Frontier Folklife Festival - The Performers

The Frontier Folklife Festival takes place at Frontier Homestead this weekend. The art vendors, food trucks and living history demonstrations will be incredibly enhanced by a series of talented performers and musical groups starting on Friday with the Paiute Tribal Youth Performers. We thought you would like a look at who else will be on our stage this weekend.

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 Southern Utah String Quartet

The Southern Utah String Quartet, Lindsay Szczesny and Suzanne Stewart violinists, with Leah Brown on cello, and Sara Penny on viola has provided community music for over 30 years.  All members of the quartet are active teachers and assist with groups such as the Orchestra of Southern Utah, Cedar City Arts Council, and Suzuki Strings. The quartet will play a variety of music from folk and fiddling to western ballads.

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Bill and Loretta Westbrook

Cedar City acoustic duo, Bill and Loretta Westbrook, having recently relocated from Las Vegas, are originally from Jackson Hole, Wyoming where they began playing bluegrass together in a band called “The Jury’s Out.”  They later formed the “Coyote Bluegrass” band with Bill on lead vocals and guitar, and Loretta, a Wyoming champion banjo player, on five-string banjo and harmony vocals. They played many venues in and around Jackson Hole and eastern Idaho, ranging from five-star hotels to dude ranches and hunting camps. Coyote Bluegrass played the Grand Targhee Music Festival, opening for Old and In The Gray’s Peter Rowan, David Grisman and Vassar Clements.

Bill and Loretta’ s music style is uniquely their own…an “eclectic mash-up” based on favorite genres and artists such as Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, John Prine, and Emmylou Harris.  But Bluegrass music is and always will be their first love.  Bill and Loretta say,”Playing Bluegrass is without a doubt the most fun a musician can ever have!”

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Mountaintop Sound

Cedar City’s favorite acoustic duo, Mountaintop Sound is Steve Swift and April McPherson who combine folk rock with a bit of bluegrass, and round it out with warm harmonies to bring you toe-tapping originals and favorite classics, heard in a fresh new way. Steve’s dynamic guitar playing and vocals meld with April’s tight high vocal harmony and lyrical mandolin on original and contemporary classics.  Steve is the front man and lead vocalist for the Full Tilt Boogie rock band. He and April began their musical collaboration two years ago with April singing backup vocals and have evolved to swapping leads on vocals and instrumental breaks. They are currently performing at various venues in southern Utah.

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 Washburn Family Bluegrass Band

The Washburn Family Bluegrass Band is truly a family affair. Paul, the father, grew up playing bluegrass music with his family, and had the dream of passing on his love of bluegrass to his kids. As each child got old enough to learn to play an instrument Paul began teaching them. Will (15) plays guitar, Nate (12) plays banjo, and Jake (10) plays the fiddle. The boys all share vocal duties and each take instrumental breaks. The band needed a bass player, so Paul taught Emily, the mom, to play bass.

 With the whole band in place, they began playing at a local restaurant and at farmers markets throughout the area. People were surprised and excited to see a family playing together. The exposure they got from these local shows allowed them to start playing at larger events and break in to the bluegrass festival circuit. Some of their recent shows include the Utah Shakespeare Festival Green Show, the Cedar City Livestock Festival, the Logandale Bluegrass Festival in NV, Frontier Folk Festival at Frontier Homestead State Park, and the Bannock County Bluegrass Festival in Idaho.  They also participated in the Cedar City Utah Temple Cultural Celebration.

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 Saturday’s acts include:

Karyn Whittemore

Karyn Whittemore is a seasoned performer and a Cedar City favorite.  Karyn’s show consists of her performing with acoustic guitar and layering angelic harmonies with her loop pedal. Each show is a live recording session with no prerecorded tracks.  Karyn has released three albums, and has been nominated for Best Album and Best Song of the year by JPF and also Best New Upcoming Artist by New Artist Radio.


Russ Westwood

Russ Westwood was born in Moab Utah and currently hails from Mesquite NV. He is a retired Firefighter/Paramedic. Growing up he spent a lot of time around horses and rodeos. He has performed at numerous Cowboy Poetry events in the West and Southwest.

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Common Ground

Common Ground is a folk trio of Des and Sara Penny and Jim Howells. They have been playing events and festivals in southern Utah for the past 6 years. Sara Penny has played violin with the Orchestra of Southern Utah and taught violin to hundreds of students over the past 30 years. Sara’s husband Des Penny brings native Irish flavor to vocals, guitar, and percussion. Jim Howells tries to keep up with them on mandolin, guitar, and vocals. Together they play folk, Celtic, and Americana tunes of gladness and sadness.

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 Rick Osborn



Jeryelee  comes from the south central of panoramic Utah. She is a member of Utah's 2019 Cowboy Poets of Utah.She performs her western music choices with the heart to deliver and a voice to remember. Western music LIVES through ballads delivered to the western country lovin' and living folk.

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Jon Stone Trio

Born in Texas, educated in Kentucky and refined in Louisiana, Jonathan Stone is a multi-instrumentalist musician and vocalist who has played music in almost every state in the US. Trained in choir at an early age, Stone excelled musically. He grew up in a musical family as his father is a blues piano player. Picking up his first instrument at 15, he was quickly sought after in the musical community of Houston. Throughout college years in Kentucky, Jonathan began playing many times a week while learning native Appalachian music and learning to compose music. Also in Kentucky, he began his studies of the violin. In 2008, Stone moved to southern Louisiana where he began playing with local musicians. They formed a national touring band where he was a featured singer, mandolinist, and violinist. Blending rock, gypsy, folk, blues and jazz – the group toured the continental United States and recorded two albums of original music. At the end of his Louisiana tenure, Stone collaborated with grammy nominated musician Cedric Watson. The two formed an old timey harmony group featuring fiddle and banjo. These experiences have all shaped Jon’s current repertoire which he describes as multiple genres of folk music. Currently focusing on acoustic music, Stone is known for playing mandolin, violin, guitar, and banjo (or whatever instrument he can get his hands on) at any gig – all while serenading the crowd for an intimate musical experience. Jon will be joined onstage by multi-percussionist Byron Owens and bassist Josh Baird.

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Marty Warburton and Home Girls

Marty Warburton and Home Girls, a family quintet consisting of parents, daughters and a son-in law, have found a comfortable niche for themselves in the Bluegrass, Americana and acoustic music community. In 2013 they decided it was time to share their unique style of blending harmonies and acoustic music with the public and began to venture out into the music festival circuits. Marty and his wife Pam have 4 wonderful daughters, all of whom are able to stand in for one or the other when logistics demand.

 Marty is a self taught guitar, mandolin and banjo player. He has won several band and instrument contests over the last 40 years including competing in the IBMA sponsored International Bluegrass Showdown as “The Marty Warburton Band” winning First Place out of a combined 127 national and international entrees. He is a 4 time winner of the Four Corner States Professional Banjo Competition, and is a 2 time winner of The Utah State Professional Banjo Competition.

 Pam Warburton, a gifted singer and pianist, was first introduced to Bluegrass music when she and Marty were married in 1977. Having been exposed to Bluegrass music since birth, their daughters have assimilated the natural ability to render angelic harmonies with their mom and dad on the fly. In an effort to let those harmonies shine, Marty Warburton & Home Girls have chosen to minimize the musical accompaniment by using a single acoustic guitar and bass for back up, not to mention a love for conjuring amazing 3 and 4 part a'capella selections. The ensemble consists of Marty on Guitar and vocals, John Landon on Bass guitar with Vocalists Pam Warburton, Kylee Landon and Hayli Jo Cizmas. Their Music is available on i-Tunes,, CD Baby, Spotify and Pandora.

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For more information about the Frontier Folklife Festival, click here.

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