The School of American Music (SAM) has created its first-ever American Music Festival. The event, free to the public, runs from 11am to 4pm EDT on Saturday, July 20, at the Spring Creek Stage facing Dewey Cannon Park in Three Oaks, Mich. Six groups, comprised of more than 30 musicians, will perform at the Festival.
Scheduled entertainment includes:
- The American Music Project, with Garth Taylor and Dalton Stanage. The American Music Project presents popular songs from each decade in American history, starting with 1780. The repertoire includes English/Scottish/Irish ballads from the colonial era, humorous introspectives from the first American-bred composers, upbeat syncopation from the minstrel/vaudeville era and more.
- Patti Shaffner and Friends. Patti Shaffner performs jazz standards from the Great American Songbook. She will be accompanied by Scott, her favorite guitarist. Shaffner possesses a solid understanding of dynamics and stage presence. Her lyrics have depth and her delivery engages.
- Homestretch Ride. Homestretch Ride came together when some regulars at a bluegrass jam decided to put together a plan to get rich slowly. They decided to play great acoustic bluegrass music with the high hopes of inspiring smiles, tapping toes and even actual live dancing.
- The Erly Band. An American rock band, the Erly Band formed in 2017 and released its debut album, Shadows, the following year. Influenced by rock, pop, alternative and folk music, the Erly Band brings live show performances that are as energetic as they are engaging.
- The Round Oak Cornet Band. The Round Oak Cornet Band is a brass and percussion ensemble that performs selections from authentic collections of mid-1800s music used by town bands of the period. The band is an outgrowth of the Southwestern Michigan College Brass Band, and is directed by Dr. Jonathan Korzun.
- Down by the Docks. Down by the Docks includes 22 musicians ranging in age from 16 to 72. It performs everything from 1940s big band to ’70s and ’80s rock to some of today’s most popular hits. Directed by Richard Sprague, a former teacher and music director, the band has played together for more than seven years.
The Spring Creek Stage is located behind SAM’s Arts & Education Center, 14 Maple Street in Downtown Three Oaks. Attendees should plan on bringing lawn chairs; shade pavilions will be provided.
The American Music Festival is sponsored by the Pokagon Fund.