We may be the only festival around to offer live musical performances by volunteer musicians before screenings, on a bayfront music stage, and at parties! TCFF’s showcase of musical talent is second to none, offering something for everyone, from acoustic singer-songwriters to heavy metal bands and show choirs.

Interested in becoming a TCFF musician? Complete this form or email us.

For musicians without a stage plot, please use this for reference.

Alex Mendenall
Alex Mendenall is a nationally touring soul/folk songwriter from Lansing, MI. Drawing from folk, soul, funk, and jazz, Mendenall’s sound is eclectic, high energy, and engaging. Performing in venues and festivals across the Midwestern and Eastern United States, Mendenall has worked with local and nationally touring acts like The Ragbirds, The Accidentals, The Appleseed Collective, Tyler Hilton, Ryan Cabrera, Hayley Kiyoko, Royal Teeth, and Young Rising Sons. He is an accomplished songwriter, releasing his debut EP, Here to Stay in 2013, his follow­up, Somewhere Else to Be in 2014, and co­writing the 2015 Rachel & Alex EP, Nights Like These. 2016 will see a deeper dive into soul with his upcoming third studio release.

Bella
Soul singer without a story, a young singer who is injecting the life back in to music with one soul-song at a time!

brotha James
brotha James is a solo performer who brings positive energy and a contagious enthusiasm to each and every stage he performs on. He is currently performing all over the country using a method known as live looping: layering sounds through the magic of technology to create a full band effect. He isn’t the only performer out there doing this, but he has taken the technique and made it his own. While controlling the dynamics of the song, he utilizes his ability to rap and sing a hybrid of styles including pop, funk, reggae, dance and even a little bit of hip hop. He interweaves these different styles into the set and delivers a high-energy performance that takes the audience on a journey from start to finish. His passion for creating and performing music helps him engage audiences of all ages. As a former member of FUNKTION, the Kalamazoo-based funk band, brotha James is a seasoned veteran on the scene. After three years of 150+ shows per year in over 20 states, brotha James has a great perspective on proper preparation for shows, connects with audiences of all types, and most importantly, gets them involved in the performance. Each show features a drum breakdown where the audience is given percussion instruments to keep the beat while he solos on the djembe. There’s also a call and response section of the show where the audience will repeat what brotha James says over the top of a playing loop. Both are big hits with the audience and take up the energy in the room a couple of notches. Every performance for him is more than just a gig; it’s an opportunity for him to spread the good vibes and continue the mission of creating positive energy and change through being a musical messenger.

TC Uke Guy
Bryan Boettcher is the self-proclaimed “TC Uke Guy”. He has been playing the ukulele since 2012, and the instrument has opened him up to a plethora of songs and styles that were otherwise out of reach. He sings and plays songs you would never think to hear on the uke. He also solos over his own live-recorded strumming to create all ukulele instrumentals (uke-strumentals?). He is an occasional leader of the Society of Traverse Region Ukulele Musicians, and has been known to pop-up at the market, the beach, or a park bench, and strum some favorites for any passersby. His songs can put a pleasant spin on your event as background music for dinner or drinks. Along with a number of songs from well-known singer-songwriters, he plays many famous jazz standards that can surely get some toes tapping.

Capybara 
Capybara is a local Traverse City funk rock band founded by guitarist/songwriter Rob Coonrod, whose high energy music has a unique array of influences from his travels and experiences abroad in the Amazon rainforest, Europe and Cuba.

CHoFF
Christian Hoffer aka CHoFF is a dedicated DJ and hip-hop producer from south eastern Michigan. CHoFF’s effortless techniques and unparalleled style has caused him to quickly move through the ranks as a DJ landing him in front of hundreds of crowds across the Midwest. With a love for heavy wobbling bass lines tied to the iconic bounce of jersey club, CHoFF has an unprecedented versatility on stage and in the studio that makes his sound a consistent crowd pleaser. CHoFF’s passion for the music community led him to help create the Samsara Family Collective with other top electronic musicians from the Grand Rapids area.

Da Sista Hood
Da Sista Hood is a mother and daughter duo from Leelanau County, who have been singing and playing music together for several years. They find their way around the guitar, ukulele and the banjuke and sing with the sweet harmonies of voices from the same family. Laura and Jessie Hood perform a collection of folk music with an indi/pop flair and a few originals thrown in. Their music has a message of positive energy, love and friendship.

David Gwaltney
David Gwaltney was born and raised in Bristol, Tennessee. He later attended New York University for film, and there he started his band, The City Lights. He has since toured the country with his music, and participated in artist residencies. After his time at East Jordan, MI’s Crosshatch residency, he found himself in Traverse City and found this festival. David currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Dennis Palmer
Dennis has released 4 CDs of original music ranging from Acoustic Blues to Contemporary Folk. With an eclectic style that is both introspective and thought provoking – his music has raised comparisons to such Artists as Gordon Lightfoot & Duncan Sheik… Born & raised near Saginaw Michigan – Dennis now lives in Leelanau County among the Places and People that continue to inspire much of his music.

 Emma Guzman
Singer-songwriter Emma Guzman, known cat enthusiast, rumored star child and compelled by unknown forces, has always felt the need to express herself through music. Choosing to spend her time humming melodies and frantically scribbling lyrics in various notebooks and on random scraps of paper, she has quietly amassed a substantial collection of songs. Described by the Detroit Metro Times as a “song writing prodigy” and one of their top 15 artists to watch in 2016, Emma has been working hard at the dual crafts of songwriting and performance. Working with Mr. and Mrs. Keneipp, Emma released her second album “Roots” on Backburner Records in 2017 to rave reviews. The Skewed Quiff had this to say about Emma’s track Last Page: “Emma Guzman deserves your immediate and undivided attention. Last Page is dark and beautiful and has a muscular grace. It is a mirage on the horizon. A monstrous,beguiling beast, teeth and claws glinting viciously in the sunlight. It hurts your eyes to look but it’s impossible to turn away, for fear that it will disappear.” At just 15 years old Emma credits her early success to being a student of music, spending her time listening to like of Townes Van Zandt, Vic Chestnutt and Stephen Merritt. Writing songs full of allegorical wisdom using equal doses of virtuosity and sincerity, Emma is well on her way to making her mark as both a songwriter and musician.

Green on Blue
Green on Blue enjoys presenting audiences a new twist on the jazz standards that have formed the backbone of America’s music culture. Based in Michigan, the quartet features Steve Rothstein on guitar, Sarah Dowell on violin, Drew Mayhew on bass, and Makenzie Mattis on percussion. They perform a variety of jazz styles, including be-bop, traditional swing, Latin, and others. Several members have also been classically trained, performing at competitions, winning scholarships, teaching students, and performing in professional local orchestras. Individually, they have performed across the country and abroad, and all of the members have received degrees in music. Members have performed with notable Michigan and Chicago jazz musicians, such as Tim Froncek, Michael Drost, and Jordan Finn. The quartet has also been featured with well-known New York jazz musician Chris Norton at DeVos Place. The group has performed at several venues, some of which include the West Michigan Wine and Jazz Festival, Frederik Meijer Gardens, DeVos Place, and the East Grand Rapids Summer Concert Series. Green on Blue has made it their goal to familiarize the public with the jazz genre, bringing audiences a pleasant, engaging, and memorable musical experience.

Gregory Evans
Gregory Evans is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and music teacher. Greg performs is an performing musician in his band as well as solo acoustic singer/songwriter throughout Northern Michigan and the mid-west with his unique style of vocals and guitar playing. Greg’s sound is described as acoustic pop, Americana and folk, with a blues influence in his lead guitar playing.

Hannah Laine
Hannah Laine is an emerging singer/songwriter from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hannah has been playing and writing her own music ever since she was 10 years old, developing her sound for over 12 years into what is now a jazzy, soulful envelope of life’s greatest realizations. Hannah has shared her music at various venues in Grand Rapids and Lansing including the Tip Top Deluxe (GR), Mayan Buzz Cafe (GR), Mac’s Bar (EL), The Stache (GR), One Trick Pony (GR), Tripelroot Brewing, and Summer Circle Theater at MSU. Last summer she held a residency at Fountain Point Resort in Leelanau and played seven different shows during her second year as a musician for the Traverse City Film Festival. Hannah’s biggest musical influences come from Hiatus Kaiyote, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Amy Winehouse, and Lake Street Dive. Her lyrical influences stem from her many spiritual teachers such as Alan Watts, Ram Dass and, of course, the goddess within. Hannah’s overall goal is to live life unbound by the mind and social constructs and to create music that inspires a collective consciousness, leading the world to a more unified state.

J Marinelli 
The grandson of an Italian immigrant coal miner (and proud-and-loud son of the central Appalachian Mountains), punk-folk troubadour J Marinelli has taken the do-it-yourself idea to its furthest extreme. That is to say, he’s his own band; nigh on a decade ago (inspired by the one- man madness of fellow West Virginian Hasil Adkins, among some other O.G. monobanda-style badassery) our boy abandoned the notion of a backing band, and decided to do the dirty deed his damn self. Thus: a booted right toe booms the big bass drum while the right heel keeps time on his humble hi-hat. His left foot snaps a snare, while his veined and gnarled hands grapple and grip the well- worn neck of a sturdy silverflake six-string — sometimes striking a cymbal between syncopated strums. He tops this well-edited götterdämmerung with a crackling croon of a voice that recalls the forgotten apex of every aging lo-fi junkie’s vinyl collection (for you trainspotting music nerd- types, the Fall, Billy Childish, the Urinals, and Guided by Voices seem to be popular points of comparison, but you didn’t hear that from me). The end result is a swirling, sweaty, self-contained cauldron of sound and motion. A sound at once familiar and strange: texture and tumult, punk and folk, sweetness and skronk, avant-garde and avant-garage. By the end of the set, you’re as exhausted and exhilarated as he is – eyes bulging and red, hair matted with perspiration, mind aglow with the possibilities of what a West Virginia boy can do if he puts his mind, heart, and back to it. Furthermore, after bringing his one-man roots-punk juggernaut to the endless sprawl of his home country, Marinelli has recently completed two successful tours of Europe — charming audiences in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Jo Paige
Jo Paige has lived in the Traverse City region since the early 90’s and has always had a passion for music. She is a classically trained pianist and dabbles in playing the ukulele as she finds the piano difficult to swing on her back. She is especially interested in creating a space in which people will feel comfortable to sing together.

Josh Birdsong
“[Josh’s] ear for a compelling melody seems to be pretty much limitless… It’s rare to encounter performers and their work when it is so obvious that the central figure is hanging with every word and note, but that’s very much the case with Simple Geometry and it makes for one of the year’s most impressive debuts.” – David Shouse, Indie Music Reviews

From Detroit MI, to Nashville TN, Josh Birdsong is leaving his imprint on the indie music scene through his distinct use of guitar, loop pedals, and ambient production.  His debut EP, “Simple Geometry”, was produced by acclaimed Nashville producer Stephen Leiweke, who has worked with recognized artists including Ingrid Michaelson and Jars of Clay. “Simple Geometry”, spun on over 100 radio stations nationwide and features Josh’s song, “You and I”, which placed in the Singer/Songwriter Indie International Songwriting Competition, and won in the Lyric Category of the International Songwriting Competition, chosen from 18,500 entrants spanning over 120 different countries.  Josh is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy’s Singer/Songwriter Major and is currently studying within Belmont University’s acclaimed Songwriting Major on Music Row in Nashville.   His second EP, “Where the Light Bends”, is due to be released later this summer, evoking depthful atmosphere threaded with his characteristic vocal phrasing and inventive guitar style.

JazzNorth7
Welcome to JazzNorth7 on the interweb. We are a seven piece band, often augmented with a guest vocalist and percussion soloist. JazzNorth7 has a repertoire of over 100 tunes covering classic swing, blues, funk, rock, Latin, and original music. We live and work in Northern Michigan and are available for club dates, festivals, concerts, and weddings. Come on in and check us out, and join our mailing list to keep up to date.

Kyle Skarshaug
Kyle Skarshaug is a 16 year old multi-instrumentalist from Traverse City, playing drums, bass, guitar, and singing. Kyle has played all over Traverse City, including The Workshop, Left Foot Charley, Brew, Little Fleet, Northern Naturals Cider House, the Filling Station, and has also been featured in TEDx-Traverse City, Picnic at the Opera & the Traverse City Film Festival. Some of the local musicians that Kyle has had the wonderful opportunity to perform with are The Accidentals, Oh Brother, Big Sister, Blake Elliott, Zeke Clemons, Nik Carman, Aaron Dye, Jeff Haas, Ron Getz, Chris Bickley, Jack Dryden, David Chown, E Minor, and Miriam Pico.

The Loftease
Recently formed interesting, unique and diverse band based in Pontiac, MI. With members of different walks of life! With sounds of the violin, piano and multiple instruments it has something for everyone to listen to. Ranging from a previous orchestra teacher, recent classically trained graduate, long time multi-instrumentalists, sound technician, etc! The list goes on to make up the members of this fun acoustic-folk-pop-instrumental type band of The Loftease. Although one or two genres can’t capture the full range of styles of music we play, it relies on acoustic and violin sounds to carry it through everyone’s stream of music taste and preference! While there are three core members in the band, the others continually revolve as we come across different musicians with different styles, talent and soul to collaborate with, making it also a collective of artists!

Lucky vs. The Bomb
Lucky vs. The Bomb is the stage name of Traverse City local Rich Milock. His songs detail the inner lives of drunken astronauts, psychic puppets, and giant robots.

Mary McGuire
Detroit Music Awards- 2016 Outstanding Americana Songwriter She was caller 11 on Detroit’s hit radio station WDRQ with legendary disc jockey China Jones. At the station on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, the closet doors opened and her 11 year old arms were loaded up with the entire Beatles discography. Back at home, Mary dropped the needle on side one of Revolver on her blue Panasonic record player and at that the moment she was hooked. Growing up in 70’s Detroit and learning from the radio jocks of America’s first underground radio stations was all it took for Mary to pick up the guitar and learn her first Beatles, Neil Young, Eagles and Led Zeppelin tunes. Once she started, her appetite for acoustic rock guitar was fueled.

Max Bourne
Max started writing music and freestyling with his friends about seven years ago. Little did he know this hobby would turn into a lifelong passion. Max founded his hip hop collective “Uncommon Cents” and has released two full length albums as well as two EP’s, all riddled with his witty lyricism and positive messages.

Michelle Held
Highly regarded as one of Detroit’s most original musical talents, Michelle is known for her captivating live performances. She started out in the theatre, picked up the guitar and wrote her first song in 2011 and never looked back. She plays with the emotions through her heart-touching songs and stories. Her unique voice, razor-sharp candor and intricate guitar style honors the past yet owns a timelessness that rings through each song. Michelle played this year’s Kansas City Folk Festival at Folk Alliance International, headlined by Billy Bragg and Bobby Rush. She is slotted to play Michigan’s premier Wheatland Music Festival this September and preparing to record a debut album. Brett Callwood of the Detroit Metro Times wrote, “It’s her voice that adds the X-Factor, that little bit of welcome strange.” and Galveston’s Old Quarter Patriarch Wrecks Bell of Townes Van Zandt’s “Rex’s Blues” says, “Michelle is unbelievable!”

Manitou Winds NEO Trio
Comprised of three musicians from Manitou Winds (a local chamber music ensemble), the NEO Trio specializes in music for quiet gatherings featuring the colorful combination of flute, clarinet, harp, and piano. Our trio selects repertoire from many traditions including Celtic, World, Jazz, Classical, and New Age to create fresh renditions tailored for our unique ensemble.

Monique Ella Rose
Monique Ella Rose is an award winning singer/songwriter whose style blends with Soul, R&B, Blues, Jazz & Funk. She is quickly earning a reputation as one of Michigan’s most exciting new talents. She is an in-demand artist that is grateful for this new chapter in her life that is creating wonderful opportunities.

Born in Saginaw, raised in Detroit she was immersed in music at a very young age. She contributes her strong musical roots to her family and growing up in church. With her father being a artist and poet and her mother, an author, playwright, and educator, creativity was bound to flow through her veins.
She released her first single, “Move On” in 2014. Her second single, “Hustle & Grind” was released later that year on her label, Soul Blend. “Music is an outlet that allows me to express myself in full form. I want my music. to inspire, awaken, and encourage listeners,” shares Monique Ella Rose. Her impeccable raw talent has earned her a spot on stage opening for artists like Anthony Hamilton, Chrisette Michelle, Freddie Jackson, Angela Winbush, Marsha Ambrosius, Dwele’ and more. One of her most memorable moments was opening for the late Dr. Maya Angelou.
When Monique Ella Rose sings, you are taken on a passionate ride that leaves you feeling good and wanting more. “Rather being placed in any genre, I consider my music to be life music. That may come out sounding like funk one moment, classic R&B the next or even gospel. I write and sing what I feel.”

Nvr Stop
Nvr Stop has been playing to late night dance parties and electro pop enthusiasts over the last year, bringing a much needed collaboration between the thumping beats of electronic dance music and pop rock to the Detroit music scene.

SOFI K
On August 6, 2001, deep in the heart of Motown, a fierce and enthralling talent was born. 14 years later, SOFI K has taken the world by storm with a voice and a vision that simply won’t be denied.
The cool, sophisticated demeanor SOFI K exudes in photos explodes into a whirlwind of personality once she hits the stage. The world “natural” is so often overused in the music industry, but that describes SOFI K right down to her core – she truly is a natural, and her talent and innate affinity for music bubbles over at every turn. Her style, both on and off stage, is similarly complex and undoubtedly spellbinding; the buttery tone of SOFI K’s vocals fills each song with a richness and warmth that supports the emotion behind the lyrics rather than obscuring it.
SOFI K is able to take inspiration from legendary musicians and contemporary performers alike and morph it all into something new. A current of cool, bluesy neo-soul magic from Amy Winehouse; a dash of Duffy’s vintage look and sass; the approachability, charm, and pop-star prowess of Megan Trainor – it’s all there, but in a way that’s uniquely SOFI K.
SOFI K was only 12 and 13 when she recorded her debut album, LoveHate, releasing it just a few months after her 14th birthday. With renowned producer Bryce Harding in her corner and a slew of original material at her fingertips, SOFI K set out to create an album every bit as diverse, exciting, and distinctive as she is herself. The dynamic results are beautifully evident in the album’s first single, One Way Ticket, a sort of modern throwback that echoes the brass-and-bass magic of the past while giving us all a glimpse of what SOFI K sees in her musical future.
In 2015, she had the honor of opening up at the Traverse City Film Festival premiere of Amy, the now Oscar-winning documentary about the late pop/blues phenom Amy Winehouse. Recently, SOFI K was named a celebrity ambassador for the Wish Upon a Teen Organization. She has been featured in popular industry publications and television programs nationwide, but even as the accolades and acclaim continue to roll in, SOFI K refuses to sit on her laurels. Instead, she prefers to start working on her next album and continue performing and connecting with the audiences she so loves. Judging by the response of critics and fans alike, that’s exactly what the world wants her to do, too.

Sierra Cassidy
Acoustic funky pop songstress, Sierra Cassidy, lures listeners with sultry vocals, evocative lyrics, and groovy guitar hooks. Sierra takes you on a trip as she tells her side of the story while introducing hip-hop rhythms and soulful singing into acoustic music.

THUNDERCLAP! 
THUNDERCLAP! -a one-man band, he possesses the bravery needed to take the stage alone and believes this heightens the vulnerability of the performer, thus creating a more emotional rapport with the audience. This type of performing, which he likes to call ‘guerilla folkestry,’ can be just as powerful when performed at concert or on the street. What THUNDERCLAP offers in original content, although challenging and trailblazing, is just as equally- hooky and memorable.   “So much fun! It reminds me of Ray Davies BEST!” – Jack Douglas (producer of John Lennon, Aerosmith)

Wax
Consisting of Bauer Jones, Jimmy Olson, and Skylar Jordan, Wax is a funk/prog band with lots of improvisation, blending various music styles together.

Zeke Clemons
Solo Singer Songwriter based out of Traverse City, just released his debut album “My Message.”

Other participating artists:

  • Angela Josephine
  • Almost Free
  • Big Rand
  • Brett Mitchell
  • Doug Z
  • Emma Guzman
  • Jacob Alexander Daugherty
  • Josh Birdsong
  • Kieth Scott
  • Mr.Music DJ + Event Services
  • The Nepherws
  • Old Empire
  • Peggy Lee
  • Rachel White + Matt Plessner
  • Robin Lee Berry
  • Soul Patch
  • Tom Jolin
  • The Turtleneck
  • Wild Sullys