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FOR BOOKINGS AND CDs CALL 831/335-8110 or email jayme at purrgirl dot com

Jayme Loves the
                                            Mountain Dulcimer

I have loved the mountain dulcimer ever since I first saw and heard Joni Mitchell play one on her landmark album "Blue."

I commissioned my first dulcimer to be built by Thomas Payne, a builder living in the Black Forest near Colorado Springs.

I give private dulcimer lessons at my home in Felton, California.

Find out more about West Coast Dulcimer Culture in the film "Hearts of the Dulcimer," featuring Laura Devine, Neal Hellman and many more of my dulcimer friends.

In this photo by Paul Schraub I am playing a tear drop shaped dulcimer by Janita Baker of Blue Lion Instruments.


Dulcimer Girls, Photo by
                                          Michelle Kiba

For 12 years I backed up Laura Devine on originals, folk ballads, old timey and spirituals as DULCIMER GIRLS.
Dulcimer Girls's music was down home, yet out of this world. We played numerous festivals and gigs of all sorts and made one CD, "Old Ways Are Leaving."

A few copies of Old Ways Are Leaving are still available.

Send $15 and your shipping address to:
Jayme Kelly Curtis
P.O. Box 278
Felton, CA 95018

Dulcimer Girls were also included on the Redwood Mountain Dulcimer All Star Collection celebrating 10 years of Redwood Dulcimer Day. The CD features instrumental selections from an all-star list of dulcimer artists.

Hear clips and get your copy at  

All proceeds benefit future Redwood Dulcimer events and the Community Music School of Santa Cruz, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

"Your dulcimers are so appealing and the music just fascinating."
John Mork, Producer, Women In The Redwoods Music Festival

Photo by Michelle Kiba

Find Dulcimer Girls performances on YouTube


Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer and play. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
- Rumi

Image from California Contemporary Craftsmen, published 1978, Courtesy of CapriTaurus Dulcimers 


The dulcimer has been called "America's Oldest Folk Instrument," which means it's actually relatively new, just like America itself.

The dulcimer is a fascinating example of cultural diversity and assimilation. It's an instrument that could only evolve in America, as immigrants came to this country and began to mingle and exchange ideas. The word dulcimer means "sweet melody." Some theorize it evolved in the early 1800s out of a Pennsylvania German zither called the scheitholt. As the German people moved down the hills in the late 1700s and early 1800s, they encountered Scots-Irish people who were also in the area. Scheitholts were adapted for playing fiddle tunes and other Anglo-Celtic music. Eventually, the settlers made their own instruments, sometimes with little more than bent nails for frets.

The dulcimer is appealing for a number of reasons. First, it's easy to make music on right away. It has a diatonic scale and drone tunings.  You can sound good pretty quickly! Second, old-timey music sounds good on it, but it also lends a unique sound to more contemporary music.  Third, it's an instrument that offers lots of options in terms of tunings and string spacing, and it can be plucked, flat picked or strummed. Just like America, it continues to evolve.

PurrGirl Music Publishing
P.O. Box 278
Felton, CA 95018
831 335-8110
Jayme at purrgirl dot com

  ©Jayme Kelly Curtis 2015