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Live Music: Dam Jam to showcase Michigan-based artists in Old Town

Dam Jam Artist
Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 20:06:29-04

LANSING, Mich. — Attention all you music lovers! Dam Jam is returning and it's now a three-day event in Old Town. The music festival will be July 15th through July 17th along the riverfront at the Brenke Fish Ladder.

The event is free and supported by grants from municipal and state-level organizations. But you do need to register for your free ticket.

Every night starting at 5:01 pm you will be able to enjoy live music, kayaking on the river with River Town Adventures, and an artisan village. There will also be local vendors for small business shopping.

"BridgeFest was the original event. So Dam Jam is actually kind of an evolution of a long-standing annual event that we've hosted every summer since the summer of 2016," said Chris Sell, Founder and Executive Director of Lansing 5:0`1.

Lansing 5:01 is a non-profit aimed at showcasing the best of Lansing to attract young people.

"We're all about trying to retract and obtain emerging young talent to the area by doing place-based marketing and really cool dynamic events like Dam Jam, Sell said.

The music festival will feature nine different Michigan-based artists and musicians like MikeyyAustin and Frontier Ruckus.

MikeyyAustin is a local hip-hop and soul artist and bandleader who's born and raised in Lansing. He'll hit the stage Friday night.

"We're called the Soulcial Club formally known as The Happy Medium. We've been playing since about 2016 together and we do hip-hop and soul," MikeyyAustin said. "We have keys, bass, drums, guitar, and saxophone. We've done different variations."


MikeyyAustin says when his band gets to play together, it's nothing but chemistry.

"We can just look at each other and know exactly what to do when to hit and when to break. It's really cool just having that type of chemistry," MikeyyAustin said. "And then they are some of the most talented people that I've ever been around."

MikeyyAustin developed a love for music at a very young age. He started when he was around 6 or 7-years-old performing in churches and talent shows with his brother.

He says it warms his heart to have a hand in bringing events like this to Lansing and seeing all the organizations come together to make it happen.


He says he puts his soul into his music and art and hopes people will recognize that when they perform on Friday.

"I think that soul has a way of just making you feel a little bit better about whatever has been doing on or however you have been feeling. Just that soul feeling has a way of making everything ease up a little bit and feel a little bit lighter," MikeyyAustin said.

Frontier Ruckus
Frontier Ruckus will be headlining the Dam Jam stage on Saturday night. You will get to hear some of their old jams and also a couple of new ones.

Frontier Ruckus

"There's banjo and acoustic guitar and a sort of interesting instrumentation. Zach plays all of these amazing interesting instruments like trumpets and singing saw," said banjo player Davey Jones.

Being able to perform in Lansing again holds a very special place in the band's heart.

"Lansing shows are very special to us because that's where we kind of really became a full band and played some of our earlier shows at Macs Bar and kind of developed an audience for the first time," said Matthew Milia, lead singer, songwriter, and guitar player.

He says this is basically a reunion for them after not being able to perform last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of Frontier Ruckus playing a tune

"We didn't have many opportunities to play for people after almost a decade of touring constantly touring all over Europe and the United States. Playing for an audience had become a part of our DNA," said Milia.

Multi-Instrumentalist Zach Nichlos says he's excited about hitting the stage with the band again.

"We had a practice the other day and muscle memory came back for the old songs. A little nervous for the new ones but it's not fun if you don't get nervous," Nichlos said. "I hope they have fun. I hope they are entertained, I hope that they hear a band that they've never heard before. Maybe there will be some people who remember when we used to play in Lansing every weekend who will have that nostalgia bang of joy."

For more information on Dam Jam click here.

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Meet Tianna Jenkins

Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

Senior Multimedia Journalist