The 5th Annual Guitar Festival by Power Jam Music Alliance Inc. will be held on March 11th. The headliner for the festival is Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer. They’ve earned two GRAMMY® Awards and an additional 11 GRAMMY® nominations. The featured performances are by local guitar artists Longman Joseph Norris, and Dylan Galvin. The opening acts are Jessica St. Claire, David Flood, Josh Riley, and Brandon Aksteter. This article is about Longman Joseph Norris, the featured and closing artist for the Guitar Concert at the Guitar Festival. (see www.pjma.info for more details)
“Longman” Joseph Norris; will share his folk music, historic songs and storytelling. Norris is a St. Mary’s native, with family roots dating 370 years to St. Mary’s City. He is well known in Southern Maryland as a musician and singer, and his performances feature storytelling about the people and history of Southern Maryland. His stories recall a legendary ghost ship on the Wicomico River, experiences of Civil War soldiers, the Chesapeake Bay region and its people, the lives of watermen and farmers, and as a tribute to his Cherokee roots, the American Indian.
Joseph Norris began performing at age 17 and has never looked back in his 46 years. An accomplished writer, photographer, storyteller and artist, Joseph and his twin brother David have performed in Southern Maryland venues for more than four decades. Their first performance was when he was 17 years old, when they performed in high school and at public concerts on the Square in Leonardtown. His music is influenced by James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, early Elton John-Bernie Taupin, Todd Rundgren, Joni Mitchell, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, and many many more. Today he plays two hours or better, many times. He performs at wineries in the summer and sometimes when there is a good crowd he just keeps keep going and going.
Longman, whose Indian name means River in Cherokee, has performed with folk legend Pete Seeger, at Capital College for the Phil Ochs Songnight in 1994 and in 2005 performed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. at the National Folklife Festival on July 4.
When asked what style of music do you like to play he says, “I’m a fairly simply guitar player, simple notes and a lot of strumming. Unabashedly, my voice is my better instrument.”
He has five albums of original songs, Sunflower, Pray for Rain, Waves, Mariner’s Compass and Red Man Walking. Some of his favorite songs are:
At the guitar festival he will be playing on a Martin 000 acoustic. He plans to perform all originals at the guitar fest.
He says his future is: “To keep on singing. Music helps guide us sometimes when we don’t even know we’re lost. It’s a universal language.”
Come with your guitar at 2 PM to 4 PM for the Guitar Workshop with Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer and stay around for the Guitar Concert and Art Show at 7 PM to 11 PM. All ages are welcome. The festival will be held at the 5 South Event Center, 21030 Point Lookout Road, Callaway, Maryland 20620. The festival is sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council and the St. Mary’s County Arts Council. For further information, go to www.PJMA.info or call 240-925-8659.