115 Empire St
Providence, RI 02903
Gaelynn Lea is the 2016 winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. She was the unanimous choice of the judges (including NPR’s Bob Boilen and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys), chosen out of over 6,100 entries. Subsequently, her video entry went viral via YouTube (up to over 626,000 views).
Gaelynn has been playing violin for more than 20 years. She builds on a repertoire of traditional Celtic and American fiddle music, writing original songs that incorporate folk-rock influences, looping tracks and an inventive improvisatory style. Gaelynn performs throughout northern Minnesota and Wisconsin and has collaborated with fellow Midwestern musicians Alan Sparhawk and Charlie Parr. She’s also a dedicated fiddle teacher and an advocate for artists and other people with disabilities.
Native New Yorker Jess Klein was in college when she taught herself to play the guitar, using her father’s old acoustic. She had already done a little singing and knew how to play the clarinet. In no time at all she was writing songs on her own and performing locally. With some time overseas, and then a move to Boston, MA, Klein turned her full attention toward her musical career. After performing enough to polish her natural skills, Klein recorded her first album, Wishes Well Disguised, in 1998. The debut was independently released and showcases tunes like “The Cloud Song,” “Pressure,” and “Favorite Shade of Blue.” For 2000, Klein put together pop/rock and folk-mixed tracks like “Goodbye, Goodbye,” “Little White Dove,” “I Tried,” and “Love Is Where You Find It,” to complete a sophomore release titled Draw Them Near, breaking out under the Slow River Records label. Some of the artists who helped out on the recording were producer George Howard, mixer Paul Q. Kolderie, guitarist Will Kimbrough, drummer Ken Coomer, and bassist Brad Jones. Rykodisc, the influential independent label who distributed Klein‘s Slow River release, signed her to their main label for her next release, the more polished and accessible Strawberry Lover, which was released in 2005; another notable singer-songwriter from Boston, Marc Copely, served as producer and bandleader. In between recording, Klein spends endless time touring, having performed with popular acts like 10,000 Maniacs, Richard Shindell, and Jill Sobule.
“…This is the kind of music that the genre tag of Americana was custom-made for.”–Robert Ham, Paste Magazine
“Spooky, powerful, and affecting.” –Brian Carroll, Redline Roots