Local Ground

Local Ground

Celebrating Local Musicians

Together we celebrate and support local musicians with short outdoor performances for Series ticket holders to enjoy while picnicking before the shows and for guests to enjoy while visiting the farm during our Lavender Fest Fridays and other select events.

If you are interested in learning more about Local Ground, please contact us at [email protected] and put Local Ground in the subject line. The application deadline for the 2024 season is December 10, 2023. We look forward to hearing from you!

Denning & Johnson

June 3, 2023, from 11am – 2pm (Free Show)

July 29, 2023, from 6 – 7pm

Tana Denning and Fred Johnson have been playing as a duo for over seven years after meeting at a jam session. Tana teaches Suzuki piano at the MSU Community Music School and performs on fiddle and Celtic harp. Fred has played in numerous bands over the years on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. They found common ground in the music they play and delight in sharing it with audiences at festivals, workshops, dances, farmers markets, and more.



June 24, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

September 16, 2023, from 10am – 12:30pm (Free Show)

Peter Jensen is often found playing across Northern Michigan with his finger-picking bluesy tunes. A resident of Petoskey, Peter is paving his own path in the great Northern Michigan music scene. He specializes in country blues, ragtime and piedmont blues and most recently performed at the Great Indoor Folk Fest in Traverse City.


Kelly Shively

June 30, 2023, from 11am – 2pm (Free Show)

Kelly Shively, a Northern Michigan native, infuses the songs she sings with hope. Her clear, warm voice weaves her stories as she accompanies with banjo, banjola and fiddle.


July 1, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

The Lonely Lovers is a northern-Michigan musical collaborative helmed by Mark Blaauw-Hara and featuring the contributions of a number of local musicians, including Jen Schaap, Caroline Barlow, Jamie Platte, Ann Stebelton, Chris Graham, Kevin Putman, Greg Carpenter, Cody Farrier, and Chris Koury. The usual live line-up features Mark, Jen, and Caroline on vocals, bass, and guitars, along with Chris, Kevin, or Greg on the drum kit. Both in the recorded music and in their live show, the joy they feel at playing together is palpable.

The Lonely Lovers write songs that tell the stories of Michigan folks who are trying to get by and find connections with one another. Sometimes these folks get it right, and sometimes things take an unexpected turn. The group’s songs follow in the tradition of place-based musical storytellers like the Turnpike Troubadours, the Drive-By Truckers, and Bruce Springsteen, resonating authentic experience with every chord.

The Lonely Lovers | Facebook


July 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm (Free Show)

August 4, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

Ryan Cassidy’s show will take you on a musical journey. Prepare to hear songs you know and love, featuring the rock ‘n’ roll roots of the 1950’s, the British pop of the 60’s, the classic rock of the 70’s, the new wave of the 80’s, and the alternative of the 90’s. Ryan’s original music is often described as a blend of these genres and then some. Ryan is often joined live by his father, Mike Cassidy, providing backing vocals and percussion to the mix.

In 2020, Ryan was joined on a duet by Cherie Currie, front-woman of the iconic 70’s rock band, The Runaways, alongside Joan Jett and Lita Ford. The song, Small Price, was written by Cassidy and also features Sav Buist and Katie Larson of Michigan’s own The Accidentals on strings. Northern Express states that the song is “one of the loveliest music moments you’re likely to hear this year,” as well as placing Ryan’s debut album, Between Two Normals, in their list of Top 5 Albums Created by a Michigan Artist that year, with the likes of Billy Strings, The Accidentals, and Greta Van Fleet.

Ryan Cassidy Facebook

Melissa Welke

July 14, 2023, from 11am – 2pm (Free Show)

Melissa Welke has been singing and writing songs for several years. Performing at such venues as Blissfest Music Festival, Mackinaw City Outdoor Amphitheater, Boyne City Strolling the Streets, Harbor Springs Street Musique, Charlevoix Area Library Folk Music Series, Alliance of the Arts Farmers Market and numerous other private gigs she aims to project a positive attitude in her music. While wintering in Florida she found the ACMA, and has performed at many shows. Melissa always leaves the listener walking away feeling inspired.

A to Z Music

July 14, 2023, from 6pm – 7:30 pm

Zinnia Dungjen and Audrey Mason are both multi-faceted instrumentalists and vocalists. They both plan to attend Interlochen Arts Academy for their second year in the 2023-2024 school year majoring in Singer-Songwriting, Zinnia as a junior, Audrey as a Sophomore. Both young women share a love of the arts in all areas and of the nature surrounding them. These two young ladies both live in Leelanau County and perform music all-round the Leelanau and Grand Traverse Area along with other places in Northern Michigan.



July 21, 2023, from 11am – 2pm (Free Show)

Lavender Moon has been preforming since 2020. The band combines the music of Lee Anne Whitman of Indigo Moon with the talented musical artist Kelly Shively from the duo Rustic Heart. Lee Anne’s sister, Mary Kushner, brings the fun elements of singing along and engaging little children in the music too!

Lavender Moon Facebook

Owen James

July 21, 2023, from 6pm – 7:30pm

Owen James is one of Michigan’s premiere guitarists, specializing in unique virtuoso solo finger-style treatments of Jazz standards, Bossa Nova favorites, Folk/Americana tunes and Rock, Pop & Soul classics by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Antonio Carlos Jobim, the Beatles, James Taylor, Prince, Sting and many more. As a soloist or group member, Owen has performed at venues across the country, including The Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island), The Jazz Kitchen (Indianapolis) and the Mount Hood Jazz Festival (Oregon). In addition to being an in-demand performer, Owen is also an accomplished composer. You can hear his original compositions on his latest album, Songs from the Deep North, available here: www.cdbaby.com/cd/owenjames


July 28, 2023, from 11am – 2pm (Free Show)

“Blair is an enigmatic blues artist with a tendency to melt faces with his guitar licks. Blair leans heavily on Delta Blues and roots interpretations” Vanessa Clark Music Entrepreneur. “Blair is really good at what he does, authentic old school blues” Tim Harding- The Villette Brothers. Blair has been playing the roots blues classics and his originals at many venues in Northern Michigan and in Ann Arbor Michigan. His CD’s Blair Miller At the Depot and Hot Hard Rain have been getting radio air time. He has made multiple radio and TV appearances. He has co-presented slide guitar workshops and classes/ concerts on The History of the Blues. In August 2017 he had the honor of opening for the Ann Arbor Blues Festival.



July 28, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

HeartSpace is a weaving of the musical talents of five friends, creating a rich tapestry in voice and song!

Pam Luce has been lifting people through song for many years. Her faith and strength shine through her strong vocals and intuitive harmonies. Lee Anne Whitman has been charming audiences for 18 years. Love shines through the songs she writes and sings. Her sweet, airy voice and warm guitar are known and loved by people throughout Michigan. Kelly Shively, a northern Michigan native, infuses the songs she sings with hope. Her clear, warm voice weaves her stories as she accompanies with banjo, banjola and Fiddle. Kim Overton’s love of music influenced her founding a school with an arts-integrated curriculum, where all students studied music. She accompanies the songbirds on a djembe made especially for her when she worked in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Melissa Welke has been singing and writing songs for several years. Performing at such venues as Blissfest Music Festival, Mackinaw City Outdoor Amphitheater, Boyne City Stroll the Streets, Harbor Springs Street Musique, Charlevoix Area Library Folk Music Series, Alliance of the Arts Farmers Market and numerous other private gigs she aims to project a positive attitude in her music. While wintering in Florida she found the ACMA, and has performed at many shows. Melissa always leaves the listener walking away feeling inspired.

Individually these five women are accomplished solo musical artists. Their strengths are only enhanced when they join together in that place where their love of music, and the people they share it with, meet: their “HeartSpace”

Dane Tollas

August 4, 2023, from 11am – 2pm (Free Show)

Dane Tollas, one half of the duo Two Track Mind, covers stylized versions of bluegrass/blues/Americana songs on acoustic guitar.

Brian McCosky

August 5, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

Brian McCosky Local Ground 2023

Brian T. McCosky began his musical journey over 20 years ago in Petoskey’s open mic scene. In that time his guitar and songwriting has taken him from the shores of lake Michigan to the Rockies and back. As the guitarist in the Colorado based The Longest Day of the Year, he has shared the stage with grammy award winning artists such as The Blind Boys of Alabama, Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real, and Sturgill Simpson. Best known for his work with Northern Michigan staples such as Pocketwood Mandingo and The Mudbugz, Brian recently returned with a new artistic vision. Combining acoustic and electric guitars, songwriting, and today’s latest music technology, Brian bridges the gap between producer and performer. From live looping to electronic beats, heartfelt lyrics to fingerpicked instrumental arrangements, his music finds something for everyone. Every time.


Melissa May & Brian Coonan

August 8, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

Melissa May & Brian Coonan Local Ground 2023

Melissa May and Brian Coonan are an award-winning acoustic duo based out of Bay City, MI. Playing original music as well as interesting versions of cover songs by artists like Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Alanis Morrisette, Janis Joplin, and many others.

The duo met when Brian responded to an online ad Melissa had placed looking for a guitar player to join her in an acoustic project.  They got together and instantly knew that they had a musical connection, as well as a friendship.

After 8 years, they are still going strong!


Allie Kessel

August 11, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

Allie Kessel is a Singer-Songwriter based in Traverse City, MI. She takes influence from Aretha Franklin, Sara Bareilles, and Nora Jones to create a sweet soulful sound of her own. Allie has been playing music in Northern Michigan for the last 8 years after graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy in the Singer-Songwriter program.


The Wild Honey Collective

August 12, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

The Wild Honey Collective Local Ground 2023The Wild Honey Collective formed in the summer of 2020 to perform original songs and traditional American folk music. Lifelong musicians Tommy McCord, Danielle Gyger, Timmy Rodriguez, Dan O’Brien, and Adam Aymor launched the project in rural Michigan as a back porch acoustic gathering purely for the love of music in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This rootsy beginning of the band was very effective and led to the immediate recording of the 2021 The Wild Honey Collective: Volume 1 full-length debut album, which Local Spins described as having “its feet firmly rooted in classic country and folk while daring to allow its head to explore the technicolor clouds of psychedelia.” The 12-track The Wild Honey Collective Volume 2 album was issued in July 2022, building on the foundation of original and traditional music set by the debut album, with an added sense of energy brought on by a year of live performance that saw the group becoming a mainstay of the Michigan roots music circuit as well as multiple tours of the Midwest and East Coast. Prominent events that The Wild Honey Collective has performed at include Smiling Acres Music Festival (Trufant, MI), Forest Trail Music Festival (Freesoil, MI), Fallasburg Arts Festival (Lowell, MI), Hotel Music Festival (Conneaut Lake, PA), Oktoberfest (Michigan City, IN) and venues ranging from Listening Room and Founders Brewing (Grand Rapids, MI) to Port City Blue (Portland, ME) to Marigold Theater (Easthampton, MA) among nearly 100 shows since June 2021. The Wild Honey Collective is ever-evolving and encompasses sounds of traditional string band music, rowdy country rock, psychedelia, classic pop and more to preserve and nurture the lineage of Cosmic American Music.


Steel & Wood

August 19, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

STEEL & WOOD, a traditional Bluegrass band based in Petoskey, offers an upbeat, heartfelt, string and vocal harmony-based repertoire spanning the works of Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Ralph Stanley and others. Steel & Wood harkens back to American railroad culture and enduring musical traditions rooted in Southern Appalachia.

Band members John A. Neiswander – lead guitar and vocals, Irene Kazmers – fiddle, guitar and vocals, Paul Bachleda-banjo, Dave Eggebrecht – mandolin/fiddle, and Kathy Tuinhoff – upright bass, look forward to sharing the songs they love!

The North Carolines

August 25, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

The North Carolines are northern Michigan’s newest dynamic Americana band. Caroline Barlow (guitar, vocals) and Kurt Westie (mandolin,guitar,vocals) play in the American roots styles with southern influence blown by the north winds to your part of town. Joined by a mutual love of keen songwriting, ballads, driving storytelling, and stylish instrumental tunes, The North Carolines bring you sweetness with an edge. A fresh sound for your ears to kick back and almost smell the magnolia.

The North Carolines are joined by an interest in keen songwriting, ballads, driving storytelling, and stylish instrumental tunes. They bring you sweetness with an edge with both their original songs and material from other writers. It’s a fresh, yet familiar, sound for your ears.

The Cummings Quartet

September 1, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

The Cummings Quartet is a northern Michigan-based ensemble of professionals who perform with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra. Named after the benefactors of the Dorothy Gerber Strings Program, the quartet serves as teachers and artistic representatives of the Gerber program throughout the region.

The Cummings Quartet is committed to mentoring students by demonstrating the art of performance and engaging in a variety of teaching activities, including The Cummings Quartet Chamber Music Camp. The resident ensemble of the DGSP has performed throughout the region, including for the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra Sunday Recital Series, the Park Church (Grand Rapids) Music at Mid-day Series, the Traverse Symphony Cordia Concert Series and at the historic Cheboygan Opera House.

David Reimer -First Violinist

Rodrigo Quintana -Violinist

Dr. Benjamin Wu -Violist

Elizabeth Bert -Cellist

Jeff Pagel

September 2, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

For your listening pleasure … please enjoy some songs from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, crossing through many genres including pop, folk and rock! Jeff sings and plays the guitar and has accumulated many songs through the years.

Facebook Page


September 8, 2023, from 6pm – 7pm

Boundrywater Local Ground 2023

Formed in 2016, Boundarywater is a trio of unconventional musicians creating mostly instrumental music inspired by the beauty of Northern Michigan. Comprised of fingerstyle guitarist Bill Wilson, violinist Stephanie Cope, and percussionist Gary Schils, the three write music in the folk vein that speaks to the heart. “Three accomplished musicians who have found a way to weave the calm before the storm with the thundering tempest. A truly breathtaking performance.” -Kirby Snively (musician/woodworker).

Bill has been playing guitar for over 45 years, focusing primarily on fingerstyle acoustic guitar music since the mid-1990’s. In December 2016, Bill released his full-length CD, Crooked Tree, a collection of 14 finely crafted original fingerstyle guitar instrumentals. In addition to playing guitar with Boundarywater, he also performs solo at a variety of events and venues around the area. Stephanie has been playing violin since she was 4, but pursued a degree in Dance from the University of Michigan. After marrying her husband and starting a family, she returned to music as her home base. She plays occasionally with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and also plays the piano. Gary has been drumming in the context of danceclasses for many years. He and his wife, Sylvia, were founding members of Wellspring Dance Company in Kalamazoo, MI, and then founding faculty members at Concord Academy, where they taught dance and drama for over a decade. Gary drummed for a stint with the Sons of the Never Wrong, and then continued to drum for his students’ dance classes at Concord. He is also an avid writer and fisherman.



September 16, 2023, from 1pm – 3:30pm (Free Show)

Two Track Mind delivers songs you’ll recognize, but with a feel and interpretation all their own. Best defined as Americana, yet their repertoire spans rock, a touch of bluegrass, and beyond.  This Petoskey based acoustic duo is led by the rich vocal and guitar work of Dane Tollas, and complimented by the tasteful mandolin work of Mark Marino.

Dane got his start busking on street corners in Colorado. Mark began as lead guitarist for several Detroit rock bands, before becoming obsessed with the mandolin. Two Track Mind is a good descriptor for these two diverse musical backgrounds coming together and most of all, having fun in the process.

Two Track Mind Facebook