Jennie McAvoy’s music combines the magic of the traditional ballad singer with the intimacy of the folk-chanteuse. Her voice—she’s a trained mezzo- soprano—is at once angelic and wise. It floats above the current of a rock-solid, deftly fingerpicked acoustic guitar (think Joan Baez or Elizabeth Cotton) on either her vintage Martin or her handmade Nickerson.

Two-time Valley Advocate Reader’s Poll Winner (for Best Female Vocalist) Janet Ryan says: "Jennie McAvoy’s voice has an ethereal quality that makes you feel as if she herself lived through the joy and sadness in the musical tales she weaves." Fred Momaney, of the St. James Coffeehouse, who has booked Jennie on many occasions, says: "Not only does Jennie have the voice of an angel, but she builds an almost immediate rapport with her audience that makes her a perennial favorite." Her winning stage presence makes members of the audience feel as if the song she is singing is for them individually.

McAvoy has an impeccable ear for collecting songs—and an uncanny knack for making them her own. Her vast repertoire spans decades—even centuries—and finally, at the encouragement of her many fans and friends, she has recorded eleven of her best and favorite songs. The resulting CD, So Long On The Flood, is an eloquent collection of traditional and not-so-traditional folk songs. Songs from such artists as Kate Rusby, John Renbourn, Naimh Parsons, Mary Black, and Van Morrison, to name but a few. So Long On The Flood features McAvoy’s voice and guitar surrounded by the lush acoustic guitar and octave mandolin playing of Brooks Williams, and the sonorous cello of Phil Helzer. It is an eloquent and intimate recording.

McAvoy was born in New York City, raised in the Hudson River Valley, and now makes Deerfield, Massachusetts, her home. Her interests in music have always been two-fold. There’s the classical side: her years playing cello, singing and playing in an Early Music group, singing in the Collegium Musicum (while a student at Oberlin College). Currently, she sings with the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus and the PVS Chorus Chamber Singers. She also sang in the 2004 World Premier of the opera The Captivation of Eunice Williams.

The other side, though, is the traditional folk side. She picked up the acoustic guitar in her mid-teens and immediately began learning and playing songs from the traditional folk songbook. (She even studied fiddle with Eileen Ivers.) At Oberlin, she performed her first gigs at the Cat In The Cream Coffeehouse and played guitar in the college's production of Spoon River Anthology. (The production was recorded and the sound track was released in January 1982. It includes an original song by McAvoy, which she reluctantly admits she has forgotten how to play!)

In recent years, Jennie McAvoy divides her time between folk-traditional gigs, classical choral concerts, and teaching ESL to middle school students. She has performed at The Turning Point in Piermont, NY; St. James Coffeehouse, Energy Park, Artspace and Coffee and Soul in Greenfield, MA; The Vanilla Bean in Pomfret CT; The Me and Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead, MA in addition to venues in New Hampshire and Quebec, Canada. Most recently she appeared at the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Festival in Southern Colorado, where she shared the stage with many talented Scottish musicians, including singer Ed Miller and harpist Patsy Seddon. Jennie has opened for Mary Black, Greg Brown, the late and great Vassar Clements, Brooks Williams, Lui Collins, Richie Havens, The Persuasions, Levon Helm, Livingston Taylor, Garnet Rogers, and Alasdair Fraser. She is also an avid supporter of the arts, serving on the board of Artspace (the Community Music and Arts School in Greenfield Massachusetts), as well as being a member of the Coop Concerts, the Greenfield, Massachusetts Musicians' Cooperative.

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