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The Magazine

December 26, 2011

Orpheum Bell

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Written by: Amanda Slater

Have you heard…

Orpheum Bell is a breakout group of musicians that consists of Aaron Klein, Henrik Karapetyan, Katie Lee, Michael Billmire and Serge van der Voo. The group is among the elite segment of musicians that both perplexes and fascinates music lovers, as it is difficult to explain their sound or categorize their music within any particular genre. However, there is no doubt that they are all as talented as they are creative. Thus, it should be no surprise that they are from the city that seems to collect perplexing, talented and creative artists whose music cannot quite be categorized – Ann Arbor.

Self proclaimed as “American country, a little swing, Eastern European and a little gypsy,” the best label the group can put on their music in a nutshell is “Country and Eastern.”

Orpheum Bell utilizes instruments including the ukulele, banjo, pump organ, xylophone, glockenspiel, shepherd harp, mandolin, violin (and more) and makes use of multiple singers (both male and female). Their influences range from people groups such as Gypsies to Cubans and Appalachians. And yet, somehow all of these sounds combine, blending together as one.

In December, the band released their second full-length album, “The Old Sisters’ Home’” – which is, just like the rest of their music, a creation that is beyond description. So we encourage you to check it out (and we’ll leave it up to you to explain).  And, as Orpheum Bell is known for their live performance, be sure to check their upcoming tour dates for a show near you.

Orpheum Bell will be performing alongside The Juliets, Kent County String Band and Pistolbrides at 10 p.m. on January 21 at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids. For more dates, visit

About the Author

Amanda Slater
Amanda Slater
Amanda is the Editor in Chief at iSPY. Not only does she over see content and production, but she's also a fan of some great music and movies. If you want to know what's the next BIG thing, ask Amanda.

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