Jennifer Culley Curtin
Jennifer was born into a music loving family in Nashville, TN on August 17th. Her father taught the four siblings to sing harmonies at an early age and church and school choirs rounded out her musical foundation. When she was in 7th grade, Jennifer heard a local Celtic band on public radio and fell in love with the sound and rhythms of the songs. A subsequent family trip to England and Scotland brought the opportunity to hear even more wonderful and influential music.
After attending Earlham College in the mid-80’s, Jennifer and Brooke Parkhurst formed the Washington DC-based group Clishmaclaver. They played at multiple festivals, concert series and listening clubs as well as yearly at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. During that period, while attending The Augusta Heritage Workshops in West Virginia, Jennifer met the great Frank Harte of Chapelizod, Ireland. A legendary collector and performer of traditional Sean Nos style (unaccompanied) singing, Frank became a huge musical inspiration. Clishmaclaver produced two recordings, “Hearing Double” (cassette only) and “Roots Entwined” (CD/cassette) which featured close vocal harmonies of both American and Celtic traditional songs. Singing a cappella became one of Clishmaclaver’s trademarks. Following five successful years, Brooke and Jennifer went their separate ways. Brooke now plays in the popular group Tinsmith (CDs avail. on CDBaby).
Jennifer put music aside for a few years while she attended Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Nursing receiving a BSN in 1995. The following Christmas, Jennifer along with her brother Josh Culley (Nosey Flynn), Kristie Price and Pam Miller, self-produced a holiday recording “Carols at the Door”. The next few years saw a marriage to Jim Curtin (Irish flute/whistle), a move to New England and on-going employment at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Finbar James, born in 1998 and Maeve O’Neal, born in 2000 completed the family. The 2011 release of “Comfort for the Comfortless” marks the beginning of a new musical phase of Jennifer’s life.