- Goshen, IN
- Dulcimer Player
- Travels up to 200 miles
- contact for details
Critically acclaimed musician Ted Yoder is widely considered “the Bela Fleck of the hammered dulcimer." Though he’s a visionary artist in his own right, the comparison holds water in that Ted profoundly reimagined his instrument of choice. When he plays live, everyone becomes a fan.
When the master holds court, the thrill of what feels like a one-man orchestra takes hold. He powerfully personalizes classics across genres and eras as only he can—including Irish traditionals, worship music favorites, pop and rock songs from Eagles and The Beatles. He also includes in his set his own gorgeously impressionistic compositions that have become modern standards for his devoted fanbase.
Our experience with Mr. Yoder was very positive. He was very easy to deal with, extremely personable, friendly and to top it off, an excellent performer. He enthralled everyone from the first strike of the hammer to the last. And like a true artist, spent time with anyone who expressed any interest in his art. Long and short... you can't go wrong booking Ted for any type of event. He'll make you look like a hero.
I can't begin to say enough good things about Ted Yoder and the house show he put on for us in June 2015. Ted makes it very easy to host him in your home for one of his shows. He gives great instruction and ideas but keeps it open for you to do what you'd like for the show at the same time. Once he is there, let him go do what he does! He was great mingling with and getting to know all of our guests. They all had a great time getting to know Ted. Finally, the music is unlike anything you have heard before! World. Class. Musician. We had such great feedback on his music and I know he made a lot of fans. I hope he got as much out of the show at our house as we did!! Get him to your home/church/event/party as soon as you can. Everyone there will thank you for it!!
Teds music selection is wonderful. The hammered dulcimer provides such a sweet sound by it self and Ted takes it to wonderful places. Your ears and your soul will be well pleased and satisfied!
I hired Ted to come to my school and give an after hours concert for some students and their families. None of us wanted the concert to end. Ted performed music that appealed to all ages - from teens to parents to grandparents - and had small kids mesmerized when he allowed them to come up and try his hammered dulcimer.
Very entertaining! Very engaging! Very personable!
Ted also hung around for quite awhile afterwards talking to concert attendees.
Ted Yoder put on an excellent concert at our small church. The music and Ted's words were uplifting, and the performance was masterful. Ted is welcome back anytime.
We had the distinct privilege and honor to host a home concert during Ted Yoder's west coast tour in May of Sumer 2015. We and our guests just had a fabulous evening with Ted. Up close and personal evening with this great man and musician is a legend in his own time.
Our "concerts@theCasa" event at our large historic home was a perfect venue to honor this amazing talented hammer dulcimer pro.
We had a large showing of guests and they all are hopeful Ted will come back this route again. For many that came, this event was a first exposure to hammer dulcimer music and at the pro level that Ted is at and it sold them all to a new flavor of music they had never experienced.
Book this man as soon as you can! He received a standing ovation!
I had Ted Yoder as a special guest with our Sunday morning worship band at Flatland Church in Omaha, NE. Not only is Ted a very gifted and skilled musician, he is also very easy to work with and can adapt to many different styles of music and settings. I also booked Ted the same weekend at a club in town called THE 402. He did a solo performance that night and kept the crowd entertained and amazed the entire time. I highly recommend Ted Yoder for your next event. What an amazing guy!
Our barn concert was held on June 14, 2015. Ted's musicianship was impeccable. His repertoire appeals to a broad range of folks. My favorites are his own compositions, which are beautiful and really grow on you over time. He also has developed arrangements of songs by the Beatles and the Eagles, songs that most people readily know. His communication style with the audience is informal and endearing. Of course none of this would work if he weren't so darn good at getting that music out of his instrument.
We had hosted Ted in our home for a small gathering. We were mesmerized by his music! Ted quickly became a true friend because he makes everyone feel so warm and appreciated. His music is so refreshing and emotional and my friends and I spoke often about that night afterwards.
I HIGHLY recommend him!!!
Colorado Springs, CO
My wife and I invited Ted Yoder to a house concert. The weather promised to be one of those great late summer evenings. We invited our entire subdivision to come on down, to bring lawn chairs and some finger food for a delightful evening of great music and entertainment. That is exactly what the 50+ neighbors experienced that night. Ted started when the sun was up and continued playing till it was dark. The sign of true professional hammered dulcimer players is that they can play in the dark too. Ted, you are a great entertainer and a true professional! After we tested his metal we hauled out the lights and Ted played into the evening. It was a fantastic magical night for all.
Ted performed for our community and everyone was in awe of the performance. He played to the audience, answered questions and had a varied set list designed to please all in attendance. Everyone is asking to schedule him again and are looking forward to more perfromances.
Ted entertained our residents and sister community for our Harvest Melody event. He is a wonderful entertainer with a gracious spirit. Ted to our surprise invited some special requests at the end of his performance and that was very special.
Ted has made two visits to the northeast Texas area to play concerts, one in December '14 and one in June '15. Both concerts were absolutely wonderful. My co-hostess and I were disappointed by the low turnout at the June concert, but Ted was so gracious and he played his heart out for the small crowd. I was left more breathless with inspiration than at the last rock concert I went to years and years ago, he was that good and that energetic!
Ted just has a unique and passionate style of playing the hammered dulcimer that we have not heard anywhere else. He plays everything from Christmas music, to folk music, to some of our favorites from the 70's. Would you ever believe anyone could play The Eagles or Dan Fogelberg in a way that is just as inspiring as the original artist? I didn't either, until I heard Ted. And he has so many wonderful compositions of his own. Check out his CD "Chocolate Skies." It is an amazing, energetic and uplifting collection of Ted's own songs as well as beautiful Baroque classical songs. Again, I don't think I've ever heard Bach in a way I've loved more.
I was so inspired by Ted's "Prelude in C" played on the Chocolate Skies CD that I decided to learn it on my own dulcimer. Six months later, I was pulling my hair out in frustration, since the song required re-tuning of several strings as well as hammering skills that I don't quite have. With one private lesson, Ted was able to give me more help with learning this song than I could have figured out in six more months on my own. If you're needing some help with your own hammered dulcimer skills, Ted is the one to hire for help!
Ted's friendly and down-to-earth personality comes through in his music as well as just visiting with him. Everyone young and old will be glad he came and shared his music and his company. It's always great fun to have him in town and we hope he comes back again soon!
We have been Ted Yoder fans fir several years and have even taken our grandkids to hear him play at a nature preserve near us. This past June we enjoyed a sunny, breezy Sunday afternoon in our 165 year old barn with family and friends and Ted and his whole wonderful family, including the new puppy! Beautiful music and fellowship. It was a true blessing!
Our congregation invited Ted to share in an evening of Hammer Dulcimer and we were blessed and encouraged in so many ways. Not only does he provide classic music for the dulcimer, but his original music, his use of pop songs ("Dust In The Wind" and "Hotel California" were classic!), and his own singing of hymns and songs with the other were great. I don't think everyone knew of the lyrics and meanings of "Hotel California", but they enjoyed the song. He adapts to the needs of the audience and his own passion. Completely enjoyable evening in all ways.
Price Range: contact for details
Gig Length: 30 - 240 minutes
What to Expect
"Ted makes the hammered dulcimer cool"
Ted gets up on stage and amazes crowds from coast to coast with his versions of popular tunes, holiday classics, singing, and original compositions. He's like Phil Keaggy just on a hammered dulcimer. Playing songs from Beatles, Eagles, Kansas, Tears for Fears, to Bach, Rich Mullins, and Dan Fogelberg.
A very diverse hammered dulcimer savant, Ted brings energy and warmth to the stage with just him and his dulcimer. It's a musical journey you won't want to miss.
Ted can play background music or be the main event.
Ted Yoder has revolutionized the hammered dulcimer through his pop symphonic approach on the instrument as a solo performer. He’s the National Champion whose highly engaged fanbase has nicknamed his innovative approach to playing popular songs “Yoderizing.” Ted’s both a dazzling technician and soulful and lyrical visionary. And the story of his rise to prominence is as inspiring as his spiritually uplifting musicality.
The Goshen, Indiana-based instrumentalist-composer-singer first encountered the hammered dulcimer a decade before he actually was able to play on one. At the time, the instrument was costly and not readily available—this was the pre-Internet days—and Ted was a competent multi-instrumentalist who fell in love with a rare bird. It would take a tragic car accident and the love and support of his family to transform him into the musical innovator he has now become.
In less than a decade, Ted has gone from tinkering on the hammered dulcimer to releasing four studio albums, authoring a groundbreaking instructional book, teaching Skype lessons to students around the nation, and becoming an in-demand performer at community theaters, churches, and festivals. In 2010, just three years after dedicating all his time to the instrument, he won the title of National Hammer Dulcimer Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival. He’s been profiled in the Kearney Hub and on NPR’s esteemed NPR All Things Considered show, among many other features, profiles, and reviews in regional and national tastemaking outlets. Ted is currently preparing his fifth album which will be the first to feature his breezy and emotive vocals, a popular staple of his live shows.
Ted’s ascent truly began in 2007. At the time, Ted Yoder was a professional floor covering installer not playing music. That spring he had a major car accident that would alter the course of his life. Previous to the crash, Ted was an accomplished piano player and keyboardist who dabbled in guitar, percussion, and anything else he could get his hands on and wrangle out a sound.
While recovering from the accident, Ted became introspective about where his life was headed: he was married, had five children, but he realized music was his inner calling. During this powerful time, he encountered something of a spiritual process of elimination exercise in a motivational book. Through that he realized the hammered dulcimer was the instrument he wanted to devote his life to, and he began to strategize how to support his family through music.
The hammered dulcimer is a stringed musical instrument that’s played by striking the instrument’s strings with small mallet hammers. The technique to play the instrument can be best imagined as the summation of skills you would need to play percussion, guitar, and piano. The view looking down on the instrument evokes a spider web-like sprawl of up to 91 crisscrossing strings.
Traditionally, the hammered dulcimer is a folk instrument, though it has also been used by classical composers. Ted’s approach, or “Yoderizing” as it’s called, is performing stately solo pieces of modern favorite tunes with unique arrangements, powerful dynamics, and beautiful melodic interlacement. The antecedents of this artistic conception date back to Ted’s background as an accomplished solo pianist where he was responsible for conveying the full sonic picture of rhythmic support, harmonic context, and melody.
Highlights in Ted’s 4-CD diverse oeuvre are his imaginative versions of “Carol Of The Bells“ and” Prelude To Cello Suite,” and his own composition, the beautifully bucolic, “The Measure.” In his writing, Ted seeks to take the listener on an emotional journey. “When I compose instrumental music, my goal is to move people to tears or make them laugh with just the music. I seek to take them to dark places and then release tension and bring them to cathartic highs,” Ted explains. In addition to these signature tracks, followers of his YouTube channel were recently treated to a stunning rendition of “Hotel California” for his Fan Friday videos series, an ongoing weekly installment to share unreleased music with his fans.
Ted first encountered the hammered dulcimer experiencing the sweetly uplifting music of Christian singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Rich Mullins back in 1988. Rich had a contemporary perspective on the hammered dulcimer and created a beloved body of modern worship music that he performed in ensemble settings. From that fated first encounter, it would take Ted nearly 10 years to acquire a hammered dulcimer. Upon getting married, it was his wife—also a musician—who suggested they spend surplus wedding money on a hammered dulcimer.
Eventually, Ted become consumed by the instrument, and a year later launched his first website and was gigging at nursing homes and coffeehouses. In 2008, he issued his debut album, Hymns, recorded in his basement. Two years later, he was declared the National Hammered Dulcimer champion.
It’s surely an inspiring story of a father of five who overcomes tragedy to achieve his late in life dreams, but it hasn’t been without struggle and support from his family. Just eight days before Ted won the National Championship, he lost his day job. And though since then he hasn’t had to have a 9 to 5 job, there have been lean times with his growing family (he has seven children now) that’s made him rethink his strategy.
Currently, Ted is enjoying the fruits of his labors through gigging, teaching, and issuing albums. But a few years back, he was at a crossroads. Faced with increased expenses he considered getting a day job. “I gathered the kids around the table and told them I had the opportunity to make more money and they could have better things. My six year old asked ‘Would you be able to play music anymore?’ I told her no, she said ‘Then I don’t want it.’ It was unanimous, all the kids agreed with her,” Ted says with a pause. “If I didn’t have them and my wife who has supported me 100% I wouldn’t be here.’” Expect a new album in 2015 and catch Ted Yoder live at a venue near you.
Additional Booking Notes
I am equipped to bring my own sound system which is a Bose. This has been handy for large churches and mid size theaters or backyard parties. I can be all inclusive and I take up very little space. I'll list more specific needs in the stage/setup if you are an event which provides sound and such.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Dust in the Wind
Prelude to Cello Suite
Here Comes the Sun
Rich Mullins songs
Leader of the Band
Please Come to Boston
Influences & Inspiration
Vocal mic on a boom stand
XLR cable for preamp/direct box for dulcimer
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