What happens when a classically trained musician crosses paths with a roots-music maven? The answer is ‘Trinadora.’ Our music is a mélange of standards and original compositions in genres that include jazz, blues, classic country, early rock-n-roll, and just about any other ingredient you can think of. We season our vocals with keyboard, ocarina, concertina, harmonica, and guitar accompaniment.
‘Trinadora’ names a trilling bird native to Argentina, a guitar in Peruvian slang, and – most important for our purposes – the Ron Holm and Jannie Nelson duo. The pair selected their name for Jannie’s trilling on her bird-shaped ocarina and for Ron’s guitar. Jannie also plays keyboard, concertina, penny whistle, and various percussion instruments; Ron also plays harmonica and bass. The two are both head-turning singers, and their respective abilities to channel the vocals styles of Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline have garnered countless standing ovations. When Midwest standouts John Bishoff (guitar, vocals) and Tim Austin (percussion, vocals) join the fun, the ‘Trinadora Rocks’ band (“T’ Rocks”, for short) is the result. Trinadora (and T’ Rocks’) repertoire includes hundreds of original, standard, and vintage songs in mind-stretching variety ranging from country to jazz to Celtic to Latin to rockabilly, and they have created entire three-hour concert programs in a dozen specific genres. The band will bring their ‘Time Machine’ concert – a sampling of all their programs – to our Balloon Festival stage.
Ron Holm has been called a ‘roots rock maven.’ He began his professional music career on the seminal Mountain Railroad Records label, which also launched such greats as Nirvana producer Butch Vig and legendary songwriter Greg Brown. Over the years, Ron shared the stage with such luminaries as Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson, Chris Isaak bassist Rowland Salley, and fiddle legends Vassar Clements and Randy Sabien. He’s shared billings with the likes of Roy Orbison, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Odetta, and Steve Goodman.
Jannie Nelson enjoyed success as a classical pianist before she embarked on her Trinadora adventure with Ron. She performed numerous concerts and was featured in the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center series. Her repertoire featured the music of Chopin, Debussy, and Ravel. Jannie is also an accomplished music educator, arranger, and choir director, with a degree in piano performance and additional training in musical theater. Her extensive training and experience produce a unique perspective, and her performances reveal virtuosity, instrumental diversity, and kinesthetic sensibility that captivate her audiences.
John Bishoff is a masterful lead guitarist, record producer, composer, and singer. He’s performed with Bun E. Carlos’s New Pagans, Sneak Preview, Emery Christiansen (Mountain Railroad Records), and many more successful groups, and he’s shared billing with such greats as John Denver, the Everly Brothers, and Roy Orbison. John produced critically acclaimed, award-winning CDs such as ‘Aerial Roots’ (with Ron), ‘Fear and Desire’ (Holland Zander & Jinger Christal), and ‘Heartbreak City’ (Jerry Parlapiano). He is a Rockford Area Music Industry lifetime achievement award recipient.
Tim Austin ranks among the region’s most sought-after percussionists, thanks to his versatility, exquisite technique, and broad musical knowledge. He performs often with Harlan Jefferson, Jodi Beach, and Vince Chiarelli, in addition to anchoring the rhythm for Trinadora Rocks. Tim is also an accomplished guitarist and singer and leads the Soundscape jazz quartet and the Acoustic Juice trio. Tim’s Christmas program performed with his talented wife Emily and their musical friends is a highly successful annual event for Rockford’s Mendelssohn Club.
Over the past decades, Trinadora members have performed on some of the most prestigious Midwestern stages such as Chicago’s legendary Earl Of Old Town, Rockford’s Charlotte’s Web, the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, BMO Harris Center, and the Ontonagon Theater of the Performing Arts. They also perform frequently in regional night clubs and listening rooms, and with over 100 annual performances, they rank among the area’s busiest groups.