‘Michigan Mike’ Torpie remembered as more than NedFest promoter

By Alan Crandall

Michigan Mike Torpie

The life and times of ‘Michigan Mike’ Torpie and his impact on Nederland, Colorado was celebrated on Monday, December 5th at First Street Pub in Nederland, just a short distance from the grounds that for many years became NedFest, a mountain music festival conceived and promoted by Torpie.  Monday’s gathering was more of a Wake than a Memorial and it seemed like the perfect way to send off ‘Michigan Mike’.
The First Street Pub gathering was packed the entire time with many friends and family in attendance.  Torpie’s parents, sisters and nephew had the corner table and were able to see the outpouring of love and friendship ‘Michigan Mike’ had garnered in the mountain town he so loved.   One after another folks stepped up to the stage to tell stories about Torpie’s dedication and involvement with the Town.   Many stories were told to the family and crowd bringing a combination of tears and laughter to the attendees.

More than the promoter of NedFest, Mike had served on the Board of Trustee’s from 2004 to 2008.  During this time he was instrumental in getting Marijuana decriminalized in the town.   A couple of suggestions of how to remember Mike were proposed at Monday’s

Pete Kartsounes, Colin Huff, Greg Schochet, Andrew Anderson and Scott Messersmith.

memorial.  Naming the next street in Nederland “Torpie Way,”  and creating a “Mountain Girl” 5k/10 run/walk were both well received ideas from the attendees.  Mountain Girl was Torpie’s dog, companion and another beloved resident of Nederland.

In the corner of the pub where Torpie’s family sat, a pile of about 1000 music compact disks covered a table and guests were invited to grab a stack to take with them.  Many of the disks were sent to Mike over the years from artists hoping to gain a spot on the NedFest stage.  Some disks contained notes stating the request, and some had never even been opened.

Daniel Rodriguez, Silas Herman, Vince Herman, Bonnie Paine and Greg Garrison.

The personal reflections at the microphone soon gave way to an impromptu tribute musical jam with various musicians joining in throughout the evening.

This was the second time since Mike’s passing that the mountain community of Nederland came together for some stories and musical healing.  On Sunday, November 27, Leftover Salmon played a surprise show at the Stage Stop in Rollinsville, Colorado.  The concert -

Drew Emmitt and Jeff Austin

billed that night as “A Benefit Concert for Suicide Awareness”- featured Jeff Austin, of Yonder Mountain String Band, Bonnie Paine and Daniel Rodriquez, of Elephant Revival, and many more musicians including Colin Huff and Silas Herman of Salmon Eggs.  With tickets sold only at the venue, the audience – a who’s who of Nederland area folks- was treated to a special performance by the musicians in various combinations; with the theme for the night being that if you are feeling down things will eventually get better, and how to ask for help and get help if you are depressed.
Perhaps it will be The Nederland Music and Arts Festival that ‘Michigan Mike’ Torpie will be most remembered.  NedFest showcased local artists along with mid-level and national touring groups.  This year at NedFest I met music fans from as far away as the east coast.  With a cap of 2000 tickets, the festival never sold out which made it a family friendly jewel of a music event, in beautiful mountain surroundings, put on by good mountain folks.

(Bloggers Note: Want to revisit Acid Jazz, well here is some good news from The Motet’s Scott Messersmith:
This Friday December 16th At Shine on 13th st. in Boulder (next to the old Trilogy) there will be another tribute to Mike. Nederland Acid Jazz featuring Dave Watts, Scott Messersmith, Bill Kopper, and Kerwin Brown. We are inviting anyone who would like to come sit in and play! Please contact Scott on FB if you would like to come join us and I will make sure that the right equipment is there. We look forward to sharing music with you!)

Below is a list of some of the artists that have performed over the past 13 years.

NEDFEST 2011 SCHEDULE

FRIDAY 8/26/11
Smooth Money Gesture
Jaden Carlson Trio w/ Scott Messersmith & Garrett Sayers
Fox Street All Stars w/ Leftover Salmon’s Bill McKay & The Pump
John McKay
Great American Taxi feat. Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon
Salmon Eggs w/ Silas Herman, Colin Huff & Cody Wales
The Motet
The Grateful Dead’s Bill Kreutzmann w/ Steve Kimock, SCI’s Kyle Hollingsworth & George Porter Jr.

SATURDAY 8/27/11
Larry Keel & His Big Friends
The Shwilbillies
Runaway Truck Ramp (Special Reunion Show)
Bret Mosley
Split Lip Rayfield
Acoustic Mining Company
Hot Buttered Rum
‘Tweener: Billy & Jilian Nershi
Cornmeal
David Grisman Sextet
Oakhurst

SUNDAY 8/28/11
11:00 AM – Whitewater Ramble
12 NOON – ‘Tweener: Magnolia Row
Head For The Hills
Billy & Jilian Nershi
String Cheese Incident’s Keith Moseley w/ Scott Law & Friends
Lesley Kernochan
ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra)
Leftover Salmon w/ Wally Ingram
Magic Gravy (Members of ALO and The Motet)

NEDFEST 2010 SCHEDULE

SATURDAY 8/28/10
SPRING CREEK BLUEGRASS w/ Benny “Burle” Galloway
Moonshiner
ELEPHANT REVIVAL
Fireweed
GREAT AMERICAN TAXI w/ Vince Herman
HOT BUTTERED RUM
Jaden
CORNMEAL
STEVE KIMOCK CRAZY ENGINE feat. MELVIN SEALS

SUNDAY 8/29/10
MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME
Kort McCumber
BILLY NERSHI’s BLUE PLANET w/ Keith Moseley, Erik Deutsch & Chuuuch!
‘Tweener: Big Water
PANJEA w/ Michael Kang
‘Tweener: Samba Parade
THE MOTET
Jerry Joseph & Wally Ingram
HOLY KIMOTO w/ Kimock, Hollingsworth, Travis & Hann
Elephant Revival & MST

NEDFEST 2009 SCHEDULE
FRIDAY 8/28/09

EUFORQUESTRA
Hoff & Sites
SASKIA LAROO
Jubal
PANJEA w/ MICHAEL KANG
DVS & Cledus
PARTICLE
The Ethereal Plane

SATURDAY 8/29/09
INCENDIO
The Mile Markers
JOE CRAVEN w/ SAM BEVAN
Mark Flynn
SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD
Apple Valley
DREW EMMITT BAND
Big Water
BILLY NERSHI’s BLUE PLANET w/ MOSELEY, LAW, MISNER & DEUTSCH
DAVID GRISMAN QUINTET
Whitewater Ramble & Special Guest Band (Double Bill)

SUNDAY 8/30/09
MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME
The Farmer Sisters
OAKHURST
Gigi Love
VINCE HERMAN & GREAT AMERICAN TAXI
Bruce Hayes
EMMITT – NERSHI BAND
RICKY SKAGGS & KENTUCKY THUNDER
Elephant Revival

NEDFEST 2008 SCHEDULE
FRIDAY 8/22/08

Onda
Bill Kopper (solo)
Tony Furtado Band
LYNX & Jamie Janover (duo)
String Cheese Incident’s Kyle Hollingsworth Band w/ SCI’s Keith Moseley
LYNX (solo)
PRAANG (w/ Steve Kimock, SCI’s Michael Travis & Jason Hann plus Jamie Janover)
Amsterdam’s Saskia Laroo w/ members of The Motet

SATURDAY 8/23/08
Oakhurst
Mountain Standard Time
Swingset w/ YMSB’s Dave Johnston, Eric Thorin, Jon Ridnell & Dave Watts plus Cecil ‘Pnut’ Daniels
Yonder Mountain String Band’s Jeff Austin & Friends
Patrick Latella (solo)
New Monsoon
Saskia Laroo (solo)
The Motet (8-Piece Band w/ Horns & Scott Messersmith)
Arnie Green (solo)
Melvin Seals & JGB w/ Steve Kimock
Late Night @ Black Forest: Amsterdam’s Saskia Laroo w/ members of The Motet

SUNDAY 8/24/08
Elephant Revival
Danny Shafer (solo)
Larry Keel & Natural Bridge
Shanti Groove (acoustic)
Split Lip Rayfield
Enion & David Tiller’s TAARKA w/ ThaMuseMeant’s Nathan Moore
Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman w/ Great American Taxi
David Grisman Quintet
WhiteWater Ramble and TAARKA w/ Nathan Moore (double bill)

NedFest 2007 SCHEDULE
ANIMAL LIBERATION ORCHESTRA
JOHN “BLACKDOG” RIDNELL & GAIL “MOJO” MULDROW
BLUE TURTLE SEDUCTION
DANNY SHAFER
THE ETHEREAL PLANE
EUFORQUESTRA
HEAD FOR THE HILLS
IAN BEERT
JASON SCROGGINS
KISSIDOGU
THE MOTET
ONDA
PATRICK LATELLA
SALEM
SAM BUSH BAND
STANTON MOORE TRIO featuring Robert Walter & Will Bernard – Born and
STEVE KIMOCK with George Porter Jr., Russell Batiste & Brian Stoltz:
TIFFANY CHRISTOPHER
TONY FURTADO BAND:
VINCE HERMAN & THE GREAT AMERICAN TAXI
Vince Herman
Jefferson Hamer

FRIDAY 8/25/06 SCHEDULE
POLYTOXIC
JUBAL
ALBINO!
PAPAS IN THE SHED
MELVIN SEALS & JGB
PATRICK LATELLA
KAN’NAL
THE ETHEREAL PLANE
SATURDAY 8/26/06
SOUL RECLUSION
CREW MURPHY
THE CODETALKERS w/COL. BRUCE HAMPTON
REBECCA FOLSOM
VINCE HERMAN & THE GREAT AMERICAN TAXI – Jefferson Hamer
‘BLISK
BILL EVANS & SOULGRASS
ARMANDO ZUPPA
THE MOTET featuring JANS INGBER
PERCUSSION DE KISSIDOUGOU,
SAM BUSH BAND
NEDERLAND ACID JAZZ
SUNDAY 8/27/06 SCHEDULE

KELLI LAFOLLETTE
WHITEWATER RAMBLE
‘MELISSA SELBY
VINYL
IAN BEERT
ANIMAL LIBERATION ORCHESTRA
DOUG BAKER
NEW MONSOON
JOHN MCKAY
DR. JOHN

SATURDAY AUGUST 27th. 2005
KAN’NAL
Primal, Rhythmic,
Psychedelic, Organic, Hypnotic,
Sensual Rock Music
PATRICK LATELLA
RUNAWAY TRUCK RAMP
THE NEDRECKS
TONY FURTADO BAND
JUBAL & ROB GOWER
PHIX
DANNY SHAFER
BENNY GALLOWAY and the BROKE MOUNTAIN QUARTET
DOUG BAKER
MUMBOULI
THE ETHEREAL PLANE
SUNDAY AUGUST 28th, 2005

THE MOTET with guest Cecil P-Nut Daniel
SPOONFED TRIBE’s
Weapons of Mass Percussion
SHANTI GROOVE
THE ELDORANS
Leftover Salmon’s
VINCE HERMAN and the GREAT AMERICAN TAXI
featuring Acoustic Junction’s REED FOEHL
ARTHUR LEE LAND
FAREED HAQUE GROUP
ALEKTROPHOBIA
ERIC MCFADDEN & WALLY INGRAM
FULANIS AFROBEAT ENSEMBLE
“Everybody say YEAH YEAH!”
BILL MCKAY
ONDA
ERIC MCFADDEN & WALLY INGRAM
at the First Street Pub & Grill

SATURDAY AUGUST 7th, 2004
Leftover Salmon’s VINCE HERMAN
SHANTI GROOVE
TONY TRISCHKA BAND
JOE CRAVEN BAND
BENEVENTO
RUSSO
DUO
THE BLUEGRACID JAZZ ALL-STARS
JOHN & BILL MCKAY
BRUCE HAYES
ARTHUR LEE
SUNDAY
AUGUST 8th, 2004
GARAJ MAHAL
THE MOTET
ALBINO!
Heavy Heavy
Afrobeat!
PAPA MALI
ROB WASSERMAN
DOUG BAKER
SAMBA DENDE
PATRICK LATELLA
CHRIS CONNOLLY

SATURDAYAUGUST 2nd 2003
Flecktone
VICTOR WOOTEN
solo & with
NEDERLAND ACID JAZZ
GARAJ MAHAL
THE MOTET
VINYL
BLACK FRAMES
SKERIK
Mike Dillon
Brad Houser
Earl Harvin
WOOKIE FOOT
SINGLE MALT BAND
JON ‘Blackdog’ RIDNELL
CAMERON BYERS
SAMBA DENDE

SUNDAY AUGUST 3rd 2003
ROBERT WALTER’S 20th CONGRESS
Featuring Will Bernard
TONY FURTADO and the AMERICAN GYPSIES
THE BIG WU
SHANTI
GROOVE
ROSS MARTIN & MATT FLINNER BAND
POSSUM LOGIC
PAPA MALI
NOAM PIKELNY
JOHN & BILL MCKAY
PATRICK LATELLA
WAYFARERS

SATURDAY AUGUST 3rd, 2002

CHARLIE HUNTER QUINTET
w/ Ron Miles
VINYL
TONY FURTADO AND THE AMERICAN GYPSIES
w/ Paul McCandless
MELVIN SEALS’
MELTING POT
MATT FLINNER
QUARTET
SHANTI GROOVE
HIT & RUN w/ Rebecca Hoggan
SINGLE MALT BAND
TALL TREES GROVE
HIGH ON THE HOG
DANNY SHAFER
SAMBA DENDE
NEDERLAND BLUEGRACID JAZZ ALL STARS

SUNDAY AUGUST 4th, 2002
THEORY OF EVERYTHINg
ROBERT WALTER’S
20th CONGRESS
w/ Will Bernard
THE MOTET
CABARET DIOSA
JIVE
BLACKDOG
w/ Cecil ‘P-Nut’ Daniels & The PsychoHorns
SAMBA DENDE
WOMEN FROM MARS:
LIZA OXNARD
LIZ CLARK
JUNIS PONDS
NEDERLAND ACID JAZZ

SATURDAY AUGUST 4th, 2001
BLACKDOG
HANUMAN
SINGLE MALT BAND
RUNAWAY
TRUCK RAMP
Reunion Show
NEDERLAND BLUEGRACID JAZZ ALL-STARS
YONDER MOUNTAIN
STRING BAND
MERL SAUNDERS And His FUNKY FRIENDS

SUNDAY AUGUST 5th, 2001
JAMIE JANOVER’S
LOOP REALM
JAKA
BEING LARA
MAYKOVICH
THE MOTET
THE SLIP
CHARLIE HUNTER
QUARTET
NEDERLAND ACID JAZZ

8/5/00 SATURDAY:
KUTANDARA
A Nine-Piece Marimba Band
CHUPACABRA
KELLER WILLIAMS
TONY FURTADO BAND
THE MOTET
STANLEY JORDAN with
NEDERLAND ACID JAZZ

8/6/00 SUNDAY:
THE NEW COUNTRY KITCHEN
Bluegrass from Rome, Italy
RYAN SHUPE & THE RUBBERBAND
THAMUSEMEANT
RUNAWAY
TRUCK RAMP
YONDER MOUNTAIN
STRING BAND
NEDERLAND BLUEGRACID JAZZ
ALL-STARS!!!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7th 1999
Open Road
Kristen Mc Farland (w/ Dave Watts)
Pete Wernick’s Live Five
Tweener: Chuck Grossman
The Tony Furtado Band
The Dave Watts Motet
Patrick Latella
Stanley Jordan (solo)
Jamie Janover
Nederland Acid Jazz # 166

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8th 1999
Ty Burhoe & Friends
Vince Herman & Jeff Austin
The Floodplain Gang
Danny Shaffer
Runaway Truck Ramp
Wendy Woo
Yonder Mountain String Band
John ‘Blackdog’ Ridnell
The ‘Nederland Bluegr-Acid Jazz’ All Stars

The 1996 Nederland Music and Arts Festival

Saturday, June 8th
Alan Stecher
Kellie LaFollette
Steve Ray Liedlich
Mike Nuzum
Liquid Playground
Sphere (High School Band)
Drip City
Koro
Available Jones
The Buzz Harvest
Roots Revolt
Sunday, June 9th
Terrestrials
Patrick Latella
Butlers & Thieves
Chuck Grossman
Fe’
Wiley Cotton Band
Blackdog
Higher Ground (Eugene, OR)
Skin

 

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