Jeslyn Wheeless is a New Jersey storyteller and folk singer who performs in schools, libraries, park settings, museums, churches, and clubs, for audiences of all ages. She has been a featured storyteller in New York’s Central Park, the New Jersey Storytelling Festival, and First Night Celebrations.
Jeslyn’s first recording, Hoot Owl Blues: Tales and Tunes to Conjure Up a Mood, won a major national award, being named to the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Recordings for the year 2000.Her large repertoire includes folktales and songs from all over the world, as well as literary tales by such authors as Carl Sandburg and Laurence Housman. She takes pleasure in designing a great many varied kinds of programs, as described on the attached list. Jeslyn’s singing, accompanied by guitar, dulcimer, and autoharp, invites audience participation and often includes movement.
With a background in education including a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Masters in Education from North Carolina State University, and a Masters in Library Services from Columbia University, Jeslyn enjoys artist-in-residence programs in schools in which she performs and also teaches children to tell stories.
Jeslyn’s goals as a storyteller are to share the joy, wonder, and often humor of the stories she has been fortunate to discover and learn. She especially enjoys the rapport that develops between storyteller and listeners. Her favorite quotation from a story is from Ruth Sawyer’s version of “The Peddler of Bellaghedereen,” “and he knew how to tell the stories in such a way that the children would keep them close in their hearts until they were old.”
Mmember since: 7/11