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Exploring the Roots of American Music

The third annual American Music Festival to be held in Three Oaks

The School of American Music will present the third annual American Music Festival from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022. The free outdoor concert will be held on Spring Creek Stage, 14 Maple St., Three Oaks, Mich., behind the Arts & Education Center in Dewey Cannon Park. Shade is provided; personal lawn chairs are recommended. 

The festival explores the roots of American music through tunes spanning the blues, bluegrass, jazz, and big band. “We are so excited to bring these world-class artists—who live in our midst—to Three Oaks again,” said Ron Spears, organizer of the event. “If you were at last year’s festival, you know the caliber of music is high, and the electricity of the crowd filled the park all day.”

For more information and to view artist bios, visit For interviews, email Ron Spears at

Concert Program

Noon    The Guitar Blues Project
Ron Spears will perform old-timey guitar blues tunes from early to mid-20th century.

1 p.m.    The Martha Cares Trio
Star soprano Martha Cares will sing love songs from the 1920s through the present in, “Love: Past, Present, and Almost.” Garth Taylor accompanies on guitar with Daniel Rodriguez on bass.

2 p.m.    The Ben Benedict Bluegrass Quartet
A well-known figure in the bluegrass world, Ben and his quartet will perform classic bluegrass tunes.  

3:10 p.m.    Ole Harv and the Blues Katz
Host of WVPE 88.1 FM public radio’s weekend Blues Revue, Ole Harv and the Blues Katz return to the American Music festival as crowd-favorite performers of well-known blues tunes. 

4:30 p.m.    The Lake Effect Big Band
The St. Joseph, Michigan-based big band will finish off the day with a wide selection of jazz standards.

The American Music Festival is made possible by a generous grant from the Pokagon Fund and the School of American Music. To learn about lessons and programming, and to donate to SAM, visit or call (269) 409-1191 or send email to

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