Jeff Warner American Traditions
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Jeff Warner is among the nation’s foremost performer/interpreters of traditional music. His songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages and mountain tops of America connect 21st century audiences with the everyday lives–and artistry–of 19th century Americans. “Providing more than just rich entertainment, Jeff will leave you with a deeper appreciation of the land you live in” (Caffé Lena, Saratoga, NY). His songs, rich in local history and a sense of place, bring us the latest news from the distant past.

Jeff grew up listening to the songs and stories of his father Frank Warner and the traditional singers his parents met during their folksong collecting trips through rural America. He accompanied his parents on their later field trips and is the editor of his mother’s book, Traditional American Folk Songs: From the Anne and Frank Warner Collection. He is producer of the two-CD set, Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still, the Warners’ recordings of rural singers, many of them born in Victorian times. “The scion of one of the nation’s most eminent families of folksong collectors, he represents a tradition that is fundamentally unbroken since preindustrial times” (Stuart Frank, Senior Curator, New Bedford Whaling Museum).

Jeff has performed widely, from large festivals in the UK, to clubs, festivals and schools across America. He plays concertina, banjo, guitar and several “pocket” instruments, including bones and spoons. And “he inhabits a song in a way which few singers can do” (Royal Oak Folk Club, Lewes, UK).

A native of New York City, Jeff has lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire since the late 1990s. He is a speaker for the New Hampshire Humanities Council and an artist for the New Hampshire Council on the Arts, a former Arts Council Fellow, and a 2013 Performing Arts Honorable Mention.

Jeff Warner, Portsmouth, NH, June, 2005

He has toured nationally for the Smithsonian Institution, taught at Pinewoods, Ashokan, Augusta and Swannanoa summer music programs and recorded for Flying Fish/Rounder, WildGoose (UK) and other labels. His 1995 recording Two Little Boys received a Parents’ Choice Award.

Jeff is past president of the Country Dance and Song Society, a founding officer of the Folk Alliance International and a producer of the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival.

Jeff and his brother, Gerret, have created a multi-media show about the Warner collection — From the Mountains to the Sea — now available in the US and the UK. Information on the program can be found at the Mountains to the Sea website.

Jeff Warner, Portsmouth, NH, June, 2005
“There are three requirements of a good performance: awesome music, the sharing of knowledge, so that the audience leaves knowing something they didn’t before, and the chance to laugh. You gave us all three; you nailed it!”
—Sandy Lafleur, Acoustic Café, Milford, NH
“Jeff’s one of the most welcome of the fairly frequent visitors to these shores from the US, and his gigs are always eagerly awaited and supported by those in the know. Quite simply, he’s one of the most charismatic, enthusiastic and genuinely versatile performers on the whole scene, with a warm and approachable personality to match his encyclopaedic knowledge of traditional song.”
—David Kidman, Netrhythms (UK)
“The Saturday evening performance you did is one I’ll never forget. You’re a real treasure.”
—Craig Edwards, Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport
“My favourite Americana musician.”
—Archie Fisher (UK)
“It was wonderful having you on staff this year. Many people spoke to Molly [Mason] and me and wrote in their evaluations about how much they appreciated your classes, your accessibility, your teaching skills...and the way you wove songs into the week with impeccable taste and timing. We agree with their assessment. Thanks for giving so much of yourself to the week.”
—Jay Ungar, Fiddle and Dance Camp, Ashokan, NY

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