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Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers Play JazzFest


Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers' music is straight out of Memphis, Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans, but the musicians come from Lincoln, Nebraska. Hoyer grew up in Lincoln, but lived in the Pacific Northwest and New Orleans before returning home.

The Shadowboxers came together in 2012. Hoyer says the band blends the classic sounds of Soul and R &B, yet has been able to make a sound that’s fresh and unique. This has been a good year for Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers. They released a self-titled debut album and took home the Omaha Entertainment Award for best R & B and Soul Act. 

Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers perform twice at JazzFest this week at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls. They play the main stage at 6:00 p.m. Friday. They’re also scheduled for the second stage, hosted by SDPB, on Saturday evening at 7:15 p.m. For the complete JazzFest line-up, click here.


Karl was born to northeastern South Dakota crouton farmers, but was orphaned as a toddler during the Great Salad War (1966-67). Rescued by a flock of chickadees, he grew up in the woodlands of Sica Hollow. Legends of a bird boy living in the trees attracted the interest of renowned ornithologist and amateur bandoneon repairman Dr. Vogel Gehrke. With a handful of suet, Dr. Gehrke coaxed the timid boy down from the trees. He adopted him, named him Karl and taught him not to molt on the carpet. Dr. Gehrke’s book, The Bird Boy of Sica Hollow, was a best seller and Karl became a minor celebrity and teen idol. He appeared as a guest star on numerous television programs, most notably an awkward role on The Love Boat as the boyfriend of Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki. After critics panned his 1980 album, Bird Boy Does Disco, Karl retreated from public life and returned to Sica Hollow. Living in an isolated tree house, Karl achieved a reputation as a mystic. Pilgrims and seekers from around the world came to ask him about the meaning of life and for vinaigrette recipes. Growing tired of answering questions, he climbed down from his tree, shaved his massive white beard and took a job as the host of SDPB Radio’s Dakota Midday where he could ask the questions instead. After three years in that position, he ran out of questions and became host of Jazz Nightly instead. Karl makes his home in Vermillion with his charming wife Kari and three delightful children, Kodey, Kasey and Spatula. His hobbies include reciting the alphabet, combing his hair and doing volunteer work with delinquent songbirds.