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"The world folk band stole the stage with a set that was less of a performance and more of an experience.

Many of its songs weaved through various genres — starting as an Irish highland tune, then transitioning to a traditional Japanese song and ending with a bluegrass swing."

-, John Sinkevics

Thom Jayne

Over the years, Thom has been inspired by influences ranging from Tony Rice to Flamenco to Jethro Tull to Brazilian folk music.  His eclectic style of guitar also draws from African influences where he has worked for 35 years as a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University.  Thom has been part of Michigan’s music scene since the Lansing-based “Thom Jayne and the Nomads” emerged in the early 2000s with a hard-to-categorize blend of African, Celtic, jazz, and Latin influences. His first two releases, The Forgotten Conquest and Road Trip, both won WYCE Jammie Awards for best local World Beat CD of the year.  His guitar features on several tracks by the Zambian singer Ballard Zulu.  In addition to playing in Whorled, he is the guitarist in the traditional Celtic band Trillium.  When not playing or listening to music, Thom enjoys communing with Spirit and nature, spending time with family and friends, and petting dogs.

Keala Venema

Keala is a multi-instrumentalist who plays fiddle, guitar, tin whistle and Bodhran, the Irish drum.  She has grown up playing in Irish and Bluegrass sessions for years and grew up being in bands such as Circling Shannon or The Barley Saints. She is a graduate from the Michigan Academy of Folk Music and now aspires to build community around the fiddle. She is the lead fiddle instructor at Michigan Academy of Folk Music as well as at Triumph Music Academy.  In addition to her private teaching work, she has assisted or led fiddle string clinics for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Great Lakes Music Camp Youth Academy, or with local youth orchestras. Her playing experiences draw from the opportunity to jam and attend fiddle camps across the country with Grammy award winning or nominated artists such as Jeremy Kittel, Darol Anger, David Greely and John Reischman, and now is a fiddle force in the Grand Rapids music scene playing music with jazz fusion band Pocket Watch or occasionally filling in for folk acts Roosevelt Diggs, Hawks and Owls String Band, or Ben Traverse.
In addition to music, Keala enjoys painting, making a good cappuccino and hanging out with her two parrots.
Mariko Venema

Mariko was classically trained on the piano since the age of five, but later in life was always drawn toward alternative forms of music.  She began playing the accordion in late 2017 and delved into genres such as Irish, Old Time, Gypsy Jazz along with Brazilian, French and Italian traditional accordion styles.  In her pursuit to increase her ability playing the accordion, Mariko's passion led her to study under world class teachers Jacque Mornet and Nathalie Boucheix in both New Orleans and St-Sauves d'Auvergne, France.  She has also studied under New Jersey based teacher Dallas Vietty who is one to the premiere Jazz accordionists in the nation.  Mariko's desire is to revive interest in the accordion by brand new forms of expressing her instrument.   She also teaches piano and accordion in the Grand Rapids area to share her joy of music to the next generation. 
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