Countless Music Experiences
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    80 Proof Alice

    80 Proof Alice Hays, KS

    Reigning from Hays, Kansas, 80 Proof Alice is a high energy trio performing all types of music blended into a bluegrass style. Tyson Lesage brings a dynamic style to the group with his lively flatpicking, coupled with the tasty banjo stylings of the 2022 Kansas State Banjo champion, Jason Riegel. Aimee Riegel rounds out the group with steady bass beats and soulful vocals and harmonies. The trio just released their first self titled EP in March 2024 and are currently working on a full album.

    Acme Fife & Drum Salina, KS

    Authentic fife and drum music from the American Revolution, the Civil War, adaptations of Irish, Scottish, English folk tunes, and modern rudimental-style field drumming greet you at the Events Center Bridge and throughout the Festival.

    Barnaby Bright, Kansas City, MO

    Barnaby Bright Kansas City, MO

    On the heels of their 5-song feature on a hit Netflix show, alt-Americana band Barnaby Bright continues to weave storytelling into sonic treasures. From love songs to murder ballads and deeply relatable lyrics all set to the backdrop of 3-part harmonies, virtuosic guitar & fiddle-playing, and heart-melting vocals, this award-winning band leaves audiences feeling like they’ve been through a spiritual and emotional journey.

    Cash Hollistah

    Cash Hollistah & Friends Salina, KS

    Cash Hollistah is a dynamic hip-hop artist who delivers a funky, high-energy, fun-filled performance that will keep Festival-goers engaged. No novice to the stage, Cash has shared the stage with diverse notable acts including Shaggy, Common, T.I., Kirk Franklin, and Naughty by Nature. This year’s performance will feature some of the best local and regional talent to join him onstage in a “live mixtape” format!

    Construction Junction

    Construction Junction Lawrence, KS

    City PlayCorps is a non-profit group of trained advocates for children growing through play based in Lawrence, KS. Their Pop Up Playground provides an opportunity for child-directed play where kids get to problem solve, explore, and build using a variety of materials. While adults are around to facilitate and provide a helping hand, the child gets a chance to take the lead!

    Children get to figure out things for themselves, find innovative ways to overcome obstacles, practice working with others, and have fun getting to pursue their own creative ideas. Imagine, Create, & Play!

    Cordovas Nashville, TN

    Cordovas Nashville. TN

    A band with one foot in the present and another in the past, Cordovas embraces the sound of classic Americana and country-rock, with The Band, Grateful Dead, and The Allman Brothers as key influences. The group is led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Joe Firstman, who recorded as a solo artist for Atlantic Records and led the house band on NBC Late Night before forming Cordovas in 2011, and lead guitarist Lucca Soria who joing the band in 2016. The latest full-length from Cordovas, Destiny Hotel is a work of wild poetry and wide-eyed abandon, set to a glorious collision of folk and country and groove-heavy rock-and-roll.

    Draper Family Band

    Draper Family Band Kansas City, MO

    Draper Family Band is led by father-and-son Salina natives Paul and Brandon Draper, who have been performing together for more than thirty years. A 2020 Kansas Music Hall of Fame Inductee, Paul pairs his legendary Hammond B-3 chops with Brandon’s diverse instrumental acrobatics for a must-see, high energy performance that combines diverse musical styles including blues, rock, funk, and alt-country.

    Drum Safari Kansas City, MO

    Drum Safari Kansas City, MO

    Brandon and Teryn Draper are no strangers to the Smoky Hill River Festival. This year, Festival-goers can expect onstage excitement, hands-on drumming participation, and the impromptu drum jams that make Drum Safari famous!

    Drum Safari Kansas City, MO

    Drum Safari Presents: Arty’s BIG Party Kansas City, MO

    Family fun for ALL AGES! Featuring a live DJ, drumming, dancing ribbons, hula hoops, and a few surprise guests…THIS is the place to be!

    Drum Safari Kansas City, MO

    Drum Safari Roving Drum Circles Kansas City, MO

    Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for this rhythmic flash-mob experience! When you hear the rumble, be prepared to get your groove on and JOIN IN the fun — percussion instruments are provided for ALL participants!

    Duke Otherwise, Madison, WI

    Duke Otherwise Madison, WI

    Duke Otherwise is a playful wordsmith, a spirited performer, a skilled guitarist and a captivating tap dancer.  Using his distinct baritone, he sings hilarious and imaginative songs that all ages will delight in together.  Duke’s energetic live show is filled with improvisation, audience participation, dancing, and outrageous fun!

    Everyday Lights

    Everyday Lights Salina, KS

    Everyday Lights is a group of Salina-based musicians with a love for folk and jazz rhythms. Their unique instrumentation and improvised harmony gives them a fresh, creative sound that is best realized in their original music.

    Flint Hill Fairies Wichita, KS

    Flint Hills Fairies Wichita, KS

    The Flint Hills Fairies are an immersive theatre troupe who tell stories at community and renaissance festivals across the Midwest. Their dedication to helping humans foster deeper relationship with the Earth is reflected in the stories they tell and magic they share! This year, join them on Arty’s Stage for a Fairy Fun Adventure

    Happy Faces Entertainment, Kansas City, MO

    Happy Faces Entertainment Kansas City, MO

    Dennis Porter will keep crowds laughing as he engages Festival fans, young and old, in various entertaining games and activities. Teaching, playing, and having lots of fun are what these shows are all about. Give it a try!

    House of Artifacts, Salina, KS

    House of Artifacts Salina, KS

    Taking influence from Jazz, Latin, Psychedelic Rock, and Folk, House of Artifacts is a 4-piece Salina band focused on eclectic compositions. The band consists of Jonathan Carter Hess on guitar and vocals, Riley Grant on trumpet and keyboards, Izek Rivera on Bass, and Josh Rubino on Drums/Percussion. Their self-titled debut album explores esoteric tales through unique song structures and will be released through Jahbulon Records later this year.

    Jason D'Vaude Kansas City, MO

    Jason D’Vaude Kansas City, MO

    Dangerous objects! Perilous stunts! Feats of strength and balance! Jason D’Vaude, a self-taught one-man multiple-adjectived circus sensation, brings his comedic juggling and clowning shows to audiences worldwide, delighting them with his charming humor and distinct but refined awkwardness. After seeing Jason  juggle sharp objects, climb up precariously balanced objects, ride an extra-tall unicycle, or manipulate fire like a master, audiences are left speechless except to say, “That was AWESOME!”

    John Depew, Arlington, KS

    John Depew Arlington, KS

    John Depew is a musician, songwriter, and traveler with a knack for combining traditional sounds with thoughtful lyrics and intriguing musicality. He is the Kansas State Mandolin Champion of 2022, and is on the Kansas Touring Artist Roster.

    Josué Estrada Band, Wichita, KS

    Josué Estrada Band Wichita, KS

    Josué Estrada: trumpeter and sound architect, born from Mexican immigrants, draws from a deep well of existential themes that he brings to bear across myriad artistic settings. Josué’s music draws from both his jazz background and his having toured half the globe, performing in projects rooted in bossanova surfpunk (Bellafonte) and then later, Dixieland-punk-bluegrass (Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy.)


    As realized in the original music played by the Josué Estrada Band, he has now found a wide audience for the transcendent “Chicano jazz” that only he can make: honoring the masters through time, incorporating inimitable style from his OG’s, avant-garde to boleros, and pulling spiritual jazz greats from the past into the present. Josué has recently recorded The Josué Estrada Band’s highly anticipated debut EP at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, and in the meantime will be releasing two new singles expected to come out in May. 

    Lewis Nall Quintet

    Lewis-Nall Jazz Quintet New York City/Kansas City

    This quintet is a collaboration led by Marcus Lewis & Nate Nall, along with Eddie Moore, Deandre Manning, and Brandon Draper. These musicians play a variety of genres, including jazz, pop, rock, R&B, funk, gospel, hip-hop, salsa, and more.

    Marcus Lewis’s 18-piece big band project, “Brass and Boujee,” debuted on the iTunes Jazz Charts at #2 and the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts at #15. Some notable artists that Marcus has performed and/or recorded with are Aretha Franklin, Prince, Janelle Monáe, Bruno Mars, and Quincy Jones. As a sideman, he has also performed at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, Glastonbury Festival, Nobel Peace Prize Concert, the Sydney Opera House, and for President Barack Obama at the White House, along with television shows including SNL, The Today Show, and American Idol.

    Nate Nall has performed across the USA, as well as in parts of Europe and Mexico. He performs a wide variety of musical genres and can be seen in some of the best ensembles in KC, playing small group jazz, big band lead, horn section, musical theater, symphony pops, and church music. Other highlights include performing with The Temptations, Michael Feinstein, Bobby Watson’s 18th and Vine Big Band with Jon Faddis, Kansas City Symphony, Jerry Bergonzi and KU All-Star Big Band, Paducah Symphony Orchestra with trumpeter Allen Vizzutti, and Fountain City Brass Band for US Open Brass Band Championship winning concerts.

    Mattson & Weaver

    Mattson and Weaver Salina, KS

    Mattson and Weaver a long-time Salina folk duo, will rove throughout the Festival. Look for them amongst the bustle, or take a break for some of their music in an out-of-the-way shady spot.

    Monophonics, San Francisco, CA, Photo by Geoff

    Monophonics San Francisco, CA

    Since 2012, Monophonics has steadily built a reputation as a consistent band with a unique sound. Well-crafted songs and records are matched by an energetic live performance. A heavenly signature style: pure timeless heavy soul and warm textures of psychedelic rock. This is a band that revels in the past, taking you back to the stylings of the late 60s and early 70s, while always keeping its feet positioned in the present, looking ahead to the future.

    Papa Green Shoes Springfield, MO

    Papa Green Shoes Springfield, MO

    Papa Green Shoes is a high-energy, four-piece band based in Springfield, Missouri. Rooted in modern blues with touches of soul, funk, and rock, PGS is one of the few bands where all four members are skilled soloists and lead vocalists.

    Pretend Friend, Wichita, KS

    Pretend Friend Wichita, KS

    Bending time, space, and genre, Pretend Friend will transport you to another dimension with quick pickin’ bluegrass, spellbinding harmonies, psychedelic jams, and award-winning songwriting.

    Randy Baldwin Band

    Randy Baldwin Band Salina, KS

    Randy Baldwin started out as a local boy, graduating from Salina South HS. He spent years in California with his original band Trial By Fire, signed a record deal, had radio airplay nationally, and toured the US on several occasions. The Randy Baldwin Band consists of local musicians Brett Pennington, Jeremy Goossen, Tanner VamAmburg, and Caleb Grandy performing original works by Baldwin and Trial By Fire

    Richard Renner, Lawrence, KS

    Richard Renner Lawrence, KS

    Hedge People, the Recycle Cycle, and more. Richard Renner is bringing his wacky bag of tricks to the Festival this year! Each day, visitors will experience new characters and opportunities to interact. Why have a little fun when you can have TOO MUCH?!

    River Puppet Palooza

    River Puppet Palooza Salina, KS

    FRIDAY ONLY: Friends of the River Foundation’s river puppets are on the loose at the Festival. Watch for Bella Beaver, Bartholomew Bullfrog, Edna C. Channel Cat, and other characters from their educational outreach program as they share stories of the Smoky Hill River.

    Salina Municipal Band

    Salina Municipal Band Salina, KS

    Now celebrating an impressive 139 years, this hometown band plays from the great American songbook and much more.

    Salina South New Dawn Singers

    Salina South New Dawn Singers Salina, KS

    Led by the inimitable Eddie Creer, this ensemble will display surprising set choices, arrangements, and vocals.

    Salina Youth Choir, 2024

    Salina Youth Choir with Special Guests Don Wagner Trio Salina, KS

    The Salina Youth Choir is one of five ensembles that are part of the Salina Symphony Youth Education Program. The choir features 45 members under the direction of Jenna Eshleman. The choir will be joined by special guest, Don Wagner. Wagner performs original songs and traditional favorites rooted in folk, bluegrass, and the blues.

    Scott Mulvahill, Nashville, TN

    Scott Mulvahill Nashville, TN

    Frontman. Singer-songwriter. World-renowned upright bassist. Multi-instrumentalist. Scott Mulvahill is leaving his unique mark on the intersecting worlds of Americana, bluegrass, folk, jazz, rock & roll, and roots music. Raised in Houston, Mulvahill cut his teeth as a member of Ricky Skaggs’ acclaimed band, Kentucky Thunder. The group toured internationally for five years, backed by the bottom-heavy pulse of Mulvahill’s upright bass. Along the way, he also composed music of his own, shining a light on the genre-jumping influences — Paul Simon’s sophisticated pop, James Taylor’s folk, Jaco Pastorius’ innovative jazz, and more — that would eventually inspire the material on his 2018 solo debut, Himalayas. His performances as part of Skaggs’ nightly shows laid the brickwork for Mulvahill’s transition from hotshot sideman to compelling frontman.

    Superfonicos, Austin, TX

    Superfónicos Austin, TX

    Superfónicos is Colombian Funk. Better yet, it is Caríbe Soul…fed by the Indigenous and African roots of the band’s Colombian heritage, telegraphing a politics of peace and unity from the stage to your ears. They only ask that you dance toward a place in your mind beyond struggle and strife.

    Kaylor Kline ft. Mandy Kary, Salina, KS

    Taylor Kline and Mandy Kary Salina, KS

    Taylor Kline has been performing live music around the midwest for over 10 years. Mostly as a solo act, as well as with various groups. He is now joined by his darling, Mandy Kary, as a folk-country duet. They focus on Taylor’s original music, also with a wide variety of classic covers from different genres, which span the last 6 decades. Accompanied by acoustic guitar, harmonica, mandolin, and dual harmonies they provide more energy than your typical duo. The couple resides in the Salina area and are currently booking shows wherever they are wanted.

    Thad Beach Salina, KS

    All Aboard! for an engaging, musical excursion! Work together with Thad Beach to fire up the steam engine, punch your tickets, and head down the tracks on a joyful journey filled with songs, stories, and a homemade band. Watch as Thad showcases the tenor banjo, washboard, limberjack, harmonica, ukulele, jaw harp, and kazoo.

    The Blades

    The Blades Salina, KS

    Salina’s own horned-based party band always has something new to offer – great vocals, amazing percussion, and a feel-good vibe.

    The Freedom Affair, Kansas City, MO

    The Freedom Affair Kansas City, MO

    The Freedom Affair is a 9-piece soul juggernaut. Formed in 2017, the band has a vision of writing original soul music inspired by the traditions of the genre’s past with a universal message looking toward the future. Their live shows have proven to be soul-stirring, transformative events, physically and emotionally moving audiences to joy, tears, and elation. Crowds rave about the fireworks these folks bring to the stage.

    Wildermiss Denver, CO/ Nashville, TN

    Wildermiss Denver, CO/Nashville, TN

    Wildermiss is an indie rock band based in Nashville. Fronted by Emma Cole on vocals and synth, with  Joshua Hester on guitar and Caleb Thoemke on drums, their musical journey has taken them far and wide, accumulating more miles than you can imagine. With their undeniable talent and unwavering dedication, Wildermiss has become a beloved fixture in the hearts of their fans. Prepare to be captivated by their forthcoming album, a testament to their creative evolution and a sonic adventure unlike any other.

    William Beckmann, Del Rio, TX

    William Beckmann Del Rio, TX

    Hailing from the small border town of Del Rio, TX, William Beckmann was raised on classic country and northern Mexico’s mariachi and Norteño sounds. He delivers a fresh blend of vintage country, Americana, and Latin music with a timeless baritone and an old soul maturity that belies his youth. He has spent the last year touring with artists including Parker McCollum, Koe Wetzel, Flatland Calvary, and Randy Rogers Band, sold out three shows at legendary Gruene Hall, and made his Grand Ole Opry debut in Spring 2023.

    Zach Meadows, Nashville, TN

    Zach Meadows Nashville, TN

    From Florida to Nashville by the way of the Carolinas, Zach Meadows’ music is rooted in a passion for personal, expressive songwriting and a penchant for weaving experiences into something greater. Grounded in the Americana tradition, Meadows’ stories make for a compelling miscellany of love, loss, and everything in between. From listening rooms in Nashville to venues across the country, Meadows’ ability to move crowds with his poignant, introspective art is a Hallmark of what’s to come in his career.

    Want to perform at the Festival?

    Would you like to perform on one of our stages at a future Smoky Hill River Festival? Fill out an application and submit to be considered for next year’s event.