Category: Entertainment Calendar

Classic Country Music Concert August 23rd

Crystal Falls, Michigan – The Crystal Theatre, 304 Superior Ave., Crystal Falls presents Sweet Dreams & Honky Tonks: The Music and Lives of Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash, starring Tom Waselchuk and Jami Lampkins, on Sunday August 23, 2:00 pm.

Tom Waselchuk and Jami Lampkins

Tom Waselchuk and Jami Lampkins

Civil War Replica Cannons Returning To Capitol Today


WHEN: TODAY — Saturday, August 8, 2015 at NOON

WHERE: The Front/East Lawn of the State Capitol

LANSING—On Saturday, August 8, at noon, the Capitol lawn will see the return of famed replicas of the historic Civil War cannons that Michiganders took into battle over 150 years ago to fight against slavery and protect our Union.

Two Civil War, 10-pound Parrott guns once flanked the walkway that leads to the front entrance of the Michigan Capitol. The Michigan Capitol was dedicated to the memory of Michigan’s Civil War soldiers, and the cannons symbolically protected the building’s main entrance.

With the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, Senators Michael Kowall (R-White Lake) and Steven Bieda (D-Warren) spent the past two years raising money to bring exact replicas of the guns back to the State Capitol. Every dollar raised was from private funds—no taxpayer money was spent.

On Saturday, August 8, at noon on the front lawn of the State Capitol, everyone is invited to participate in a free event as the Loomis cannons are restored to the front of the Capitol. This historic and fun event will be great for the entire family. For more information go to The event will include:

· Civil War re-enactors,

· firing of Civil War cannons,

· an original Loomis cannon on display,

· a President Abraham Lincoln re-enactor,

· and much more.

The Duhks Perform at 3th an. Hiawatha Music Festival on Fri-Sun 7/17-19 – Touring with ‘Beyond The Blue’

The Duhks Perform at 3th an. Hiawatha Music Festival on Fri-Sun 7/17-19
– Touring with ‘Beyond The Blue’

Marquette Tourist Park Marquette, MI 49855

See the daily schedule here->

The Duhks Released New Album “Beyond the Blue” Through Compass Records

Beyond the Blue is a “tasty potpourri of cultural influences, styles and substance”
–Huffington Post, Michael Bialas

“Canada’s premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old- timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove.” –The Boston Globe

“The inventive Canadians in The Duhks are widely beloved for their smooth blend of traditional roots music, bluegrass and soul which they inject with well-placed Afro- Cuban and Celtic influences” –NPR

“A tasty blend of..folk traditions with hard-grooving world beats, country, bluegrass, jazz, and a healthy injection of catchy, soulful pop.” –Paste

ASHEVILLE, NC —  One of the most musically adventurous bands to come from the roots scene in the past decade, The Duhks return to the stage is definitely a cause for celebration. Hailed by The New York Times as one of the artists at the forefront of the neo-folk movement, The Duhks (pronounced Ducks) have won admirers as diverse as David Crosby, Dolly Parton and Doc Watson. The Duhks released their long-awaited new studio album Beyond the Blue on June 24, 2014 through Compass Records.

No band epitomizes the polyethnic strands of modern folk music better than The Duhks. Since forming in Winnipeg in 2001 The Duhks have created a dynamic blend of old- timey, French Canadian and Celtic music punched up with shades of blues, soul and driving Afro Cuban rhythms that leaves festival crowds on their feet. Over the course of four critically-acclaimed albums the band has earned Juno and GRAMMY awards and nominations and have played a significant role in the neo-folk revival.

On Beyond the Blue The Duhks are in the best form of their 13 year career. Rejuvenated by a two year hiatus and energized by the return of vocalist Jessee Havey and the addition of new members, fiddler Anna Lindblad from Sweden, drummer/percussionist Kevin Garcia, and guitarist/bouzouki player Colin Savoie-Levac, The Duhks founder Leonard Podolak found an amazing pallet of inspiration for the new project. “All of the people who have been in the band over the years, including non-touring founding members Tania Elizabeth and Jordan McConnell (who both appear on the album) have had a hand in shaping our sound and direction. The goal with the new record was to draw on everything we’ve learned over the years and everything we know about where we want to take the music now and create something as fresh, exciting and forward thinking as possible.” Toward that end, the band turned to the rising production team of Mike + Ruthy (Mike Merenda and Ruth Unger of The Mammals), who brought a progressive approach to production that was still firmly rooted in the traditions of folk music.

Musically, the new project is reminiscent of 2006’s GRAMMY-nominated Migrations, but with a sound that is even more dense and grittier than 2008’s Fast Paced World. The album opens with the title track, a gorgeous song by Beth Nielsen Chapman and Gary Nicholson that begins with the bell-like drone of Leonard’s claw hammer banjo and the ethereal sound of guest Charlie Rose’s lap steel before giving way to Jessee’s expressive alto, perfectly complemented by Tania’s harmonies. On “Banjo Roustabout” electric guitar and drums bring out the more aggressive side of the band’s sound while “Suffer No Fools” is a beautifully rendered acoustic waltz ornamented by banjo, strings and percussion and beautifully sung by Jesse and Tania. Taken as a whole, Beyond the Blue represents a group of musicians at the peak of their powers, the music shaped by their collective experience of years on the road and driven by the sheer joy and inspiration that comes from reuniting and rediscovering that magic that drew them together in the first place.

The Duhks On Tour:
7/2 Thu – Purple Fiddle – Thomas, WV
7/3 Fri – Mason District Park – Annandale, VA
7/4 Sat – Town Commons – Carrboro, NC
7/5 Sun – Festival For The Eno – Durham, NC
7/7 Tue – Concert Happenings in Ridgefield’s Parks (CHIRP) – Ridgefield, CT
7/8 Wed – Payomet Performing Arts Center – Truro, MA
7/9 Thu – Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA
7/10 Fri – Cabot Performing Arts Center – Beverly, MA
7/11 Sat – Prescott Park Arts Festival – Portsmouth, NH
7/12 Sun – Earlville Opera House – Earlville, NY
7/17-19 Fri-Sun – Hiawatha Music Festival – Marquette, MI
7/25-26 Sat-Sun – Festival Memoire et Racines – Joliette , QC
8/1-2 Sat-Sun – Falcon Ridge Festival – Hillsdale, NY
8/6-9 Thu-Sun – Edmonton Folk Music Festival – Edmonton, AB
8/14-15 Fri-Sat – Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival – Salmon Arm, BC
8/21-23 Fri-Sun – Summerfolk Music And Craft Festival – Owen Sound, ON

For more information and further tour dates, please visit,,

July’s Events are Making Quite a Splash

The lakeside communities of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City are famous for their nautical flair. From crystal-blue Little Traverse Bay to sparkling inland lakes, water fun is everywhere. To top it off, there’s a calendar full of incredibly cool events, festivals and entertainment. Take a look below for a glimpse of what makes our area a Michigan treasure.
Some of the Best Michigan Beaches are Around Petoskey
Summer has arrived and it’s time to trade shoes for flip-flops and business suits for the swimming kind. Yep, it’s time to head for the beach to catch some rays and enjoy a summer vacation Pure Michigan style. While there are beautiful beaches throughout the mitten state, you won’t find many better than those in and around Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. So if your idea of a great vacation includes great beaches, look no further than the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan.
Antiques at the Fairgrounds
July 4-5
Emmet County Fairgrounds in Petoskey
Following an $11 million renovation, Antiques at the Fairgrounds is back. More than 170 dealers from around the country will be exhibiting a huge array of antique merchandise from the smallest collectibles such as estate jewelry, to a wide range of antique furniture and everything in between: pottery, china, textiles, prints, etc.
Night of Arts Fine Art Tour
July 10
Harbor Springs
Visit the Harbor Springs area for a special evening dedicated to artists and fine art lovers! All galleries, studios and boutiques will be presenting original, one-of-a-kind, and limited edition works of art, fine jewelry and crafts during Harbor Springs’ Night of Arts. Admission is free.
Boyne Thunder
July 10-11
Lake Charlevoix in Boyne City
Boyne Thunder is a 150-mile boating poker run. This unique boating event showcases high performance boats slicing through the waters of Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan.
Blissfest Music Festival
July 10-12
Festival Farm in Harbor Springs
Blissfest is a celebration of music, culture, art and community featuring diverse and innovative folk, world and roots music and dance spent over a weekend in picturesque northern Michigan.
Bay View Cottage Walk
July 14
Bay View
The Bay View Cottage Walk is an opportunity to view nine private Bay View cottages and several historic campus buildings. Other highlights include musical and theatrical presentations and lunch on the picturesque grounds of Bay View.
Art in the Park
July 18
Pennsylvania Park in Petoskey
Artists from all over the country come to Art in the Park to show off their work. From jewelry to photography, paintings to pottery and everything in between, this is the perfect place to find that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift or decorative piece.
Northern MI Flywheelers Antique Tractor-Engine and Craft Show
July 23-26
Flywheelers Show Grounds
You won’t want to miss the Antique Tractor-Engine and Craft Show presented by the Northern Michigan Flywheelers. Opening ceremonies start at 9am and the activities include a Parade of Power, 100 Doodlebug Challenge, Tractor Safari and so much more. This is a fun-filled event for the whole family.
Little Traverse Bay Ugotta Regatta
July 24-26
Harbor Springs
Sailboats from across the U.S. head to Harbor Springs each summer for sailing traditions: the Little Traverse Yacht Club Ugotta Regatta. The Regatta brings some of the best sailboat racers in the country to Little Traverse Bay. Approximately 85 sailboats will participate. The series begins with one design racing on Thursday and Friday followed by tour-of-the-bay courses on Saturday and Sunday.
Bay Harbor Arts Festival
July 25-26
Village at Bay Harbor
Each summer, the Bay Harbor Arts Festival features artists from across the country chosen for their unique talents. The festival takes place along the waterfront at the Village at Bay Harbor. Artists’ works represent a variety of fine art which includes painting, pottery, jewelry, metal works, furniture, glass, wood and fiber art. Live musical entertainment will also be a part of the festival.
Downtown Petoskey Sidewalk Sales
July 31-Aug 1
Downtown Petoskey
2015 is the 50th anniversary of Petoskey Downtown Sidewalk Sales, and the city is celebrating by offering visitors the best prices of the year on a unique variety of merchandise. The streets will be closed off to create an outdoor festival environment. Hours are 9am-9pm Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday. The farmers’ market will be open as well, and musical performances will keep everyone entertained.


City Of Chicago Announces Music Lineup For 35Th Annual Taste Of Chicago

he City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the Petrillo Music Shell entertainment lineup for the 35th Annual Taste of Chicago, July 8-12, in Grant Park. The festival will present a diverse mix of award-winning, crowd-pleasing acts. Headliners include: Weezer, Erykah Badu, The Chieftains, Spoon and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. Admission is free, and festival hours are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

“With 35 years as Chicago’s premier summer festival, Taste of Chicago has put together a fantastic lineup of performers,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The free admission Taste draws a million plus residents and visitors to downtown Chicago each summer to experience award-winning entertainers while enjoying a taste of Chicago’s diverse culinary scene.”

Tickets for the seating area at the Petrillo Music Shell will go on sale Friday, May 15, at 10 a.m. at the Taste website,  For artist photos click here.

Wednesday, July 8, 5:30 p.m.

L.A. rock band Weezer will kick off the performances at the Petrillo Music Shell on the opening day of the Taste of Chicago. Formed in 1992, Weezer has been described as a power pop band with music infused with a quirky sense of humor. The band’s rise in the ’90s included the 1994 hits “Buddy Holly” (1994) which won four MTV Music Videos Awards and “Undone – The Sweater Song” from their self-titled album Weezer. In 2005, the single “Beverly Hills” topped the charts and was followed by a string of hits including 2009’s “Pork and Beans.” The bands ninth album Everything Will Be Alright in the End was released in 2014.

The concert will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an opening band to be announced on Monday, June 8.

Thursday, July 9, 5:30 p.m.

For a few hours, Taste of Chicago will be transformed into “Badu World” when Erykah Badu, the four-time Grammy® award-winning singer/songwriter, takes the stage with her signature sound, a concoction of soul, hip-hop and jazz. Since her highly-acclaimed debut album Baduizm was released in 1997 with the hit “On and On,” Badu’s eccentric style and cerebral music have made her the “Queen of Neo-Soul.” In 2010, she released the second installment of the critically-acclaimed two-part New Amerykah series, New Ameriykah, Part II: Return of the Ahnk.

Presented by The Illinois Lottery, the concert will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an opening band to be announced on Monday, June 22.

Friday, July 10, 5:30 p.m.

Ireland’s official “Musical Ambassadors,” The Chieftains will bring their exhilarating brand of traditional Irish music to Taste of Chicago. Since 1962, they have amassed a worldwide following, including a strong fan base in Chicago. The six-time Grammy® award-winning group celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012. During their long career they were the first western artists to perform in China at The Great Wall and have performed with Tom Jones, Sting, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Roger Daltry, among countless others.

The Chicago-based bluegrass band, Special Consensus led by banjo-virtuoso Greg Cahill will open for The Chieftains. The four-person acoustic bluegrass band has performed for four decades and was nominated for a Grammy® award in 2013 for the “Best Bluegrass Album” category for Scratch Gravel Road.

Presented by Bud Light, this concert celebrating the best of the old world and the new will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 11, 4:30 p.m.

Since 1993, Spoon, the Austin, Texas, rock band just keeps getting better and better. With a string of hit albums that surprise and delight fans with each release including Telephono, Girls Can Tell, Gimme Fiction, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and Transference, their most recent album, They Want My Soul, might just be their best yet. The publicly-adored band has been dubbed the “kings of the underground” and was hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the most consistently great bands in indie rock.”

Opening for Spoon is Houndmouth. Since 2011, Houndmouth has gained momentum and a loyal following with their vintage country rock sound. They have come into their own with their second album, Little Neon Limelight, released in 2015. With performances at the Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza and Bonaroo, Houndmouth has earned the reputation as a must-see band.

The mother-son duo of Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear will kick-off the evening at the Pertrillo Music Shell. Quietly building an under-the-radar following for several years, the duo’s 2014 performance at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville brought them national attention. Since then, they have garnered critical acclaim for their dynamic delivery and musical talent by Rolling Stone, NPR, CMT Edge, among others.

Presented by 93XRT, the concert will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 12, 4:30 p.m.

Gritty soul funk masters Maze featuring Frankie Beverly will bring Taste of Chicago to a close and fans, old and new, will not be disappointed by this legendary group’s signature energetic and soulful performance. Since the 1970s, the group has compiled an intensely devoted following with R&B classic hits like “Joy and Pain,” “I Wanna Thank You,” “We are ONE” and more. In 2010, they received the Trumpet Lifetime Achievement Award and, in 2012, the BET Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award. Frankie Beverly and Maze have created a unique sound and they are one of the most influential groups in the music industry today.

Duane Powell will open for Maze with Frankie Beverly to kick off a DJ-style Chicago House party. Powell is a Chicago-based DJ whose influences go back to the soul music scene of the 1970s getting his feet wet in the 1980s with prominent Chicago House Music DJs like Lil Louis and others. He has spun at many of the city’s top venues include House of Blues, The Funky Buddha Lounge, Park 52 and Reggie’s Music Club.

This House Party at Taste of Chicago will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Taste of Chicago is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored in part by Aquafina, Bud Light, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Transit Authority, Communications Direct, CLTV-Chicagoland’s Television, Eli’s Cheesecake Company, Gallo Family Vineyards, Humana, Illinois Lottery, LaGROU Distribution System, Mariano’s, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Pepsi, Shoreline Sightseeing, Southwest Airlines,V103, WGN-TV and 93XRT.

The 35th Annual Taste of Chicago is July 8–12 in Grant Park with hours 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Wednesday–Friday, and 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the FREE admission festival, call 312.744.3316 or visit To plan your trip to Chicago, visit Join the conversation on Facebook at Taste of Chicago and follow us on Twitter, @TasteofChi (#TasteofChi).

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


Upcoming Michigan Travel Events

Ensemble Transforms Scrap Waste into Music at Debut Show in Taos, New Mexico on April 9th

TAOS, NM – The Taos Center for the Arts (TCA) presents the internationally renowned percussion ensemble, Scrap Arts Music, for one night only on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Taos Community Auditorium in Taos, New Mexico.

Scrap Arts Music is music that starts out as scrap, turns into art and then transforms into unforgettable sound. Hear intricate rhythms, experience raw energy and athletic choreography, and see the most inventive reuse of materials on stage today.
Instruments can be fashioned from industrial scrap and offbeat materials ranging from accordion parts to artillery shells, which are as visually striking as they are sonically riveting.

Scrap Arts Music offers a highly physical, wildly theatrical performance that includes humorous moments. They have entertained audiences from four continents and 14 different countries who reportedly were enthralled by an intoxicating mix of music and movement.
Gregory Kozak and Justine Murdy, the artistic directors, invented and created all musical instruments used in the show. These objects are not “played” like instruments, but are completely new, tunable inventions made from a welded, bent, and transformed scraps into entirely new sculptural percussion instruments. All instrument designs are based in a knowledge of the physics of sound, which is the base and inspiration for the composition of original music for over 145 unique instruments. The scores are then choreographed to incorporate high-energy movement to express the power of music.

Members of the group are among Canada’s most impressive musical talents. They are five extraordinary, virtuosic and innovative drummers. As professionally trained musicians and highly skilled athletes they hit the stage in costume performing in a dance of light among instruments of art giving a performance unlike any ever seen.
Scrap Arts Music’s “green” eco-message is: “before you throw away something,  whether an idea, a relationship or an object, think about its usefulness from a bunch of different angles. You will likely discover a whole new world of possibilities.”

Scrap Arts Music is a performance that appeals to a wide variety of ages and interests.

This performance is only for one night at the Taos Community Auditorium, located at 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in Taos. Tickets are $20 for general admission; TCA Members are $17; those 18 and under are $10. The show is expected to sell out. For more information or to reserve tickets call 575-758-2052 or visit

The Listing to Premiere at 2015 Stanley Film Festival

Novi, Michigan – April 7th – 18-year-old Michigan native director, Luke Jaden, is set to premiere his first film foray into the horror genre early next month with The Listing, starring Erin Cummings (The Iceman, Cold Comes the Night) and Rob Zabrecky (Lost River). Written by up-and-coming Detroit author and screenwriter, Josh Malerman (“Birdbox”), The Listing tells the tale of what happens in a haunted house before the unsuspecting family arrives.

Jaden youthful, energetic approach to filmmaking is clearly palpable even in his description of the film. According to Jaden, “it’s got a more psychological vibe to it that’s atmospheric and moody. It feels like you’re the magician’s audience at a magic show set in an urban, gothic and decrepit theater.”

Michael Angelo Zervos (Papou), the producer of Jaden’s last two films, admits “there are very few better film festivals I can think of to premiere our film. The intimacy, success, and solid lineup of past Stanley festivals gives us encouragement that the audiences will appreciate our twist on the horror genre.”

Despite the recent success, Jaden isn’t resting on his laurels. With one film just starting to make it into film festival lineups, he’s currently completing post production on another short film and starting pre-production on another. In his mind, his hard won lessons from The Listing have made an impact on his development as as a busy filmmaker. “I’ve learned that if you don’t have a team that really believes in you or a cast that just really connects with their performances, you’re better off not even making the film.”

The Listing will be playing Sunday, May 3rd at the Stanley Film Festival in Estes Park, Colorado. For all other information on the film, visit or

The Listing to Premiere at 2015 Stanley Film Festival

The Listing to Premiere at 2015 Stanley Film Festival

Les Paul 100Th Anniversary Announced-Yearlong Celebration Kicks Off June 9Th Times Square

Huge Star-Studded Celebration Kicks Off in Times Square and Will Launch A Year of Exciting Programs and Events in Honor of Les Paul Tuesday – June 9th, 2015

Program Will Also Include a Tribute Concert, VIP Experiences, Nationwide “Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience” Tour, Educational Grants, Music Re-Releases, New Interactive Website, New Collectible Merchandise, Media and Retail Promotions, a National PSA Campaign and More. Legendary Musicians Steve Miller, Journey’s Neal Schon, Count’s 77, Joe Satriani, Joan Jett, Johnny A and Others Join The Les Paul Trio at the Historical Event New York, New York – (March 25, 2015) – The Les Paul Foundation has announced the official “100th Birthday of Les Paul,” a year-long celebration to launch the famous inventor and musician’s 100th birthday – June 9th, 2015. The celebration, which will last through May of 2016, will include exciting programs beginning with the star-studded June 9th event in New York’s Times Square. Fans of Les Paul will have the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the most famous names in music at the official kick-off event. Music legends including Steve Miller, Joan Jett, Journey’s Neal Schon, guitar virtuoso Johnny A, Chickenfoot’s Joe Satriani, Count’s 77 and others will appear at the event. Musical acts will continue to be announced on over the next several weeks. Les Paul was the father of the solid body electric guitar – the inventor of multitrack recording, overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects, electronic echo and many other recording innovations that today’s recording artists use every day. Musicians from every genre have credited Les Paul for their careers. Numerous museum exhibits and awards continue to celebrate the innovations and accomplishments of Les Paul.

The Les Paul 100th Anniversary plan includes a star-studded musical launch event in New York, a national PSA campaign giving youth a chance to “Pledge to Invent,” a tribute concert in New York City a new interactive website, new merchandise, several re-releases of Les Paul’s music, educational grants, media promotions and the kick-off of a national tour aptly called “Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience.”

Anderson Cooper of CNN said that “It is literally true that what is now known as modern American music would not be what it is today without Les Paul.” “The man is a genius. Whenever you turn on your amplifier, that’s Les Paul,” has added the legendary B.B. King, a colleague and friend of the innovator. Known also as the “Father of the Solid Body Electric Guitar,” “The Wizard of Waukesha,” “Rhubarb Red,” “The Father of Modern Music,” and others, Les Paul’s curiosity about sound began at a very young age. Contemporary artists like Slash, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Joan Jett, Jimi Hendrix and many others have paid homage to Les Paul throughout their careers.

Les Paul was born Lester William Polsfuss in Waukesha, Wisconsin. At the age of eight he began playing the harmonica. He tried the piano and banjo but switched to the guitar. It was during that time that he invented a neck-worn harmonica holder which allowed him to play both sides of the harmonica hands-free while accompanying the guitar. Paul’s interest in musical instruments didn’t stop there. He also loved modifying them. At the age of nine he built his first crystal radio. While in Junior High he built the harmonica holder out of a wire coat hanger. He began his work with the solid body guitar as a teen when he filled his acoustic guitar with rags, socks and a tablecloth and eventually with Plaster of Paris. While in high school he made his first solid body electric guitar using a piece of rail from a nearby train line. Years later the rail guitar evolved into Les’ famous 4 x 4 piece of pine that he wired as a guitar and dubbed “The Log.” It was the basis for the first solid-body electric guitar that changed the face of music.

Les Paul’s influence would go on to extend beyond the guitar. Paul’s good friend and influence Bing Crosby, who he performed with, encouraged him to build a recording studio which Paul did in his Hollywood garage when he was 30 years old. This is where he developed industry changing recording techniques. His breakthrough came in 1948 with a recording of the song “Lover” which used a variety of tracks and introduced his many new recording techniques. Les Paul once again changed the face of music with the birth of multi-track recording. In 1949 Les married Mary Ford and began producing hits with her such as “How High the Moon” and “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise.” They had their own radio show and later a hit television show called “Les Paul and Mary Ford at Home.” Together they recorded dozens of hit songs all of which were recorded using recording techniques Les Paul invented in his studio. Those hits included “Mockin Bird Hill” (#3 1951) and Vaya Con Dios (#1, 1953). Paul also had instrumental hits on his own including “Nola”(#9, 1950), “Whispering” (#6, 1952) and “Meet Mister Callaghan” (#5,1952). In the 1960s Paul formed an agreement with the Gibson guitar company and the famous Les Paul guitar went into production becoming one of the best known guitars of all time. Few can deny that Les Paul remains an American institution.

“The players, the great musicians, the people we revere in our industry…they know every time they pick up an electric guitar why we have the electric guitar,” said Music Industry Executive Phil Quartararo. “They know every time they sit down in a studio at a mixing board, why that board exists. I can assure you that the people in this industry don’t go through a day in their life in this business without being touched by something Les Paul did, said, played or invented.” Scheduled events and programs to kick off the “Les Paul 100th Birthday” celebration on June 9th, 2015 include the official unveiling of “Les Paul Day” in New York as well as Les’ hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin and Nashville, Tennessee. Later that evening a star-studded official 100th birthday party for Les Paul will take place in Times Square at the Hard Rock Cafe New York. A red carpet arrival will begin at 6pm followed by a special ticketed musical event inside.

The first stop of “Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience” mobile tour will be in Times Square on the same day. The 53’ foot interactive state-of-the-art mobile exhibit will be on Broadway and 44th and be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and free to the public. Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience offers 1,000 square feet for visitors to explore music, sound and technology innovations in a hands-on, entertaining interactive experience. Visitors will be able to mix and share music as they discover Les Paul. The mobile tour will visit cities across the country until late May 2016. A VIP Les Paul party at The Iridium will close out the night. The Iridium is where Les Paul played every Monday night up until his passing.

Tickets for the event will be available at beginning Monday, April 6, 2015. There will be only 500 tickets sold. Once sold out no other ticket will be available. More performers attending the event will be listed on the website.

The Hard Rock Cafe New York has created a limited edition collectible pin honoring Les Paul. The replica pin is of the guitar pick Les Paul designed and handmade using sand paper for a better grip. The oversized pick pin will be sold at the New York retail location exclusively. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the pins will benefit The Les Paul Foundation.

Guests of the June 9th special event will be the first to see the national PSA campaign “Pledge to Invent” which will be broadcast on screens throughout the venue. The PSA campaign features special messages from Slash, Sammy Hagar, Steve Miller, HEART’s Nancy Wilson, Neal Schon, Joe Satriani, Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir, Richie Sambora and other friends of Les Paul. The Les Paul Foundation will also re-issue four definitive Les Paul albums digitally. These original recordings from Capitol Records will celebrate the famous musician’s most popular tunes. The Les Paul Foundation will also launch “The Hitmakers,” a special collectible vinyl Les Paul release and three previously unreleased LPs. A surprise performance will open the June 9th event followed by a performance by the popular band, “Counts 77.” The band’s lead singer, Danny Koker, star of the highly rated History Channel TV show “Counting Cars,” had a special connection to Les Paul through his father who was a musician. The History Channel will air a special Les Paul episode in the fall of 2015. A one-of-a-kind custom built chopper created by Count’s Kustoms will be unveiled at The Hard Rock event and later auctioned for the benefit of The Les Paul Foundation through Julien’s Auctions. “Count’s 77” performance will culminate with rock star friends of Les taking to the stage for the ultimate guitar jam. Legendary Steve Miller, Journey’s Neal Schon, Rock Icon Joan Jett, instrumental guitarist and member of the rock band “Chickenfoot,” Joe Satriani, rock guitarist Johnny A and the Les Paul Trio along with more surprise performers are scheduled to appear.

Fans who purchase tickets to the event will also receive a special VIP pass to the “Les Paul Big Sound Experience” giving them preferred entry into the exclusive mobile exhibit, food and drink and the chance to be among some of the music world’s most popular performers.

Guitar Center’s flagship store in Times Square will offer special promotions in-store, a jumbotron in Times Square will feature special images of Les Paul throughout the day and a new website will offer new merchandise via Gibson Guitar and Epiphone Guitar have launched special edition 100th Anniversary guitars and publications will be commemorating the 100th birthday of Les Paul with special editions. The Waukesha County Museum, Wisconsin along with partners Ramapo College, Discovery World, The Mahwah Museum will also celebrate Les Paul’s 100th Birthday with their own exclusive events, exhibits and programs. Soundwaves artist Tim Wakefield is also creating a series of collectible artworks that feature actual sound waves from Les Paul’s most famous songs and transferred on to large canvases. The art will be signed by Les Paul’s famous rock star friends and displayed at Ross Art New York before being sold for the benefit of the foundation. The Wisconsin Foundation for School Music has developed a series of Les Paul themed lesson plans that will be available on the Les Paul Foundation website later in the year. And the Waukesha band shell where teenage Les Paul played is being restored by the City of Waukesha in time for the centennial celebration.

New grants provided by the Les Paul Foundation have also been announced in honor of the 100th Anniversary program. Earlier in the year the Les Paul Foundation provided grants and support to the Bonaroo Works Fund’s “Notes for Notes” music education program. Funds from the Les Paul Foundation will support new recording studios in Brooklyn, Austin, Detroit, San Francisco and Atlanta.

Other recipients include First Stage in Milwaukee, one of the nation’s most acclaimed children’s theatres, Guitars for Vets which continues to provide the healing power of music by teaching veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder how to play guitar, Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.), The Hearing Health Foundation, Kid Pan Alley which inspires and empowers students to work together to create their own music, Little Kid’s Rock which launched the Modern Band Program and aims to restore and revitalize music education in public schools, The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), No Limits Theater Group which improves the speaking abilities of deaf children, VH-1 Save the Music of New York, the Waukesha County Museum and Wisconsin School Music Association’s annual Launchpad event and other programs.

“We wouldn’t be able to make records like we do if Les didn’t invent multi-track recording,” said rock icon Eddie Van Halen.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Discovery World in Milwaukee and the Mahwah Museum in Mahwah, New Jersey host extraordinary exhibits that share Les Paul’s story. Les Paul has received awards that included 36 Gold records and eleven #1 pop hits, a Hollywood Walk of Fame star for “Les & Mary,” a GRAMMY Award for Best Country Instrumental “Chester & Lester,” a GRAMMY for “How High the Moon,” a GRAMMY Award for Lifetime Achievement, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an induction into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, an induction into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, a GRAMMY for Technical Achievement, an EMMY Lifetime Achievement Award for Engineering, a GRAMMY for Best Pop instrumental “Caravan” and a GRAMMY for best Rock instrumental for “69 Freedom Special,” an induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and a Songwriters Hall of Fame entry, a National Medal of Arts, induction into America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame and many others.Other honors include a James Smithsonian Bicentennial Medal, “Inventor of the Century” by EQ Magazine, being named one of the ten best electric guitar players of all time by TIME Magazine, being celebrated with Google’s first animated doodle which premiered on Les Paul’s 96th birthday in 2011 and being named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time.

“The music industry, whether its artists like Eddie Van Halen or a Jimmy Page, if asked a question will always go back to Les.” said Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation. “The music industry understands that Les is a historic iconic individual who left his mark. Every generation including future generations will continue to stand on his shoulders.” The official 100th Birthday Celebration of Les Paul will be one of the most historical moments in music history. For over three years the Les Paul Foundation has been planning events and program which will continue the legacy of Les Paul, bring about excitement to explore and invent and remind people that Les Paul changed the face of music in many ways. For more information on all the events and programs scheduled go to

About the Les Paul 100th Anniversary

Les Paul was an innovator who inspired creativity throughout his life. As the inventor of the solid body electric guitar, multi-track recording, over-dubbing (sound on sound) and numerous other recording techniques, he left an unmistakable mark on the music industry and for future generations. The Les Paul 100th Anniversary is a year-long to celebration of Les Paul’s life and will include major events and programs, tours, promotional campaigns, education grants and marketing initiatives that will secure his legacy for generations. The Les Paul website has been re-launched and includes interactive opportunities for guests to experience along with the late, great Les Paul as well as new merchandise. For more information and up-to-date schedules of the official Les Paul 100th Anniversary activities go to

Les Paul 100Th Anniversary Announced-Yearlong Celebration Kicks Off June 9Th Times Square

Les Paul 100Th Anniversary Announced-Yearlong Celebration Kicks Off June 9Th Times Square