Joe Seamons is a musician and educator based in the Pacific Northwest and dedicated to helping people connect with their heritage through music and storytelling. As director of The Rhapsody Project, he works with youth in Seattle to explore the influence of regional and personal history through the lens of American blues and folk songs. He serves as board chair of the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center.
Born and raised in Northwestern Oregon, Joe has made a living interpreting the songs and stories of the local sawmill, logging, and fishing ballads composed by elder working people and folklorists. Many of these songs are included on the 2016 album, Timberbound, the story of which is detailed here. In the same vein, Joe directed and served as executive producer for a Smithsonian Folkways album entitled, "Roll, Columbia: Woody Guthrie's 26 Northwest Songs."
Joe's work to interpret, document, and reflect upon the ethos of Northwest folk songs and stories--post-colonization--continues regularly on his blog, which you can read here.
Through his mother's side of the family, Joe is a descendant of the Aurora Colony, making him a fifth-generation Oregonian. His surname is the legacy of a family of English farmers who lived since at least the 1490's the small community of Weedon, an old English name meaning, "pagan shrine on a hill." Through his music, teaching, and writing, Joe is on a mission to grapple with and address the legacy of colonization that lead to his existence.
Touring internationally in a multi-instrumental duo with fellow songster, Ben Hunter, Joe was awarded 1st place in the 2016 International Blues Challenge, as well as recognition by the Ethnic Heritage Council for excellence in ethnic performance and significant contributions to the development and presentation of the traditional cultural arts in the Pacific Northwest.