Candi Sawyer has been the Executive Producer of the Jenny Brook Family Bluegrass Festival since its founding in 2001. Under the Jenny Brook brand, she promotes bluegrass concerts in Vermont, and also plays alongside her husband of 25 years in the Seth Sawyer Band. Under her direction, Jenny Brook has twice been nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Bluegrass Event of the Year, and in 2017 Candi was individually recognized by the Boston Bluegrass Union with its Heritage Award for her contributions to New England’s thriving traditional music scene.
In her youth, Candi fronted The Honky Tonk Angels and Blue Eyed Darlins and also played electric bass with Green Mountain Express. Candi’s grandfather, Fernan Parker, hosted the long-running Weston Playhouse Concert Series, and from a young age, she began to work alongside him as a promoter. She also cut her teeth as a disc jockey at WBFL. During a stint in Maine, she helped found the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine and promoted concerts throughout the state. She later became the publisher of the Bluegrass Festival Guide, a position she held for ten years before turning her full attention to operating Jenny Brook. Despite being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2002, she continues to devote her full energies to making the festival better every year. She credits her success to the support of her husband and two sons, Adam and Mathew.
Fans often ask how the name “Jenny Brook” was chosen. When surveying the original festival site, Candi recalled a story her grandmother told her about a teacher who lived in the area many years ago. There is a one-room schoolhouse near the site that is still there today. Jenny Coolidge, a descendant of President Calvin Coolidge, was on her way to teach school when her horse stumbled and fell into the brook and she was killed. This empties into the Greendale Brook that ran through the original Weston site. Everyone agreed “Jenny Brook” made the perfect name for a bluegrass festival. It’s actually a song waiting to be written!
Weston was a great home for the festival for the first eight years. It outgrew the original site so Jenny Brook took the tradition to Tunbridge in 2009! The original stage was cut into pieces and taken all the way to Tunbridge where it was re-assembled. It is set in a valley surrounded by the Green Mountains with the 1st Branch of the White River running along one side. This picturesque spot not only helps fans relax, put their problems aside for a while but makes for great sunsets and includes some of the best Bluegrass music you can hear anywhere. Fans have called it the Postcard Festival because it’s so beautiful.
Why not join us and become a member of the Jenny Brook Family! The Festival is always the 4th weekend in June.