Testimonials Adult Performances


  • We enjoyed Jon Sundell’s entire performance. His own music and songs, the traditional music and stories were a delight to young and old. The evening was topped off by some great old time square dances and circle dancing that left the audience wanting to come back for more. – Spike and Margaret Owen, Canterbury House, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • (3  square dance evenings for seniors) You did a great job! You balance the fun of dancing and stories with the serious attention needed for instruction. One of the best things we noticed was how you demonstrated the dance moves very slowly and thoroughly to make sure that everyone understood what was happening. Martyn and I thought your concert/ square dances went extremely well, and we really enjoyed your performances as well as your demeanor with the senior adults.

    You guys were the best group we have had in many years! Thank you so much for the work you do and providing a great and entertaining experience for the senior adult campers this fall at Cheerio!

    – David McDonald, Program Director, YMCA Camp Cheerio, Glade Valley, NC


  • One of the most delightful surprises I’ve had in the many years of running coffee houses came when Jon Sundell gave a concert at the Common Treasury. His record had been enjoyed immensely, but hearing him with an audience was a special treat. The warmth with which he sang and the deep feeling he has for the people of the Southern Mountains, whose music he sang, was very gratifying. It made his music very “real.” – Dallas Cline, The Common Treasury coffee House, East Canaan, Conn.
  • Jon Sundell communicated more than the music and more than his enthusiasm for the Appalachian culture which produced it. He left the audience profoundly moved and with a sense of having shared in an aesthetic, conceptual, and musical adventure. An unforgettable evening! – Lisa Null, Folk Cabaret, New Canaan, Connecticut
  • Jon is a versatile performer and a particular treat for “old folkies,” as he does a lot of material nobody’s been doing for about 20 years. A folklorist as well as a  performer, he seems to have found a happy blend of entertainer and teacher. Ask him to tell you the story of Homer, the pet catfish. – Jay Sa mith, Manager, The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH


  • Jon Sundell displayed his large repertoire of songs, ballads, and dance tunes with a warmth and sincerity that made you feel as if you were in your own living room sharing in an evening session. His stories sparked grins and chuckles throughout the audience and quickly dispelled the barrier that usually exists between performer and audience.  Barbara Zavon, University of Cincinnati Folk Arts Society, Cincinnati, Ohio   


  • Many people are adept at playing musical instruments, but you have a special gift to  hold an audience. There was never a lull in the audience’s attention during the entire performance. Without getting a headache, we learned about early American instruments, literature, and history. Perhaps more important, you were able to create a communal feeling for participation. No one felt they had to be involved, but everyone wanted to be. – Melba Aberson, Dunwoody Hills Country Club, Dunwoody, GA


  • I felt in all your contacts that your performances were richly rewarding – both for the warmth of your manner, the balance and variety of your materials, and your skill in demonstration of the many instruments you have mastered. I’m sure almost any age would have a more complete understanding of American folk music if they attended one of your concerts. – John Bowers, Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan


  • The performance by Jon Sundell at the West Virginia Library Association’s Annual Conference was an outstanding one.  Jon has a very pleasant personality, relates well to his audience, and  works at making his presentation suit the occasion. I would most certainly engage him for another performance. – Luella Dye, West Virginia Library Association


  • I worked with Jon closely in Knoxville for three years, both as a musician and as a teacher. Therefore I feel better qualified than most at attesting his talents and appeal. Quiet simply, Jon is one of the most tasteful and competent musicians I know. He has a broad knowledge of traditional and contemporary music and performs both with remarkable skill and sensitivity. – John McCutcheon, nationally renowned folksinger , Atlanta, GA
  •  I once asked a friend how he got the beautiful finish on the pine walls of his mountain home. He said, “We just hung them up and waited forty years.” That’s the kind of music Jon makes. I’m glad it’s finally out in the open where everyone can hear it. – Si Kahn, song writer and labor organizer, Charlotte, NC (Liner notes for Jon’s album, The Eagle and the Sparrow.)