Our latest Cruisin’ the Burg video features jazz musician, traditional folk-music artist, storyteller, and renaissance man – Lem Sheppard. A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Sheppard came to Pittsburg to study music at Pittsburg State University and decided to put down roots.
While his normal 8-5 gig is at the Pittsburg Public Library, Lem is known by most people as a professional musician. He has delighted folk festival audiences for the past 30 years with his unique approach that shines a light on a lesser explored era of American history through storytelling and songs of black Americans during the Victorian Era.
He’s a member of the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame, was a national finalist in the Telluride Acoustic Blues Challenge, and a recipient of the Kansas Folklore Society’s Joan O’Bryant award.
He performed at the Kennedy Center and also composed the sound track to the PBS documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. The Topeka Board of Education, "Black, and White & Brown.”
While he has played many venues all over the country, Lem says some of the best music venues he’s ever played are right here in Pittsburg, Kansas.