A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Chris Sayre has dedicated more than 25 years to the performance and promotion of both traditional and contemporary folk music. Self-taught on over a dozen instruments, Christ takes audiences on a musical journey through history by exploring the songs and dance tunes of our common experience.
From slide guitar blues to rollicking jigs played on the English concertina, Chris expresses his love of music with unabashed enthusiasm. This has included stints as the front-man in the popular western swing band, The Midwest Ramblers, as well as the Celtic group, Paddywhack. He has also pursued a successful solo career.
Chris has been recognized on numerous occasions for his talents. He was awarded First Place Male Singer at the Nebraska State Country Music Championship in Springfield, Nebraska in 1982. That same year, he earned first place in both folksinger and miscellaneous instrument categories at the Westfair Championships held in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1984, he contributed to the soundtrack of the nationally aired PBS documentary, Plowing Up a Storm. During this period, he was also part of the Nebraska Arts Council's touring program, both with the group Northwynd and the duo Newton and Sayre.
Between 1988 and 1992, Chris performed nationally at more than 1,000 schools. In 1995, he contributed both to the soundtrack of the Nebraska Educational TV documentary, In Search of the Oregon Trail. In addition to being a sought-after performer with the Nebraska Humanities Speakers Bureau, he is currently in his 17th season in the Artist in Schools/Communities Program sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council.
In 2000, Chris was honored to receive the KZUM Radio Members' Choice Award for Artist of the Year. In 1999, 2000, and 2001, he was also awarded Members' Choice Award for Folk Artist of the Year. As a member of the group Paddywhack, he also shared in the award for World Artists of the Year in 2000, 2001, and 2002. In the summer of 2002, Chris received a Bitsy award from the Nebraska Arts Council for his many years of service to the arts. He was also the first inductee into the new KZUM Members' Choice Awards Hall of Fame.
Chris has two recordings available. Falcon Rust includes 14 of his own songs in a variety of styles from folk to country blues (see www.chrissayre.com for info). In 2007, Tunes from Along The Way was released on the Prairie Dog Music label. This long-awaited collection features many of the instruments that Chris uses in his programs. Twelve of the 14 tracks are instrumentals. Six are original and two of these include vocals.