INTERLOCHEN — Alternative country/folk rock singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile and Chicago blues maven Shemekia Copeland kick off the 2013 Interlochen Summer Arts Festival with back-to-back concerts, just as 2,500 students begin arriving from all over the world to attend the Interlochen Arts Camp.
The Carlile concert starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Kresge Auditorium with opener Lone Bellow, an Americana/country/folk trio based in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Copeland, who was crowned “Queen of the Blues” at the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival, appears Wednesday night, also at 8 p.m. in Kresge.
The eight-week summer series runs to mid-August and features a wide variety of artists, among them Harry Connick Jr. and former Interlochen camper Josh Groban, whose performance with the Traverse City Symphony Orchestra already is sold out.
The series runs concurrently with the Interlochen Arts Camp, which attracts some 2,500 aspiring artists in grades 3 to 12 for programs in art, music, theater, dance, writing and motion picture productions. Programs range from one to six weeks long and most take place between June 22 and Aug. 5, during which students will be involved in more than 400 presentations.
Students, faculty and staff come from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.
Carlile, 32, started singing and performing in Seattle when she was 7. In 2004, she persuaded her twin brothers, Phil and Tim Hanseroth, to form a band with her and said she’d have a contract within a year, a promise she kept when the signed with Columbia Records. Her most recent album is “Bear Creek.”
Copeland grew up with the blues. Born in New York’s Harlem in 1979, she is the daughter of the late Texas guitarist Johnny Schemekia. She went on the road with her father at age 15 when his health began to fail and, three years later, cut her first album, “Turn Up the Heat,” with Alligator.