The musical artists for 2021
Saturday, August 14, 2021 at Franklin Park in Downtown Shawano
A One-Day Festival of Music
Matt Watroba Veteran performer, teacher, radio host, song writer...the list goes on, but what Matt prefers to be known as is a community singer, song leader and educator. As producer and host of the Folks Like Us program, and the nationally syndicated, Sing Out Radio Magazine and Folk Alley, Watroba has come in contact with many aspects of folk music and culture. This has helped shape a repertoire and presentation that is unique on stages across the state and country. He is committed to inspiring the world to sing-- one town at a time. In 2019, Matt, along with his life-long musical partner Robert Jones, Co-founded the Detroit Non-Profit, Common Chords. Also in 2019, Matt Was inducted into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame at the Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal. Learn more about Matt at www.mattwatroba.net
Tom Pease and Stuart Stotts Audiences will enjoy a double dose of laughter, movement, stories, music and fun as Tom Pease and Stuart Stotts share the stage. Tom Pease has an infectious sense of fun and is familiar to most children in Wisconsin. His performances for children and families are energetic, a little wacky, and totally unforgettable. With movement, sign language, humor and joy, his concerts create community and leave audiences laughing and singing. More about Tom at tompease.com. Stuart Stotts is an author, storyteller, educator, and songwriter who's sung with kids and families in schools, libraries, and community settings around the world since 1984. He’s also worked extensively with elders. Stuart is a Kennedy Center teaching artist He’s written six books for children. Stuart lives in Deforest, WI. More about Stuart at stuartstotts.com
The Georgia Rae Family Band is two sisters from the midwest, Georgia Rae and Kelly Jo. They’re joined by a solid driving rhythm “punk rockin’ momma” on guitar, their dad Mark Mussared, Joe Burie on bass and Laura Lanza on mandolin. Georgia and Kelly have grown into quite a songwriting team since they began playing together at ages 12 and 15. Their sound has grown from the traditional into contemporary Americana, flavored with family harmony and youthful energy. Georgia Rae is a 7 time state fiddle champion and Kelly Jo is lead singer/uke player. Their original songs are clever and catchy and evoke good vibes all around. These songs will invade your life if you let them. More at georgiaraefamilyband.com
The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers perform original country/Americana songs that blend humor, heartache, and honky-tonk. Their lively take on country ranges from hillbilly roots to Nashville pop. Nikki Grossman (guitar, fiddle, lead vocals) and Joe Hart (guitar, mandolin, vocals) got their start together as an old-time fiddle band, performing for square and contra dances. They performed in a variety of musical acts—including prog rock, punk rock, and other old-time outfits. Now, according to For the Country Record, they’re “…gifted songwriters, their songs are heartfelt, catchy, humorous, and somehow old-timey and brand new all at the same time.” In 2018 they were nominated for Best Country Band in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Assn. This is their first time in Shawano. More at www.sapsuckersmusic.com
Saturday, July 10, 2021 at Franklin Park in Downtown Shawano
A Day of Pre-Festival Music and Community Theater
Dorothy Zerbe is a singer and songwriter from Oshkosh. She’s got a high clear voice that can sweeten your day with a lullaby, a folk or jazz classic, a Broadway show tune or one of her original songs. Dorothy has worked as a church musician, piano accompanist, music teacher and any other role that involves creating music with and for people. She's been a Festival favorite for many years (and a former co-director), and we welcome her back.
Becky Van Buren describes herself as a peace-loving music maker who just wants everyone to be happy and get along. Becky is a singer with a voice that rules the stage, and she's opened the Festival with a song at the Friday night concerts for several years. Becky is a past director of the Festival, a former actor with The Box in the Wood, a crafter, and a friend.
Saturday, June 12, 2021 at Franklin Park in Downtown Shawano
Frogwater is John & Susan Nicholson. They live in Milwaukee and like to think of themselves as musical ambassadors. They describe their style as “eclectic acoustic peoples’ music.” Their repertoire goes from Celtic to Delta Blues, Classical to Pop with a healthy dose of unique original material. Their innovative interpretations of traditional tunes span the centuries and the miles and defy categorization. Fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo and voice combine to form the “little duo that could.” Frogwater has been honored with awards from the Shepherd Express Reader’s Poll, Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards (W.A.M.I.). More at frogwater.us
Pat Wiley says he’s been playing and writing music for “50 years or so.” His bluegrass and old-time roots show when he plays his guitar, fiddle and banjo (and a little button accordion), in the songs he writes and in the dances he helps bring to life. He got the music genes from his family, a combo of West Virginians and folks here in the the Northwoods of Wisconsin. In 1979, Pat was a performer at the first Shawano Folk Music Festival. Since then, he’s joined us on stage as a musician and an MC, doing both with humor (a lot of humor!) and grace. More at facebook.com/pat.wiley