Winter Wheat

The Ninth Annual Winter Wheat

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

The Intersection in Grand Rapids, MI.

Order Online or call 989-967-8879!

Winter Wheat celebrates local Michigan talent through music and dance.

Enjoy nearly twelve hours of music on two stages at The Intersection!  With roots running deep in Wheatland Music Festival traditions, Winter Wheat welcomes all to come in out of the cold to warm up with the best traditional music that Michigan has to offer.  See you there!

Photos courtesy Anthony Norkus Photography

Have you ever wished that the wonderful Wheatland feeling could last all year long?  Have you ever wanted to share in Wheatland camaraderie, dance, and music during the winter doldrums?  Have you ever wanted an excuse to delay your winter chores and cure your cabin fever?

If so, please mark your calendars for January 13, 2018.  That will be the date of Winter Wheat 8!!  Winter Wheat has grown from a cute little off-shoot to one of West Michigan’s premier indoor music and dancing festivals.  Located in the Intersection in Grand Rapids, we have Cajun, Americana, Bluegrass, Latin, and Traditional music, as well as Cajun and Honky-Tonk dancing.  We have food and companionship.  Simply put: WE HAVE FUN!!!!

Please keep track of Winter Wheat announcements on the WMO website and we look forward to seeing you early in 2018.  – Josh Rose

9th Annual Winter Wheat Performers

more performer info to come …

Mark Lavengood's Bluegrass Bonanza!K. Jones & the Benzie PlayboysJake KershawNik CarmanLuke Warm & the Not So HotsThe JourneymenBlue Water Ramblers

Centennial Stage
7:40 – 9:00pm

Mark Lavengood is:
a multi-instrumentalist / singer / songwriter / band leader / musical collaborator / businessman / human.

You’ve heard him play for the last 5 years primarily with award-winning, roots/americana band, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys. Or perhaps you’ve caught him sitting in with some of your favorite bands on dobro. Or maybe you saw him playing solo.

His most recent project is the Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza! Spawned from his second full length recording project, “No Part of Nothin’”, the Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza! is quickly gaining a reputation for fast paced, roots and bluegrass infused live performances!

Stay tuned for all things Mark Lavengood at

Main Stage

Cajun, Creole, Zydeco

K. JONES & THE BENZIE PLAYBOYS are bringing the roots sound of southwest Louisiana’s Creole, Cajun, and Zydeco scene to ya’ll up here in the Great Lakes area. The Playboys are dedicated to keeping the Cajun/Creole music alive with live performances for two-steppin’, waltzing, and smoking red hot zydeco dancing. Cajun/Creole/French lyrics are common in many of the tunes we sing in the tradition of Amede Ardoin, Bois Sec, Canray Fontenot, Boozoo Chavis, John Delafose, the Balfa Brothers, Iry LeJune, Dennis McGee and many others. The 10 button diatonic accordion of K.Jones is the driving force of our music, with Jonah Powell on fiddle. Jamie Bernard is on the drums, and Doug Albright on bass. Mark Stoltz is our man on the scrubboard and tit’fer driving the beat…..Mark also gives dancing lessons parties and workshops.

Main Stage
2:40 – 4:00pm

Jake Kershaw is the 16 year old guitar slinging, blues/rock singing teenager out of Southern Michigan everyone is talking about. You can find Jake performing just about anywhere from Muskegon to the Ohio-Indiana State line and all points in between. 2017 was a very busy year with festivals, benefits, and private shows in Marshall, Battle Creek, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Saline, Quincy, St Louis, Hudsonville, Rockford, Fruitport, and Comstock Park to name a few.

In January of 2014 Jake made his public debut. Without ever playing with another musician before, he found his way to the main stage at a Chili Cook Off/ Blues Jam with approximately 600 people in attendance. Jake was immediately bombarded with musicians wanting to join forces and begin a band. A few months later a band, did indeed form, and he was beginning the journey.

In September of 2015 Jake found himself on an even bigger stage but this time with an International star named Jonny Lang. During a meet and greet with Jonny before a concert, Jake was surprised with an invitation to perform on stage that night from Jonny himself. This was another barn burner as Jake was still 14 at the time. This event, due to Jonny’s genuine kindness, has continued to be a huge inspiration for Jake.

Jake has since performed with several National touring acts such as Anthony Gomes, Albert Cummings, Larry McCray, and Walter Trout. He has also had the honor of opening for Marcus King and Tommy Castro and the Painkillers. Jake continues to book repeat work with Larry as he is a Michigan native. Jake continues to network with these acts and has built friendships with them all. It is not uncommon for Jake to either receive a call or private message from these talented individuals.

Early spring of 2017 Jake was honored with his first endorsement, a Young Artist endorsement with Heritage Guitars in Kalamazoo Michigan, which is the very factory where all of the infamous Gibson Guitars came from in the 50’s and 60’s. Jake worked side by side with the Heritage Luthiers to build his first custom Heritage guitar which he received this past summer in July. Jake also released his first CD titled “Piece of My Mind” in Grand Rapids at the WLAV Summertime Blues on the Mall.

Jake is projecting 2018 to be an incredible year as several performance requests for winter, early spring, and summer are already on the books. Jake Kershaw performs as a power trio and leaves the audiences asking for more. This is a high energy group that plays their own original blues rock as well as their versions of classic blues with a rock edge.

Jake Kershaw is on fire getting National recognition from both booking agents and professional musicians. The phone is ringing and dates are filling for 2018. Let Jake “BRING THE PARTY” to your event.

Centennial Stage
Open Mic hosted by Nik Carman
2:00 – 4:00pm

Nik Carman is an eleven-year-old musician from Northern Michigan. He is partial to instruments with strings, and currently plays guitar and mandolin. After experimenting with piano, violin, and recorder at age six, Nik picked up a guitar at age seven and hasn’t put it down since. He was first instructed by his older brother Andrew and inspired by bluegrass picker William Apostle, aka Billy Strings. Billy surprised Nik on his ninth birthday by recording with him at Studio Anatomy in Traverse City. In February of 2015, Nik released his debut album at The Old Art Building in Leland, where he had the honor of opening for The Accidentals, The Way Down Wanderers, Billy Strings, Don Julin and Kevin Gills. The Accidentals took Nik into their musical family, and he was happy to be their sidekick for the summer of 2015. In the summer of 2016, Nik hosted a mini-concert series at Fountain Point Resort in Lake Leelanau in addition to his busy touring schedule. He has performed over 100 shows at venues ranging from private events to restaurants/wineries to Michigan music festivals such as Blissfest, Hoxeyville, and Wheatland.

Nik has busked in Rome, been called up onstage by Donna the Buffalo in Miami, and delivered a speech about his life (so far) to a receptive audience at “Fulfillament” in Traverse City. Currently a fifth grader at The Pathfinder School, Nik lives with his family in Leelanau County, Land of Delight.

Main Stage
6:00 – 7:20pm

Luke Warm & the Not So Hots pride themselves on fun and lively performances with a strong stage presence, while maintaining a professional image. They have been performing together as Luke Warm and the Not So Hots since 2012 and have over 100 years combined musical experience in many different genres.

Traditional Stage
8:20 – 9:40pm

As acoustic musicians go these days, Brian Oberlin (mandolin) and Luke Gitchel (guitar) have a chemistry like no other. They have been playing together for 15 years, yet each concert is full of new ideas as they spring and lope through songs, bouncing off each other’s nuances with a lively thrill. Their vocal harmonies are likened to brothers as they honed their skills together as teenagers playing in several different Michigan bands. They both grew up in music playing bluegrass on their respective instruments and they write their own songs in the bluegrass and swing genres. The Journeymen typically travel with a bass player and another local hot picker on banjo or fiddle when it is appropriate.

Traditional Stage
Open Jam hosted by the Blue Water Ramblers
1:20 – 3:20pm

The Blue Water Ramblers sing extraordinary folk music- the folk song of Michigan, America and YOUR life. We perform wherever people want to celebrate: Folk festivals and concerts, paddle wheelers and lake ships, in cities and out in the woods, on stages and around campfires, at church gatherings and traditional dances. For a really good time, contact the Blue Water Ramblers for your next event!
The Blue Water Ramblers’ repertoire comes right out of our Michigan life experiences and the history of the Great Lakes region. It includes lake shanties, lumberman ballads, union rallying cries, farmers’ paeans, Michigan humor, ’60s civil rights and protest music, love songs, gospel music and children’s ditties. Everyone agrees that these combine into a versatile repertoire to the delight and entertainment of their audiences. “I think my hero, Woody Guthrie, would approve,” opined Banjo-Jim. “We’re singing the people’s songs about the people’s lives and they can join right in and sing along.”



Past Winter Wheat Events:

2017 Winter Wheat

2016 Winter Wheat

2015 Winter Wheat

2014 Winter Wheat


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