What do you get when

you mix kazoos,

limber jacks,


toothpaste costumes,

elephant costumes,


songs and a whole

bunch of




Stephen Baird




A sidewalk minstrel from Boston with over three 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, kazoo, tambourine, and the fascinating limber jack - a percussion instrument in the form of a wooden puppet toy. His legendary "bag full of surprises" includes elephant, bumble bee and tooth paste costumes to dress up the audience plus life size puppets. 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 with puppet at the Mary Baker Eddy Library "Summer SOULstice"

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.

Flexible and versatile, he is equally at home at concerts, camps, libraries, museums, schools, coffee houses or street performing in locations such as festivals, fairs, student lounges, hallways and outside under the sun.

Cambridgeport Community School Summer Concerts 2004-2007

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)

"Recommended for his talent, his ability to work with a variety of ages and flexibility"

-Boston Children's Museum

"You have an amazing talent. The way you used your puppets to sing songs was great. The children really enjoyed it when you had the staff dress up in costumes. You really know how to bring the child out of everyone."

-Regional Family YMCA

"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.."

-Laughing Brook Education Center

"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)

"Just a note to tell you how much we at the Rowley Public Library  enjoyed having you at our Library this Summer. Your performance from 11-12:00 pm on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 was thoroughly enjoyed by an audience of more than 80 children and adults. I found this rather remarkable, since this was perhaps the first sunny day that Rowley had seen in about two months. Word of month had spread of you however, for I guess we advertized you well, and pictures of you entertaining children keep springing up in North Shore papers which had people here ever so anxious to see what the hullabaloo was all about. Well you sure lived up to your hype. The staff at the Rowley Library and your audience were quickly cast under your magical spell! You thoroughly entertained us all with your songs, an incredible talent with a variety of instruments, puppets, silly hats and a kindness and personnel charm that was oh so uniquely yours. We hope so very much to have an opportunity to work with you again. Thank you Stephen, for a very fine performance indeed."
        -Xenda Laramie, Library Associate for Youth Service, Rowley Public Library

"What a great end to our summer program!... It was wonderful how you involved so many children in separate numbers.... the expressions on the faces of the children as they watched for your signal to play during "The Wonderful Toy"" were priceless."

-JV Fletcher Library

Click on image to view larger version of letter


Guitar, Hammerd Dulcimer, Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer, Banjo, Mandolin. See this web page for additional information:

Hammered Dulcimer and Mountain Dulcimer

Sample Video Clips

Quicktime Movies (file.mov)


Clip is last verse of The Marvelous Toy by Tom Paxton with lots of children help with the toy noises on instruments at a Stoneham Theater children's concert.

Click on image below to launch movie

Clip is two traditional tunes on Hammered Dulcimer at a Stoneham Theater children's concert.

Click on image below to launch movie


Clip 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

Additional video clips are on this page: Video and Sound Clips


 Photographs are JPG format at 150 dpi resolution.

Photographs in TIFF or other formats or at higher resolution are available upon request.

Click the photographs to see the larger higher resolution photographs and to download the files.

Stephen Baird - Street Performer

Artist + Advocate + Administrator


PO Box 300112, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030

Email: info@communityartsadvocates.org

Web site: www.CommunityArtsAdvocates.org

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

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)


PDF Files retain design formats which can be read and printed by

Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click the Adobe icon below to down load

the free software program for your computer system.

Copyright 1972-2019 by Stephen Baird