The Red Jacket Jamboree, Calumet's old-time radio variety show, features stories, music and songs reflecting the history, landscape and culture of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The March show, which celebrates the CopperDog 150 and The Great Bear Chase, features the band Breathe Owl Breathe and storyteller Pete Griffin.
Hailing from Traverse City, Breathe Owl Breathe spends their time playing and touring around North America, bringing laughter and excitement wherever they go. Their songs blend the carefree playfulness of childhood with the darker realities of growing up and growing old. Their performance is pure fun, and the joy they exude from the stage will lighten your spirit and send you home smiling.
Nicknamed the Storytelling Ranger, Pete Griffin has been sharing his stories with thousands of people. He started his career with the US Forest Service in 1973 as a wildlife biologist. When he was promoted to District Ranger on the Tongass National Forest in Juneau, Alaska in 1999, he started recording short natural history vignettes for radio, titled, “Tongass Trails.” The essays documented his exploration of the temperate rainforest and eventually incorporated Pete's experiences growing up in the U.P. (yes, he's a Yooper). The series ran five years, drawing public praise in the Capital City. Pete later narrated Shades of Green, a Forest Service production of video stories about life and land of the Tongass as told by the people who live and work there.
Following his retirement from the Forest Service, Pete shared natural history stories aboard the Disney Wonder, a 2600-passenger cruise ship, along the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska in its inaugural season. On board he performed stage shows for hundreds of passengers at a time, featuring unique aspects of some common and not-so-common species of plants and wildlife of Southeast Alaska, in addition to spending hours on deck with binoculars talking to passengers about glaciers, bears, whales, and the forests they were seeing. Pete will be sharing several stories during the show including “The Great Snowshoe Race.”
Every episode of The Red Jacket Jamboree includes performances by “The Copper Cats,” with Bill Carrothers on piano, Jerry Younce on guitar, Carrie Biolo on percussion and vibraphone and Harry South on bass; and humorous sketches by the Red Jacket Actors.
Real People Media was nominated for a Spark Plug award for The Red Jacket Jamboree, old-time radio variety show! The nomination is for "Project of the Year" The Spark Plug awards recognized individuals, businesses and organizations in a number of categories.
"We just want the community to recognize the businesses, the organizations, the projects, that help the community grow. It's just giving recognition to those that work hard and deserve it," said Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce member relations and events coordinator Whitney Warstler.
The annual award ceremony is Thursday, March 1st at the Bonfire Steak House in Houghton.
Real People Media would like to acknowledge the staff and volunteers who have helped bring the Red Jacket Jamboree to life! To date we have recorded 6 one-hour radio shows which share the stories, songs and history of the Keweenaw Peninsula with the rest of the state. The nomination gives testimony to the hard work of these individuals.
The Red Jacket Jamboree is presented by Main Street Calumet and Real People Media. The 2017/2018 season is funded with a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, The Leo S. Guthman Fund, the Keweenaw National Historical Park, Philip and Marlene Glotfelty and private donors plus in-kind support from dozens of local businesses.
Peg Carrothers is our featured vocalist for "Keweenaw Kiss" our Valentine Day Episode of The Red Jacket Jamboree held on February 10th. The February performance will also celebrate Michigan Tech's “Winter Carnival.”
The show will feature an eclectic array of music by “The Copper Cats” with featured guest vocalist Peg Carrothers, poetry by poet laureate of the U.P. Martin Achatz, and sketches by Red Jacket Actors: Ruby Birckelbaw, Noah Ekdom and Ralph Horvath. The show is hosted by Lena Dorey. “ The Copper Cats” features Bill Carrothers on piano, Jerry Younce on guitar, Carrie Biolo on percussion and vibraphone and Harry South on bass.
Peg Carrothers was born and raised in "Nordeast" Minneapolis. Her musical training began as a young child, learning songs from the family for every season and occasion. Her love for song and a music scholarship led her to pursue a music degree at St Catherine’s College and finish up at the University of Minnesota, studying in the classical opera tradition before vocal jazz was a developed curriculum. It was during these early college years that she met Bill Carrothers, who suggested Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday for her thirsty young jazz ears. Turning to the jazz community, she built a standard repertoire, performing in local venues with many talented musicians. Along with Bill Carrothers she's shared the stage with Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, Jay Epstein, Jacqueline Ferrier-Ultan, Adam Linz, and others and is featured on cellist Matt Turner's CD, "The Voices That Are Gone" (Illusions).
The 2017/2018 season of The Red Jacket Jamboree is a production of Main Street Calumet and Real People Media, a nonprofit organization helping people share their stories through the literary, visual, performing and media arts. The program is made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and private donors. More information is at the website: www.redjacketjamboree.org. The performance is Saturday, February 10 at 7pm. The audience is asked to be in their seats 10 minutes prior to the performance. Tickets for reserved seating can be purchased online at www.calumettheatre.org or by calling the box office at (906) 337-2610.