Hire Our Amazing Teaching Artists & Performers!

The Old Town School of Folk Music offers a wide array of entertainment for any occasion by talented, professional artists. We offer soloists through 11-piece bands, dance instructors and callers, workshop leaders and more for virtually any occasion including weddings, picnics, festivals, corporate events, holiday parties and children's parties.

Booking

Please note that when you book entertainment through the Old Town School of Folk Music you are guaranteed professional service and musicianship. But most importantly, you are helping to fund the Old Town School in its continuing mission to teach and celebrate music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities.

Generally, bookings require a minimum of 2-3 weeks lead time prior to the date of event.

For more information and to book, please contact our Manager of Artist Engagement, Jenna Murfin, at jmurfin@oldtownschool.org or 773.751.3326.

Styles Available

Our Artist Engagement Program draws on the diverse talents of the Old Town School teaching staff. We have artists in a variety of disciplines including dance, theater, magic, music (of course) and more! From pure performance to something more educational in nature, our artists have experience in many settings. Here are a few of the many musical styles available:

  • African - Traditional Percussion
  • African Pop and High Life
  • Ambient Soundscapes
  • Bluegrass
  • Old Time
  • Blues - Acoustic, Delta or Electric
  • Brazillian
  • Caribbean - Steel Drum
  • Classical
  • Cajun/Zydeco
  • Country
  • Honky Tonk
  • Dixieland
  • Jug Band Music
  • European-influenced Traditional Styles
  • Flamenco
  • American Folk
  • Folk Pop
  • Indian
  • Irish/Celtic
  • Jazz
  • Swing
  • Klezmer
  • Latin
  • Middle Eastern
  • Polynesian
  • Rock and Roll
  • R&B/Funk
  • Cool Cover Bands
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • Tribute Performances

Check our Community Events listings for artist performances around town  

Listen to samples of many of the folks we book in our artist jukebox  

Children's Performers

We offer a variety of Children's Performers as well. Consider one of the following for your next gathering of children:

  • Wiggleworms Party (guitar and voice) led by one of our Wiggleworms teachers
  • Wiggleworms + Cookie Decorating
  • Art Party
  • Improv Workshop
  • Interactive Concerts for Kids
  • Yoga Class
  • Creative Movement
  • Storyteller
  • Drum Circle
  • Mini Dance Classes
  • Magician

Click over to the Parties page for more information  

Workshops and Instruction

Beyond what you might expect, we also book artists to lead music and/or theater-based team-building, professional development and training workshops. We also offer Dance Workshops/Instruction in such genres as Latin, Middle Eastern Belly Dance, Hawaiian Hula and West African.

Testimonials

"The Old Town guest artist was an awesome experience. It was easy to book the artist, and he made our party so much fun and super memorable for our family and our guests. Thank you!" - Brooke Semel, Child's birthday
"You offer a very diverse line-up of artists, and you will now be my first stop when looking for performers for an event. It was easy to reach someone to help arrange everything." - Jenna Lieblich, Field Museum donor event
"Our teachers had a wonderful time! All hands on, all by passionate, knowledgeable staff; you took us from where we were and helped us learn a lot in a short period of time. What really affected us was the passion that each of the teachers had for not only their art, but for the background behind it. We had a wonderful day, and would love to do it again sometime!" - Steve Tabisz, Hinsdale Middle School, On-site professional development for teachers
"I am so grateful to the OTSFM for the role it plays in our library's programming. I am a children's librarian and have a lot on my plate. When I wanted to start making our early literacy programming more robust, I knew I wanted musicians who knew how to involve young children and their caregivers in the music and had experience doing so. I also wanted to offer a variety of performers throughout the year. I am not knowledgeable about the world of children's music performers, however, and would never have been able to find these artists on my own. Plus, while music programming is a core element of what we offer to our community for our youngest patrons, there are a lot of other elements to my job, and I could not spend the time it would take to book all of the individuals. Thanks to Jenna, I can send her dates/times etc. and what the library is looking for, and she does all the rest. The result is the library is able to offer (for free) a rich array of excellent musical programming. Thank you for making this possible. I believe the Wiggleworms program trains and develops a professional subset of musicians who understand how to work with the very young. I know when a Wiggleworms instructor comes to the library that they absolutely know what they are doing both musically and child development wise." - Anna, Library Event
"You always book wonderful performers for us and patrons always want them back again." - Jenny, Library Event
"We had so much fun at my daughter's birthday party. Shaun made the day so special and tailored his performance to some of her favorite songs and dances. It was like having an old friend over for a celebration." - Sarah, Child's Birthday Party
"My wife and I are very satisfied with our experience with the Old Town School's Artist Engagement Program to hire a bluegrass band for our wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. The band (Sunnyside Up) was extremely talented and professional. I had previously taken mandolin class at Old Town School of Folk, and it turned out that the band we ended up hiring was my instructor's band! I had previously seen them perform at the Folk and Roots festival, so I knew they would be perfect for our wedding. Not only were they talented musicians, but a great representation to our guests of the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood community that we live in. Knowing that the musicians came from the Old Town School of Folk Music, which is just around the corner from where we live, gave us a sense of pride and made our wedding even more special." - Shelby, Wedding
"Nick and Anna are fabulous! They definitely get the kiddos moving, but really get the parents to let loose and get silly. We always love having them!" - Hayley, Playgroup Event
"Miss Diana is a treasure! She can read a room of kids (& adults) and adapt her performance accordingly to get people moving & having fun. My 3 year old daughter is quite reluctant in many social settings, but loves Miss Diana." - Nicole, Child's Birthday
"We really enjoyed your session. Not only was it great to learn the drum circle techniques and practice leading the group, but it was also amazing to watch a master teacher at work. Professional development days are not often something teachers look forward to, but your passion was infectious, and several of our teachers were inspired by the possibilities for their students and school communities." - Janet, School Professional Development Session