Eclectic Traditional and Improvisational Music
Peter Madcat Ruth has established an international reputation through his exhilarating, riveting virtuosity on the harmonica. His expertise on this instrument has amazed audiences world-wide. He is equally at home playing blues, folk music, jazz, country, or rock and roll. Performance Magazine refers to him as “A harmonica virtuoso who is rapidly approaching legend status.”
Madcat’s music has been evolving for over 50 years. It started in the Chicago area in the early 1960’s, with Madcat playing folk/blues on ukulele, guitar, and harmonica. By the late 60’s he had immersed himself in the Chicago Blues and was studying harmonica with Big Walter Horton. In the early 70’s Madcat moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he was a key presence in two of Ann Arbor’s finest progressive rock bands: New Heavenly Blue and Sky King. By the mid 70’s Madcat was touring the world with jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. In the 80’s, Madcat went solo infusing the folk/blues tradition with elements of rock and jazz. In 1990, Madcat teamed up with guitarist/singer Shari Kane to form the duo Madcat & Kane. For nearly twenty five years they toured nationally and internationally. And In 1998 Madcat teamed up with Chris Brubeck to form Triple Play and also started performing with Big Joe Manfra in Brazil. Finally, in 2012, teamed up with Drew Howard, Mark Schrock and Michael Shimmin to form the Roots/blues quartet called the Madcat Midnight Blues Journey.
Madcat’s experience is extensive. He has been an invited guest performer at many harmonica festivals in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His harmonica playing is heard on over 100 CDs and LPs. National television and radio appearances, symphony orchestra performances, radio and television advertisements, and harmonica workshops all attest to Madcat’s reputation as one of the best and most versatile harmonica players in the world.
Madcat is more than an expert musician. He is also performer who has such a good time playing music that audiences, ranging from pre-schoolers to senior citizens, delight in his performances. His enthusiasm is unpretentious and contagious.
Introducing The C.A.R.Ma. Quartet
C. for John Churchville (tabla and drum set)
A. for Brennan Andes (bass)
R. for Dan Ripke (guitar and vocal)
Ma. for Peter Madcat Ruth (harmonica, ukulele, jaw harp, and vocals)
John Churchville is a Grammy Award winning tabla player now living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. John got his start in music in Marquette, Michigan. From there he moved to California to attend the esteemed California Institute of the Arts where he earned a degree in World Music Performance and began a decades long journey with the Indian tabla drums. Moving to Ann Arbor in 2006, John forged a unique path in both the music scene and in music education. At the same time, John was also recording, performing and developing his unique style of tabla drumming with the award winning Indian fusion group, Sumkali.
Brennan Andes has been a diverse member and bon vivant of the Ann Arbor's music scene for over two decades. Having toured nationally and internationally, he's curated an attitude towards making his friends, fans and family dance and smile. His only aspiration is to continue teaching and playing with passion and intensity. Founder of The Macpodz, he's also performed with a variety of artists from the region and beyond including Luke Winslow-King, George Bedard, Peter Madcat Ruth, Shigeto, Sumkali, The Ragbirds, Rootsand, 7 Chakras, Jamie Register, Chris Bathgate, Jen Sygit, Seth Bernard, May Erlewine, Andy Adamson Quintet, Chris Good, Dick Siegal, The Tone Farmers, Vincent York, The Pherotones, and many others.
Dan Ripke has been a professional musician and educator for nearly 30 years. He is the owner and director of Ripke Studio, providing unique performance and educational experiences to people of all ages. Dan began recording albums and organizing music festivals in 1992. He performed with the experimental jazz-folk-funk fusion band, Perplex, while studying music theory and composition at Delta College and Central Michigan University. Dan toured and performed with the rock-bluegrass quintet, Back Forty, for 15 years. The band took the stage at many of Michigan and the Midwest's largest and most prestigious venues and festivals. After Back Forty, Dan took an exploratory dive into Indian music with the band, Sumkali. He performed with Sumkali for nine years, recording two albums. His fondness for many musical genres shows in his playing. Performing a hundred-year-old folk tune followed by a funk jam is heaven for him.
Ark Family Room shows are free and streamed to The Ark’s Facebook page. Donations to the “virtual tip jar” during shows support both The Ark and the participating artists.