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Sailor's Prayer


2015 Chicago Maritime Festival Featured Performers


John Roberts and Debra Cowan teamed up in 2009 for a series of small concerts and have performed together in the USA and the United Kingdom ever since. John and Debra both share an enthusiasm and passion for the old songs and ballads that have been handed down through the oral tradition in the English-speaking world including a vast repertoire of seafaring material.  Even though a program with John Roberts and Debra Cowan will certainly include many traditional songs, there will be contemporary songs as well, some by writers personally known to both performers. Be prepared to join in and sing along!


David serves as musician and historian for Wisconsin’s Flagship, the schooner Denis Sullivan,in his homeport of Milwaukee. He performs at many Maritime and Tall Ship Festivals, has served as shantyman, educator, and performer aboard the HMS Bounty, and sung with Pete Seeger aboard the environmental sloop Clearwater.  David, known for his well-researched and excellent original songs about the waterways, continues the time-honored maritime tradition of sailors gone before in the spirit of remembrance and celebration. He has several recordings to his credit.



Bounding Main is a vocal group that sings richly harmonic versions of traditional maritime songs. Their shows are filled with spirit, humor, and harmony; their arrangements of traditional nautical music bring the listener into the world of fellowship, adventure, and romance. The members of the group, Dean Calin, David Yondorf, Gina Dalby, Christie Dalby, Jon Krivitzky, are music and theater veterans with diverse entertainment backgrounds. They have performed at music and maritime festivals, tall ships events, museums, renaissance faires, and folk music venues in the Midwest and in Europe; their four CDs have been well received on both sides of the


A true tradition-bearer and native born Hawaiian raised in the Chicago area and third generation descendant of the first Polynesians who migrated to the Midwest to ensure that the knowledge of their culture, hula, and music was not lost to future generations. Her Grandmother structured  lessons of Hawaiiana in the ‘old way’. After completing a degree in music education and pursuing studies with master teachers of other pacific island cultural arts, Ms. Lee then toured as a performing artist with these master teachers. She continues as a professional performing artist in forms of music and dance encompassed chanting, vocal work, and instrumentation characteristic of Western and Pacific Island cultural arts at educational venues and as a faculty of the Old Town School. 


Their songs and stories reflect their lives as singers, sailors, and travelers. They have toured throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Europe, and New Zealand. Tom has served as captain aboard several Great Lakes tall ships, currently tours internationally as a solo, and is the Narrator for the Candid Concert Opera Company in Madison, Wisconsin. Chris has served as the Director of Education at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum in Florida and the Community Educator for Friends of A1A Historic and Scenic Byway; she is currently a teaching artist for VSAFL, an affiliate of the Kennedy Center, and tours nationally as a solo act and author. They are founders and directors of the Chicago Maritime Festival.,


For almost six years, Kathy Whisler has been loosely organizing a monthly sea shantey sing open to anyone who wants to join in singing rowdy, rollicking songs about sailors and rum, mermaids and pirates.   The group usually meets one Sunday afternoon each month in the back room of the Atlantic Bar & Grill in Chicago.  Everyone who wants to may take a turn leading a song; the purpose is to enjoy making participatory music together.  Kathy and several of the regulars, including Fred, Daniel, and Heather Laurizen, as well as Kate Early, and John Wiseman, will perform some of their favorite chanteys and sea songs, and hope you will sing along.


Lilli Kuzma is the host of the popular "Folk Festival" show on WDCB Public Radio, which presents a great mix of folk artists and styles, from traditional and contemporary folk, to doses of related and influenced styles, like folk-rock, bluegrass, country, blues, Celtic, world, Americana, and more. Folk Festival presents entertaining themed shows plus topical and historical segments, and regularly hosts outstanding live studio guests, both Chicago-based and national touring acts. Lilli presents the show live, affording a fresh and direct presence with the listeners. Folk Festival can be heard Tuesdays from 8 to 11 p.m. central on 90.9fm and live online at