Legendary Guitarist Leo Kottke Returns to St. Cecilia Music Center in 2018/2019 Season

St. Cecilia Music Center will bring back popular guitarist Leo Kottke on April 18, 2019 for their Folk Series in 2018/2019 season.

Kottke, who has been described by Rolling Stone Magazine as “so good that he didn’t need a band” will mesmerize the audience with his amazing six and twelve-string guitar picking genius. Kottke who has more than 41 years of touring under his belt, nearly 30 albums to his name and an astonishing array of material to choose from, will entertain the audience with his instrumental genius and engaging sense of humor. Kottke has been touring and recording since 1968, when he released his first live album, 12-String Blues on Oblivion Records, a tiny label started by the Minneapolis Scholar Coffee House where he began playing after dropping out of college after one year, the same starting point that launched another Minneapolis dropout—Bob Dylan.

SCMC Executive Director Cathy Holbrook says, “Leo Kottke is truly a one-of-a-kind performer. His last two appearances both sold out, thanks to his devoted fan base. Every Kottke show is witnessing to guitar mastery and fabulous storytelling. We are delighted to bring him back again this season for another stellar show.”

Concert tickets for Leo Kottke are $35 and $40. All concert tickets can be purchased by calling St. Cecilia Music Center at 616-459-2224 or visiting the box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE. Tickets can also be purchased online at  A post-concert party with a cash bar will be offered to all ticket-holders.

The announcement of Leo Kottke adds a fifth concert to the Folk Series at SCMC, with more to be announced during the season:

  • St. Louis-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Pokey LaFarge will begin his solo tour at St. Cecilia Music Center on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. The last time Pokey LaFarge appeared at St. Cecilia Music Center was with his band on February 2017. Pokey LaFarge incorporates elements of early jazz, ragtime, country blues, Western swing, and much more in his performances.His expansive musical vision and vivid storytelling sensibility are totally his own. Two of LaFarge’s albums have been named Best Americana Album by the Independent Music Awards.
  • The Lone Bellow, a Brooklyn-based band (now in Nashville) will perform at SCMC on November 29, 2018.  The Lone Bellow is known for their transcendent harmonies, serious musicianship, and lively performances. The trio features Zach Williams (guitar/vocals), Kanene Donehey Pipkin (multi-instrumentalist), and Brian Elmquist (guitar). Their SCMC concert is a stop on their acoustic “TRIIIO TOUR”, right after they release a new album, Walk Into A Storm, on September 15, 2018 with Sony Music Masterworks.
  • Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn will be returning to SCMC on February 9, 2019.  “The king and queen of the banjo”first appeared together on stage at SCMC this past February 2018. With a strong fan base in Grand Rapids, SCMC is delighted to bring the two of them back for an encore performance. Béla Fleck is a fifteen-time Grammy Award winner who has taken the instrument across multiple genres, and Abigail Washburn is a singer-songwriter and clawhammer banjo player who re-radicalized it by combining it with Far East culture and sounds.
  • The Milk Carton Kids will perform at SCMC on February 28, 2019. Nominated in 2015 for a Grammy for Best American Roots Performance, Best Folk Album of the year in 2013, and winner of The Americana Music Association for Best Duo/Group of the year in 2014, The Milk Carton Kids just released a new album on June 29, 2018 from ANTI-Records entitled “All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do. 
  • Guitarist Leo Kottke will return to SCMC on April 18, 2019. Over his many years of writing and performing, Kottke has composed scores for film soundtracks, children’s shows, and a symphony, as well as, released many albums. Focusing primarily on instrumental composition and playing, Kottke also sings sporadically, in an unconventional yet expressive baritone. In concert, Kottke intersperses humorous and often bizarre monologues with vocal and instrumental selections played solo on his 6- and 12-string guitars.

These five concerts and seven additional concerts within the Jazz Series and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series highlight SCMC’s 2018/2019 season celebrating their 135-year history as the oldest performing arts organization in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. (All concert dates are featured below.)