RESUME/ TIMELINE OF PERFORMANCE-RELATED EXPERIENCES
Jon Sundell Jonsundell@yahoo.com
Master of Library Science, Emory University, Atlanta, GA – May, 1984
MS, Educational Curriculum & Instruction. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN – May, 1975.
BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI – May, 1969. Major in English. Minors in Asian
Studies (Studied such courses as Japanese Art & Literature, Sanscrit, Buddhism, East Asian Art – all fertile ground for later storytelling) & French (Spent sophomore year abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France). Graduation with Honors.
Happy and Artie Traum at Noah Wolfe’s Guitar Studio in NYC: Finger picking, flat picking and Carter Family picking. Banjo: clawhammer style from Pam Ostergren, Ann Arbor, MI; two finger picking from Roy Swayney, traditional banjo player, Blaine, TN; bluegrass 3 finger style from Artie Traum; Autoharp and mountain dulcimer: self-taught. Traditional Singing: Appalachian singers, Roy Swayney, Hazel Dickens, Dellie Norton; English singers, the Waterson family & Louis Killen. Song leading: Pete Seeger and Guy Carawan.
First introduced to storytelling by Loyal Jones, director of Appalachian Studies at Berea College, KY, who swept me away with tales of Jack every night at Berea College Christmas Dance School; additional Appalachian influences: Donald Davis (early days – as traditional teller); Ray and Stanley Hicks (Jack tales) from Beech Mounatin, NC; Doc McConnell (tall tales and yarns); Connie Reagan (legends). Fairy tales, animal tales and others – Diane Wolkstein; Story-songs – Heather Forest; Jokes and yarns blended with songs – folksinger/raconteur/labor historian, Utah Phillips.
TRADITIONAL DANCE & DANCE CALLING
Dance weeks: Berea College Christmas Dance School: 1971-1976, Pinewoods Summer Dance Camp, 1972-1974; John C. Campbell Folk School Winter Dance Week: 1978-1980. Weekend workshops at John C. Campbell Folk School, Knoxville Country Dancers, Chatahoochee Country Dancers, and Winston-Salem Feet Retreat, Highlander Folk School. Most influential teachers of dance and dance calling: Pat Napier – Kentucky running sets and big circles; May Gadd – English country dance; Jim Morrison – Colonial and Appalachian dance, sword and Morris dance; Ted Sannella & Dudley Laufman – New England contra dance; Bob Dalsemer, Sandy Bradley, & Donald Davis – Midwestern, Western and New England squares with patter and singing calls; Edna Ritchie and other leaders at Berea College Dance Week – Appalachian singing games; Bessie Jones and Georgia Sea Island Singers – African-American singing games; various Hispanic friends and relations – Hispanic singing games.
June, 2016 to present: Director and teacher/performer for Perfect Storm Edutainment – Free lance storyteller, folksinger, square dance caller, book talker and balloon twister. Weaving together 45 years as a professional singer, storyteller and square dance caller with 32 years as public and school children’s librarian + varied experiences as a an intra-national and international traveler and advocate for multicultural understanding, Jon has been presenting bilingual, multimedia programs that combine dynamic artistry and entertainment with informative, thought-provoking education.
- Presenting educational entertainment throughout the region for schools, public libraries, churches, neighborhood gatherings, scout groups, family reunions, parties, festivals of storytelling, music and general celebration, and other types of events for children, adults and families
September, 2006 – June, 2016: Media coordinator, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, Winston-Salem, NC – Old Town Elementary School, Hill Arts Magnet Middle School and Rowland Hill Latham Elementary School. At risk, low income populations, majority Latino and secondarily African-American.
- Promoting reading through storytelling, booktalking, and special programs
- Incorporating picture book sharing, storytelling, music, research and technology to teach the Standard Course of Study, Common Core and Essential Standards for Information & Technology, Reading, Language arts, Science and Social Studies.
- Purchased books, audio, and visual materials in English and Spanish.
August, 1984 to September, 2006: Librarian, Forsyth County Public Library, Winston-Salem, NC. Positions included:
- Adult Services Specialist: Southside Branch Library, Sept, 2005 – August, 2006
- Department Head, Hispanic Services, January 1997 – September 2005
- Created and built the department and its various activities.
- Promoted library services to Hispanic community through personal visits to churches, workplaces, and gathering sites.
- Presented bilingual programs including song & storytime, conversation club, & special programs, such as “Day of the Children/ Day of the Books” and Christmas posada.
- Ordered Spanish language and bilingual library materials for all county libraries.
- Through grants from NC State Library and WS Foundation created and implemented Multicultural Writing Project, bringing multicultural authors into selected classrooms & publishing two anthologies of student writings, entitled Many Voices, One World.
- Obtained special grant funds for a Hispanic bookmobile. Worked with Cuban artist, Raul Montero, to design a panoramic mural for outside. Planned and initiated service in Hispanic neighborhoods.
- Created a nationally used manual of Spanish for librarians. Trained library staff of Forsyth County Public Library and introduced system at several national and state-wide library conventions.
- Created and taught workshops in presenting bilingual storytimes at several state conventions and the national American Library Association conference.
- Invited and planned a two week tour to Hispanic community sites, churches, and library branches by Geyma, a family puppetry troupe from Leon, Mexico.
- Department Head, Children’s Outreach, 1994 – 1997
- Developed a training manual and supervised staff of seven in teaching storysharing skills to day care centers throughout Forsyth County and providing mini-libraries in low income communities.
- Obtained and implemented extensive Smart Start grants, through which:
- Designed and purchased a departmental bookmobile serving day cares and community sites throughout Forsyth County.
- Created 500 storytime kits (thematic bags of picture books, audio recordings, flannel board stories, puppets, and other materials) to serve as ready-made materials for day care led storytimes.
- Children’s Librarian, Rural Hall Branch Library and Central Library, 1984 – 1994
- Presented preschool and family storytimes, utilizing stories, music, puppets and flannel board.
- Co-hosted the public library’s cable TV storytime program for two years.
- Planned and implemented summer reading program and special school age programs.
- Ordered children’s print and AV materials.
Professional musician, storyteller and square dance caller.
- 1988 to present: Performed in Spanish in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Colombia at various community functions.
- 1964 Performed songs and tales throughout eastern and midwestern United States, as well as France and England at over 500 public & private schools, head start centers, colleges, coffee houses, churches, festivals and other venues. 1964 to present.
- 1981 – 1983: Organized and led the Southern Heritage Folk Tour, as part of the Southern Arts Federation touring program. Included The Georgia Sea Island Singers, Doc McConnell’s Old Time Medicine Show, the Frazier Moss String Band, Golden River Grass, and Jon Sundell.
- 1973-1976: Performed regularly at area restaurants with the Lick Creek Twisters Old Time String Band, including Danny Gammon, David Holt, and Bob Jordan.
- Called & taught American square and contra dance and English country dances for over 50 groups of beginners and experienced dancers. 1971 to present.
- Presented residencies of music, square dance and storytelling at various schools through Tennessee Arts Council, Georgia Arts Council and other programs. 1971 – 1984.
- Represented Georgia Folklore Society as special consultant to Georgia Sea Island Festival to attract African American community to this festival representing their own culture, previously attended overwhelmingly by white tourists. 1981.
Private music instructor – 1961 – present – guitar, old time 5-string banjo, autoharp, mountain dulcimer and ukulele
- Old Town Elementary School guitar Club, 2012-2013, Winston-Salem, NC
- Free lance instructor, Winston-Salem, NC. 2013-2014
- Paideia After School Program, Paideia School, Atlanta, GA, 1979-1984
- Paideia School string band class, 1979-1981
- Herb David Guitar Studio, Ann Arbor, MI. 1968-1971
- Free lance instructor, Freeport, NY. 1961-1965
English, folklore, and music teacher – The Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Ave, Atlana, GA 30307 – 1977 to 1979.
- Organized and led two month-long folklore field trips through the Southern Appalachian Mountains to visit with traditional musicians and storytellers.
- Edited and published Stay With Us: Visiting With Old Time Singers and Storytellers in the Southern Mountains, a Foxfire-style collection of interviews and sample songs and tales, written by the participating students. The recordings are currently housed at Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC.
Gatlinburg-Pittman High School, Gatlinburg, TN, Sevier County School System, 226 Cedar St, Sevierville, TN 37862 – 1975 to 1977.
Taught English III & IV and French I, II & III.
Music Director, Epworth Ministry & Jubilee Arts Center, Knoxville, TN – 1971 to 1975.
Shared these positions with folksinger, John McCutcheon, from 1972 to 1974.
- With purpose of enhancing pride among rural and urban Appalachian people developed participatory programs utilizing regional folk heritage in Knoxville & nearby Cumberland Mountain region:
- Led workshops in Appalachian songs, storytelling, play party games and square dancing in mountain community centers and elementary schools.
- Organized local festivals in Laurel Grove and La Follette, Tennessee, utilizing traditional musicians and craftspeople that Jon sought out
- Performed traditional music and stories in local mountain schools and regional colleges.
- Led singing and utilized music to support efforts of SOCM, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, to control abusive practices of strip mining coal in the region.
- Led singing for Sunday services, utilizing a mixture of old hymns and gospel songs with more contemporary spiritual and socially conscious music.
- Founded the Knoxville Country Dancers in 1972, first large independent group doing traditional dance in southeastern United States.
- Taught music & creative dramatics at Laurel School, a small alternative school.
- Sang and played traditional songs twice weekly at Lakeshore Mental Health Institute with purpose of stimulating recollections of former experiences in mentally disturbed and withdrawn patients.
College days Musical Experiences–
Performed several times at the Ark Coffeehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as other area coffee houses and bars. Spent many nights at the Ark at after hours round robins swapping songs till daybreak with the finest folksingers and musicians in the country. 1965-1970.
Pre-college Musical Experiences (1960-1965)
- 1962-1963: During high school years participated in the flourishing New York City folk scene.
- Played music every Sunday around Washington Square fountain with Howie Tarnower, veteran bluegrass mandolin player later with the Fiction Brothers. Country Cooking, Special Consensus, and Boston City Limits. Performed with group at several local parties and events.
- Took lessons every Saturday from local folk stars, Artie and Happy Traum.
- Early music exposure included hearing Bob Dylan perform accoustically in a classroom of the New School for Social Research, Town Hall and Carnegie Hall, as well as Pete Seeger, Oscar Brand, Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and other seminal musicians.
COMMUNITY-SUPPORT AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Founder & volunteer director of Hispanic Arts Initiative – 2003 to 2007
HAI is a non-profit organization which enriches the cultural, personal and community life of the Piedmont Triad and surrounding region. During the time that Jon led the organization, it offered inexpensive, professional quality classes in drawing & painting, crafts, folk and modern Latin dance, guitar, piano, and voice. Classes were taught in Spanish by professional Latino artists, with English provided when needed. By 2007 Jon rasied enough grant money to hire a full time, paid executive director, Maria Sanchez Boudy, who has led the group since.HAI is now a funded partner of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem Forsyth County and receives additional funding from the NC Arts Council and other agencies.
Founding member of Hispanic Services Coalition and Accion Hispana; board member of latter organization, an outgrowth of the first – 1973 to 2004. The Hispanic Services Coalition facilitated information exchange among organizations serving Hispanic residents for several years during the beginning of the Hispanic population explosion in Forsyth County. Jon served as co-chair for its comprehensive needs assessment. This led to the creation of Acción Hispana, which helped place local Hispanics in need with appropriate service agencies till 2004.
Board member, Hispanic League of the Piedmont Triad – 1999 to 2002.
Served as chair of Cultural Events Committee organizing and assisted with various family cultural events in the Hispanic Community.
At large representative, board of directors, REFORMA, National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. 2000 to 2001.
Chair of Winston-Salem Chapter, Carolina Interfaith Task Force on Central American, the founding organization of Witness For Peace.
- Through various programs educated local population about impact of US foreign policy on Central American countries.
- Sang and led singing in English and Spanish at local and statewide events to celebrate Hispanic culture and raise awareness of Central American issues.
- Raised funds for humanitarian needs:
- Organized annual Guatemala Festivals held at local churches, featuring touring Guatemalan speaker, along with sale of Guatemalan crafts provided by fair trade cooperatives.
- Conceived and Organized “Lives in the Balance,” an all day festival at Wake Forest University Brendal Recital Hall, raised money for a Nicaraguan ambulance.
- Raised funds for local community libraries in El Salvador through nationwide raffling of a Mexican painting by Abner Sundell, Jon’s father, depicting the impact of past events in Mexican history on present life.
- Latin America – Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica – Over a dozen visits of 2-3 weeks as part of educational tours, language institutes, humanitarian trips and private visits – 1988 to present.
- Through trips to Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador learned about social problems in the everyday lives of people there, as well as their politicl causes and community efforts to confront them.
- On several Mexican trips visited parents living in San Miguel de Allende during summer and winter months.
- Trips to Costa Rica , Venezuela, Peru and Colombia were made for leisure travel. Colombian visits were specifically to visit then fiancé Vivian Dominguez, now Jon’s wife.
- Trips to Guatemala, Mexico, and Costa Rica often included Spanish study at a local language institute.
- Japan –Worked & lived in Japanese style apartment in Tokyo for seven months. Traveled solo for one month through the Japanese countryside and Kyoto, Self-taught basic Japanese. 1970
- Europe – Lived & studied in Aix-en-Provence, France. Visited England, Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Denmark on several trips – 1966 to 1967.
- Performed frequently at local Marseilles coffeehouse with partner, Robin Frederick.
- Performed on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Performed in London coffee houses and recordedwith legendary singer, John Martyn.
- Canada – Bicycled across Canadian Rockies with American Youth Hostel, 1963.