Jeff Davis

JeffDavisFiddle
Winner of the Parents’ Choice Award, Jeff Davis is one of the nation’s foremost performers, interpreters, and collectors of traditional American folk music.

BIO
Jeff Davis is one of the nation’s foremost performers, interpreters and collectors of traditional American folk songs, tunes, and stories. He plays banjo, guitar, bones, spoons, fiddle, Appalachian dulcimer, Jew’s Harp, Native American flute, and several instruments in the mandolin family. Jeff has appeared at Sturbridge Village and Mystic Seaport regularly, and has performed at folk festivals in the United States and abroad. He has recorded for Flying Fish and Minstrel Records. Jeff received the 1992 UMass-Dartmouth “Eisteddfod” Award for service to the traditional arts. He graduated from Duke University with a degree in Russian history but spent much time in North Carolina learning songs from mountain musicians. After a brief tenure as a middle school history teacher, Jeff began playing music full time at schools, clubs, and festivals. Jeff has been a lecturer for the Smithsonian National Associates Program and has performed for school and community groups through the New York State Council for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council-Arts in Education program. With his friend Jeff Warner, Jeff Davis has recorded two volumes of traditional music for children, Old Time Songs for Kids and Two Little Boys.

American Sampler

Travel with Jeff Davis into the history of rural America. With humor, warmth, and scholarship, Jeff invites your students to relive our nation’s heritage through songs of Revolutionary War heroes, Appalachian clogging songs, sailors’ work songs, African-American banjo tunes, Irish fiddle tunes, cowboy ditties, and more! Jeff accompanies himself on a myriad of instruments, ranging from the nose flute to a one-of-a-kind fretless banjo. Students join in on the fun with found instruments, such as bones and spoons.

Target Grades: K-12
Duration:
 45-60 minutes
Audience Limit: 175

The Oregon Trail

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll headed West! Through song, students learn of the culture, life, and times of the American people made famous in Francis Parkman’s 1846 book The Oregon Trail. Meet the railroaders, settlers on the Erie Canal, sailors of the Great Lakes, rafters on the Ohio River, African-American roustabouts steamboating on the Mississippi, Sioux hunters, and pioneers traveling overland on foot, horseback, and wagons.

Target Grades: 3-12
Duration: 
45-60 minutes
Audience Limit: 175

Massachusetts!

Experience the history and geography of Massachusetts through instruments, music, and song. Featured music includes early Colonial songs and tunes, textile mill songs from Lowell, maritime songs from the days of the tall ships, Portuguese fiddle tunes from Martha’s Vineyard, ballads from the farmers of the Berkshire Mountains, and more. Jeff’s award-winning presentation enables students to learn about the importance and impact of music in the culture and lives of the people of Massachusetts. The program is a wonderful complement to the standard grade three curriculum.

Target Grades: 3-5
Duration: 45-60 minutes
Audience Limit: 175

States of the Union

Learn how each state in America has distinctive music that is the result of geography, immigration, and history. With a full array of instruments and songs, Jeff takes students on a musical tour, illustrating the unifying similarities and interesting differences between the various regions and states of our country. This program demonstrates the amazing variety of cultures in America and is a perfect companion to the standard elementary Social Studies curriculum.

Target Grades: 3-5
Duration: 
45-60 minutes
Audience Limit: 175

Jeff Davis’ post-performance workshops include hands-on activities (a musical spoons lesson, the singing of a sea-shanty while raising a “sail”), the introduction of a few new folk instruments, more singing, and much more time devoted to questions and answers. Oregon Trail workshops focus on westward movement; American Sampler, Massachusetts!, and States of the Union workshops focus on the most recent American history studies of any particular class, such as early Colonial days, the Civil War, or Massachusetts history.

Post-Performance Workshops

Target Grades: K-12
Duration: 45-60 minutes
Participants limit: 30 students per workshop

PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS
Jeff Davis Performance Requirements

EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
American Sampler 6-12 
American Sampler K-5
Massachusetts
States of the Union
Oregon Trail K-5

PRICING (performance/day)
All performances: Single: $446   Double: $714 Triple: $937   Quad: $1,116
Post-performance workshops: $125 per workshop
Travel Fee: $50 per day
Note: pricing may vary for weekends/out-of-school time