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Wayward Vessel is an adventurous alternative acoustic ensemble exploring the boundaries of bluegrass and folk music.

With superb musicianship and lush, natural vocal harmonies, the band creates a unique palette to portray their rich library of original and traditional music. Wayward Vessel was born when Ken Chapple (guitar) and Julie Schmidt (fiddle) met at a bluegrass pickin’ session in SE Portland in 2009. It was immediately obvious that the two musicians had a connection, and began to go to work composing, arranging and jamming around the clock.

Wayward Vessel has captured attention of festival promoters all over the Pacific Northwest because of our songwriting, instrumentals, engaging performances and our professionalism. We have performed at Wintergrass 2013, Northwest String Summit 2013, Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival 2013, Fiddlin’ Under The Stars 2013, Bluegrass From The Forest 2012 and countless other festivals and community events. Wayward Vessel has been rapidly growing since our second place finish at the 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition, and receiving national acclaim for our 2012 release “Before The Grey.”

Julie Schmidt

Julie Schmidt Growing up in Tuolumne, CA, Julie comes from a musical family. Miss Schmidt is a talented mulch-instrumentalist and songwriter, but most impressive are her fiddle playing and singing. Her violin weeps with sincerity,  and her voice resonates with sweetness and maturity.


Ken Chapple

Ken Chapple Ken is a guitarist and songwriter, composing the majority of original material for Wayward Vessel. Ken has studied many genres, and is able to intelligently combine them to create new and beautiful sounds. Learn more about Ken at