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Red Jacket Jamboree Brings
Episodes to IPR Airways
Traverse City Record Eagle
November 2, 2018
Red Jacket Jamboree: A New Variety Show highlights local history, regional artists.
Marquette Mining Journal
December 27, 2018
I've had the opportunity to hear Red Jacket Jamboree performances on two occasions. The first was in northern lower Michigan where I heard the show on Interlochen Public Radio while the second was a live in-person performance at the Calumet Theatre in Calumet, MI. When I first heard the show, I was amazed to be hearing a show that focused on the history and the voices of the Copper Country! For several years, I had vacationed in the Keweenaw and knew a little about the culture and history of the area and the copper mining that occurred there, but the Red Jacket Jamboree really brought that history to life through the combination of storytelling, live music, and sketch skits. I was so excited when I subsequently learned I would be in the Keweenaw at the time a live performance was being recorded and would be able to attend!
As a downstate Michigander, I grew up with some awareness of the culture and history of Michigan's Upper Peninsula's Copper Country, but it was quite limited. Upon visiting the Copper Country however, I became aware of how rich a history there is which I believe very important to not only preserve but also to celebrate!
The Red Jacket Jamboree is uniquely special in that it not only brings life to the stories of all people from the area, including the indigenous peoples and European settlers, to share across the generations, but it also highlights a very unique and special place in Michigan's cultural and industrial history and its contributions to the world at large!
Adam Rogers 6/2/2020
“There’s this amazing energy to the performances — they come off so joyous and animated,” “I think it’s the homespun feel, the sense of place,”
Peter Payette, IPR executive director.
“It was a wonderful time! There was this whole other dimension to it — you’re in this beautiful historic theater with a great crowd. The performers were really top-notch and down-home.”
Scott Nelles, Elk Rapids (Audience Member)
"What a thrill, to by chance hear the show on the radio on my long drive home Wednesday. It was wonderful!"
Mary Sue Weist Hyslop (WNMU-Public Radio 90 Listener)
"Thank you for letting us all see and enjoy such an unique show. I loved all the history that was involved into it along with the pretty songs. I really loved the little play about driving to Michigan (the U.P.) I also loved the star history. Have fun and continue playing/performing! You're all great" L. Turner - Member of Trio Upward Bound
"I was riveted by Bill Jamerson’s story about the boys taking Pastys to their fathers in the mines. I felt carried back in time. I could see the mine shafts and imagine the men eating lunch. I had one of those moments were you stay in your car to listen to it. I didn’t want to miss any of it. I didn’t want the story to end. I just sat there with my purse in my lap in the car and at the same time sitting outside a mine in the U.P. waiting for my dad to come up the shaft."
Kaye Kraypohl, Traverse City, MI (Interlochen Public Radio Listener)
"The next Prairie Home Companion!"
Dwain Martin, Charlevoix (Radio Listener)
"Oh my GAWD !!! Show is so good !!! Heard the story of the miners... listened to the Copper Cats play (so awesome) and the time travel sketch... This is just SO GOOD!"
-Vincent Miller, Kalamazoo, MI (Radio Listener-streamed online)
"I had the honor of being invited as the Storyteller for episodes #21 and #22 and enjoyed being a part of the very professional cast and crew. It was rewarding to blend my personal Michigan narratives with the theme, music and script for each episode and watch the production unfold from rehearsal to live performance.
The Red Jacket Jamboree is blending the unique history of Michigan's mining era with the equally unique and historical format of an Old-time Radio show and in doing so, is preserving two very important traditions.
Thanks!" Jenifer Strauss, Storyteller
"This is so professional, first class, interesting, with lots of history and humor as well!
LUV IT" - Tony Jakubowski, Charlevoix, MI (Radio Listener)
"Amazing show, A good time was had by all ! Thank you"
Andrew Vetland, Staten Island, New York (Audience Member)
"A new entertainment program for all ages! Loved it!"
- Margaret Seligman, Charlevoix, MI (Radio Listener)
If you like the idea of time travel and you love our great Upper Peninsula, book a stay at the Laurium Manor Inn, order a drink at Shute’s, and buy a ticket to the Red Jacket Jamboree. It is truly a magical experience, and one that I greatly recommend for your next trip North.”
-Kerry Yost, Marquette, MI
"The Red Jacket Jamboree is a gem that shines light on Copper Country history, culture and many modern day talents! Our community has enjoyed hearing from a range local and regional artists featured on the show, from acclaimed poets and actors to nationally known jazz pianists and percussionists. Main Street Calumet is so proud to have been a part of the Red Jacket Jamboree’s inaugural season!”
-Leah Polzien, Executive Director, Main Street Calumet, Inc.
"The Red Jacket Jamboree shows are something magical in the way they combine comical skits, sound effects, poems, stories and musical selections that center around the northern Upper Peninsula way of life with a twist of off-beat historical reality. Where else can you imagine catching a giant perch on an ice island you created so you could play your very own icelophone, or find a love of history lurking around town with Madame Blanc? It's been my great pleasure to sing with the "Copper Cats" and perform some renditions from the Great American Songbook for two shows! Thanks for inviting me back! Get out and enjoy being part of the live audience and support this local treasure. It's history in the making!"
-Peg Carrothers, Jazz Vocalist
"I enjoyed the last shows even more than the first two, which I thought could not be surpassed. This time I especially liked the skits and the poetry. And, of course, the musicians were first class as before. How do you get such talent to come up for these shows?" -Ralph Horvath, Atlantic Mine, MI
" I recently had the pleasure of participating in two recordings of The Red Jacket Jamboree at the Calumet Theatre. I met and worked with some world-class musicians and performers, including singer/songwriter Jetty Rae, jazz pianist Bill Carothers, jazz guitarist Jerry Younce, and percussionist Carrie Biolo. As a writer, I mostly work alone, sharing my work through online and print publications. The Red jacket Jamboree allowed me to connect with a community of fellow artists and appreciate the wealth of talent in Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsula.
In addition, I was able to explore the beautiful area surrounding Calumet, a place I had not visited since I was a child. During and after the performance itself, I spoke with audience members about life in the Copper Country—the history, snow, and community. Several audience members thanked me for sharing my poems and essays. These interactions will certainly inform my writing about life in the Upper Peninsula in the future.
The Red Jacket Jamboree will go down as one of the highlights of my tenure as Poet Laureate, and I cannot emphasize enough my support of its continuation and growth."
-Martin Achatz, Poet Laureate of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for 2017-2018.
The Red Jacket Jamboree is an asset to the communities of the Keweenaw. Highlighting local artists, providing opportunities for local actors and engaging local audiences in their heritage is an important role. For Keweenaw National Historical Park, the Red Jacket Jamboree provides a way to present important park issues in a fun format. Topics that we sometimes have trouble tackling head on can be passed along in sketches. In addition, the Jamboree is a way to share, with locals, visitors and other listeners, the stories of this fascinating place that was once an industrial and cultural center of the nation. The park will continue to support this effort by providing stories, sketches and talent. Wyndeth V. Davis, Superintendent Keweenaw National Historical Park
"Calumet loved the icelophone! About an hour before the first show, I was outside ‘tuning’ up the icelophone when a woman approached me --- she heard the sound of the ice, she had seen the icelophone on a facebook post, and she was extremely interested. We talked a long while – I invited her to play the icelophone – what a blast!! The woman, later started following my instagram account and commented on a show photo: “thank you so much for showing me your magical icelophone before the show. Your performance and the show itself was wonderful.”
-Carrie Biolo, percussionist/vibraphonist of the Copper Cats
“Playing bass in The Red Jacket Jamboree has given me the opportunity to fulfill many of my musical and personal goals. An aspect of this show that I find fulfilling is its way of connecting various things. Poetry, music, theatre and comedy all run together in a way that is beautiful and unique. Actors, musicians, storytellers and poets meet for the first time and then connect with the people of Calumet and greater Michigan. The Red Jacket Jamboree is hands down my favorite gig!”
-Harry South, bassist
“To attend a session of the Red Jacket Jamboree is to be transported. Stepping into the historical Calumet Theatre I was guided back to a wholesome time and place where family and friends gather around the radio for an evening of entertainment. The Jamboree’s melange of music, storytelling, history, poetry, and comedy is carefully curated and features exceptional talent from across the state. It highlights local history and current events, and educates the viewer on hallmarks of the Upper Peninsula like the Copper Dog 150 dog sled race.
Executive Director of Real People Media, Rebecca Glotfelty talks about Calumet, the Keweenaw Peninsula and The Red Jacket Jamboree on Pure Michigan Radio. The first interview listed was aired in February 2019. Begin listening to the interview at 8:00
The second interview was first aired December 30, 2017 on radio stations throughout Lower Michigan. To listen to our segment begin listening at 18:40.