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610 North St
Madison, WI 53704

oe Jencks is an 25-year veteran of the international folk circuit, an award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist based in Chicago. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit. Having penned several #1 Folksongs including the ever-relevant Lady of The Harbor, Jencks is also co-founder of the harmony trio, Brother Sun. From Festivals like Falcon Ridge, Kerrville, Mariposa, and Old Songs, to venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Jencks has enthralled diverse audiences with his approachable style. Joe is noted for his unique merging of musical beauty, social consciousness, and spiritual exploration. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, Jencks serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel.

In August of 2022, Jencks released his 17th recording, The Coming of the Years, an album that stands firmly in the modern Celtic traditions and is still quintessentially a Joe Jencks record. Centered around songs Jencks wrote while on tour in Ireland over a 12-year period, this album emerges as a synergistic blend of past and present merging with themes of immigration spanning multiple generations. The album is already being received with critical acclaim.

“Gorgeous! Wherever you come from and wherever you're going, you will find yourself in the songs on Joe Jencks' The Coming of the Years. It's a page-turner of a concept album that pulls the listener through generations of the immigrant experience and extends musical hands and hearts across the ocean. Throughout, Jencks' timeless voice is deep, warm and sweet, but never saccharine. Top-shelf accompaniment and harmonies limn every detail. His new songs align perfectly with the ancient and the familiar to spin a wholly satisfying saga.” ~ Marilyn Rea Beyer, Host, "The Midnight Special" WFMT - Chicago, IL

“Interspersing his own songs inspired by visits to Ireland to explore his heritage with carefully chosen covers and traditional pieces, Joe Jencks weaves a tapestry of love, immigration, history, and Irish pride. The instrumental arrangements support the vocals tenderly, giving Jencks' deep warm voice space to bring the lyrics to the fore. The Coming of the Years is an audio treat and a history lesson.” ~ Paul Hartman, Host, "Detour” WTMD - Baltimore & Founder - Dirty Linen Magazine

“With his meticulous care, craftmanship and exquisite sensitivity, Joe Jencks has once again blessed us with a thoughtful and stunningly beautiful collection. Themed from the shaping of his own heritage, Joe in his typically generous way encourages each of us to explore and reflect on where we’ve come from. Haunting, melancholy, hopeful and heartfelt all at once, Joe’s gorgeous baritone brings new perspective to the traditional, honour and homage to those written by others, and breathes life to his originals. Goes wonderfully with either a quiet cuppa or a wee dram.” ~ Suze Casey, Artistic Director, Calgary Folk Club

“Climb inside the songs of Joe Jencks, and you meet real people. His lilting melodies and warm, caramel tenor draw us closer to the stories he tells. Jencks finds the humanness that binds us to the people in his songs!”- Scott Alarik – Author of Revival and host of Folk Tales, WUMB, Boston, MA

“You can expect many a gifted artist to move you deeply, but Joe Jencks will change who you are.” - Angela Page – WJFF, Radio Catskill, Jefferson, N

In addition to his performance work, Jencks' skills as a vocal harmony arranger are in demand. With over 30 appearances as a guest vocalist and arranger on various studio recordings, he brings a unique rich sound to the work of other artists.
On the stage, in the studio, or in the classroom, Jencks applies conservatory training to contemporary genres, bridging styles and techniques. Drawing on his Irish heritage (dual U.S./Irish Citizen), Jencks uses his lyrical voice to enchant, heal, and inspire. Jencks has won numerous songwriting awards and is also highly regarded as a song interpreter. Jencks weaves a diverse web of stories with brilliant musical skill, ensnaring even the most rigid of hearts, inviting them to open. His songs invite us to live inside of our passions and our beliefs.
In 2010, Jencks co-founded the dynamic harmony trioBrother Sun,with colleaguesGreg GreenwayandPat Wictor. The trio performs widely throughout the United States and Canada. Brother Sun's 2016 release - "Weights & Wings" was the #1 CD for 2016 on the Folk DJ Chart, and 5 songs charted in the top 50 for the year - including Joe's composition, "Mary Don't You Weep & Moan" at #3 for the year! The trio's 2013 release "Some Part of The Truth," was #1 for 2013, and also took #1 song for 2013 with Joes composition: "Lady of The Harbor." Fusing, Folk, Roots, Blues, Pop, Jazz, Rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions. For more information, please
Radio, Contests, & Awards
2017 #1 CD Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers - Sirius XM / The Village - Americana Chart
2017 #1 CD Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers (May 2017) - Folk DJ
2017 #1 Artist (May 2017) - Folk DJ
2016 #1 CD Folk DJ for 2016 - Brother Sun: Weights & Wings
2016 #3 Song for 2016 - Joe Jencks/Brother Sun: Mary Don't You Weep & Moan
2016 #1 Song - April 2016 Joe Jencks/Brother Sun: Mary Don't You Weep & Moan
2015 #1 Song - December 2015 - Joe Jencks: The Longest Night of The Year (pre-Release from: Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers)
2013 - #1 Song of the Year - Lady of the Harbor - Folk DJ - North American Folk Music Chart
2013 - Brother Sun - Album of the Year - Folk DJ - North American Folk Music Chart
2011 - Brother Sun - Best of 2011 - WUMB Boston
2011 - Brother Sun - Best of 2011 - WFUV - NYC
2011 - Brother Sun - Best of 2011 - WFMT - Chicago - The Midnight Special
2008 - Kerrville Folk Festival - New Folk Finalist
2008 - Dirty Linen Magazine's Best of 2007
2007 - Falcon Ridge Folk Festival - Emerging Artist Showcase, NY
2005 - Songwriting Contest Winner - Plowshares Songwriting Competition - Phoenixville, PA
2005 - Songwriting Contest Winner - South Florida Folk Festival, Margate, FL
2004 - Songwriting Contest Winner In Two Categories - Walnut Valley Music Festival, Winfield, KS
2004 - Songwriting Contest Winner - Tumbleweed Music Festival, Richland, WA
2003 - Songwriting Contest Winner - Tumbleweed Music Festival, Richland, WA

Sharing The Stage With…
Pete Seeger, Holly Near, John McCutcheon, Utah Phillips, Suzy Boggus, Steve Seskin, Sweet Honey In The Rock
Susan Werner, Red Molly, Red Horse (Gorka, Kaplansky, & Gilkyson)
Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor Ollabelle Spuyten Duyvil
Peter & Bethany Yarrow Rod MacDonald Bill Staines Pat Humphries
David Roth Willie Porter Tret Fure Steve Seskin
Kim & Reggie Harris Joe Crookston John Flynn Rebel Voices
Tao Rodriguez Justin Roth Kym Tuvim Wishing Chair
Reggie Garrett Joe Glazer Brad Warren Mark Spittal
Charlie King Anne Feeney Chris Chandler Dave Nachmanoff