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Trout Steak Revival to perform Sept. 24, Baladino Oct. 2

Sept. 15, 2015


Some of the finest mountain bluegrass and modern Mediterranean folk will make its way to the Northwoods when Trout Steak Revival and Baladino take to the Nicolet College Theatre stage for separate shows.

 Tickets for each show are $15 and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling (715) 365-4646.

Steve Foltz returns home to perform with
Trout Steak Revival Sept. 24 at Nicolet College

One of the first times Steve Foltz stepped on stage to play music in front of a live audience was in the 7th grade.

Foltz and his buddy D.J. Burdick entered the talent show at James Williams Middle School in Rhinelander. The 13-year-olds jammed on a medley of heavy metal cover tunes.

trout steak“It was pretty funny,” Foltz said, fondly looking back. “We had another friend of ours running on stage to turn a strobe light on and off. We had a great time.”

Let’s just say his talents have grown considerably since his public musical debut 20 years ago.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, Foltz will again take to the stage in Rhinelander, this time at Nicolet College with the fast-rising Trout Steak Revival, which is gaining national fame for its original bluegrass-inspired mountain music.

“I love the Northwoods and can’t wait to get back to home,” Foltz said during a phone interview from his current home in Colorado. “Rhinelander was a great place to grow up. I’m very happy and feel very lucky to come back as a professional musician.”

Trout Steak’s big break came in 2014 when it won top honors at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival, an event the band had played at since 2008 and which commonly attracts dozens of top bluegrass acts from across the country.

“That changed everything for us,” said Foltz, a Class of 2000 Rhinelander High School graduate. “It was like climbing up from the bottom of a valley and looking out from the top of a mountain. All of our hard work had paid off.”

The new level of national attention inspired the five band members to take on a higher level of commitment and work even harder.

Long known for writing their own original songs, “Telluride motivated us to write even more,” he said. “We’re also working on our four- and five-part harmony singing to expand our sound. It’s important to all of us to always grow and improve as a band.”

So what can one expect to experience at a Trout Steak show?

Foltz readily admits he’s biased. “I like to think our shows are a great time. We have lots of fun playing and hope that comes through and translates into the audience having a lot of fun as well.”


Baladino to bring Mediterranean folk
music to Nicolet College Oct. 2

 It’s not every day – or even every decade – that one gets to experience live in the Northwoods the rich sound of modern Mediterranean folk music with roots that go back centuries.

 Just such an opportunity will present itself at Nicolet College Friday, Oct. 2, when the Israeli ensemble Baladino takes to the stage for a special performance at 7:30 p.m.

baladinoThe five-member band plays a style of music known as a Ladino, which was created in the late 15th century when Jews were expelled from Spain and dispersed throughout the Mediterranean region.

“Ladino music is an immigrant music,” said Yonnie Dror, one of the group’s founding members. “Its story is one of Jewish people who were expelled from Spain and spread throughout the Mediterranean. With them they carried their language, which is basically medieval Spanish. As Ladino Jews moved and founded new communities from North Africa to Greece and Turkey, their songs took on local color.”

With roots to the past, Baladino is noted internationally for its ability to bring a fresh and innovative take on this traditional style of music, incorporating a Gypsy groove while embracing rock and electronic influences, said Nicolet College Theatre Director Jim Nuttall.

“They bring this modern twist to a style of music that has been popular in the Mediterranean region for generations,” Nuttall noted. “Their level of musicianship, from exquisite vocals to the mastery they have of their many instruments, is nothing short of stunning.”

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at or by calling (715) 365-4646.

The performance at Nicolet is made possible through a partnership with Arts Midwest World Fest, which arranges week-long residencies for international music ensembles in small Midwest communities.

Along with the public performance at Nicolet, Baladino will also hold 11 workshops and performances at numerous K-12 schools throughout the Nicolet District. More than 4,200 students are anticipated to participate in these events.

"It’s not often smaller communities like ours have the chance to host international ensembles like Baladino, let alone for a full week," Nuttall added. “The music and culture Baladino shares will be absolutely fascinating and different from what we typically hear. We expect this residency will be a delightful experience for everyone.”

Baladino is one of four international ensembles that will visit the Northwoods under Nicolet’s two-year partnership with Arts Midwest. In January, the progressive French folk group Le Vent du Nord will be in the area for a similar number of performances and workshops. The 2016-17 line-up will be announced at a later date.

A program of Arts Midwest, the 2015–2017 Arts Midwest World Fest cycle is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and 3M Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest for Baladino. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Arts Midwest is also generously supported by Illinois Arts Council Agency, Indiana Arts Commission, Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board.