Music & Dance

Looking over the musician shoulders on to the big dance floor


The roots, the rhythms and the richness of music, dance, arts and culture from across America and around the world come to downtown East Lansing for the Michigan State University Museum's annual Great Lakes Folk Festival, Aug. 7-9, 2015.

The music and dance program, sponsored, in part, by the City of East Lansing, features performances ranging from Blues to Bluegrass, Celtic and more diverse cultural expressions and traditions. Musical artists usually perform two to four times throughout the weekend, so visitors have a chance to see the bands they like and discover new genres and favorites.

At recent festivals, visitors have had the chance to sing, dance and play along with friends and neighbors.  A session of community singing, joining in on an Old-time Jam, or attending dance introduction workshops taught by festival artists, are among the fun opportunities at this year's festival.  

2015 Festival Performers 

Michigan Fiddler, Bob Bernard  

Bob Bernard
Waltz Fiddle
Lake City, Michigan

Listen to a clip from Lover's Waltz




Dennis Stroughmatt et L'Esprit Creole
French Creole
Albion, Illinois

Listen to a clip from Red Wing

  Dennis Stroughmatt, fiddler, and L'Esprit Creole  

Desafio Norteno, Northern Style Tejano  

Desafio Norteño
Northern-Style Tejano
Grant, Michigan




The Down Hill Strugglers
Brooklyn, New York

Listen to I'll Never Get Drunk Anymore


  The Down Hill Strugglers, play Old time music
Feufollet, Cajun band from Lafayette, LA  


Lafayette, Louisiana

Listen to Cette fois



Montreal, Quebec

Listen to La Finno-GaspCsienne

  The French Canadian Band, Genticorum
Grupo Azteca, Tejano  

Grupo Azteca
Allen Park, Michigan



The Hot Club of Cowtown
Western Swing
Austin, Texas

Listen to Avalon

  Hot Club of Cowtown plays Texas Swing
Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton  

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton
Brooklyn, New York

Listen to Motherless Child Blues



Joey Tomsick Orchestra
Cleveland Polka
Cleveland, Ohio

Listen to a clip of  What Would I Do Without You

Laurie Pietravalle leads traditional contra and square dances  



Laurie Pietravalle
Traditional Dance Caller
Grand Rapids, Michigan







Masters of Harmony
A Cappella Gospel
Detroit, Michigan



  Masters of Harmony, from the Detroit area, sing a capella gospel


Lexington, Kentucky

Listen to a clip of All I Was To You


Roopa Shyamasundara
Indian Bharatanatyam Dance
Rochester Hills, Michigan






The Tannahill Weavers
Scottish Celtic
Paisley, Scotland

Listen to a clip of Grat for Gruel


Tejano Sound Band
Lansing, Michigan

Listen to a clip of Por El Amor De Una Mujer







Uprizin Steel Band
Caribbean Steel Drum
Warren, Michigan

Listen to a clip of Never Can Say Goodbye




Make Music With Us: Participatory Program

Go to the Sing, Dance, Play page