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The lowdown on music events

May 21, 2011
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The central Upper Peninsula will be alive with the sound of music again this summer.

All sorts of genre will be highlighted, from rock to country to traditional to jazz at venues large and small.

Here are a few of the gigs that have been finalized for the summer of 2011:

Article Photos

Fishtank Ensemble plays on the main stage at last year’s Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival. (Journal photo by Danielle Pemble)


The Fourth of July Community Picnic is back and two bands have been booked to provide entertainment for that: Shotgun Kelli and State 51 and the Slamtones. The event takes place in Al Quaal Recreation Area on July 4.

Ishpeming's Downtown Development Authority and Business Association will again sponsor its Old Ish Concert Series.

This year's events will kick off from 7 to 8 p.m. July 7 and continue for seven more weeks, said event organizer Kurt Gronvall. The schedule hasn't been finalized, but bands set for the series included Black Pearl, Terra Cotta Half Life, Jeff Krebs, The Wednesday Night Music Club, VIP and Shotgun Kelli and State 51.

Gronvall said the real kick off of the downtown Ishpeming music performances will be during the Festival of Treasures July 1, with music all day and the Texaco Country Music Showdown part of that special event.


The 33rd annual Hiawatha Music Festival will take place July 22-24 at Tourist Park in Marquette.

Among the many acts booked for the main stage are Harmonious Wail, Ebony Hillbillies, Cane Creek Cloggers, Le Vent du Nord and Jerry Mills.

Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit hiawathamusic. org.


A wide variety of music is set for the 2011 Upper Peninsula State Fair which takes place in Escanaba Aug. 15-21.

Three 1980s "hair" bands are set for Aug. 17. Skid Row, Warrant and Dokken will rock the grandstand that night.

On Aug. 18, Saving Abel, a band that has scored hits like "Addicted" and "Stupid Girl," will take the stage.

The Charlie Daniels Band, a legendary Southern country act, will play "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" and many other hits when it appears Aug. 19.

General admission to all these shows is free while "gold circle" reserved seating is available for $10.

Visit for more information.


The 2011 Marquette Area Blues Fest takes place Sept. 3-4 at Mattson Lower Harbor Park and tickets are on sale now.

Scheduled performers for this year's event are Red, White & Blues; Madcat & Kane; Kilborn Alley Blues Band; Mac Arnold and Plate Full of Blues Band; Joanne Shaw Taylor; Mike Letts and the Marquettes; Gas House Gorillas; The Rusty Wright Band; and Shemekia Copeland. For more information, visit marquetteareabluessociety. com.


The 30th annual Grand Marais Music Festival is set for Aug. 12-14 in that community.Musicians participating this year include Michael Murphy and the MOB; Harper; The Marvins; Shout Sister Shout; Kung Fu Rodeo; Steppin In It; Virgil Longwalk; and the Cabin Fever String Band.


Music will be a big part of two other festivals in Marquette: The Marquette Exchange Club's International Food Festival July 2-4 and the Marquette Rotary West's Seafood Fest Aug. 26-28. The lineups haven't been announced as yet.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is



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