How to make your festival sing?


With America's number one street singer

Stephen Baird


"What an entertainer! You are indeed the Pied Piper of our Fine Arts Festival. I am not sure whether we will even be able to have another festival without you!"
- Illinois Central College (Over 25 return engagements)

A sidewalk minstrel from Boston with over two decades of performances, Stephen Baird, enchants young and old alike with wonderful stories, poems, jokes, and plenty of songs. His repertoire is seemingly endless, ranging from Irish ditties to ragtime to sing-a longs. With leprechaun charm, he accompanies himself on all manner of instruments; mandolin, banjo, dulcimer, autoharp, tambourine, kazoo, and the fascinating limber jack -a percussion instrument in the form of a wooden puppet toy. Stephen Baird makes a place where people meet and touch each other through art and music.

Stephen Baird, street singer, has toured forty-eight states and Europe, playing on street corners, at fairs, festivals, concerts, coffeehouses and over one hundred college campuses since 1971. Instrumental in legalizing street performing in Boston in 1973, he has since become nationally renowned as an advocate of street performing. He has been featured in Time, Newsweek, People and many other magazines, a PBS-TV documentary, and at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Stephen Baird restructured Club Passim, the historic folk music venue in Cambridge, as a nonprofit organization in 1995-1997, co-founded the Bread & Roses Festival in Lawrence in 1986, founded the Folk Arts Network in 1982, published the New England Folk Almanac and Folk Directory from 1982-1996, produced Jamaica Plain Open Studios and was the Executive Director of the Jamaica Plain Arts Council from 1999-2001. He is currently the Executive Director of Community Arts Advocates.

Stephen Baird with puppet at the Mary Baker Eddy Library "Summer SOULstice"

Flexible and versatile, he is equally at home on a concert or coffeehouse stage, emceeing festivals or street performing in nontraditional locations such as student lounges, hallways and outside under the sun.

Programs may consist of a whole or partial day commitment combining street and formal performances. Fees are negotiable depending on travel and length of commitment. Programs can include additional musicians who play concertina, guitar and banjo or a full band with bass and hammered dulcimer players.

"It just wouldn't be the Street Festival with out Stephen! He is a puppeteer, singer/songwriter, the director of impromptu comedy and commentator on life and the premier advocate of street performers everywhere. Stephen is the embodiment and spirit of our Street Festival."
- Marblehead Festival of Arts (Over 36 return engagements)

"Your art is a major contribution to the festival. Your joy of sharing with the audience and festival staff made this year's festival magnificent."

- Cambridge River Festival

"Thank you for your wonderful performance and participation in the South Shore Arts Festival this year. It was a pleasure to have you back.. I had many positive responses from adults and children, and especially from the Art Center Board Members on your genuineness and sense of fun. By the looks of the crowds around you everyone thought you were a grand success!"

- South Shore Arts Festival

"You were a big hit with everyone! The staff, volunteers and visitors made a point of telling me that they really enjoyed your performance. We'd love to have you back..."

- Harvest Days at Laughing Brook Ed. Ctr

"But none has honored his roots--or his audience--as fondly as the man street players now call 'the Dean.' Good show."

- People

"Baird has a way of transforming the outdoors into his own private theatre."

- Univ. of Wisconsin
 Video Clips

Quicktime Movies (

"Street Singer," WHA TV Wisconsin Public Television, Produced by Steven Jandacek, nationally-distributed PBS documentary filmed in Madison, 1979.

Clip one is the introduction of the documentary with Picker and Grinner, a song about street performer, Ramblin' Conrad by Bob Zentz Click on image below to launch movie

Clip two is my version of Beetoven's Ode to Joy on Appalachian Mountain dulcimer. Click on image below to launch movie

Clip three is Jordie, an English music hall song, I learned from the singing of John Roberts and Tony Barrand. Click on image below to launch movie

Clip four is two traditional tunes on Hammered Dulcimer at a Stoneham Theater children's concert. Click on image below to launch movie


Clip five is Woody Guthrie's Put Your Fingers in the Air with puppet at a Stoneham Theater children's concert. Click on image below to launch movie
Guitar, Hammerd Dulcimer, Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer, Banjo, Mandolin. See this web page for additional information:

Hammered Dulcimer and Mountain Dulcimer

Stephen Baird - Street Performer

Artist + Advocate + Administrator


PO Box 300112, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030


Web site:

Children, Library and School Programs

Festival Programs

College and University Programs

Lecture and Teacher Guide

Tour Calendar

Video and Sound Clips

Appearances List

Articles and Reviews

Press Kit PDF and Photographs

Press Release Sample

Hammered Dulcimer and Mountain Dulcimer

Travel and Nature Photographs

Moon in Virgo

Stephen Baird's Resume

Stephen Baird Home Page

Community Arts Advocates Site Map

Stephen Baird's Press Kits PDF  

Stephen Baird's Concert Program Flyer click here

Stephen Baird's Children's Programs Flyer click here

Stephen Baird's Press Release Flyer click here

Stephen Baird's Appearance List Flyer click here

Stephen Baird's Recommendation Letters click here

Stephen Baird's Articles & Reviews (8 pages 1.6 mb large file) click here

(Most files are under 150 kb and will take only 30 seconds to download)


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Community Arts Advocates Index

Copyright 1999-2022 by Stephen Baird