GRASS VALLEY, CA, January 6, 2023 – The Center for the Arts is pleased to welcome bluegrass band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper to the Marisa Funk Theater on January 26, 2023. 

The world tends to look at accomplishments in the form of accolades and although only in his mid-30’s, 2020 GRAMMY Winner Michael Cleveland, has plenty to his credit. After picking up the fiddle at age 4, Michael’s musical momentum began to propel him toward early success. “When I started taking lessons at age 4,” he remembers, “I told the teacher right up front that I wanted to learn how to play bluegrass and I wanted to play ‘Orange Blossom Special.’” Reluctant as they were, his teachers quickly found reason to his rhyme, helping him progress to the point when, at age 9, Michael was invited to sit in with the legendary Bill Monroe at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. Soon after, he brought his virtuosic style to the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Alison Kraus, and was hand-picked for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Bluegrass Youth Allstars before he was 14. 

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

His blistering prowess and technical fluency have since marked him as a sought-after musician, leading to performances with Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Tim O’Brien, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Andy Statman, and The Kruger Brothers in recent years. However, it wasn’t until 2006, when Michael formed his own band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, that he found the right vehicle for his musical vision, and he hasn’t rested since, constantly looking for new ways to push himself and his music forward. His new album Lovin’ of the Game is set to be released in March of 2023 and the audience can anticipate hearing some new songs on this tour. “People know me as a traditional bluegrass fiddle player, which is what I love to do,” Cleveland said, “but this album is more than just the pure tradition. It’s a little bit of a departure for me.” The album features star-studded collaborations with Billy Strings, Béla Fleck, Charlie Starr, Jeff White, The Travelin’ McCourys, Vince Gill, and others.

“He plays fearless and it’s intoxicating to play with him because he makes you play fearless,” says Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill. “He takes no prisoners but he plays with restraint and a soul. He plays without abandon.” 

Clearly, the IBMA agrees as he’s their most awarded Fiddle Player of the Year with 12 wins, has won Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year six times, and is a 2018 inductee to the National Fiddler Hall of Fame. Together with Flamekeeper members Josh Richards (guitar), Nathan Livers (mandolin), Jasiah Shrode (banjo), and Chris Douglas (bass), Cleveland makes his way around the country performing festivals, clubs and performing arts centers, delighting audiences, leaving them with jaws dropped in complete amazement.

Don’t miss the wicked fiddling and bluegrass magic of Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper at The Center for the Arts on January 26, 2023. 

WHAT: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

WHERE: The Center for the Arts Marisa Funk Theater | 314 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945

WHEN: Thursday, January 26, 2023 | Doors 7:00 p.m. Show 8:00 p.m.  

TICKETS: $33-43 |

WEBSITE & INFO:  or (530) 274-8384