Jonathan Adam Duerr
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Jonathan Adam Duerr

Band Folk Acoustic

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Felton, Del. -
Jonathan Adam Duerr already splits his time between Claymont and Felton, and now he’ll be splitting titles, too: Film student at Wilmington University and Delmarva Folk Hero. The 19-year-old singer/songwriter bested five competitors to win the contest Oct. 2. He’s been writing songs and singing for a few years, although some are more familiar with him as a frequent player in Polytech High School and alumni theater productions, most recently “Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” We plopped down on the grass after his set at the Delmarva Folk Festival Oct. 3 to talk about his music, where he’s going and what got him here.

Q: How would you describe your music, and how did it set you apart from your competitors?
A: I don’t have any bluegrass roots, but I’m inspired by the greats, the Bob Dylans and the Joni Mitchells of the ’60s. A lot of folk is storytelling, but my music isn’t. My most important thing is lyrics. It isn’t so much as what’s happening as it is about one word. “I feel freedom” is the refrain to “The Graybird,” one of my songs. I usually have these loose melodies that don’t have words, and long lengthy lyrics. Then I mess around with them until one of them matches. Cathartic is how I would describe my music.

Q: At least three people have stopped by in the past few minutes to tell you how much they enjoyed your set. The Folk Hero contest depends a lot on audience response, and it seems you have a strong fan base here.
A: There are a lot of people from the Polytech area here, but my biggest fan base is my family. When I do an event, I can say probably 20 of the people are my family. I owe so much to my family. Supportive is the word.

Q: It seems you’re focusing more on music now than stage.
A: I’m making a slow transition from stage to music. My main passion is singing, whether it’s in musical theater or singing solo. The venue of music is a lot more laid back. Theater is an elaborate process. There are sound people, directors, actors, etc. With this, I go up there and plug in my guitar and it’s just me. It’s not ego, it’s just easier. Less complicated.

Q: What song of yours has the biggest audience draw?
A: “The Graybird” gets the most response. It’s the most energetic song, it’s very cathartic. Some are more mainstream.

Q: What is your favorite thing about music?
A: You can have all these people go up there and play, and nobody sounds the same. My favorite part about music is its diversity. I have friends who are metal singers, and friends who love country. As for folk, folk is the one eternal music genre. There is rock, rap and all that will be around, but the essence of folk sticks because it is the essence of feeling. When they just sing about how they feel, it all breaks down into folk music. It’s very reflective of the world.
- By Sarika Jagtiani, Staff Writer @ DOVER POST


Discography

Jonathan Adam Duerr-The Graybird LP go to http://www.myspace.com/jonathanadamduerr

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Bio

Jonathan Adam Duerr is a local acoustic/folk-rock musician, born and raised in the Dover and Felton, Delaware area most of his life; only occasionally leaving to go on some interesting cross country road trips. He currently attends Wilmington University in New Castle and is majoring in Film, having last year attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for Musical Theater and Film Production. He was continually involved in drama throughout high school and into college; very often obtaining and performing lead parts. Jonathan also majored in Radio/TV production in high school, winning several national awards as well as being the Senior Class President. These sorts of personal performance experiences have enhanced his natural ability of being at ease in the entertainment arena and he truly enjoys interacting and relating with people.

Jonathan has always loved music, but found himself being attracted to and connecting with the music that was generated during the 60’s and 70’s more so than that of the more contemporary music of today. He has also loved to sing, ever since he can remember, and started outwardly expressing that desire in his early teens. Writing poetry has also been a passion of Jonathan’s and when he got his first acoustic guitar at 14, he started tailoring those poems into lyrics for the songs that he came up with and taught himself to play on the guitar. Now, some years later, his songwriting ability has become quite extraordinary. His range of musical expression ranges from fast, rhythmic, energetic ballads and anthems to gentle, heartfelt and expressively breathtaking melodies. Jonathan’s musical exploration often reveals many personal and emotional moments of spiritual clarity along with some intuitive and sublime conversationals as well. He has been largely influenced by greats such as Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Tracy Chapman, Belle and Sebastian, Bush, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Collective Soul, Neil Young, The Shins, Death Cab For Cutie, Fleetwood Mac, Damien Rice, Jimi Hendrix, etc; obviously quite a range of influence and interest! Jonathan’s music will capture your heart and spirit with its deep, impassioned, and genuine tunes and vocals.