Jeff Warner is among the nation’s foremost performer/interpreters of traditional music. His songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages and mountaintops 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 pre-industrial 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, NH, since the late 1990s. He is a speaker for New Hampshire Humanities, an artist for the New Hampshire Council on the Arts, and a former State Arts Council Fellow. 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 a founding officer of Folk Alliance International, a producer of the Portsmouth (NH) Maritime Folk Festival and past president of the Country Dance and Song Society, which gave him a Lifetime Contribution Award in 2016.