Lemuel Sheppard is a folk musician with rare abilities. His first performances were under Dr. Eva Jessey, internationally acclaimed choral director for George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” who came to Pittsburg State University as Kansas Ambassador to the Arts, and Artist in Residence, in 1978. Lemuel was saxophonist and guitar accompanist with the “Eva Jessey Choir” who performed at the Kansas Folklife Festival that year and was subsequently invited to return the following year for his first solo engagement at age 21.
His preparation for this engagement has led Lemuel toward pursuing a lifelong interest in researching Africa-American music. Lemuel carries an appreciation for a wide range of vocal music he refers to as African-American traditional song. This combined with his ability to perform many historical and geographical Blues styles has gained him a reputation as an authority on African-American folk music.
Despite his reputation for being a scholar, Sheppard feels his cultural heritage is his greatest asset as a performer. Recently Sheppard was inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame; he also composed and performed the Blues sound track to the PBS documentary “Black, White, and Brown” which was nominated for a regional Emmy. Lem’s new CD “Urbanfolk” has been featured on National Public Radio’s program “Open Mike.”
This event is sponsored by Hutchinson Community College and the Hutchinson/Reno Arts and Humanities Council in partnership with the Hutchinson Art Center..