Jeri Katherine Howell is a Folk/Americana singer-songwriter and teaching artist based in Frankfort, Kentucky, creating at the intersection of social and ecological justice, wellbeing, and the fullness of our shared human experience. She commands performances with her dynamic voice, thought-provoking lyrics, quality musicianship, and joyful presence. She empowers learners of all ages to creatively share their stories and build inclusive community that blossoms beyond the classroom. 

Jeri Katherine has been writing and performing as a solo artist – and collaborating with Kentucky musicians – for over 15 years. In 2007 she won 2nd Place in the Flat Rock Music Festival Songwriters Contest for the title track of her first album Branch to Branch. In 2011 she received the Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council to study and perform with master songstress Carla Gover. As she developed artistically, Jeri Katherine began performing with world music band Stirfry Musette and was featured on their 2013 release No String Unturned. That same year, Jeri Katherine released her second album, Collage, featuring 14 original tracks and several of Kentucky's best players. As Jeri Katherine dove into student life at Centre College, she immersed herself in the campus folk music scene as a lead singer and guitarist in the College’s Kentucky Music Ensemble.  2016 brought two tours with the ensemble: one in the Northeastern U.S. and the other in Yamaguchi, Japan. With her fierce interest in cultural exchange and community engagement upon graduation, Jeri Katherine received a Fulbright grant with the U.S. Department of State and performed and lectured throughout San Carlos, Costa Rica with Nat Colten - her partner in music and life - for the 2017 year. In 2020, Jeri Katherine joined Centre College professor, Nathan Link, and students for a Kentucky Ensemble reunion tour in Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and France. 

June 1, 2021 debuted Jeri Katherine and Nat Colten’s debut duo album, Holding On. Written over several years of travelling and living in different states and countries, the songs of Holding On reflect on what it means to come back to Kentucky and do just that -- hold on to their hometown, the land they live on, each other, and community amid times of chaos and difficulty. Composed of five tracks written by Howell and five by Colten, the album celebrates the duo’s connection to place and community. The album includes songs written across several years and sometimes even across different continents, but the resulting work is a seamless reflection on the interconnection and interdependence of nature, self, and community, with threads of social and environmental justice. Holding On features musical accompaniment from an array of talented Kentucky artists - Jordon Ellis (drums, recording, mixing), Ellie Miller (fiddle, viola), Nathan Link (bass), and Braden Urevick (guitar). The album was mastered by Justin Perkins of Mystery Room Mastering in Wisconsin. Frankfort photographer Joa McDaniel shot the album’s cover art beneath an old shagbark hickory on Howell’s former family farm.


Awards, Recognition, Education & Community Work

Sleeping in the Woods Songwriter Festival Contest, Winner / 2024

Rocky Grass Folk Festival Songwriter Contest, Honorable Mention / 2024

Music to Life, Juried Artist / 2024 - Present (learn more)

Bluegrass Pride, Mini-Grant Recipient / 2024

Alternate ROOTS, Member / 2023 - Present

Kentuckians for the Arts, Member / 2023 - Present

Josephine Sculpture Park, Assistant Director (formerly Program Director) / 2018 - Present

Kentucky Arts Council Teaching Artist Directory, Adjudicated Member / 2019 - Present 

Berea College Partners for Rural Impact Teaching Artist Directory, Adjudicated Member / 2019 - Present 

Yes Arts Teaching Artist / 2018 - Present

Kentucky Arts Council Performing Artists Directory, Adjudicated Member / 2018 - Present 

Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification / 2023

University of Kentucky, Master of Science in Community & Leadership Development / 2020 - 2022

HeartBEATS Founder & Program Manager / 2018 - 2020

Youth Arts & Environmental Education Program Consultant / 2018 - 2020

Kentucky Foundation for Women, Art Meets Activism Grantee / 2019-2020

Professional Environmental Educator Certification / 2019

National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, Creative Placemaking Scholar / 2019

Kentucky Foundation for Women Firestarter Award, Recipient / 2018 

Kentucky Arts Council, Certified Community Scholar / 2018

U.S. Department of State Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship / 2017

Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate, International TEFL Academy / 2017

Centre College, B.A. Environmental Studies & Spanish, Latin American Studies Minor (Valedictorian) / 2012 - 2015




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