World folk trio “Whorled” will appear in Downtown Holland this Thursday, July 29 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm during the weekly Street Performer Series. Every Thursday evening during the Street Performer Series, Downtown Holland is filled with performing artists and groups from every background – including musicians, balloon twisters, magicians, dancers, caricature artists and more! The Street Performer Series is proudly sponsored by Gentex Corporation.
Whorled is joining the Downtown Holland Street Performer Series for the first time this summer, but they are already gaining accolades from scores of new fans. Featuring Mariko Venema on the accordion, Keala Venema on the fiddle and Thom Jayne on the guitar, Whorled is a world improvisational folk band, meaning they play multinational music genres. While each band member has years of experience performing on their own, the trio formed just two years ago during an Irish music jam session. As soon as they started playing together for the first time, it was like they had been together forever.
Whorled’s music is inspired by traditional music from Africa, Brazil, Ireland and France, along with jazz and bluegrass. But with lots of room for group members to improvise during their performances, each Whorled appearance is guaranteed to be unique and different from the previous set. Their favorite arrangement is a compilation they created of “Blue Rhondo,” “Rhapsody in Blue” and the Simpsons theme song, resulting in a piece that’s both fun to play and that delights the audience.
“In the various places we have played, Holland is honestly our favorite,” said Keala Venema. “The people of Holland have been so generous and appreciative of our music during a difficult year and that makes us want to continue playing for them.”
Each Thursday night through August 19, a total 20 performing artists and groups will perform free for the public on 8th Street between Columbia and Pine Avenues as part of the Downtown Holland Street Performer Series. 8th Street will be closed to traffic for the event for crowd safety purposes. While the Series is free to attend, tipping the performers is highly encouraged. In addition to the exclusive event sponsor, Gentex Corporation, the Street Performer Series is also supported by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs through the Holland Area Arts Council.
Street Performer Series Line-Up for July 29
Andrew Nelson is a folk-pop singer-songwriter from Holland. He started playing music in 2008 and has performed original music and covers throughout the Midwest over the past 11 years in coffee shops, small theaters and various other live music spaces.
Amanda Bernes is a musician who plays a whole host of instruments, including keyboard, violin, viola, guitar, flute, drums and more. While she has never street performed before, she has been performing her entire life in musicals, choirs, and talent shows. She is excited to bring people hope and peace in the midst of a hard season.
Chase Griffin has been playing the saxophone for nearly 10 years and attended Western Michigan University, where he studied both the jazz and classical styles of the saxophone. He enjoys street performing because of his ability to bring a smile to people’s faces.
Dan Mutschler is a self-taught balloon artist who performs regularly at birthday parties, scouting events, art fairs and at Logan’s Roadhouse. He also volunteers weekly at several nursing homes, performing card tricks and visiting with elderly residents.
Danny Kostelancik is a 24-year-old singer-songwriter originally from Washington, DC. Soon after moving to Holland to start his engineering career, he decided to pursue his musical talents as well. Performing hit covers old and new, Danny has a little something for everyone. He plays everything from The Beatles to Ed Sheeran to AC/DC and has even started writing his own music too.
Easy Does It
Easy Does It features Dean Michaels on the harp and Greg Howard on the guitar. This duo has been performing their mix of classical music and popular tunes together at weddings, dinner parties, receptions and church services since 1990. They’re looking forward to returning to the Street Performer Series again this year.
The Floor Fienz is an exciting group of break dancers that have been performing for over ten years as part of the Street Performer Series and other community events. In addition to keeping the tradition of break dancing alive, they aim to set a positive example for youth in our community.
Gavin Frody has played the cello for seven years and has been a street performer in Downtown Holland every year since. He also plays classical cello at weddings and special events. This fall, he will head to college where he plans to major in cello performance.
Grace Elaine Metheany, also known as GEM, is a singer-songwriter who has been performing in musicals, talent shows, and choirs since she was young. Combining her love of theatre and writing, GEM loves to mix her theatrics and quick wit to involve her audience in her performances. She hopes to one day be a kindergarten teacher by day, and a local musician by night.
Henna Tattoos by Anna Schierbeek
Anna has been performing for the public for 12 years and made her first Street Performer Series appearance when she was 17. She has both her BFA and Masters in Drawing from Kendall College of Art and Design. Anna loves to be a part of the community and connect with others through drawing.
Jahanara Begum has been a Street Performer in Downtown Holland since the beginning of the Street Performer Series. She is a highly skilled and experienced henna artist who uses all natural ingredients that are safe for the skin. Her designs never fail to impress her fans of all ages!
Maciek the Magician
Maciek is an award-winning magician who provides the audience with an interactive magic show the whole family will be sure to love. He connects with his audience through a display of unique magic, strong visual effects, universal appeal to audiences on all levels, energetic style of presentation and tasteful humor.
Matthew P. Kilroy
Matthew P. Kilroy is a human statue who comes to life to play music! He has been a solo performer for over 40 years with eight different musical instruments under his belt. In 2012, he began his act entitled “The Irish Street Musician” which he has performed at many venues throughout Michigan.
Random Cloud and the Moon
Random Cloud and the Moon is comprised of Albert Gemmen and Jamison Worst. The pair were part of a full band off and on for about 20 years and are now playing as a duo. Together, they sing and play guitar primarily in acoustic, folk style.
Shayna Gibson is a singer and ukulele and guitar player who has been performing for the public for eight years. She was involved in choir, theatre and dance for seven years and has been street performing in Holland for the past four years.
The Balloon Guy
Jim Perry, also known as “The Balloon Guy,” has been twisting balloons for over 40 years. He is a graduate of the world-famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. Jim can make more than 100 different balloon animals, along with swords, flowers, hats and more.
The Sound Still
Jessica Herbst and Joseph Ortega are a brother and sister duo who have been playing together since childhood. Joseph plays the piano and guitar and also sings. Jessica sings harmony alongside him.
Third Class Flynn
Third Class Flynn is an Irish music busking duo, comprised of husband-and-wife Ray and Cindy Veen. Dressed as the characters Michael and Mary Flynn, Irish immigrants from the late 1800’s, the Flynn’s tell their story through the music of Ireland: folk tunes, dance tunes, pub tunes, laments and more.
John Hubers and Mark Lewis have come together to form the band Twyce! Both experience performers, they’ve come together to play guitar and sing acoustic rock and folk originals and covers.
A three-piece band based in West Michigan, the members of Whorled play in sync as if they’d been together their entire musical careers, despite only joining together a year ago. Whorled focuses on upholding and respecting instrumental folk music traditions across the globe and re-imagines the music in their own eclectic style.