• 2021 Fretboard Festival

    2021 Fretboard Festival

March 6, 2021

Join the Kalamazoo Valley Museum for the 16th Annual Fretboard Festival!

Performers

Bob Rowe & The Green Valley Boys with Luke Lenhart

Bob Rowe & The Green Valley Boys with Luke Lenhart

One of the longest-running bands in Michigan and members of the Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame, Bob Rowe and The Green Valley Boys are widely known for their fine blend of traditional country, folk, and gospel music. They have performed for thousands over the span of many years and won numerous awards, accolades, and acclaim throughout the Southwest Michigan region and beyond!

Brian Koenigsknecht

Brian Koenigsknecht

“Pain, beauty, loss, redemption, renewal. Few artists capture life’s travails and triumphs as penetratingly and as powerfully as Kalamazoo singer-songwriter Brian Koenigsknecht...a Michigan treasure, that rare breed of singer-songwriter who can make you feel every human emotion” – John Sinkevics, Local Spins

Darcy Wilkins and Mark Sahlgren

Darcy Wilkins and Mark Sahlgren

The Fragile Egos is made up of some of the best and most knowledgeable and seasoned musical performers in the Midwest. Having their feet planted in Americana music and supplemented with tinges of rock and jazz, Mark and the Fragile Egos can sing and play music 'til the cows come home. Mark Sahlgren and Allen Bates have toured for many years, playing bluegrass, original, and old-time music in Sweetcorn for thousands of people, while Darcy Wilkin, Sarah Fuerst, and Michael Fuerst have done the same with The Corn Fed Girls, Knee Deep Shag, and Thunderbolt & Lightfoot. Mark Sahlgren and the Fragile Egos present some comedy tunes as well as some serious, thought-provoking songs in their presentation of music.

Honeybear (Sasha Battle)

Honeybear (Sasha Battle)

Though they weren't born in Kalamazoo, MI, this place is Sasha Battle's home. Battle started out playing a cheap children's guitars before leveling up to a real deal steel string acoustic guitar. Growing up shy, music was their best friend. With music they could just be, and be whatever they wanted to be. Their folks listened to contemporary jazz, soul, gospel, country, folk - whatever felt good. It was when Sasha found folks like Meshell Ndegeocello, Jeff Buckley, and Erykah Badu that they finally felt able to see themself reflected in the world in a real emotionally musical kinda way. As a Black queer femme, most music spaces are dominated by folks not like Battle, by white cis males. Sasha Battle's goal is to take up space and center their work around telling their story of trauma, queer love, and healing by expressing their narrative with their fingertips.
Joel Mabus

Joel Mabus

“Joel Mabus is the Joe DiMaggio of the folk music world - a virtuoso who can make the toughest plays appear effortless.”
Ron Olesko of WFDU-FM (Fordham University, NYC)

Joel Mabus is a longtime fixture in American folk music. A songwriter with roots deep in tradition, he’s toured the major folk clubs and festivals all over North America.  Cornell Folk Song Society says he “is a free-ranging fretboard genius and funny, deep songwriter whose warm voice, sly humor, and musicianship sweep audiences along for the ride.”

Megan Dooley

Megan Dooley

Born and raised in Kalamazoo, and best served with a glass of whiskey, Megan Dooley has been performing in and out of West Michigan for 21 years. Her music is an intelligent blend that bridges the gaps of soul, blues, folk and americana. Drenched in modern day grit and served with a generous helping of attitude, Dooley's strong vocal melodies and inimitable professional whistling have helped her define her musical prowess. Dooley is also a multi-instrumentalist whose songwriting skills have captured audiences near and far, and recently earned her the 2019 title of "Best Solo Performer" in the region by popular vote and Revue Magazine, not to mention named "First Lady of Kalamazoo's Music Scene" also by Revue in 2015, as well as 6 Jammie nominations in the area. Dooley's shows are always different, always fun, and always full of surprises.
Rene Meave

Rene Meave

Rene was born and raised in Weslaco, Texas. He came to Michigan as a migrant farmworker. He is a founding member of the Tex-Mex musical group Los Bandits de Michigan and a member co-founder of the Chili Peppers Songwriting Club. He is a songwriter/entertainer recognized by the American Song Festival and BMI Song Festival. Rene currently has signed songs with Sony ATV and Next Number One Publishing, both out of Nashville, Tennessee. Rene performs as a solo artist as well as with Los Bandits de Michigan, The Chili Peppers Songwriting Club, and his trio.
Susie Parr Trio

Susie Parr Trio

Breathtaking and mesmerizing, Susie Parr is a spell-binding performer with a powerhouse voice. She can bring you to tears and leave your face sore from smiling. This Trio weaves stories from songs both dark and light, old and new. Bandmates John Campos (mandolin, violin) and Jay Gavan (guitar) are veterans of some of the Michigan music scene’s favorite bands, having played with Corn Fed Girls, Guitar up!, Red Sea Pedestrians, Sundog, Bird Seed Salesmen, and more. Together they take you on a musical journey including irresistible swing tunes, heartbreaking songs from Mexico, French love songs, Gypsy jazz tunes full of love of life, and their own originals. Performances at Earthwork Harvest Gathering, Bell’s Back Room, Kalamazoo Valley Museum Auditorium and listening rooms and house concerts have given lucky audiences a recent taste of the Susie Parr Trio.
The Go Arounds

The Go Arounds

The Kalamazoo quartet The Go Rounds has been a dominant force in the Michigan music landscape for the last 5 years, releasing 4 LPs, 4 EPs, and playing countless Great Lakes music festivals, including Wheatland Music Festival, Blissfest, Hoxeyville Music Festival, Earthwork Harvest Gathering, Farmblock Fest, Short’s Anniversary XII, and Holler Fest. Some of the major acts The Go Rounds have supported include Greensky Bluegrass, Hard Working Americans, Vulpeck, Billy Strings, Arlo Guthrie, Asleep at the Wheel, Mickey Hart, and Railroad Earth.

The songs are catchy, twangy, and trippy, led by the creative force of frontman Graham Parsons, whose spellbinding vocals weave through lush sonic textures as the band puts on a master class of intricate arrangements. Their powerful and dynamic live show has earned them a reputation as one of the best live bands in the Midwest.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum
General Admission Is Free

230 North Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
800.772.3370 | 269.373.7990
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The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees.

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2021 American Alliance of Museums.
All rights reserved.

2021 Kalamazoo Valley Museum.
All rights reserved.