EL Art Festival Features Diverse Musical Lineup

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Thursday, May 17, 2018, 8:29 am
Christopher A. Wardell

Above: Madcat’s Midnight Blues Journey

Performers of multiple musical genres are set to perform on two stages at the 54th East Lansing Art Festival May 19-20. The lineup includes both local and regional acts.

The music will kick-off May 18 with a performance by Summer of Sol, a Lansing band that focuses on blues and jazz. Other acts will include Detroit singer-songwriter Jill Jack, local folk duo The Catbird Seat, and the East Lansing rock and roll variety band, Avon Bomb.

ELAF’s Music Coordinator Benjamin Hall said picking this year’s line-up was difficult as he received many submissions, but he’s hoping there’s a little something for everyone.

“There is no specific pattern or scheme to the selection process,” Hall said. “I just try my hardest to make the music as varied as the art being shown.”

Local Lansing rapper MikeyyAustin is set to be the first hip-hop artist to perform on the Festival’s main stage, Madcat’s Midnight Blues Journey features local music legends Madcat (Madcat and Cane) and multi-instrumentalist Drew Howard, and stand-up bassist Delilah DeWyled will take the stage with her high-energy blend of honky-tonk and swing.

The West Michigan alternative Latin outfit Cabildo may be the breakout act of the Festival, and it’s the band Hall is most excited to watch perform live. Although he says all of the performers are excellent, he’s “only seen [Cabildo] do a couple of songs live, and they put on a heck of a show.”

As per tradition, the East Lansing High School Jazz Band will kick things off with a performance May 19 at 11:00 a.m. on the Main Stage. The Main Stage will be located in the surface parking lot on the southeast corner of Albert Avenue and Bailey Street.

The Smokin’ Sleddog Records Stage will offer performances by Mike Bass, Tom and Barry, Lansing blues favorite Deacon Earl, and The Catbird Seat, among others. Based in DeWitt, Smokin’ Sleddog Records is an independent record label and booking agency that was founded by musician Jamie-Sue Neal. The Smokin' Sleddog Records Stage will be located on the northwest corner of Charles Street and Albert Avenue.

While booking music for a well-established event seems like a highly stressful job, Hall takes it all in stride and says in the end it’s all about enjoying yourself.

“I just want everyone to have a great time and maybe get turned on to something new,” Hall said.

Learn more about the 2018 East Lansing Art Festival (including a Festival map) here.


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