As an arts presenter it’s not very often that I find artists who need no introduction. I usually spend countless hours coming up with ways to describe and, let’s face it, sell a concert. Enter Jalan Crossland: the man, the myth, the legend… the man who truly needs no introduction.
There are few artists that have such wide-ranging appeal. Jalan’s music draws country fans, symphony patrons, pop music lovers, and jazz aficionados alike.
Wyomingites appreciate his uniquely Wyoming lyrics. Crossland, after all, continues to call Ten Sleep, WY (population 300) his home. As Michael Seagall wrote in the New York Times, “He casts a sardonic but affectionate eye on the roughhewn lives of Western people.”
Yet Jalan’s music transcends Wyoming. I have lived and traveled all over the world, I and continuously find myself describing Jalan as “the real deal.” A real artist. He combines exceptional, dare I say virtuosic, guitar and banjo playing with his original songs. Spencer Bohren refers to him as “one of the finest guitarists in America.” Planet Jackson Hole adds, “More than just a great picker, Crossland’s performances feature graceful delivery and genuine character.” And inextricably tied into his artillery is true entertainment and humor. His music ranges from laugh out loud lyrics (voiced with addictive melodies) like “Trailer Park Fire” and “My Home is on the Big Horn Mountains” to soulful ballads like “Bosler” and “Joanne.”
Jalan is not only the pride of Wyoming (called “a Wyoming treasure” by the Wyoming Arts Council and recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award in 2013) but a testament to musical innovation and the enduring power of live performance. He is a true artist and a true entertainer. Every concert is something new and uniquely Jalan.
Jalan Crossland will perform a solo show in the superb acoustics of the Whitney Center for the Arts on September 13th at 7pm. Visit WhitneyArts.org for more information and to purchase tickets.
By Dr. Erin Hanke, Director, Whitney Center for the Arts