MILWAUKEE — For the first local artist spotlight of Summerfest, we are highlighting Jonathan Michaels.
You can find the Waukesha musician playing at The 2nd Floor stage throughout Summerfest. It's the stage behind the large drums, piano, and guitar at the south gate of Summerfest.
"So it's a stage that’s got local musicians from Waukesha, Milwaukee area, and we put them together," Jonathan Michaels said.
The 2nd Floor stage focuses on promoting local musicians, and gives them an opportunity to play at one of the biggest stages in the world.
"Just to even say on your resume as a musician (you) played at Summerfest, world's largest music festival. So it's really cool to kind of have that exposure for some people, even if it's just five minutes on stage, or like an hour set or whatever," Jonathan Micheals said.
I asked him to play an original song while I filmed him, but he plays a lot of covers too.
"I had someone say, 'that sounds like Rob Thomas. Is Rob Thomas here? Oh it's this guy. Oh.' And then they sit and listen anyways."
That has got to be a pretty good compliment if people think you sound like Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20.
While The 2nd Floor Stage won't have the most fans, it serves as a platform (literally and figuratively) for these up and coming artists.
"This is where they get a lot of their exposure to play at places. We have people that you don’t know who you’re playing for. We’ve got, you know, places that - you know, bar owners or other things like that, that will come in and listen, and go, 'Hey we’d like to hire you for a gig.' So it's a great place to get exposure that way," Jonathan Michaels said.
If you saw him and have ever been to downtown Waukesha, you might actually recognize him. Jonathan Michaels is his stage name. His real name is Jon Archimede, and he is the owner of the Jest For Fun Joke Shop in downtown Waukesha.