Sounds and setting: Experience beauty at Sojourn Summer series

BAGLEY TWP. — Sojourn Lakeside Resort is no stranger to creating connected experiences.

The legendary property opened in 1948 as a guest ranch and then a dude ranch that boasted equestrian adventures. After closing its doors in 2004, the space sat vacant for many years. Finally, the resort is finding new life under the directions of Scott and Janice Lampert.

This summer, the couple, alongside longtime friend and local musician Greg Vadnais, has curated a series of four midweek concerts on the shores of Dixon Lake. The shows fall in line with the Lampert's vision for the resort as a unique experience to connect with nature. With 35 wooded acres, 20 rooms and suites, a great hall, private beach and more, Sojourn is nestled in the heart of Northern Michigan.

"The vision of Sojourn as a destination resort, from Janice's perspective, is to allow people to experience the outdoors and the natural beauty of Northern Michigan and get away from being plugged in and all the stuff that surrounds us in our heads," Vandals said. "So the music portion of this kind of fit in with the vision of what she wants to do and giving people a place to go and experience art, and the outdoors at the same time."

The series continues at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, as Michigan country music sensations The Drew Hale Band will play. The band offers powerful vocals, compelling lyrics and haunting melodies. Recently, the band won the Detroit Regional round of 93.1 NashFM's Nash Next contest.

The Pete Siers Trio takes the stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22. This amazing jazz project celebrates the music of Benny Goodman and other well-established artists. The ensemble features Tad Weed of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on piano, clarinet virtuoso Dave Bennett and bandleader Pete Siers on drums.

The final show of the season featuring Dixon's Violin will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19. This visionary violinist's life mission is to inspire people — and he has done so, including giving three TED talks/performances, 10 years of Burning Man performances and countless radio, TV and film appearances. Dixon walked away from a distinguished career to follow his dream full-time and invented a whole new music genre. Dixon now improvises on a five-string electric violin with a looping system he developed to create an all-live one-man symphony.

Tickets for this all-ages event can be purchased online at the Sojourn Lakeside Resort Facebook page and in the “events” tab on the Sojourn Lakeside Resort website or online at

Frances Eugenia