Black Jake & the Carnies

Carnies: a person employed by a carnival, Or, a carnival, Or, of or pertaining to carnivals: carny slang.

Dubbed “The Original Kings of Crabgrass,” the band plays a unique style of original bluegrass sprinkled with a little spaghetti western, punk, and Vaudeville that people love to dance and get wild to. Add in the band’s essential crowd interaction activities and various hilarious carnival gimmicks and you have a surefire recipe for fun! Because of this, the group has been accused of being a “party band” because people can’t help joining in the fun and dancing to the high energy show.

The band, comprised of Black Jake (banjo, vocals, kick drum, tambourine, songwriting, art, flashing lights, game design), Kyle Kipp (guitar, backing vocals), Ozzie Andrews (bass, backing vocals), JJ Przewozniak (fiddle, backing vocals), and Buttons the Clown (accordion, game referee, backing vocals) are five hard-working creatures from Southeast Michigan who wallow in the imagery of sideshows and carnivals.

Black Jake & the Carnies have played such festivals as Wheatland Music Festival, Winter Wheat, Blissfest, Beaver Island Music Festival, Appalachian Uprising, Muddy Roots Music Festival, Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival, Thunder Bay Folk Festival, Detroit Metro Times Arts Beats & Eats, Theater Bizarre Detroit, Grand Marais Music Festival, Empire Hops Festival, Ann Arbor Top of the Park, Ypsilanti Heritage Festival, Detroit River Days, Detroit Winter Blast, Metro Times Blowout, Buttermilk Jamboree, Harbor Beach Maritime Festival, Traverse City Winter Microbrew and Music Festival, West Park Winter Social, Michigan Brewer’s Guild Summer Beer Fest, Dunesville, and many more.

From Chicago to Nashville to Brussels, Black Jake and the Carnies have shared the stage with such notable artists as the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Billy Strings, Eddie Money, Tommy Ramone, Left Lane Cruiser, Slim Cessna Auto Club, the Ragbirds, Don Julin, Greensky Bluegrass, Langhorn Slim, Split Lip Rayfield, O’Death, Joe Buck, The Meatmen, The Accidentals, Laith Al-Saadi, Black Masala, Stone Clover, Steppin In It, That 1 Guy, Mark Lavengood, Don Julin, Third Coast Kings, Frontier Ruckus, and countless others.


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Jake “Black Jake” Zettelmaier