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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

After playing for several years with the band 'Pariah' on the east coast in the late 1970s, Thom sold everything, joined the Peace Corps, and moved to the savannah of Ghana in West Africa in 1982.  Much of his eclectic musical style 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. In addition to playing and listening to music, Thom enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring, and petting dogs.

Keala Venema

Keala is a multi-instrumentalist who plays fiddle, guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele, tin whistle and Irish drum.  She has played in Irish and bluegrass sessions and jams for years while also playing in three different bands including Gypsy Circus, Circling Shannon and the Michigan Academy of Folk Arts ensemble.  
She is a graduate from the Michigan Academy of Folk Music and now is the lead fiddle instructor there.  In addition to her work with the academy, she has run fiddle string clinics with local youth orchestras and is the adult fiddle instructor at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Her experiences draw from the opportunity to attend camps with multiple Grammy award or nominated artists such as Jeremy Kittel, Darrol Anger, David Greely and John Reischman, and now plays on the occasion with any local bands that need fiddle such as The Barley Saints, Pocket Watch, and Ben Traverse. She's also appeared on Smoking Dobrolele's recent album and has been instructed by Dan Seabolt and Grant Flick of Full Cord.
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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