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Joe Craven

Delfest's own Master of Ceremonies

He is a strong ingredient that helps to flavor the Delfest Experience.

...and so much more

The voice of Delfest is quite colorful. Stylish and Poetic.

This man is so much more than being The Master of Ceremonies!

Joe Craven loves his job. And we love it when Joe Craven is doing his job.

Joe Craven is an Ambassador for Delfest. He is the second most familiar face at the festival.

Joe met Del McCoury and became friends during Joe's 17 year employment with David Grisman. Joe has always been inspired by, and a fan of, the Del McCoury Band.

Craven describes Delfest as a "Spirit of Partnerships, Outreach and Connection of artful living to it's festival community, as well as, gifting assistance to the health and vitality of Delfest's local and regional community neighbors - year round. It's a hallmark of what makes Delfest unique and inspiring". The High Sierra Festival organization, based in California, handles much of the infrastructure and the McCoury Family participates in the vision, curation and hosting of Delfest along with Rainmaker Management group. It's an incredible, inspiring and compassionate gathering of businesses, families and individuals."

Joe reminds us that Delfest also honors regional acts along with artists of international acclaim. He describes Del as the Patriarch of the gathering. Del's your uncle, your dad, your grandpa, your next door neighbor. He's as gracious, genuine, generous, thoughtful and friendly a person as you'll ever know.

"Del McCoury is more than a host, he's a role model for us all." - Joe Craven

It all adds to The Delfest Experience.

Delfest honors diversity and welcomes many styles of music as it honors the diversity of folks who attend it.

Joe Craven remarks that many festivals have become, or are, eclectic. "Each festival has its own personality and style. Del McCoury has a very distinguished career singing Traditional and Contemporary Bluegrass and he's also very comfortable walking on stage to sing and play with groups like Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident or The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. To me, Del McCoury is the living Ambassador of Bluegrass Music, just as Louis Armstrong was the acknowledged Ambassador of Jazz."

For Joe, "Delfest is a 'Festival of Common Ground'. People, regardless of political or religious alignment, find themselves bound together in the unity of music and in moments of Bliss". Joe adds, "This is community celebrating similarity rather than focusing upon differences. Delfest offers a place setting for everyone at the table".

In addition to being a musician and Emcee, Joe Craven is also a visual artist, writer, former museum curator and live theater actor. He infuses all of these areas of interest into his work, by making it his play. Joe is obviously very interested in language and it shows. He says, "Any stage can present an opportunity to flex ideas with language".

Joe is also a teacher. As he likes to say, "I love helping others to be at their best, creatively".

For over 30 years, Joe has taught a wide variety of award winning creative process workshops and his unique education programs have inspired communities from Costa Rica to California, thousands of school kids, from Scottsdale to Scotland, and college students from Alaska to Alabama. Joe also owns and runs two music camps and teaches at dozens of other education events and residencies each year.

Joe plays many instruments as he recognizes music in everything. He describes himself as a "creativity dumpster diver". Joe explains that he, "sees the potential in everyday objects by re-framing the context of that object". A jawbone of a donkey, shoe laces, bed pans and tin cans, all become musical instruments in Joe's hands. Joe is a highly regarded educator and presents creativity programs in school and communities, locally, regionally, nationally and globally for students of all ages.

Joe Craven and his band The Sometimers have recently put out a great CD called 'Blender'. There are 13 great songs. This CD is well worth the time to listen to and as a worthy purchase to support Joe as an independent artist.

You can hear it Free at

The Sometimers feature Bruce MacMillan and Jonathan Stoyanoff. As Joe puts it, they embrace a "leave no genre behind policy of music making". The three of them hold poetic license to operate heavy machinery, using both upright and electric bass, various guitars, Dobro, lap steel, mandolin, octave mandolin, fiddle, percussion and, of course, more cowbell.

You will undoubtably be moved to bop around a bit as you listen to these fellows.



Sign up on Joe's website

We love Joe Craven. He is so great at Delfest.

He is a strong ingredient that helps to flavor the Delfest Experience.

We look forward to catching up again with him soon.