Paramount Music Festival« Back to Events
Are you aware of the great music history of Blues, Jazz, R&B, gospel, country, classical and more in… Ozaukee County? The Paramount Music Festival is! Yes, Grafton and Port Washington were music hotspots back in the day, hosting musicians and their studio sessions at Paramount Records. Thousands of recordings were made and millions of records were pressed in Grafton, laying groundwork for the most popular music genres to ever come out of this country from 1917 until 1932.
For a decade and a half, 78 rpm records were pressed and distributed to the nation, allowing artists such as Lawrence Welk, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Tom Dorsey and Louis Armstrong to inspire future music generations and lay the seeds for the R&B and Rock ‘N Roll Eras. Between 1929 and 1932 alone, over 1,600 songs were recorded in Grafton at a make-shift studio in the Wisconsin Chair Factory; the output accounted for about 1/4 of the so-called “race records” of the era. The musicians often came up from Milwaukee or Chicago by train, recorded in Grafton, and stayed overnights in Port Washington where Paramount and the Wisconsin Chair Company had their offices. So many major and influential musicians cut records here that it’s an official stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail!
On July 22-23, 2022, the Paramount Music Festival celebrates Paramount Records and all the music it produced. Two days of incredible live music, food and family fun with local, regional and national musicians take the stage to celebrate the history of Paramount Records. A full schedule is below.
Check their website for the full lineup of performers and activities!
Paramount Music Festival Schedule of Performers
Friday, July 22nd
gates open at 4:30
5:15 Will Pfrang & the Goodland Gang
6:30 Trapper Schoepp
8:00 Stephen Cooper & the Nobody Famous
Saturday, July 23rd
Gates open at 11
11:00 Luke Cerny
Noon Lady A
1:30 Katz Sass
3:00 Cathy Grier & the Troublemakers
4:30 Chicken Wire Empire
6:30 Altered Five Blues Band
8:30 Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues
(All times are approximate)
Find out more on the history behind the Paramount Music Festival in our State Trunk Tour Podcast!
Highway 60 and Historic Highway 57 brings you to Grafton, just off I-43 and Highway 32.
Paramount Music Festival Address:
Lime Kiln Park
2020 Green Bay Road
Grafton, WI 53024