Tending the roots of American Music

Intro

Sol

Music Maker meets the day-to-day needs of the artists who create traditional American music, ensures their voices are heard, and gives all people access to our nation’s hidden musical treasures.

What We Do

HELPING & CONNECTING ARTISTS SINCE 1994

SUSTENANCE

Grants to our partner musicians help them keep roofs over their heads, food on their tables, instruments in their hands, and help them weather crises.

Performance

We book our artists’ performances—everywhere from venues in their hometowns to stages around the world—and provide them with CDs to sell in their communities.

Education

We create books, release recordings, and curate exhibitions that tour museums across the United States, creating cultural equity for our partner artists.

Meet the Artist & Discover the Music

Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen

Blues

Pat Cohen shares the mettle, pathos and ocean-deep compassion of the blues singers she idolizes — Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor and Etta James. Despite losing her home twice, she keeps taking her talent and compassion to the world.

Discover “Hanging Tree Guitars”

Blues

Sculptor and art guitar maker Freeman Vines’ revelatory “Hanging Tree Guitars” project — now an acclaimed book and exhibition featured on NPR and in Rolling Stone — reveals an unspoken American history and gives voice to those silenced.

Etta Baker

Blues

Etta was an extraordinarily sophisticated, highly lyrical, and ultimately extremely influential guitar player. She rarely sang and told us she didn’t need to. Her guitar, she told us, spoke for her.

Albert Smith

Blues

Albert Smith was a soft-spoken man, but when he sat down at the piano to play and sing, he transformed into a rollicking, barrelhouse pianist and a blues shouter like no other you’ve ever heard.

Charles “Sugar Harp” Burroughs

Blues

In the 65 years since Charles Burroughs first picked up the harmonica, he has more than earned his moniker, Sugar Harp.

Discover the Sacred Soul of North Carolina

Sacred

The jubilee quartet style has roots going back to the 17th century — and branches into life in the 21st. This music influenced the formation of rock ’n’ roll, soul, and rhythm & blues.

 

 

Photo by Zoe van Buren.

Unheard but Fearless: Since Our Beginning, Music Maker Artists Have Always Taken Leaps of Faith

Stories

Music From the Shadows

Stories

Top