Lemuel Sheppard Sings Civil War Songs & Spirituals
Sunday, February 13
This acclaimed folk singer and native Kansan will carry us back 150 years to the Civil War period. His songs and commentary from the 1840s-1860s will help us relive the experiences of Americans who lived during this monumental and difficult period in our history.
April 12th, 2011 marks the Sesquicentennial of the beginning of the American Civil War.
The US Embassy in Brazil referred to Lemuel as “The perfect touring artist, talented, flexible, knowledgeable of his own culture and interested in others.” The Eisteddfod International Music Festival in South Africa referred to Lemuel as “An example in international and inter-cultural relations”
Lem Sheppard has been performing American Folk music on concert stages, at schools, and festivals for over twenty five years. From little mountain top villages and towns nestled along the rivers that chase them down the valley into the foot hills, to suburbs scattered neatly by the beltways, and in gritty urban cores all over America, audiences are left with the feeling that lemuel Sheppard is one of them. His cordial personality along with his thorough knowledge of American folk music makes his performance adaptable to any concert setting.
His artistic journey is just as varied as the roads he has traveled across the US and around the world.
Growing up in Kansas City’s rich Blues and Jazz environment was such an influence on him that he enrolled in college to get a music degree, even though he had never read a note of music or even studied music. Still undaunted, he joined the Eva Jessey Choir in college having never sang before. As a testament to his natural musical ability, he learned classical virtuoso pieces on tenor saxophone, became a soloist in the choir, and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Music Theory and Composition.
In 1979 he appeared in a CBS Special Segment with Dr. Eva Jessey, choral director for George Gershwins opera “Porgy and Bess, titled Pioneers in Black Music. The Eva Jessey choir performed at the Kansas Folk life festival in 1981 and he was asked to return the following year for his first solo performance.
Known primarily for his blues guitar playing, folk singing, song writing, and scholarship, Lemuel Sheppard has chosen the most simplest and direct method to show case his natural ability. Lem Sheppard is simply an American Folk Musician.