Paper Plane Pilots
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Paper Plane Pilots

Bellaire, Michigan, United States

Bellaire, Michigan, United States
Band Rock Pop


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The best kept secret in music


"The Red Hottest Bash in Northern Michigan Was Last Night!"

The Red Hottest Bash in Northern Michigan Was Last Night!

Posted by Elizabeth Edwards on May 18, 2012 at 10:00am
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Really, how many times in life are you handed an excuse to wear a red dress? Or as my significant other said: You mean, I GET to wear a Hawaiian shirt and sandals? (yep, that's us above in my yard before taking off for the party). The endless-summer dress code for the Red Hot Best of Northern Michigan Bash are just two reasons to love, love, love this Traverse Magazine/ event at the Turtle Creek Casino. Ah, but there were so many more things that made this the kickoff bash of the season last night ...

Find Out Who Won the Red Hot Best of Northern Michigan!

I'm specifically savoring Miriam Pico's cognac-smooth voice, the Peach Cremante from 45 North, Apache Trout Grill whitefish (served up in meal-sized portions!), big hunks of Pleasonton Bakery bread, Bud's milkshakes, Amical creme brulee, those belly dancers and of course, the wonderful, wonderful staff and atmosphere at Turtle Creek that work together to make you feel like you strolled into Las Vegas for the evening. But there was so, so much more. What a fabulous celebration of Northern Michigan. Here's what we ate, drank and made merry on--or, if you didn't go, what you missed. And to think, it was all to benefit three great Northern Michigan nonprofits: Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Camp Quality and The Michigan Legacy Art Park. See you there next year!

Food from:

Zakey's Middle Eastern Cuisine
Pleasanton Brick Oven Bakery
Moomer's Ice Cream
Grand Traverse Pie Company
Bud's of Interlochen
Bay Bread Company
Stonehouse Bread
Phil's on Front
Friske's Farm Market
Apache Trout Grill
Village Cheese Shanty in Fishtown
Kilwins of Traverse City
Folgarelli's Market of Traverse City
Burrit's Fresh Markets
North Peak / Jolly Pumpkin
Sponsor: Deep Blue Coffee

Wine and Beer From:

Black Star Farms
Chateau Grand Traverse
Right Brain Brewery
Chateau Chantal
Brys Estate
45 North Winery
Left Foot Charley
Sponsor: Griffin Beverage Co.

Entertainment By:

DJ Brevin
Drew Hale
Paper Plane Pilots
John Driscoll Ensemble
Zakey's Bellydancers
Miriam Pico
Alumni from the Petoskey Steel Drum Band
Matt Sharp on Guitar
Ron Getz on Guitar
Levi Britton
Suntan, the Red Hot Best Bear from the Beach Bums Baseball team

Goodies in the Gift Bag From:

Impres Salon
Salon Verve
Bella Amici
Nifty Things
Horizon Books
Scalawags Traverse City
Fit For You Gym
Friske's Farm Market
Great Lakes Children's Museum
Ella's Boutique
Doug Murdick's Fudge, Traverse City
Sponsor: Deep Blue Coffee
Sponsor: Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel (a cool credit for fun in the Turtle Creek Casino that night!)


"High Flying; Female Bandmates Help Propel Paper Plane Pilots"

Paper Plane Pilots
Erin Cowell - November 1st, 2010
High Flying ; Female bandmates help propel Paper Plane Pilots
By Erin Crowell
By day, Chandra LaPointe and Jennifer Harrison earn their paychecks like any other person— LaPointe as a middle school teacher at Mancelona Public Schools; Harrison as a parts sales rep at Traverse Motors. But by night, they take center stage, representing the double X chromosome of the Paper Plane Pilots.
One of Northern Michigan’s most popular bands, The Paper Plane Pilots is a combination of male and female talents, glued by the rhythms of Harrison (on drums) and the unquestionably able voice of LaPointe (main vocals and keyboard).
“Other than designated dressing rooms, there’s really nothing to say about having two female band members,” says Jon Head (guitar and vocals). “They really nail it.”

Barely a year old, The Pilots formed in January after several members decided to step away from other projects.
Although they didn’t step far.
LaPointe and Harrison were both part of the group Abandinus, an Indie rock band from Bellaire, while Head and Matt Sharp (Pilots’ lead guitar) were members of cover band Three Thumbs Up.
Harrison had previously played with Ron Swank (bass and vocals for The Pilots) as members of Common Cent$, a TC classic rock band; as well as with Sharp in the group Blu Frog and Three Thumbs Up.
“You could say (Harrison) has played with every single person in this band,” says Head. “She probably has the most experience out of all of us.”
Harrison says her musical experience runs to about 15 years, although it’s probably slightly longer since neither she nor many of her bandmates will say exactly how long they’ve been playing for fear of giving away their age.
“I will say that the first time I heard Joan Jett play, I was about 14 and I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” says Harrison, flashing her ever-present wide grin. “That probably gives it away right there!”
Regardless of age or gender, many who attend a Paper Plane Pilots performance can’t ignore the large presence of the petite Harrison.
“People will gather right by the stage where Jen is and watch her perform,” says Head. “She’s 97 pounds of drumming fury.”
Holding up the end of harmony on the keys and vocals is LaPointe, a commanding force of her own with a voice honed by 15 years of experience and training through Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University.
“Chandra stuns people when she sings,” says Head.
And while her middle school students are listening to female artists such as Lady GaGa and Gwen Stefani, LaPointe is singing the artists’ songs every weekend, having a knack for nailing their sound and style.
“Some of my students know I’m in a band,” says LaPointe, “and some of them don’t believe me.”

The Paper Plane Pilots have continued to grow their playbook, performing up to 50 songs a night from a spectrum of genres ranging from rock and punk to country and pop.
“A lot of people can’t peg us,” says Harrison. “We play all kinds of music like heavy and classic rock…”
“Katy Perry and Shakira…” adds LaPointe. “…Lately we’ve had a country-flavored sound. We really step out of the box,” Head concludes.
Just as their music is all over the place, so is the band’s physical makeup – with LaPointe living in Bellaire, Harrison in Rapid City, Swank in Petoskey and both Head and Sharp in Traverse City.
“We really only rehearse once a week,” says Head.
When learning a new song, each member has the job of learning his or her part before bringing it all together, playing at events and venues across Northern Michigan.
Members of the Paper Plane Pilots agree the next, and continuous step it seems, is finding their sound – and wherever the road leads, they will each bring something different to contribute.
“I have to say, this is the band I’ve been waiting for,” says Harrison. “I play with top notch musicians. We all have very different influen - Northern Express


Still working on that hot first release.



Paper Plane Pilots is a five-piece band, based in Traverse City MI, that focuses on the rock, pop, alternative and dance genres.
Passionate original material continues to develop with Miss LaPointe (vocals/keys), Sharpie and Roc with harmonizing guitars, Nick (bass) and Jen (drums) holding down the thunderous rhythm section.
Booking selected 2012-13 dates now!
Firehouse Productions
Contact Info: Jon Head (231) 409-9396
Chandra LaPointe (231) 631-6193
Jen Harrison (231) 620-1258