Jim Keyes

Teaching Artist-in-Residence, Fall 2018

Jim Keyes, HRM Fall 2018 Teaching Artist-in-Residence (TAiR), has been composing, performing, and teaching music throughout the Hudson Valley for more than 25 years. He has worked in historic sites throughout the Hudson Valley, performing music from different time periods using reproduction instruments, including harp, guitar, fiddle, mountain dulcimer, mandolin, and recorder. 

Keyes is the Musical Director for Historic Hudson Valley’s annual performances of “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” and “A Christmas Carol,” for which he plays his original score on a replica 17th-century pipe organ. He received his BA in Music from Empire State College.

Keyes has also been guiding kayak trips on the Hudson River for nearly two decades, which has led to a deep appreciation for the river as well as a concern for its welfare. This unique position as both artist and environmentalist has informed the workshops for his Fall 2018 residency, complementing our exhibition, Maya Lin: A River Is A Drawing. As he describes, “I spent years watching this river get cleaner and seeing more and more wildlife return. It’s my duty and pleasure to introduce people to this beautiful body of water that had once been considered a dangerous place to be.”

For this role as the TAiR at the Museum, Keyes has developed a series of highly interactive songwriting and music-making workshops inspired by his time spent on the Hudson River. Whether constructing their own instruments from sustainable materials or listening to songs inspired by rivers around the world, participants in his workshops will walk away with not only a sense of what makes up a song, but, with one that is uniquely their own.

Night on Fire

Photo: Tom Nycz