Summer 2016 Schedule

Saturday, June 25, 2016

7:30 pm

Reina del Cid

Saturday, July 2 , 2016

7:30 pm

Mark Lavengood

Bluegrass Bonanza

Saturday, July 9, 2016

7:30 pm

Jill Jack

Saturday, July 23, 2016

7:30 pm

Ronny Cox

Saturday, July 30, 2016

7:30 pm

The Jeremy Kittel Trio

Saturday, August 13, 2016

7:30 pm


Saturday, August 20, 2016

7:30 pm

Barbara Bailey Hutchison

Saturday, August 27, 2015

7:30 pm

The Railroaders

* * * NEW * * *

Chasin’ Steel


     Ronny Cox first performed at Aten Place was in August of 2010, and his personality and willingness to make himself available to our patrons prior to the concert enamored him deeply with our patrons.  A very familiar face from movies and TV, his desire to meet and greet everyone was a unexpected surprise.  This year’s performance will mark his fourth performance on our stage, and will also be his birthday. 

     Ronny is a superbly talented singer-songwriter, musician and actor who has been consistently active in the music world and Hollywood for over 40 years. Ronny met his wife, Mary, when in high school, and they married in 1960.  Mary passed away in 2006, 50 years to the day of their first date. Ronny often talks about her during his music performances. A father to two sons of his own, he brings his extraordinary view of life into a magnetic, likable, onstage persona.

Ronny’s music is eclectic, a woven tapestry of songs and stories with an over-all arc that eventually comes together and tells something about “the human condition”. Scores of fans and promoters will attest that attending one of his performances is one of the greatest evenings to experience. With the gift of a consummate storyteller, he shares funny, sad and tender moments. His loyal band of listeners are blessed, if only for a while, to spend time with a truly remarkable man. Enhancing these great stories is the music provided by Ronny and his band of world-class, virtuoso musicians.

A look of familiarity has helped make Cox one of Hollywood’s most versatile character actors. His first time in front of a camera featured him playing the guitar in the Dueling Banjos scene in Deliverance, creating one of the most iconic moments in the history of moviemaking. He has also appeared in films like Beverly Hills Cop, Total Recall, Taps, Bound For Glory, The Onion Field, all told over 125 movies and television appearances. Despite his great success in movies and TV, what he says he loves most is singing and playing the guitar. According to him, nothing cuts through to the heart like music. The acting experience simply enhances his musical and song-writing skills.

      The 2016 Aten Place Summer Concerts in  the Barn will open with a young and talented band from St. Paul Minnesota.  We discovered Reina through her weekly performances submitted and available on YouTube ( 

    In 2012, Reina del Cid began a weekly residency at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in downtown St. Paul where she played with her band every week for nearly two years. It is in such locales—dimly lit by candles, astir with the clinking of wine glasses—that artists often shed their cocoons. Del Cid, a naturally introverted bookworm, used this regular stage to lay down the blueprints for what would become her characteristic self-effacing stage banter. Flash forward two years to 2015’s The Cooling: the band is freshly emerged from the pressure cooker of more than 300 shows over two years both in their hometown and on national tours—tighter, bolder, and more sophisticated in style and form. Del Cid has blossomed into an authentic storyteller, a kaleidoscope of onstage charm. It is the kind of metamorphosis one might expect from all those nights of experimentation in front of live audiences.

     Reina commands a flexibility of language reminiscent of Regina Spektor or Ingrid Michaelson, artists she is often compared to, but more of Virginia Woolf or Sylvia Plath.   Yet there is a Newtonian balance of forces in Reina del Cid’s band: for every droll phrase or inventive image pushing the music toward the realm of the cerebral, there is a corresponding musical contribution from the richly talented Toni Lindgren. The young guitarist is adept at orchestrating and fleshing out the skeletons of del Cid’s songs into an engaging brand of pop rock, equal parts stratified and accessible. These lyrical and musical forces have never combined more compellingly than in the band’s sophomore album, The Cooling.

     Reina del Cid is no longer the singer songwriter she was five years ago, shyly posting songs to the Internet from a college dorm. As the new album exhibits, she is the front woman of a band that knows its music and performs it with the passion that comes from having stretched boundaries, transformed together, and infused each song with the magic of a live show.

    Reina’s band is Toni Lindgren on lead guitar, Christopher Wiberg on upright bass, and Zach Schmidt on drums.

     We have realized over the years that bluegrass music was not only intended to be played in barns, but our barn is the perfect setting for this genre of music.  The Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza brings together five of Michigan’s most talented bluegrass performers, and will be an exceptional evening for bluegrass lovers in Northern Michigan.

     Aten Place patrons will recognize Mark as the dobro player from Lindsey Lou & the Flatbellys.  Other members of the Bluegrass Bonanza include Jason Dennie (mandolin), Spencer Cain (bass), Kyle Rhodes (guitar), and Keith Bilik (banjo).  Keith and Spencer also are members of Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys.

     Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1984, Mark Lavengood’s first musical impressions were formed by a family that valued the importance of music; a family that looked to music for strength and for the purest sense of joy and community. Mark studied with Dave Zerbe in the Alma College Percussion Ensemble while dabbling in the jazz band, choir, and marching band while studying Spanish and International Business at Alma College. Post-graduation, Lavengood honed his skills on the dobro playing with the self-proclaimed rebels of Michigan folkgrass, winter/sessions while simultaneously working part-time at the world acclaimed Founder’s Brewery in Grand Rapids, MI.

     Mark keeps busy with a rich and diverse mix of activities. He currently plays full-time with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys and contributes his craft with his own band, the Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza! and other regional and national acts when time provides.

     Jill Jack first played the Aten Place stage in July of 2006.  Those that attended that evening’s performance will remember the raw emotion and talent that Jill presented that evening, and how she captivated the audience.  Her career to that point had not brought her front and center in a listening house setting, where an audience  is uniquely and intimately hers.  That evening helped influence a change of  trajectory of her future as a singer-songwriter.  This summer marks her sixth evening at Aten Place.

    Jill Jack’s magical connection to her audience is the result of her generous

artistry.  By combining her gifts as a conceptual visionary with a warm

gathering of musical influences, Jill touches that secret heart of ours with her

melodies and lyrics. In her hometown of Detroit, Jill needs no further explanation.

She’s been lauded in equal measure to her talents: Since 1997 she’s won 37 Detroit

Music Awards in every conceivable category that applies to a singer-songwriter.

     Much of this provincial success is due to her charming stage presence and emotive songwriting. It’s simply called connecting, and it’s the bounty of a true songwriter open to all of life: her own defeats, victories, hopes dashed, dreams fulfilled, her muse, her loneliness, her misplaced love and her romantic successes.  Jill has built her audience with her whimsical, genuine live performances. Genuine is the defining term here. Propelled by her musical exemplars Joni Mitchell and Emmy Lou Harris, there are few performers with less conflict between who they are on stage and off than Jill. She extends the tradition of the confessional (i.e. achingly open, unafraid of intimacy) singer-songwriter, and is proud of that style and its continuation.

     You get all of Jill Jack in a performance -- her blend of folk and rock traditions, her open humor. Jill harbors little of her process from her audience -- each concert is about opening a window and shining a light into her songwriting, leading inevitably to the intense relationship with her fans. Her career is founded on folk’s best idea -- that there’s a shared knowing between artist and audience, a conversation that flows both ways during a show.

   Jeremy Kittel last played Aten Place in 2011.  The evening may be most memorable as the only show in which our audience leaped to their feet with a standing ovation following the band’s first song.  Jeremy’s career continues to rise, including being a featured performer on the October 10, 2015 Prairie Home Companion show on PBS.

     Jeremy Kittel is an American fiddler, violinist, and composer.  Joining Jeremy in his Aten Place performance will be Joshua Pinkham on mandolin and Quinn Bachand on guitar.

     Fluent in multiple musical genres, his original music draws from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, Classical, electronic, and more.  In addition to his own projects, he has composed and arranged for such artists as Abigail Washburn, Aoife O’Donovan, My Morning Jacket, Camera Obscura, Jars of Clay, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Laura Veirs, and the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet (of which he was a member for five years). He has also recorded with artists such as Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mark O’Connor and Mike Marshall.

     Committed to the belief that music and the arts are central to the human experience, he is a passionate clinician and educator. He has taught at such programs as Berklee College of Music, Belmont University, The New School, International Music Academy of Pilsen, Zurich University of the Arts, Mark O’Connor Strings Camps, the Swannanoa Gathering, and Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School.\

     Kittel has a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from his alma mater, the University of Michigan.  He has received numerous other awards over the years, including the US National Scottish Fiddle Championship, six Detroit Music Awards and two ASTA Alternative Style awards.  He was also the first recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.

     Several members of Nessa played Aten Place in 2010 as members of the celtic band Cairn to Cairn.  Since that time they have regrouped and added new artists, forming a band that has a more eclectic interpretation of celtic music that infuses  jazz with traditional, and enables them to draws out the individual talents of all the band members.

     Nessa is a Detroit area ensemble led by flutist/vocalist Kelly McDermott. Ms. McDermott’s musical journey started with three degrees in flute performance, two of them advanced degrees from Temple University. She later worked for more than a decade around the East coast as an orchestral and chamber musician. This brand new group combines classical, jazz, and Celtic influences with accents of world music, and soul. The music reflects Ms. McDermott’s deep passion for rediscovering, and rearranging old Celtic and European folk songs, along with clever, soulful arrangements of Classical themes. Nessa is a fun, funky ensemble with depth and color that includes some of Southeastern Michigan’s finest players.

   Nessa Celtic Fusion members are Kelly McDermott, flute, vocals, keyboard, ocarina, Rob Crozier, bass, guitar, djembe, didgeridoo, vocals, Todd Glass, drums/ percussion, and Gabe Bolkosy on fiddle.

    This a very unique night for Barbara as it will be her official final public performance.  After a long and rewarding career she will now focus her artistic talents on her other love, painting and original paper designs.  Aten Place is honored to be the host for this very special evening.  This evening will mark her 16th show at Aten Place.

    This Grammy Award winning singer songwriter has a voice that is familiar to millions of television and radio listeners. She has appeared at the White House three times, performed in nearly all 50 states, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand.

    Barbara grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She launched her career in music while attending Michigan State University, where she gained a loyal following performing in the local listening rooms and music clubs. She began touring colleges & universities throughout the United States and was voted "Best Solo Performer", "Best Acoustic Performer", and "Best Female Performer" in a national magazine poll.

     Advertising production houses discovered her smooth and powerful voice and chose her to sing hundreds of commercials for McDonald's, Hallmark Cards, Heinz, and other national advertisers.

     In 1996 she was awarded the music industry's highest recognition, a Grammy Award. This came to her through a new avenue, when she agreed to sing an album of original lullabies for friend and producer, J. Aaron Brown. After she received the Grammy for "Best Musical Recording for Children", the calls started coming in for children and family concerts. It's an easy transition for her to make, from adult to youth concerts and back again. Her show is always fresh and powerful, offering finely crafted songs with a clever wit.

***  NEW ***

In twenty-two years and one hundred eighty-five Concerts in the Barn, this has only happened one other time . . . a group has at the last minute cancelled their plans to perform in our venue.  Yesterday, I was contacted by our final performance of the 2016 season and notified that they will not be able to do our show.

This was to be an evening of bluegrass music, and when I received the email notifying me that the artist had cancelled, my very first thought was, Chasin’ Steel.   Chasin’ Steel has been an Aten Place favorite, and if they were available, our scheduled event wouldn’t miss a beat.  A call to Adam Carpenter, Chasin’ Steel’s amazing mandolin player and lead vocal, found the weekend of August 27th to be an opening in their schedule.   Lady luck was smiling on me.

Chasin’ Steel will come as a trio this year, as the quick notice made it impossible for Jonah (guitar) to get out of work obligations (got’ta feed the family).  Adam (mandolin and lead vocals), Jacob Kuhlman (banjo, guitar and harmony vocals) and Evan Simula (upright bass and harmony vocals)  combine to make the Chasin’ Steel Trio.  Those that have heard Chasin Steel in the past will be thrilled to hear that they are returning to our concert stage.  This will be a great ending to the 2016 season.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

7:30 pm

David Gerald Band

     Each summer Aten Place endeavors to offer a variety of music genres.  This summer’s offering of the blues brings the artistry of a Michigan based blues band, the David Gerald Band.

   David Gerald, the son of Rural Mississippi born and raised parents, grew up to the sounds of the blues and R&B music in his hometown, Detroit. Gerald started playing guitar at the age of 15, influenced by Prince and 80's rock guitarists.  He rediscovered the blues and listened to the music of Albert King, ZZ Hill, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name just a few.

    Gerald performed in many local blues, R&B, and rock bands cutting his guitar and vocal chops live and in person.   Now in his 40's, Gerald is playing nationally with his own band.   Year round, he performs at clubs and festivals across the United States. Some notable appearances include: Riverdays Festival (formerly known as the International Freedom Festival) in Detroit, MI; Chrysler Arts, Beats and Eats in Royal Oak, MI. Springing The Blues Festival in Jacksonville, FL among many others.

    Gerald's blues have been receiving widespread radio play, along with recognition in the Blues and Rock communities. Recently Gerald was listed as #1 on the ReverbNation blues charts for Michigan Blues artists. His debut album "Hell and Back" reached #1 on Roots Music Report's Blues Chart for Michigan based artists and remained in the top 20 for many weeks in a row.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Children’s Matinee

Magic by Jania

    Northern Michigan's favorite magician Jania Taylor is an award-winning magician who brings elegance to the art.  Females are rare in the industry; only 3% of performers in the magic industry are female.  But don’t let her gender fool you.  Jania is a very talented woman that has been classically trained in the art of prestidigitation. .

      She is a graduate of the Chavez Studio of Magic in Colon, a college of manual dexterity and prestidigitation.  Under the direction of Neil Foster Jania was the third female in the history of the school to complete the course.

    Jania's magic has been enjoyed by thousands of people throughout the country. Her wit and charm have pleased audiences at many corporation parties, conventions, festivals, fairs, and school assemblies. She has presented her magic at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA and was the only woman to do a solo tour for Armed Forces Entertainment.  Her magic has been enjoyed at such noted resorts as Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, the Mississippi Queen River Boat and The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV.