Entertainment


Music defines the Smoky Hill River Festival - with a fascinating medley of styles. From country, jazz, classical and a cappella to reggae, fusion, blues, and ethnic, the Festival presents an incredible variety of groups and styles in a wide variety of venues.

Lost WaxFriday , 8:30 pm, Eric Stein Stage
Lost Wax
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Since its formation in 2008, Lost Wax has grown into the region's premier party band. Bringing unparalleled energy to its performances with Kansas City's top talent, Lost Wax is known for musical mash-ups that keep the audience moving to six decades of pop, rock, hip hop and R&B. Bring your dancing shoes!
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Larkin PoeSaturday , 8:30 pm, Eric Stein Stage
Larkin Poe
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Rebecca and Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe are singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist sisters creating their own brand of roots rock 'n' roll: gritty, soulful and flavored by their Southern heritage as they stomp and slide into a modern-day depiction of American roots music. As descendants of poet Edgar Allen Poe, the Lovell sisters have creative and unconventional artistry in their veins. The band infuses pop sensibilities into their sound.
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Joe's Pet ProjectSunday , 3:30 pm, Eric Stein Stage
Joe's Pet Project
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Joe's Pet Project is a free-wheelin' musical experiment known for presenting euphoric live shows of diverse originals and eclectic covers. Featuring Nathan Tysen on vocals, Ryan McCall on keyboards, John Hobson on guitar, Jason Hammond on bass and Lance Gilchrist on drums, the band is excited to be back at the Smoky Hill River Festival. The group has something special planned for Sunday afternoon, in addition to performing throughout the Festival!
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THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND . . .

Amado Espinoza Trio
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Amado Espinoza Trio - The Amado Espinoza Trio is rooted in the traditional folk sounds of the Andes Mountains and explores their compositions with a musical wanderlust that is at once contemplative and high-energy. Musical lead, Amado Espinoza is from Cochabamba, Bolivia. He is a musician that plays over 40 instruments from all over the world. He is also a composer and instrument maker, a current Charlotte Street Artist-in-Resident, a recent recipient of an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant, and a TEDxKC performer. Friday, Sunday
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Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations
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Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations - A veteran of the progressive roots scene, Dustin Arbuckle continues kicking up dust with Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations. A musician of vast appetites, he's long held an appreciation for traditional American music in the vein of Charley Patton as well as the cross-pollinated sounds of The Band or Stax-style soul with occasional forays into deep country and even jazz. Saturday, Sunday
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Jessica Fichot
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Jessica Fichot - L.A.-based chanteuse, songwriter and accordionist Jessica Fichot is a lot like her hometown of Paris - French at heart, but with a soul that's truly international. Drawing from her multi-ethnic French / Chinese / American upbringing, Fichot's music fuses styles and languages. She takes listeners on a twisting journey from the French chanson tradition into the lands of gypsy jazz, 1940's Chinese swing, international folk, and into the wilderness of her imagination. Friday, Saturday
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Joe's Pet Project
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Joe's Pet Project - Joe's Pet Project is a free-wheelin' musical experiment known for presenting euphoric live shows of diverse originals and eclectic covers. Featuring Nathan Tysen on vocals, Ryan McCall on keyboards, John Hobson on guitar, Jason Hammond on bass and Lance Gilchrist on drums, the band is excited to be back at the Smoky Hill River Festival. Friday, Saturday
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Joseph Vincelli Group
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Joseph Vincelli Group - Saxophonist, flutist, author - what sets Joseph apart from other smooth-jazz artists is his audience engagement and the ability to create music from an array of sources which many others would consider stretching the limits. In addition to entertaining worldwide audiences, he devotes time to giving master classes to students interested in the music industry, as well as his arts non-profit The Artist Outreach. A regional favorite, Joseph is thrilled to be back at the Smoky Hill River Festival! Friday, Saturday
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Matt Stansberry & the Romance
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Matt Stansberry & the Romance - A nine-piece, American rock 'n' roll band based in Oklahoma City, Matt Stansberry & The Romance has developed its own sound by blending American popular music, blues, R&B, soul and funk. Early influences include Buddy Holly, James Brown, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. The group is known for its dynamic live shows and message of love, hope and unity. Friday, Saturday
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Papa Green Shoes
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Papa Green Shoes - Papa Green Shoes is a high-energy, four-piece band rooted in modern blues with touches of soul, funk and rock. The band was founded by the Cottengim Brothers and is named in tribute to their late father Jimmy Guy Cottengim, a popular songwriter and Ozarks entertainer. A huge hit at the 2018 Smoky Hill River Festival, Papa Green Shoes carries on that tradition as the funkiest blues band you'll ever hear. Friday, Saturday, Sunday
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Victor & Penny and the Loose Change Orchestra
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Victor & Penny and the Loose Change Orchestra - Victor and Penny sing music they call Antique Pop, on the ukulele and a lovely old guitar. Playing vintage instruments with modern sensibility, they bring a fresh twist to music of the early 20th century and unique arrangements of modern tunes with characteristic charm and good humor. They are joined by the Loose Change Orchestra to form a lively quartet that's fun, playing melodic tunes for all ages. Friday, Saturday
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Big Red Horse - Big Red Horse is a rock band deeply rooted in the blues. With the powerful hard-rock sound and the sultry vocals of Nikki Sample, this group will bring down the house. Friday


The Blades - Salina's own horned-based party band always has something new to offer - great vocals, amazing percussion and a feel-good vibe Saturday


Calibre Pesado - Playing a genre of music considered Mexican Regional, Calibre Pesado was founded by two brothers and has expanded over the years, developing it's sound within versatile musical styles ranging from Norteño, Cumbia, Ranchera, Charanga, Zapatiáda, Corridos and more. Friday


Cheryl Rutz & Lewis Street Soul - Described as "Blues with an Attitude," this band is the perfect vibe for the River Festival! Cheryl Rutz and her group of local players share the best rock 'n' roll, blues and American roots hits of the good ol' days. With powerful lead female vocals and the expert backing of an organ, drums, bass and fiery electric guitar, the audience won't be able to stay in their seats. Sunday


Dex & Dean - Salina's own dynamic musical duo, Dex Umekubo and Dean Kranzler perform an eclectic collection of oldies, pop standards and classic country hits. Dex's vocals and guitar playing, combined with Dean's percussion wizardry, create musical fun for audiences of all ages. Sunday


Everyday Lights - 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. Their ability to combine a variety of musical styles including folk, country, rock and bluegrass keeps the audience guessing and looking forward to the next song. Sunday


Hanson & Co - Whether bluesy rock or a surprising interpretation of a standard tune, it's sure to have a certain "Hanson" spin . . . and you just never know who might be sitting in! Saturday


Hedge People - Have a tree hug with amazing real life Hedge People! Introducing one of the planet's most quirky, outrageous and downright silly walkabout entertainment acts - The Living Topiary! Straight from the pages of a fairy tale, this human-shaped bush comes to life to walk, talk and cuddle his way around the park. Friday, Saturday, Sunday


Hip Hop Wagon - 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 spontaneous creation of free-style hip-hop, drumming and dancing. Friday, Saturday, Sunday


Jason D'Vaude: One Man Show - Jason D'Vaude is a self-taught object manipulator born in Kansas City. Over the years, Jason has honed his skills and pushed his luck with knives, torches, axes and the dreaded stinky-shoe juggling. From handstands to comedy, Jason has matured (a little) and so has his act. Friday, Saturday, Sunday


KingTones - The KingTones band is a good mix of Texas and Chicago Blues. Their brand of music is referred to as bbq-ed blues! Featuring great vocals, a tight rhythm section, and hot guitar work, their repertoire consists of covers of classic blues and blues-rock tunes as well as numerous originals. Friday


Mahan - 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 abilities. Each is a strong vocalist in their own right, and the blending of vocal styles in this group ensures that everyone in an audience will hear something with which they connect. Sunday


Mattson & Weaver - Mattson and Weaver perform a unique blend of traditional, folk, contemporary, and original music, laced with stories and humor. Friday, Saturday, Sunday


Post Oak Union - Post Oak Union is a Salina based rock 'n' roll /blues quartet formed by musicians who have previously played in the area's most recognizable local groups, as well as backing up national and international artists. They play a diverse selection of tunes that you know and love but rarely hear played live. Friday


Salina Central Jazz Band - Learning the art of improvisation is like learning how to fly; you just have to make the leap. Enjoy these young players - surprising things will happen! Sunday


Salina Municipal Band - Now celebrating an impressive 132 years, this hometown band plays from the great American songbook and much more. Saturday


Salina South New Dawn Singers - Led by the inimitable Eddie Creer, this ensemble will display surprising set choices, arrangements and vocals. Friday


Treehouse - Treehouse, whose main members consist of sweethearts Sarah and Tim Crews, play primarily original songs written by Sarah. They also do some covers and sometimes even requests. Come on up to the Treehouse listen to Sarah's delicious lyrics and Tim's tasty mandolin licks. You never know who might join Sarah and Tim next in the Treehouse. Friday


Up Up and Away Balloons - 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! Friday, Saturday, Sunday

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BRAVO! STAGENorth of the Statue of Liberty

The Bravo! Stage features great performances, master classes, and other participatory activities presented by talented folks who live in the area, and by performers from Salina schools and cultural organizations.

Ad Astra JamFriday, , Bravo
Ad Astra's Open Mic Jam comes to the Bravo Stage. Sign-up starts at 10 a.m. on Friday to perform for one of four seven-minute slots on Friday morning. Basic instruments will be provided. Come share your jams!

Big Red HorseFriday, , Bravo
Big Red Horse is a rock band deeply rooted in the blues. With the powerful hard-rock sound and the sultry vocals of Nikki Sample, this group will bring down the house.

Blood TideFriday, , Bravo
Taking the stage with dreamy, heavy and ominous psych rock, Blood Tide offers new sounds to the Festival. See the members of Dougie Jones and the Sonny Jims change gears and play a much different energy!

Brian BulgerSunday, , Bravo
Brian and the band mix folk and alternative sounds with spoken-word poetry, storytelling and nostalgia to create carefully crafted songs with a variety of instruments.

Buildings Like MountainsSaturday, , Bravo
Buildings Like Mountains, uses their alt-rock inspiration to produce a sound like that of young Elliot summoning the courage to help a friendly alien escape earth and return to his home world.

The CavvesSaturday, , Bravo
Describing themselves as angsty-indie rock with a touch of emotional surf, The Cavves are an exciting addition to the Festival's roster of up- and-coming entertainers!

Dougie Jones & The Sonny JimsFriday, , Bravo
Midwest emo-indie rock with minimalist inclinations, this band will engage you in an experience of sound.

Fret HighwayFriday, , Bravo
Fret Highway is folk rock, grunge, indie rock, group performing original music inspired by life's ups and downs and ins and outs, always attempting to find that silver lining in hopes of bringing you along on a musical trek to feel the sounds of life itself.

KeyBoySaturday, , Bravo
KeyBoy performs his project, Meaningful Music - uplifting beats with a pop sound that everyone will enjoy.

Taylor KlineSaturday, , Bravo
Taylor Kline is a folk and country musician from Delphos, KS. He currently travels around the Midwest playing solo shows, and is actively booking gigs. His song's vocals are accompanied by his acoustic guitar and harmonica on a neck brace. He plays his own original material, as well as covers of artists who have influenced Taylor's style, including Van Morrison and Neil Young.

Matthew MulnixSunday, , Bravo
Matthew Mulnex is an alternative pop/rock musician from Lawrence, KS. Performing both originals and covers through the filter of coffee-shop guitar and vocals, Matthew loves entertaining audiences with his honest, yet accessible live sets playing originals and covers ranging from Willie Nelson to Panic! at the Disco.

Normal ReactionSaturday, , Bravo
The trio of Catfish Jones, Mississippi Fuzz and Delta Stank drew from traditional folk and pop to write their original catalog and continue to pen new gems, ever seeking those elusive songs that have yet to be written

The Poetry Spot, brought to you by cash hollistah.Saturday, , Bravo
Enjoy original spoken work and music talented artists from across the state. Feel free to share some of YOUR material...if you dare!!

Prestige School of DanceSunday, , Bravo
National award winning dancers based out of Salina. Prestige School of Dance believes in the lifelong benefits of dance.

The RadiclesSaturday, , Bravo
In botany, a "radicle" is the part of the plant embryo that develops into the primary root. The Radicles each have roots in Kansas, but didn't find each other until meeting in Salina through The Land Institute. The members found synergy around a shared passion for making music and an inspiration to bring about positive change in the world. Their high-energy blend of rock, blues, punk and pop come together in a playful mix of covers and originals spanning decades and genres.

Spartan Press PresentsFriday, , Bravo
Spartan Press presents a showcase of multi- genre artistry featuring several regional poets and spoken word artists collaborating with special musical guests the Gothic Cowboy Review from Lawrence, KS and Red Kate from Kansas City, MO.

Tamara Howe School of DanceSaturday, , Bravo
National award winning dancers based out of Salina. Tamara Howe's studio inspires a passion for the art of dance.

Triad Jazz TrioFriday, , Bravo
The Triad Jazz Trio is comprised of three Salina Central High School students: junior Nelson Gutsch on bass and seniors José Arrieta on piano and Miles Denning on percussion. They have 14 years of jazz experience between them. They perform many different styles of jazz, from ballads to funk to swing and more. They have also written their own music, which they take great pride in sharing.

Sadie Lilly WardSunday, , Bravo
Playing solo on the Bravo stage this year, Sadie is a young Salina native who puts emotion and feeling into the music she plays.


ARTY'S STAGE Northwest of the Tennis Court
A merry introduction to the performing arts for the young and young at heart, the Arty's Stage presents a grab bag of smiles, songs, and silliness, designed with families in mind.

Amado's Junkyard Orchestra Friday, Saturday
Amado's Junkyard Orchestra
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Multi-instrumentalist Amado Espinoza, along with musicians Andres Ramirez and Karen Lisondra, will delight audiences with the Junkyard Orchestra, demonstrating how musical instruments can be made out of practically anything. Whether they're playing a classical Arabic flute made from a broom or a Bolivian guitar fashioned out of a cookie tin, Espinoza's Junkyard Orchestra proves that using recycled materials and found objects opens up musical horizons.
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Drum SafariFriday, Saturday, Sunday
Drum Safari
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Brandon and Teryn Draper are no strangers to the Smoky Hill River Festival. This year, the Drapers and their Drum Safari program partnered with SHRF to design and curate more audience participation activities specifically for kids in Artyopolis. Additions this year include a brand-new science show featuring Magic Bubbles, puppet shows, and the impromptu drum jams that make Drum Safari famous!
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Duke OtherwiseFriday, Saturday, Sunday
Duke Otherwise
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Duke Otherwise is a playful wordsmith, a spirited performer, a skilled guitarist and 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!
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The Hanson FamilySunday
Hear inspiring stories and watch the Hanson family perform amazing juggling and unicycle tricks while you discover how to improve yourself through reading and also learn new skills. After the show, take part in juggling lessons and balance skill-challenges!


Happy Faces EntertainmentFriday, Saturday, Sunday
Happy Faces Entertainment
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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!
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Kidz BopFriday
"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!


Magic BubblesFriday, Saturday, Sunday
Magic Bubbles
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Steve Treder brings giant bubbles, balloon twisting 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 person in a bubble!


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For a complete list of performance dates and times, see the ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE.



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