Annual Members Meeting – Hiawatha Music Co-op

November 1, 2018

Marquette, MINovember 1, 2018 – The Hiawatha Music Co-op will holds its’ Annual Members gathering and dance at the Barrel n Beam Brewery starting at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, November 3, 2018. The Members meeting is a time for past, present and future Co-op Members to gather to review 2018 Hiawatha events, select new Board members, learn more about future Co-op activities, learn how to become involved in the Co-op and enjoy the traditional tunes of The String Doctors. The Co-op Board of Directors provides a complimentary entrée for its Members and asks everyone to bring a side dish to pass.

A cash bar will be available. The Business Meeting will begin at 6:15 p.m. Updates on the Co-op and Festival Budget report will be reviewed. There will be three Board positions on the Co-op’s ten-member Board of Directors up for election. All Members who have belonged as a Member of the Co-op for at least 6 months are eligible to submit their name for nomination to the Board. Those who are nominated will provide a brief description about their commitment to the Co-op and interest being on the Board. New Memberships will be sold at the door prior to the meeting and returning Members can renew their Membership at the door as well.

Among the many door prizes, there will be two 2019 Hiawatha Festival packages: one for a renewing Member at the meeting and one for any new Member who joins at the meeting. Each package will include two weekend passes, one parking pass, and a Thursday-night camping spot. Only Members present at the Business Meeting are eligible for door prizes.

Following the meeting, the Co-op will host a dance that is open to the public at 8:00 p.m., featuring homegrown traditional music high-energy string band, The String Doctors from lower Michigan. The band includes Joel Mabus and Ray Kamalay, who are outstanding musicians and performers in their own right, but combined with each other, produce a lively and entertaining set of tunes.

Joel Mabus has split his long career in folk music between the traditional and the original. Split is perhaps not the proper word, because the old and the new intertwine in his music. This is true whether he is singing an old ballad with a new interpretive twist or writing a new song that sounds like it has been handed down from generations past. You might find him fingerpicking piedmont blues on the guitar, claw-hammering out a mountain tune on the banjo, or fiddling for a square dance – or singing his own original songs in folk clubs from Cambridge to Berkeley.

Ray Kamalay’s story is somewhat different. Ray’s grandparents on both sides migrated from the Middle East (Syria and Lebanon) in the late 19th Century. Both families settled on the eastside of Detroit, and both worked extensively in the auto industry when Detroit was at its heyday as the Motor City. That was where Ray was born. Detroit was also rich in music of just about every kind. In 1968 Ray joined the “Soul Pastor Blues Club”, organized through radio station WGPR and by 1969 Ray was performing in Detroit coffeehouses. This performance thing continued throughout his 4 years at the University of Detroit. By the time he graduated, Ray was a seasoned performer. 1974 was also a recession year, but our boy got lucky and scored his first regular gig, 3 nights a week, at Verne’s Bierstube on Woodward Avenue. That fall, Ray took a fortuitous journey through the British Isles, even performing at the Crowne Coffeehouse of the Edinburgh Festival. Even larger than this opportunity was the inspiration he brought home. It was inspiration from the great Celtic music of Scotland and the Shetland Islands, as well as the inspiration of the music of Django Reinhardt.

Many years ago Ray Kamalay met Joel Mabus in a case of mistaken identity. It didn’t matter. Right then and there these two sat down and played music for the next 5 hours!! They’ve been playing together ever since. In more recent years they are joined by two other substantial talents. Peter Knupfer has been the fiddler of choice wherever he has lived, in Chicago, Madison or East Lansing, with many great performances and recordings to his name. Dave Rosin brings up the bottom on bass. . His luscious low tones frame this music with beauty and grace..and he is Michigan Band director of the year!! Together these four are The String Doctors, who bring a new kind of country swing to your lives, for your dancing and listening pleasure. On November 3, right here in Marquette!!

The dance is $5 for the public and will be free for Members who attend the Business Meeting and children under 12 accompanied by an adult. For additional information on the Co-op call 906-226-8575 or go to the website

Contact information – Susan Divine, Executive Director 226-8575,

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