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David Williams, PhD

Educator, Author, Graphic Recorder

David Williams is an Emmy winning songwriter (for his work with PBS), cartoonist, writer, multi-instrumentalist, and professor. His new book, THE TRICKSTER BRAIN, deals with neuroscience, story-making, and evolution. He has also published numerous short stories, a book of fiction, and two children’s books with Knopf. His musical influences include everything from gypsy jazz to delta blues, bluegrass and folk. As a singer-songwriter, he is known for his way with words and melodies, which conjure up the American musical landscape. His songs touch on everything from the difficulties of love to the people and places along old Route 66, or a carnival from his childhood, or swing tunes reminiscent of Tin-Pan-Alley—in a wide range of CDs.

David has spent decades studying the passionate guitar work of the famed gypsy swing instrumentalist, Django Reinhardt, and his band, DECO DJANGO, specializes in this infectious music from the 1930s. In the past, David has also recorded and performed with people such as Greg Brown, and he also studied and performed with the great mandolinist Jethro Burns, of Homer and Jethro fame. In addition, David has played at many of the large folk music festivals in North America, such as Vancouver and Winnipeg, where he has been recognized as both a songwriter and instrumentalist.

A working cartoonist, who work appears around the world through Carlton Cards and Soultrader of London. David has published a number of books with Alfred A. Knopf and Ghost Road Press, as well as short stories and poems. He holds a Ph.D. in English, and he has been a writer in residence at a number of colleges and universities in the US. He has written and recorded ALA and NAPPA award-winning albums for children, and he is currently the songwriter for the new PBS children’s show The Big Green Rabbit, for which he won an Emmy in 2009. His songs on youtube have over 30 million hits.

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