2018 Musical Performances

We are very fortunate to have the professional services of Ric Gordon, Russian Winter Records, as our musical performances curator for this year’s festival!

This year’s festival features a lineup of some of the best musicians and singers in the Midwest spanning folk rock, country, classical, Americana and pop.

Summit Art Festival Performance Schedule October 12-14


Bryton Stoll:  Bryton is the Nashville Songwriter Association International – KC Regional Ole Publishing Challenge winner and the winner of the National Jim Halsey Star Search, both with his song ‘Finger On The Trigger’. Listen to his debut album here.


Roger Pitts: Roger has been a guest composer at the “Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Meet the Composer – The Conservatory Presents Program”, selected to be a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, and has won a fellowship award from and was a touring artist with the Kansas Arts Commission & Mid America Arts Alliance. You can hear Roger’s music at these links: here and here.

Steve Sterner and Sundown: Steve and his band are winners of the 2015 Folk Alliance Internal Battle of Acoustic Bands and are recognized as one of the best Americana ensembles in the country. Listen to their music here.

David Haken: David is a native of Kansas City who has been performing his original music for many years. In 1992, he co-founded the Songwriters Circle of Kansas City with Dave Lizor. This nonprofit organization has a regular event each month to showcase area singer/songwriters. He recently taught songwriting at the Folk Alliance International’s Region Midwest Conference in Iowa. David has released 10 albums and you can hear his music here.

Leah Watts: Leah is an up and coming singer/songwriter and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. She has released an acclaimed video of her single ‘Strong’ which you can see here.

Joshua T. Merello: Joshua is a unique instrumentalist, utilizing only the classical guitar to deliver melodic original music that combines folk, Latin and classical styling. He recently released his debut EP, ‘Equilibrium’.  Listen to it here.

Gerry Monks:  Gerry is an accomplished singer/songwriter who blends influences from blues, classic rock and country. He is a Kansas City Regional Coordinator for the Nashville Songwriters Association International.  You can hear his music at this link.

Erik J:  Erik is the former singer/songwriter for the duo Ehrnman/Pearson and has recently struck out on a solo career. He is signed to Russian Winter Records, and they plan to have his debut single out about the time of the Summit Art Festival. You can hear him on the single released by Ehrnman/Pearson at this link.

Martha Haehl: Martha has been singing and writing for over 50 years and appeared as a musical performer on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion in the 1970s. She shows that age is no barrier to creativity and is delivering fine performances across the region. Listen to her unique style here and here

Leah Willhite: Leah is a relatively new singer/songwriter on the scene, who is already making a name for herself through her live performances and her debut album, ‘Wasting Time’, which you can listen to here.

Heath Church: Heath Church is a singer/songwriter who forges his sound from Kansas City themes paired with a pop Americana style. Heath released his debut EP, ‘The Things I’ve Tried’, in December 2017 and followed it up with the single, ‘Breaking Even’. You can listen to his music here.

Liz Hackworth: Liz is another up and coming area singer/songwriter. She studies recording technique and engineering at Johnson County Community College and performs frequently in area coffeehouses. She is the PR and A&R Assistant at Russian Winter Records, where she is also starting work on a debut single for the label. She self-released a debut EP, ‘Fireside’, under the name Lizzi Leigh in May 2017, which you can hear at this link.

Ric Gordon: Managing Director Ric Gordon of indie record label Russian Winter Records is the curator of the music for the 2018 Summit Art Festival. A member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, he is an active recording artist and record producer, having released 16 albums and EPs himself and produced 26 albums and EPs for other artists. You can here three advance tracks for his next album, ‘Reflection’, to be released in the spring of 2019 here.

Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.