Michael Grande

Michael Grande

Grab your cowboy hat and boots and saddle up for the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering Feb. 8 and 9! To get you in that western spirit, the Arizona Folklore Preserve will be open for a special event on Friday, Feb. 8.

Starting at 10 a.m., the show will feature performers Michael Grande, Almeda Bradshaw, 3 Trails West with Lori Beth Brooke, and Kristyn Harris. Individual performances will last about an hour, and there will be a lunch break at 12:15 p.m.

The performers for this special event are top-notch … we’re sure you’ll agree.

Michael Grandé is well known to AFP regulars. He is a phenomenal guitarist, known for his 5-finger picking technique, guitar flourishes, soft, gentle voice, and rapport with his audiences. His repertoire includes Western ballads, flamenco instrumentals and folk, pop and devotional songs. Many of the songs he plays are his own compositions.

Grandé grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and served in the Marines. In 1969 he played at Woodstock where he was invited to become a member of Richie Havens' band. In addition to Richie Havens, Grandé has performed around the world with many well-known artists, including Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, José Feliciano and Van Morrison, just to name a few. Several years ago, he moved to Cochise County, where he and his wife raise Arabian horses on a ranch near Tombstone.

Almeda Bradshaw says, "I had to move EAST to find the WEST. Though raised a town girl on the Oregon coast, all I wanted was to be a cowgirl. I spent hours riding the range of my imagination in a swing set saddle and when tall enough, I threw a leg up on my family’s trusty propane tank and rode off into many a sunset." A multi-instrumentalist, Almeda studied cello and piano through college, has a BA in Elementary Education and is self-taught on the guitar, mandolin and various other stringed instruments. Almeda has written poetry, journals and songs since her teen years and has been performing at cowboy gatherings throughout the west for nearly two decades. Almeda's love and appreciation for the cowboy way comes through in heartfelt expressions of the west. Her clear vocals, a compelling stage presence and accomplished musicianship guarantee this artist to be an audience favorite.

3 Trails West with Lori Beth Brooke

3 Trails West is a Kansas City band built upon the Silver Screen tradition of cowboy music. Riding upon the shoulders of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, the Sons of the Pioneers and Andy Parker, 3 Trails West has joined the contemporary ranks of such artists as Riders in the Sky, Rex Allen, Jr., Sons of the San Joaquin, Michael Martin Murphey and others to ride the wave of resurgent popularity of this purely American musical art form.

The band was first formed in the fall of 2006 by Roger and Leo Eilts. In the years since, 3 Trails West has established a respected profile in the western music industry. In 2016, the band was awarded the distinction of being Group of the Year by both the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists. Their most recent release "Silent Trails" is currently number 12 of the Top 30 most popular Western Music albums and is enjoying broad rotation by DJs in the US and Europe. The title song was a finalist for 2017 Song of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. The "Silent Trails" album was also a finalist for Western Swing Album of the Year from the International Western Music Association, and the band was a finalist in the category Duo/Group of the year.

Lori Beth Brooke is an accordionist, yodeler, singer, and songwriter from Austin, Texas. A native Texan with German heritage, she grew up on a dairy farm in Nordheim, just southeast of San Antonio. Lori Beth started playing piano before she started elementary school. Then, at seven she was finally big enough to hold an accordion and learned to play her first polka from the Palmer Hughes series. By age 12 she was writing her own songs.

Lori Beth graduated with a B.A. in Music and a M.S. in Computer Information Systems. She now works in the computer industry managing a database team for the data analytics division at an Austin-based company. However, Lori Beth's true calling is music, and during the past 20 years she has performed in a broad range of genres: classical, big band, German folk, country, and most recently, western music. Learning to yodel after college, Lori Beth has used this unique singing technique extensively in both German folk music and western music. In 2016 the International Western Music Association named Lori Beth Female Yodeler of the Year.

Kristyn Harris, a Texas-bred musical powerhouse, is the 2016 & 2017 Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year, and the youngest person to have received this honor. Her powerful voice brought her all the way onto the 2018 season of ABC’s American Idol, where she sang and yodeled for the judges. This voice is complimented on stage by her swing guitar playing, songwriting, and energetic stage presence.

Now 23, Kristyn tours across the U.S. and internationally. When she’s not playing music, her passions find her trick riding, training horses and working cattle, which inspire some of the music she writes. She is also influenced by classic western swing and B-western music, and styles from other songwriters.

Kristyn brings joy and passion to her music. She is the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Awards Western Swing Female Artist of the Year and named the WMA Female Performer of the Year in 2014 & 2015. As one venue put it: "This bundle of energy and talent is 'the rage' on stage from the east coast to the west and if you can stay seated when she finishes her performance you're prob'ly 'bout ready for the grave!!"

The price for this special event is $50 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 520-378-6165, or email reservations@arizonafolklore.com. Lunch is included in the price of the ticket.

To get there:

Go 6 miles south of Sierra Vista on Highway 92 to Ramsey Canyon Road. Turn right (west) on Ramsey Canyon Road, drive 3.3 miles into the canyon, and watch for the AFP entrance and sign to the left.

Coming soon:

Upcoming performers at the AFP include Jeneve Rose Mitchell on February 10 and Dolan Ellis, Arizona’s Official State Balladeer, on February 16 and 17. For more information, including performance schedules and additional information on featured artists, visit the AFP website, www.arizonafolklore.com, or call 520-378-6165.

Submitted by the Arizona Folklore Preserve.


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