Performing Original and

Traditional Folk Music in

East Central Wisconsin

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Laughing Whitefish is a folk music combo performing original and traditional music in East Central Wisconsin. Styles include old-time country, celtic, gospel, bluegrass, and contemporary song writers.

Kari Sternkopf Kari Sternkopf - Vocals, Violin, Cello, Recorders

Kari is a classically trained musician who also plays violin in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. She has played in the Central Wisconsin Symphony, and studied several summers at Brevard in North Carolina. Chuck and Kari played in the folk group at St. Anne’s Church in De Pere. Kari plays many different instruments including guitar, mandolin, and cello.
John Simonis John Simonis - Vocals, Guitar

John plays guitar and sings lead vocal. John has been active in church music ministry for many years and formerly led the Folk Group at St. Anne’s Church in DePere.
Dan Geddes Dan Geddes - Vocals, Mountain & Hammer Dulcimer, Bass

Dan has been active in the Wisconsin folk music scene for many years, including active involvement in the Green Apple Folk Music Society . Dan plays many different instruments, and owns even more (ask his wife Cindy). Sheet music for some tunes he's written can be found on Dan's Music Page. Don't miss the photo of his Fabulous Fish Tie Collection! His real life trout fishing blog is Spin4Trout. In the world of ham radio, Dan is better known as KC9DEF. And photos of various of his outdoor and musical adventures can be found at his Flickr site.
Chris Murray Chris Murray - Vocals, Banjolin, Mandolin, Resinator Guitar, Whistle

Chris has moved to Madison, WI and we wish him well in his endeavors there. Chris was a 'Fish for several years, and brought a lot to the group, playing guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, irish flute, tin whistle, piano and bass, and some of those other dusty instruments way in the back of his closet.
Chuck Thomas Chuck Thomas - Vocals, Banjo, Mandolin, Bouzouki, Bagpipe

Chuck passed away in October of 2007. He is very much missed by the 'Fish and his passing leaves an empty hole in the Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin acoustic music community. Some music from Chuck's earlier bluegrass groups can be found at Chuck's old groups. He played Banjo and Guitar for over 25 years in bluegrass groups in Wisconsin and Oklahoma, including the bluegrass group Mudd Creek. Chuck was one of the founding members of Laughing Whitefish and he engineered the recording of the band's three CDs.

What’s the band’s history?

Chuck and Kari played together in folk music groups for more than 10 years around Green Bay and DePere Wisconsin and played with John in the St. Anne’s Folk Group. John joined the group in 2002. In real life Chuck and Dan worked together in Neenah, Wisconsin and they formed Laughing Whitefish in 1999. The group has enjoyed playing at folk music venues around Northeastern Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

Where in the world did the name “Laughing Whitefish” come from?

Laughing Whitefish is a river and waterfall in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Our favorite reviews

"Old-fashioned folk music with a strong undercurrent of country and Bluegrass. Laughing Whitefish's laid-back campfire songs will appeal to anyone planning to vote for President McKinley. Similar Artists: Allen Brothers, The Freighthoppers, Bob Carlin"

"Grab a plate of barbecue, pull up a chair, and settle into the wholesome, down-home country-folk and bluegrass gospel sounds of Wisconsin band Laughing Whitefish. You certainly don't have to be a member of AARP to enjoy their pared-down, pepped-up songs."


View the band's tri-fold brochure!

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