Programs with Jeff Davis
Winner of the Parent’s Choice Award
Jeff Davis is one of the nation’s foremost performers, interpreters and collectors of traditional American folk music. There are a vareity of options for performances, designed around themes such asimmigration, the Civil War, westward movement, colonial days, settlement of the U.S., various parts of the U.S., American folk instruments, maritime, fiddling, and southern string band music. The programs are about the music in the history (vs. the history of the music.)
You can book an event with Davis through Young Audiences of Massachusetts - call 617.629.9262 for more information.
Many performances include demonstrations or tutorials. For example, a block and tackle (pulleys and ropes used to raise a sail)) may be set up to demonstrate a Sea Shanty.
"Jeff Davis’ workshops include hands-on activities (a musical spoons lesson, the singing of a sea-shanty while raising a “sail”), and highlight map skills and the idea of the folk process and oral tradition. A few new instruments are introduced, more singing, and much more time devoted to questions and answers."
Focus on particular American history studies of any class or grade such as early colonial days, immigration, or the Civil War.
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 myriad 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.
The Oregon Trail
Focus on westward movement. Because the sessions follow the route of a young Bostonian across the country they are perfect for Fourth grade classes in their studies of American states and regions.
In 1846, Bostonian and historian Francis Parkman, then twenty-three years old and just graduated from Harvard, traversed the continent, returned, and then wrote his famous first book The Oregon Trail. Listen to the songs of the people Parkman met on his trip: railroaders, immigrants on the Erie Canal, sailors on the Great Lakes, rafters on the Ohio River, African-American roustabouts steamboating on the Mississippi, pole-boaters struggling upstream on the Missouri, Sioux hunters, and pioneers plodding overland on foot, horseback and wagons. All headed West!
Grade Levels: K-12
Focus on the history and geography of our State, beginning with 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.
Add a Student Workshop
Jeff Davis’ workshops include hands-on activities (a musical spoons lesson, the singing of a sea-shanty while raising a "sail"), and highlight map skills and the idea of the folk process and oral tradition. A few new instruments are introduced, more singing, and much more time is devoted to questions and answers. Oregon Trail workshops focus on westward movement; American Sampler workshops can focus on the most recent American history studies of any particular class such as, early colonial days, the Civil War or Massachusetts history.
Grade Levels: K-12
Residency: American Folk Traditions
Jeff Davis’ residencies cover a wide variety of topics including folk instruments, music, tales, and sea chanteys. Residencies can be tailor-made to focus on the Oregon Trail or American Sampler assembly programs.