Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival

The Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Since its inception in 2006, Tuba Bach has brought hundreds of exceptional musicians from around the world, across the United states, and from every corner of our state to present concerts and educational programming in West-Central Michigan, free of charge and available to all.


Past Seasons Archive > 2009 Concert Season > Concert 2

Concert 2
Sunday, September 20, 2009 • 4:00 P.M.

I Got The Blues: Part 2 (Bluegrass, that is)

Presented by:
Quinn's Music
Galloup Guitars
• Darrel Corrie and Barbara Pillsbury
• General Federation of Women's Clubs & Zonta Club of Big Rapids

Big Rapids High School Auditorium, Big Rapids, MIarrow Map

Guest Artists Appearing with Edward Mallett:

With accolades and rave reviews from performances at venues such as the Carnegie Hall in New York, Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, Orchestra Hall in Chicago and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, Mike Stevens and Raymond McLain play their own special style of music featuring virtuoso performances on harmonica, fiddle, banjo, guitar and vocals. Their music is an exciting, original combination of bluegrass, blues and old time country. Together, Stevens and McLain play a new and unique combination of musical styles reflecting their background in bluegrass, blues and old time country music. Their awesome duo performance combined with the euphonium of Edward K. Mallett is sure to be a fun and entertaining event.

Raymond McLainRAYMOND MCLAIN grew up in the hills of Kentucky, surrounded by the spirited and creative sounds of bluegrass and country music.

He started his professional music career in 1969, when his family began their weekly television series in Hazard, Kentucky. For the next 20 years, The McLain Family Band performed in 62 foreign countries as musical ambassadors of the U.S. State Department and in all 50 of the United States. They appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Chicago's Orchestra Hall and the Grand Ole Opry.

Raymond's television appearances with The McLain Family Band include, The NBC Today Show, The Johnny Cash Christmas Special on CBS, The Pearl Bailey ETV Special, TNN's Nashville Now, The CBS Morning News, appearances on the BBC and the CBC, and performances on Music City Tonight, Hee-Haw, TNN's Nashville Now, On Stage and The Grand Ole Opry Live as a member of Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys and with The McLains and Mike Stevens (1989-2003).

In addition to his busy performing schedule, Raymond serves as Director of the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Program at East Tennessee State University. arrow Website

Mike StevensMIKE STEVENShas released 9 albums from traditional Bluegrass to Acoustic Blues to Free Jazz to Canadian Fiddle tunes to Rocking Experimental music.

With over 300 shows on the World Famous Grand Ole Opry stage and countless performances around the world, Mike continues to Breathe in the World and Breathe out Music.

Through many years of touring with Bluegrass Legends Jim and Jesse and The Virginia Boys and The Lewis Family, Mike created his spot in history by pioneering the harmonica in Bluegrass music. Mike’s often copied style of playing is documented in a best selling book Bluegrass Harmonica which is distributed around the world by Hal Leonard publishing.

When Mike plays, the harmonica becomes a musical paintbrush with no limits. It could be a traditional performance at The Carter Fold (the Carter Family homeplace) with long time friend Raymond McLain or an Avante Garde Soundscape performance at the Eastman Mansion with Magnum photojournalist Larry Towell.

In 1999 Mike started going into some of Canada’s most troubled Northern communities,. He would load up with harmonicas and head into the bush looking for young Gas sniffers. When he found them, he would hand out harmonicas and start a friendship. Over the years, Mike has started instrument lending libararies with donated musical instruments in many of the communities. Eventually, Mike founded ArtsCan Circle a non-profit organization dedicated to Youth at Risk across Canada’s North.

These experiences resonate in Mike’s music.
Mike has a powerful message and is a much sought after Performer, Speaker and Educator. He is available to corporations, schools and concert promoters nationally and internationally. arrow Website

Ruth SmithRUTH MCLAIN SMITH was raised in the heart of the Appalachian mountains in Hindman, Kentucky. She started singing and playing bass professionally at age 10 with brother, Raymond, and the rest of the McLain Family Band.

For over 20 years, the McLains took traditional and original music to audiences of all ages at festivals & concert halls nationwide, and on extensive overseas tours each year. As the premier bluegrass artists to combine traditional and classical music, they also soloed with orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony, Houston Pops, and the Cincinnati Symphony in over 230 orchestra concerts, having pieces written especially for them by Newton Waylon, Phillip Rhodes, and Peter Schickele. Classical music has had a unique influence on the McLain's fresh style of traditional music.

While the McLain Family Band continues to do occasional special concerts, Ruth has been performing regularly with the Grandpa and Ramona Jones family. She also leads a million dollar team as a Director with children's educational book company, Usborne Books.

Ruth and her husband, Philip, have 4 children and live in Austin, Texas.