We are saddened to announce that Jerry passed away on September 25, 2015 after a battle with heart disease and strokes.  We will miss him.

A memorial service was on Saturday, October 17, 2005, at St. Marks Episcopal Church, in Jackson Heights, NY 11372.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Folk Music Society of New York (FMSNY, c/o H. Wood, 444 W. 54th St, #7, NYC, NY 10019); please note on the memo line JECK FUND.  Donations in memory of Jerry may also be made to Doctors Without Borders or Amnesty International (or any other worthy organization, for that matter.)

David Jones wrote the following tribute in 2005:
Just getting to think of all the things I would not have done if Jerry Epstein had not been around. The list is very long. Jerry, was not only a major force in traditional folk music, but was highly trained as a classical musician. He transcribed the wonderful Frank and Anne Warner collection, listening to the field recordings and writing down the notes. He was for many years the music director for the New York Revels, and was an accompanist for the Revels founder Jack Langstaff, to whom, he was very close. Some of his musical settings are included in the Revels song books, they are outstanding. He organized the Bermuda Quadrangle and set up, with the help of Sara Grey, a tour of Ireland and England for the group. His lessons, in voice, and sight reading, were legendary. Jerry helped me on many occasions as an accompanist, a singing partner, and as a friend. There will, no doubt, be a full report of Jerry's many achievements in due course, but for now, there you go. Oh! By the way, he had a Phd in Physics.

Jerry Epstein

Jerry has performed for:
NY South Street Seaport Festival
Fox Hollow Festival
Eisteddfod Festival (USA)
National Folk Festival (USA)
Old Songs Festival
Mystic Seaport Festival
Portsmouth (USA) Maritime Festival
Niskayuna Folk Festival
Newfoundland Traditional Festival
Whitby Festival (UK)
Loughborough Festival (UK) (later the National Festival)
Beverly Festival (UK)*
Festival on the Moors (UK)
Tenterden Festival (UK)
Dublin Festival (Ireland)*
National Folk Festival of Scotland (2002)
National Folk Festival of Australia (2003, 2006)
*with Bermuda Quadrangle
and for dozens of folk clubs, coffee houses, schools and colleges
in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, China, and New Zealand.

To main Minstrel Records Page

Contact Info:    Minstrel Records, 35-41 72nd Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372, (718) 426-8555


“Well-known and respected singer and folklorist Jerry Epstein paid a rare visit to Washington... Jerry always put the song first in this fine evening of traditional song.”
    Folklore Society of Greater Washington

“A very fine singer of American traditional music.”
    Folk Song Society of Greater Boston

“We were very lucky to have him.”
    Folk Music Society of New York

“Best night at the club this year.”
    Jean Seymour, Bury (U.K.) Folk Song Club

“Take a lot of talent, mix it with erudition, tradition and a little sedition, and you have a smashing night with Jerry Epstein.”
    Pat and Pete Elliott, Birtley (U.K.) Folk Club

“The fact that I have always made sure that Jerry has visited our club every time he has been in the U.K. says a great deal for our appreciation of his skills.  He is a talented musician, a fine and knowledgeable singer, and an unassuming and relaxed performer. (It's not his fault he's from the States!)”
    Geoff Bibby, Warrington (U.K.) Folk Song Club

“A powerful voice, a deep knowledge of traditional music, a consummate stylist, all coupled with a wonderful, unusual repertoire. Definitely much more than an entertainer, Jerry is worth a trip to hear.”
     Roy Harris

“Jerry Epstein is a fine musician--concertina and keyboard--an accomplished arranger, an able hunter of unusual songs and a thoughtful, effective singer.  His repertoire is vast, his choices tasteful and his knowledge encyclopedic.  He is a teacher and an artist, and I am proud to have worked with him on countless projects.”
      Jeff Warner, Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival

“We always rely on your strong sense of tradition and never fail to be impressed with your singing and your knowledge.”
    Craig Edwards, Mystic Seaport Festival

“You have a compelling way with everything you sing.”
    Ken Sweeney,

“Jerry has a great repertoire of little known traditional songs, and he performs them with power, sensi-tivity, style and taste.  He knows how the great traditional singers did it, and he knows how to do it.”
     Sara Grey

“Jerry Epstein is a compelling performer of traditional song with a wonderful ability to get an audience to really listen to what he is singing about.”
     Will Noble

“Jerry Epstein is more knowledgeable about folksong styles than any singer that I know today.  His interest in the traditional singers and their songs is exemplified in his own singing.”
     John Langstaff

“I knew Jerry Epstein as a classical musician first almost 40 years ago, and over the years saw him become also a first-rate singer of traditional songs. Jerry's respect and love for traditional music shows forth in his choice of material, in his sensitive approach and delivery, and in his obvious enjoyment of the songs.”
     Jean Ritchie

"Jerry is, and has been for years, one of the most valid and dedicated exponents of the true art of traditional American singing in the whole of the US and beyond.  Looking for a 'blueprint'?  He's one. ..."
    Keith Kendrick

“Not just a fine singer and musician, but one of the major figures in ballad scholarship. Jerry combines the essential qualities that make him so accessible, especially to ballad singers — not just a fine voice and love of singing, but also a deep understanding of the songs, their social and historical settings, and ability to communicate all aspects of the art. His work on the Frank and Anne Warner Collection is masterful and timeless.
     Margaret Bennett

“When I first heard you, I thought you were one of the old guys.”

     Joe Heaney

“Jerry is that rare thing: a serious student of traditional singing who has taken on the job (as Almeda Riddle said we should) to 'get behind the song'.  He's collected a repertoire of rare and elegant gems, and he sings 'em up good.  Amazingly he's a bang-up concertina and piano player too.”
     Jeff Davis

“Jerry Epstein combines a consummate knowledge of traditional styles with the ability to sing a song the way it should be sung. His skill at, and passion for, singing is evident always, ensuring a feast for the ears, mind, and heart.”
     Joe Newberry

“Jerry brings a blend of superb musicianship, scholarship and taste to his performance of the traditional music which he loves.”
     Tom Gibney

“Jerry Epstein has a love of traditional music in its many forms that shines through his performances.  Add to this fine musicianship, a wide repertoire, and a lively sense of humor, and you have a recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.”
     Heather Wood

“Jerry Epstein is making sure that really important things remain within reach of our space-time continuum.  He's on the back of about half of the Yazoo records, he's in books authoritatively discussing ballad modalities, he's holding down an entire corner of the Revels, and he's belting out dynamite versions of some great old songs the way the old people did it.”
     Andy Cohen

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