The June 2020 festival with a “cooperative spirit” held at Circle Pines Center in Delton also will feature Selwyn Birchwood, May Erlewine, Nicholas James & The Bandwagon and a tribute to Dacia Bridges.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS OF HEADLINING ACTS
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
A pair of energetic Chicago acts – world music ensemble Funkadesi and alt-folk heroes The Way Down Wanderers – will headline this year’s Buttermilk Jamboree, along with Ann Arbor folk-rock/pop/world music favorites Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds.
Being held June 19-21 at Circle Pines Center in Delton, midway between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, the 10th edition of the music festival will also boast sets by “Michigan songbird” May Erlewine, Kalamazoo’s Last Gasp Collective, Local Spins’ Emerging Artist of the Year Jordan Hamilton, The Mainstays and Megan Dooley, as well as Grand Rapids faves Nicholas James & The Bandwagon and Max Lockwood, among many others.
The weekend will also include a tribute to late Kalamazoo singer, songwriter and musician Dacia Bridges, who passed away unexpectedly last summer and is a past Buttermilk performer.
“We have several artists who have appeared at Folk Alliance Region Midwest the last two years and a number of recent Jammie Award winners,” said Ken Wylupski, who books bands for the festival.
“Finally, I’m looking forward to the Dacia Bridges tribute on Sunday. She will definitely be missed this year.”
The Way Down Wanderers, who are promoting a new live album, “Live from the Midwest,” will headline Friday night’s lineup; Funkadesi, which blends Indian music with reggae, funk and Afro-Caribbean music and played Buttermilk’s first year, headlines Saturday; Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds will wrap up Sunday’s performances.
Up-and-coming Florida blues guitarist Selwyn Birchwood is also part of this year’s lineup, as well as an “All-American Super Jam” (described as an “impromptu Michigan funk extravaganza”) and the festival’s annual tribute to blues/folk icon Big Bill Broonzy.
Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Nicholas James Thomasma, whose band, The Bandwagon, will play the Beer Tent stage on Friday, noted that legendary artists such as folk’s Pete Seeger have performed at Circle Pines Center.
“Maybe because it’s nestled right between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, or maybe it’s because of the cooperative spirit that hangs in the air at Circle Pines, but Buttermilk Jamboree felt like home right from the start,” he said.
Others performing at the 2020 festival will be Andy Cohen, Annie & Rod Capps, Aspen Jacobsen, BenJammin, Black Jake & The Carnies, Brotha James, Conklin Ceili Band, Donna Herula, Elisabeth Pixley Fink, FlyLiteGemini, Guy Davis, Handmade Moments, Hawks & Owls, Hearth & Hymn, Jive at Five, Joe Reilly, Monte Pride, On the Sun, Rhyta Musik, Samuel Nalangira, Small Sounds, Susie Par Trio, Ted Yoder, The Brothers Hour, The Hooten Hallers, The Mickeys, Strapping Owls, Tony LaJoye and Via Mardot (led by Olivia Mainville).
“Handmade Moments have been solid on my playlist in the office for a week now,” said Mike Evans, public relations coordinator for Circle Pines Center. “The Hooten Hallers are going to be throwing down some wicked grooves. On the flip-side, the hammered dulcimer is an amazing instrument and I’m looking forward to Ted Yoder’s take on it.”
Center Director Sasha Ospina said she’s excited about Way Down Wanderers’ set because “so many people requested them.”
Earlybird tickets — $88 adult weekend; $25 children 4-15 – are available online here, along with RV passes and day tickets. Weekend passes include camping.
The festival also features food and merchandise vendors, workshops, craft beer and wine, a kids’ area and other activities.
As for concerns about the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, musicians such as Thomasma remain optimistic and say it won’t affect music festival plans.
“More people pass through the doors at Founders Brewing every day than will be at Buttermilk,” said Thomasma, who works at Founders in Grand Rapids. “I can’t live my life in fear.”
Buttermilk ranked No. 5 in the 2019 Local Spins’ Readers Poll of Best Michigan Music Festivals. Come back to Local Spins next week to see where the festival ranks in the 2020 poll.
Revisit Local Spins’ coverage of the 2019 Buttermilk Jamboree: Buttermilk rocks, rolls, folks and funks
VIDEO: Way Down Wanderers, “Illusions”
VIDEO: Funkadesi in Milwaukee
VIDEO: Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds at The Ark in Ann Arbor
Copyright 2020, Spins on Music LLC