Event is a Fundraiser for Local School Arts Programs

Salem, Ore. (September 23, 2008) – The 7th annual American Roots Music Festival happens on Saturday, October 11th at the Turner Tabernacle in Turner, Oregon. This year’s event features the return of an audience favorite from last year’s Festival, the Black Swan Classic Jazz Band. Also featured is Salem-based Bluegrass band True North.

The Black Swan Classic Jazz Band, headliners for the evening show, performs a hearty mix of Dixieland, early jazz, ragtime and old-time gospel music. Last year’s American Roots Music Festival audience saw first hand that Black Swan’s mix of excellent musicianship, respect for roots music and sense of fun makes for an entertaining combination.

The group features lead singer Marilyn Keller, who is an internationally respected vocalist. Marilyn rejoins Black Swan after an extended tour of Europe this year that included performances in Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands and more.

Opening the evening show is Northwest bluegrass quartet True North. The group combines traditional bluegrass instrumentation with soulful vocals, tight harmonies and folk-edged songwriting. True North's careful arrangements can be alternately big and wild, tender and deliberate.

Original songs written by Dan Wetzel and Kristen Grainger give the band a fresh, modern bent, but you can also count on True North to perform bluegrass standards with originality and style, and give classic rock songs a beautiful new identity.

The evening show starts at 7:00pm with True North, followed by the community sing-along, a tradition at this Festival. The Black Swan Classic Jazz Band will then take the stage to close out the show. Two local school groups will also perform short sets at the evening show.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. Children 6 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased online at, in Salem at Weathers Music, in Stayton at Roth’s, West Coast Bank, Wilco and Cartwright’s Music.

The American Roots Music Festival is a fundraiser for local-area school music programs. Since 2004 proceeds from the event distributed to support school music programs total $24,500. The Festival features a student music showcase starting at 2:30pm.

Cash sponsors for the American Roots Music Festival are Stayton Cooperative Telephone Company, West Coast Bank, Norpac Foods, Inc. and Wilco.

For more information, visit or call 503-767-7464.

More About Keeping The Beat

Keeping the Beat is an Oregon-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to supporting K-12 arts education programs in rural Oregon. For more information, visit

About the Turner Tabernacle

The Turner Tabernacle was built around 1891 as a meeting place for the State Convention of the Disciples of Christ of Oregon. Mr Turner, and a grant for $5000 was the beginning. Learn more about this historic structure that is the venue for the American Roots Music Festival by following this link. Oregon Christian Convention

More Information

For more information contact:

Steve Gehlen,
Director, American Roots Music Festival
(503) 767-7464,