Kansas Sampler

Popular Statewide Festival Comin...

The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced today that the long-time Kansas Sampler...

Research duo completes statewide...

Marci Penner and WenDee LaPlant of the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation h...

2015 We Kan! Award Winners Annou...

The 23rd annual We Kan! awards were announced May 2, 2015 at the Kansas Sampler...

Kansas Explorer Club

Kansas Explorer Club

Members of the Kansas Explorer Club receive 5-6 print newsletters a year full of things to see and do that are off the beaten path.

We Kan!

We Kan!

The Big Rural Brainstorm will be held March 7 in Newton in 2016.

Kansas Sampler Festival

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 2016 Kansas Sampler Festival will be held on May 7-8 in Winfield at Island Park.

Rural Culture Elements

Rural Culture Elements

The 8 rural culture elements are: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people! They help you see a place with new eyes.

8 Wonders

8 Wonders

Have you seen the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook? Let it guide you to all 216 Wonders!



Marci and WenDee, of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, are going to every (626) incorporated city in Kansas to research for the second edition of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

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Entertainers 2015

Entertainer Schedule - Click Here
Entertainer List - Quick Look/Contact List

Entertainers will be available for bookings and to sell merchandise following their performance. Please stop by and visit with these talented Kansas musicians.

Entertainers will also be performing short jam sessions at The Stump (located next to the Kansas Explorers Club tent - (see festival map for location) at various times during the day.

Alferd Packer Memorial String Band - Lawrence
"The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band is five multi-instrumentalists, dressed in old time costumes, singing and playing fiddles, banjo, guitars, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, accordion, bass, and creative percussion. The band has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Bill Geist, and in a documentary called "Overlooked” which aired on KTKA-TV. They were the focus of articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Readers’ Digest. Their music has been used in a national broadcast on NPR. Their infectious good humor and high energy leave no toe untapped."

Ann Zimmerman - Salina

annzimmerman.com   ann@annzimmerman.com     785.493.2981

Her music celebrates the joy, sorrow, grandeur and silliness of life, especially life on the windy plains. She backs her rich voice with piano, guitar and the audience itself. Ann has taken her Kansas style across the Great Plains and beyond-to New York, Seattle, Boston, Texas, Alaska-and turned each audience into her backup choir. Blending old and new traditions with her own award-winning songs, Ann's concerts tell stories and paint portraits; brilliantly-colored and unexpected, enhanced by an irresistible stage presence.

Annie Wilson & Carl Reed of Tallgrass Express - Elmdale
"Formed in 2004, Tallgrass Express is a truly regional band, staying close to their roots and performing mainly at community events in the Flint Hills region.

Their mission is to provide local entertainment, and through their recordings, share with a broader
audience their celebration of the beauty and wonder of the Kansas Flint Hills and its ranching culture. 
In addition to their original songs about the land and life of the Flint Hills, they perform fast-driving old timey and bluegrass favorites, folk ballads, Western swing tunes, beautiful Celtic melodies, early American gospel hymns, and beloved Cowboy and Western standards. Tallgrass Express tailors programs to fit each audience."

Bob Colladay - Hutchinson

www.bobulele.com   bcolladay@cox.net   620.664.0971

Bobulele - Bob Colladay has been spreading the gospel of the tiny four-stringed instrument for almost 15 years. Playing a variety of songs from Tin Pan Alley, Classic Country, Rock, Pop and some originals, you are sure to find something to tap your foot and laugh to.

Cayton & Brown - Olathe

www.caytonandbrown.com     bbrown@planetkc.com   913.908.5061

Cayton & Brown were a fun addition to their first Kansas Sampler Festival in 2013.  Sissy Cayton and Barry Brown formed the duo early 2012. Both members have experience in musical genres ranging from Christian to Bluegrass and bring varied musical stylings to their performances.

Dennis Rogers - Topeka

denlrog55@gmail.com     785.289.6040

Dennis Rogers is a member of the Navajo Tribe of Arizona. Born and raised in Topeka, Rogers is internationally recognized for his unique style of teaching Native Culture.

(performing with Jami Amber Lynne - see "Native Country" entry below)

Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival - St. Marys

flinthillsshakespearefestival.com   info@flinthillsshakespearefestival.com  785.844.698

"The FHSF will be performing snippets of scenes from past seasons as well as a monologue or two if the muse strikes. Wherever Shakespeare goes high-jinks and witty words are sure to follow...and maybe even a bit of dancing."

The Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival is a Saint Marys community based initiative focused on providing fine Shakespearean theater outdoors in the fall. Founded in 2010, the festival has grown into a significant annual event with over 4500 people attending the 2013 five night season. The cast and crew are largely made up of local non-professional talent. After moving to a new permanent location on the edge of the wooded grounds of St. Mary’s Academy and College in 2012, carving a fifty booth village out of the woods, choosing a new name, forming a board, and filing for 501(c) 3 non-profit status, the Festival is now going into in its fifth year of successful production. This September "As You Like It" will take the stage. Open auditions are announced on the website as they come up.

Hannah & Brianna - Wamego

conroyphilbrookh@outlook.com      785.844.9560

"Hannah and Brianna started singing together since their fourth grade year and have kept at it ever since. They perform here and there for local festivities including the Kansas Sampler Festival and the Tulip Festival. They have also appeared in many shows together at the Columbian Theatre such as "Singin' in the Rain" and "Footloose", and at the Manhattan Arts Center in "Cats". They also studied music at Kansas State University together for a year. These best friends are never far from one another and they are super excited to perform together again for their hometown."

Jami Amber Lynne - Basehor

jamiamberlynne.com     jami.lynne@st.mary.edu    913.406.3565

Jami Amber Lynne began entertaining at festivals and fairs when she was just 12 years old. She made her debut at the Kansas Sampler Festival when it was held in Leavenworth, Kansas in 2010 and has played at every festival since. She's now a freshman in college, majoring in Biology.

In addition to the Kansas Sampler Festival, Jami has entertained at the Rockin' on the River Festival, Leavenworth Idol, The Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting, Annie's Country Jubilee in Tonganoxie, Lamborn Farm in Leavenworth, Turner Days in Kansas City, KS, sang the National Anthem at The Great American BBQ and Desoto Days and twice won first place in her age division at the Leavenworth County Fair.

Jami is excited to announce that she recently recorded a demo CD in a Nashville studio.

(performing with Dennis Rogers - see "Native Country" entry below)

Kelly Werts - Fairway

wertsmusic.com   kwerts@kc.rr.com   913.362.6691


"Kelly Werts sings songs from early America in partnership with his fingerstyle guitar. In an era long before today’s singer-songwriters, songs were born anonymously and then open-sourced to many singers over many years, with the results being available to us now as time-tested treasures. Kelly brings these old songs into a new dialogue between voice and instrument, with surprises at each new encounter."


Kirk Drager / Six Mile Creek   - Auburn
dragerstudios@gmail.com    785.640.6499
Kirk Drager has a unique voice on the local music scene. He plays an eclectic mix of Americana Roots music. His repertoire includes Alt-Country, Rock, and Bluegrass in addition to originals including up-tempo honky-tonk party songs and softer tales of love and loss.

Drager has accumulated broad experience ranging from punk rock to jazz to musical theater to bluegrass, so there’s no telling what influences might turn up in the next song.

Originally a drummer, Kirk has morphed into a guitarist and mandolin player who occasionally brings along a ukulele.
In addition to his solo shows you can catch him playing with Jim Campbell as the duo Six Mile Creek, The Trio CDP (Campbell, Drager, and Payne) or as a part of the 89th Street Bluegrass Band. He can also be found at various jams in the area.             

Lindsborg Folkdanslag - Lindsborg 

lindsborgcity.org    dnfred@cox.net    785.227.3678


Traditional Swedish dancers from the central Kansas community of Lindsborg have travelled nationally and internationally promoting their Swedish heritage and community. They are always a crowd favorite.

Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers - Lindsborg


The Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers, established 1963, is a group of high school dancers and musicians dedicated to promoting the study and appreciation of traditional Swedish folk dance and music. Through performances at local festivals and celebrations and on tour throughout the United States and Scandinavia, they seek to preserve their community’s Swedish heritage, and encourage the continued recognition and observation of Swedish customs and folklore.

In 2013 the organization celebrated its 50thyear as a one-of-a-kind cultural icon. One might wonder if those who began this tradition with a few dances at a 1963 Saint Lucia celebration could have imagined it would persist so far into the future. In fact, with over 40 dancers and fiddlers and an engaged, dedicated group of parents, the organization is as strong and vibrant as it’s ever been.  

"Native Country" - debut program featuring duo Dennis Rogers and Jami Amber Lynne (see individual listings for contact and bio information)

Dennis and Jami have created a new program that is debuting at the festival for the first time. They are combining their talents of music, song and dance to captivate audiences with a more interpretive and interactive performance.

Native American dancer, Dennis Rogers, will perform two interpretive dances in sign language to two country music songs sung in English. Jami Amber Lynne plays guitar and sings her playlist of top 10 hits. They close with a duo together with Dennis playing native flute and hand drum.

Piper Leigh - Arkansas City

www.piperleigh.com    piperleigh02@yahoo.com    785.250.9186

"Leigh’s songs are anchored in folk and roots, while her melody and delivery show strong country and blues sensibilities. Her sound has the bluesy, earthy feel of Susan Tedeschi or Janis Joplin while also capturing the emotion and musical adventurism of fellow genre-hopping artist, Eva Cassidy. Piper is at one moment folkie and ethereal, the next moment a smoky chanteuse.

She has appeared on the stages of Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival, Enid’s Fling at the Springs Festival, Garden City’s Tumbleweed Festival and Guthrie’s Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival."

Prairie Larkspur - Wamego

dosdays@wamego.net   785.456.5325


Elementary music teachers, Chris Day and Janet Armstead, have both received the "Outstanding Music Teacher” award for the North Central District of the Kansas Music Educators’ Association. Together, Christine and Janet are directors of youth trips taking 5th & 6th grade students – average 85 students per trip – on 11-day camping trips following the Santa Fe Trail. These trips began in 1983 and have continued, every other year, since. Well over 1,000 youths have "traveled the trail” with these two ladies. Along with another educator, both ladies authored Santa Fe Trail books for kindergarten through adults published by the National Park Service. They show the same enthusiasm and energy when providing examples of music enjoyed by pioneers and settlers.

Rusty Rierson - Augusta

www.rustyrierson.com    rustyr@rustyrierson.com   316.200.438

"International Show Host and Nashville recording artist Rusty Rierson (Rye-er-son) has been entertaining audiences since he was 11. Bringing both music and comedy to the table, he has mastered the art of relating to all types of audiences live on stage. He also hosts his own radio show called "Rusty Radio," sponsored by Mid America Ag Network. Having a master's degree in Agriculture from Kansas State, the Leon, Kansas native shares his love for music and agriculture with listeners all over the world each week. Rusty has performed all over the United States and other parts of the world, and has shared the stage with some of the greatest legends in country music. In 2013, his single "Souvenirs" debuted at number 1 on the European country chart for 4 weeks straight, holding off country superstar Toby Keith to the 2nd position. His newest single "Hey Hey Hello" is expected to do well on the US country chart.

The Vogt Sisters - Erie

vogtssisters.com   vogtssisters@gmail.com   620.244.5619

"These young musicians offer a vulnerable, sincere approach to their performance, blending timeless music with effortless harmonies and pure vocals. A few of their musical influences include Alison Kraus, Gillian Welch, and the Secret Sisters. In 2012, the girls won first place in the folk ensemble competition at the Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship in Lawrence, KS, and were also invited to perform on the Kids Acoustic Stage at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS. They also held two auditorium concerts with Kentucky 31, and Jimmy Fortune/T Graham Brown. The Vogts Sisters won grand prize at the 2013 Bluegrass and Chili Festival Best Country in the City competition in Claremore, OK and have performed in and around Kansas at festivals and events including the Kansas State Fair."

Tyler Gregory - Lawrence
"Hailing from the rolling hills of Kansas, Tyler Gregory can regularly be found performing with his steam-powered melodies. Gregory's mix of blues and roots music howls with a sense of passion and freedom. This songcrafter takes the cues and lifestyle from WWII-era blues bellowers and drives full force on his guitar/banjo/stomp-box live performance arrangements."

Willis C. Pracht - Garden City

gcmoss52@gmail.com    620.260.6617

Willis Pracht has been entertaining audiences for many years throughout Kansas, performing at festivals, trail rides, schools, public radio shows, and gatherings both as a single act and with many others. While mostly a cover artist, his repertoire also includes original songs as well as traditional, gospel, and folk music. His preferred instrument is a 1976 S.L. Mossman Winter Wheat 12 string guitar built in the Mossman factory in Winfield by the late, great Stuart Mossman. 

Entertainers Contact List 2015






Alferd Packer Memorial String Band

Old Time 

Steve Mason

ask.a.luthier@gmail.com; alferdpackerband.com


Ann Zimmerman, Singer-Songwriter


Ann Zimmerman

ann@annzimmerman.com; www.annzimmerman.com


Annie Wilson & Carl Reed of Tallgrass Express

Folk/Bluegrass/ Country/Western

Annie Wilson

five_oaks_ranch@yahoo.com; www.tallgrassexpress.com



Country/Pop/ Standards

Robert Colladay

bcolladay@cox.net; www.bobulele.com


Cayton and Brown


Barry Brown

bbrown@planetkc.com; www.caytonandbrown.com


Dennis Rogers / Native Country
Native American dancer/musician
Dennis Rogers

Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival players

Classic Theatrical Performance

Benjamin Moats


St. Marys

Hannah and Brianna


Hannah Conroy-Philbrook



Jami Amber Lynne (Native Country)


Jami Amber Lynne

jami.lynne@st.mary.edu; www.jamiamberlynne.com


Kelly Werts, singer & guitarist


Kelly Werts



Kirk Drager/Six Mile Creek

Bluegrass/ Country

Kirk Drager



Lindsborg Folkdanslag

Scandinavian Folk Music

Duane Fredrickson



Piper Leigh


Piper Leigh

piperleigh02@yahoo.com; www.piperleigh.com

Arkansas City

Prairie Larkspur

1800's Folk Music

Christine Day



Rusty Rierson (Music & Comedy)


Rusty Rierson

rustyr@rustyrierson.com; www.rustyrierson.com


The Vogts Sisters


Debbie Vogts

deborahvogts@gmail.com; www.vogtssisters.com 


Tyler Gregory


Tyler Gregory Spreer

tylergregorymusic@gmail.com; tylergregorymusic.com


Willis Pracht

Folk/Vintage country/Gospel

Willis Pracht


Garden City