Countless Music ExperiencesClick on the icons to visit the performer’s music sample libraries
Authentic fife and drum music from the American Revolution, the Civil War, adaptations of Irish, Scottish, and English folk tunes and modern rudimental-style field drumming greet you at the Events Center Bridge and throughout the Festival.
Acoustic Eidolon is what happens when you cross a guitar with two necks and a cello with attitude! Colorado musicians Joe Scott on double-neck guitjo and Hannah Alkire on cello, have graced stages throughout the U.S., Australia, Europe and Canada. These masterful artists are Festival favorites and continue to captivate audiences worldwide with their signature “new acoustic” sound sharing boundless possibilities in blending Celtic, folk, world and Latin influences.
Ad Astra’s Open Mic Jam comes to the Riverside Stage. Sign-up starts at 10 a.m. on Friday to perform in one of four seven-minute slots on Friday morning. Basic instruments will be provided. Come share your jams!
After decades of playing Big Band music, Bobby Layne continues to keep the music of the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s alive with “String of Pearls,” “In the Mood,” “Stardust,” and many other favorites.
“What we provide isn’t just musical entertainment,” lead vocalist and drummer Fred LeBlanc explains. “It’s an experience.”
Cowboy Mouth last mesmerized audiences at the 2001 River Festival and is back for a return performance. Their band’s live show is still the high-energy performance that keeps crowds coming back. Their roster is stronger than ever: a lineup of four rock ‘n’ roll veterans, all working together to stir the band’s unique gumbo of pop, big-easy blues, soul, punk, and redemptive rock ‘n’ roll.
The Draper Family Band is led by father and son duo, Paul and Brandon Draper, Salina natives who have been performing together for more than 30 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. There’s something for everyone in the Draper Family Band!
Brandon and Teryn Draper are no strangers to the Smoky Hill River Festival. This year, Festival-goers can expect onstage science experiments, hands-on drumming participation, a puppet show featuring an intergalactic dance battle and the impromptu drum jams that make Drum Safari famous!
Drum Safari Presents: Drums, Dragons, and Unicorns!
Drum Safari Presents: Arty’s BIG Party!
Drum Safari Roving Drum Circles
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 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.
Falling Walrus exists inside a combination of genres oriented around rock and groove; with hard-hitting leads and melodies you’ll be humming for weeks!
Dennis Porter is sure to keep crowds laughing as he engages Festival fans young and old in a host of entertaining games and activities. Teaching, playing and having lots of fun is what these shows are all about. Come give it a try!
Music made by the Kansas-based band Haymakers comes from the intersection of blues, folk, bluegrass, country and more. Dustin Arbuckle and Tom Page, mainstays of the Wichita music scene, are joined by their band of esteemed bluegrass and folk musicians. With all members adding to the vocal blend, the Haymakers’ unmistakable appeal rests in its universality and diversity.
This roving odyssey returns for the third year, combining a live DJ/turntablist, live drums, and audience participation. This working DJ station will circle the park all weekend and feature DJ JocMax, cash hollistah. and Brandon Draper, among others. Festival-goers of any age are encouraged to participate in the Hip Hop Wagon’s spontaneous creation of freestyle hip-hop, drumming, and dancing.
Jarabe Mexicano invites audiences on a joyride through a versatile songbook of Mexican folk as well as rock’ n’ roll, Tex-mex, Latin rock and reggae-cumbia. Performing on stringed folk instruments accompanied by lively percussion, Jarabe’s dramatic, harmonized vocals in Spanish and English have gained them admiration from audiences across the country.
“Kidz Bop” albums are composed of kid-friendly versions of Top 40 radio hits and are sung by and for young children. Join Festival favorites from the Banninger family for this karaoke session just for kids!
KuJo is a songwriter, guitar player, and singer with R&B, electric grit, and electronic sensibilities.
Kyshona (Kuh-SHAUNA) Armstrong, a music therapist gone rogue, has a natural gift for using music to tap into emotion. She began her career working in mental health hospitals and correctional facilities, writing music with her patients and using it to redirect behaviors and emotions. Kyshona soon found the need to write music independently to process her daily experiences with clients. Audiences will find a common thread of overcoming, hope, and empowerment in her songwriting and storytelling, showcasing vocal stylings reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Al Green.
Steve Treder brings giant bubbles and stilt walking all the way from the coastline of California! With the help of scientifically formulated bubble solution, you’ll witness one of nature’s thinnest and strongest geometric shapes. Performances include the cloud of tiny bubbles, bubble manipulation, bubbles inside of a bubble, giant bubbles and a person in a bubble!
This power trio is fueled by Howard Mahan’s attention-demanding guitar style, Tim King’s thundering bass lines and Landon Livingston’s virtuosic percussion.
With his legendary trombone skills and a crew of skilled musicians from Kansas City, Marcus Lewis delivers modern jazz for music lovers of all ages to the Smoky Hill River Festival. Notable artists that Lewis has performed with over the years include Aretha Franklin, Prince, Janelle Monáe and Bruno Mars.
Mattson and Weaver perform a unique blend of traditional, folk, contemporary and original music, laced with stories and humor.
The Phantom Blues Band is an internationally renowned two-time Grammy Award-winning group. These six men have contributed to blues and rock ‘n’ roll musical history as session players and sidemen with Taj Mahal, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, John Fogerty, Elton John, Gregg Allman, Ziggy Marley, The Rolling Stones and many more. The Phantom Blues Band explores everything from Texas blues to Memphis soul, with an injection of reggae for good measure.
Post Oak Union is a Salina-based rock ‘n’ roll/blues quartet that plays a diverse selection of tunes that you know and love, but rarely hear played live.
Led by the inimitable Eddie Creer, this ensemble will display surprising set choices, arrangements and vocals.
Brooklyn-based SunDub, an inventive collaborative mix of New York City musicians, offers classic reggae repertoire peppered with soul and funk selections. Joanna Teters’ commanding and smoky lead vocals blend seamlessly with the super-tight arrangements of the SunDub rhythm section. The result is a stand out expression of reggae’s classic undulating pulse and lush subterranean grooves, reinvented for listeners of all ages and fans of all genres.
The Sunset Sinners are a collection of four of the region’s finest musicians, playing whisky-barrel rock and a fusion of Southern & 70’s rock with red dirt country. The Sinners are super high energy performing their own originals along with Sinnerized classics! Their single and music video for their original song, “Always Time for One More Beer” has garnered a lot of attention with the video going viral throughout the Midwest and Southern US & Eastern Europe. The Sinners will also have the dynamic Taylor Kline (guitar, harp, vocals) join them for a rocking classic ending to the 2020 Smoky Hill River Festival!
Children will learn about the importance of staying healthy and how dancing can help accomplish that. Dancers will perform two pieces and hear from the dancers, then get up and dance themselves!
Mike Silverman, aka That 1 Guy, has set himself apart as a one-of-a-kind talent that rivals any other artist currently in the entertainment industry. With his pioneering main instrument The Magic Pipe, a monstrosity of metal, strings and electronics, he dynamically creates live music and magic in ways only That 1 Guy can conjure. Expect to see magic integrated into his clever performances. With the addition of magic into his live shows, That 1 Guy has legitimately achieved an all-inclusive audio/visual performance unlike anything many have experienced before.
Salina’s own horned-based party band always has something new to offer – great vocals, amazing percussion, and a feel-good vibe
If a Hawaiian vacation and a three ring circus had a child, it would the Flyin Hawaiian Show. Your host Sara has the spunk and sweetness of a pineapple, grace of a dolphin, and jokes as great as your Dads! The Circus meets paradise in the Flyin Hawaiian Show, acrobatic hula hoop performance, contortion skills, and interactive clowning all climax upon a 15’ high coconut tree you have to see to believe. You have never seen a hula hoop show like this, nor have you ever been on a holiday vacation quite as entertaining as this one. It is the best of both worlds, so sit back, have a laugh, and enjoy the show. (all ages appropriate)
The Hooten Hallers are a high-energy blues-rock band known for hard-traveling and wild live shows, with a seemingly endless tour schedule. The myriad of influences in their music incorporates elements of rhythm & blues, rock ’n’ roll, honky-tonk, jazz, soul, and punk, with a thematic penchant for the strange and the unexplained. Their live shows take listeners on a seamless ride from raucous blues on the lap steel and bass sax, to a sweet three-part harmony country ballad, to a romping dance number.
Festival favorites Johnna and John interact with the crowd while twisting and turning plastic balloons into artistic 3-D creatures, hats, and more, as they rove throughout the park. Even the youngest Festival fans will be the stars, as these balloon masters deliver one-of-a-kind creations to enhance the Festival’s 43rd year of arts celebration!
Would you like to perform on one of our stages at the Smoky Hill River Festival? Fill out an application and submit to be considered for next year’s event.