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Family and Community

Home  >  Family and Community  >  Family Collections  >  Kerr
Music is an integral part of life -- and a way to tell stories -- for Jim Kerr and Denise Martin and their daughter, Amanda. When the family performs together at venues like the Saturday Market and CIRI’s annual Potlatch, they are engaging in a discussion -- a musical discussion.
The Kerr Family: Musical Story-Telling
"My full name is Amanda Lynn Kerr," writes Amanda Kerr. "(My dad) always jokes about how he would have named me Ben Joe Kerr if I were a boy."


Music for the Potlatch
About once a year our family plays fiddle music for the Cook Inlet Region Corporation's (CIRI) Potlatch, an annual gathering of Alaskan Natives. It is one of the things I do to stay in touch with my Native heritage.


'Walking to China' - Family Music at the Saturday Market
Is that concrete in my veins? I can't get up. I am just too tired. Bed. That's the place for me. What is with all this sunshine? Too bad it's not raining.


'Cattle in the Cane' - The Father-Daughter Texas Fiddle Connection
Our tip box starts to gather some green bills. But I must admit I am getting a bit nervous about breaking even today.


My Fiddle and the Places It Takes Me
If you haven't seen me fiddling before, or heard me talking about it, you would probably see me as an ordinary teenager.


'Billy in the Lowground' - Family Repertoire
After a while we wander back to where Denise is playing. She has been holding down our rented spot selling CDs and playing tunes.


'The Cherry Tree' - A Story Without Words
Even when Denise and Amanda agree on the same tune they don?t always play it exactly the same. "The Cherry Tree" is the next tune we all take a go at.


Music in the Family
I did not grow up a musician. Though raised in a family of nine kids in Connecticut, there was not a musician among us.


'Dance All Night' - What Drives the Guitar Player
Though it is the dialogue, harmony and technical aspects that fascinate many musicians, what drove me to become a musician was dancing.



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