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mennofolk:::::a celebration of contemporary Mennonite faith and culture through acoustic music and song

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Jeff Raught
Jeff Raught

Jeff has been meandering his way through life with songs and stories for many years. Finding the humor in unexpected places and delivering it in a way that only Jeff can. Connecting the dots, or maybe helping to erase them. It is a delightful blend of music that has flavors of blues, gospel and hints of The American Songbook.

For a new twist on some old yarn....

Read more here.

Various ensembles over thirty-ish years.
Various ensembles over thirty-ish years.

I play bass guitar (currently a five string "MTD").

I've played in churches (I'm part of a folk group in a Catholic church at present), pubs - nasty and nice, concerts, coffee houses and assorted other environments.

I've played in duos, full bands (three, four, five piece) and other configurations. I've had the good fortune to be part of a number of recording sessions as well.

I play by ear and use chord charts frequently. I am learning to "read" but am at a beginner level in that regard.

There are very few types of music that I don't like. I've played rock, country, gospel, reggae, folk and even some classical at a semi-serious to pretty serious level.

I'm a sucker for a great melody, a cool riff or a worthwhile lyric. If all three elements converge in a song great; I will, however, settle for one or two of them. :-)

Read more here.

What is Mennofolk?

Almost 20 years ago a young Mennonite conference pastor named Fred Martin had an idea that the ideal outreach to young adults, often overlooked or forgotten by the church, would be through music. He created a festival featuring local Mennonite musicians and artists which he christened "Mennofolk." Not all of those gathered were church members and many questioned their role in the larger church, yet they found great commonality and fellowship within the circle of friends that were brought together by this yearly festival. Now, years later, many of those young people are now actively engaged in the church, using their music as an expression of inner passion both within and outside church services. The artistry, integrity, and radical lifestyle choices of these Mennonite young adults and their networks of friends and family continue to fascinate and delight audiences within and outside Mennonite church networks.

Now called "Mennofolk Ontario," this original festival continues and is now joined by Mennofolk Manitoba, Mennofolk Michiana, Mennofolk on the Prairie (Kansas), and Mennofolk Harrisonburg (Virginia).

All of these festivals function as independent organizations run by boards and volunteers, and most of them are supported in some way by Mennonite Conference organizations. Mennofolk is seen as an outreach, a space where our circle can be widened to include the public and all can share our musical tradition. At the same time, our music provides a voice for our commitment to peace, justice and compassion we believe to be Christ's mandate.

Images of Mennofolk past:




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