, Jack Dryden, David Chown, E Minor, and Miriam Pico.

Josh Birdsong

“[Josh’s] ear for a compelling melody seems to be pretty much limitless… It’s rare to encounter performers and their work when it is so obvious that the central figure is hanging with every word and note, but that’s very much the case with Simple Geometry and it makes for one of the year’s most impressive debuts.” – David Shouse, Indie Music Reviews

From Detroit MI, to Nashville TN, Josh Birdsong is leaving his imprint on the indie music scene through his distinct use of guitar, loop pedals, and ambient production.  His debut EP, “Simple Geometry”, was produced by acclaimed Nashville producer Stephen Leiweke, who has worked with recognized artists including Ingrid Michaelson and Jars of Clay. “Simple Geometry”, spun on over 100 radio stations nationwide and features Josh’s song, “You and I”, which placed in the Singer/Songwriter Indie International Songwriting Competition, and won in the Lyric Category of the International Songwriting Competition, chosen from 18,500 entrants spanning over 120 different countries.  Josh is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy’s Singer/Songwriter Major and is currently studying within Belmont University’s acclaimed Songwriting Major on Music Row in Nashville.   His second EP, “Where the Light Bends”, is due to be released later this summer, evoking depthful atmosphere threaded with his characteristic vocal phrasing and inventive guitar style.

Hannah Laine

Hannah Laine is an emerging singer/songwriter from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hannah has been playing and writing her own music ever since she was 10 years old, developing her sound for over 12 years into what is now a jazzy, soulful envelope of life’s greatest realizations. Hannah has shared her music at various venues in Grand Rapids and Lansing including the Tip Top Deluxe (GR), Mayan Buzz Cafe (GR), Mac’s Bar (EL), The Stache (GR), One Trick Pony (GR), Tripelroot Brewing, and Summer Circle Theater at MSU. Last summer she held a residency at Fountain Point Resort in Leelanau and played seven different shows during her second year as a musician for the Traverse City Film Festival. Hannah’s biggest musical influences come from Hiatus Kaiyote, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Amy Winehouse, and Lake Street Dive. Her lyrical influences stem from her many spiritual teachers such as Alan Watts, Ram Dass and, of course, the goddess within. Hannah’s overall goal is to live life unbound by the mind and social constructs and to create music that inspires a collective consciousness, leading the world to a more unified state.

Bradley Goddard

Bradley is a solo musician who began playing at a young age. He started piano at the age of seven and began singing in high school. Now, he does a combination of piano and keyboard, singing, and music production both for himself and for other musicians. He has so far released one EP titled Echo in May of 2017, which he wrote, composed, recorded, and produced at a studio in Columbus. It which features classical piano, pop, and soft rock themes. He’s performed in several venues and participated in fundraisers in Michigan and Ohio. His singer/songwriter style of music and writing is expressed much like a diary, as an honest and open reflection of his emotions and experiences.

Matt McCalpin

Matt McCalpin lives a life committed to music. He was born with a guitar in his lap, and soul in his heart. A funkified odyssey that began with an accomplished education from Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, has refined into a relentless amount of music created, stages played, students taught, and friendships formed. Combining Soul, Jazz, and Blues as a solo performer and songwriter, Matt has also played and recorded with various original bands that have a keen focus on his specialty: Funk. (The Get Back – Los Angeles, Like It Is – Nashville, Medicinal Groove – Traverse City.) Matt is a Traverse City, Michigan native. He plays Heritage Guitars and Fender Amps.

Mary McGuire

Mary McGuire has a myriad of influences. Growing up in 70’s Detroit, she was schooled by the jocks at America’s first underground radio stations and that had a major influence on her early musical education. Loads of guitar lessons, gigging in bands with like-minded musicians writing and recording, led her to rack up miles on the highways across America.Mary suddenly found her writing songs about where she was, what she saw and what she was doing from her perspective gleaned in the Upper Midwest. Moving from the Midwest to the East Coast and back, Mary found that each place had a different soundtrack that influenced her writing – from the rock influences of industrial Detroit to the gentle folk rock influences from the shores of Martha’s Vineyard to the rhythm of the horses clipping along on the car-free streets of Mackinac Island. Absorbing the distinct sound of the people and places where she has lived and letting it all influence her is what defines her characteristic songwriting style.

Ryan Whyte Maloney

Traverse City’s own Ryan Whyte Maloney was a contestant on The Voice a few years ago and now is a popular and frequent performer on the Las Vegas Strip.  Check him out at www.ryanmaloneythevoice.com